1. Who are you and what business did you start?
Greg Maguire, owner of I.T. Guru (formerly Wired Home Solutions). In business for three years as of Feb ’09. We provide onsite computer & network services to the SOHO market.
2. Why did you start your own business?
We saw a need for technological help for small business. Many I.T. pros aren’t interested in serving companies with fewer than 10 employees. We are; it’s our bread and butter.
3. What has been your biggest challenge so far?
Client management. We really don’t have much trouble attracting clients; it seems everyone has some computer issue(s) that needs fixing. Finding time to serve them all and still grow the business properly is a challenge. The idea is to grow, with a plan, not to just go to work every day.
4. What was the biggest mistake you made so far?
Incorporating too early. All the lawyers said do it, all the accountants said hold off. We should have listened to the accountants. It’s a big, expensive, time-consuming complication that we really didn’t need at this early stage.
5. If you could go back and change something, what would you do differently?
I would have researched the market better. Both our service offerings and our target market have shifted a fair bit since inception. A good learning experience though, so maybe it was better to go through it.
6. Which has been your biggest achievement so far?
Our first office rebuild. All new equipment, all new wiring, very tight deadline, and performing some tasks we were pretty green at. I’m still amazed sometimes looking back how smoothly it all went.
7. What’s the best advice you’ve been given so far?
Do what you are best at.
8. What advice would you give a new business owner?
Get your books in order first and keep them in order. The further behind you fall the worse it gets. Understand cash flow. Understand your financial statements. Stay on top of it, every month.
9. Where did you go for business support and advice when you started up?
10. Which part of growing a business do you find most challenging?
Hiring & managing people. Finding competent, dependable people who take the business as seriously as I do and have at least SOME people skills has not been easy. I expect hiring and managing people to be a challenge for some time.