Founder And Ceo Of A Software Company
Job Title: CEO Of Small Business
Type of Company: Our company is a premier provider of fee billing and revenue management solutions to the global financial services industry. Our purpose is to automate complex accounting and revenue management tasks within the finance organization of mid-to-large sized investment firms.
Education: BS (with honors), Finance, University of Utah BA, English, University of Utah International Summer School, English Literature, University of Cambridge (England)
Previous Experience: My senior year in college I worked as a bookkeeper/office manager/portfolio tracker for a retired investment banker who started a boutique investment advisory practice. After graduation I started working at a software company that specialized in building enterprise software applications for investment management firms. I worked for a year as an Application Specialist (HelpDesk) and then I worked for two years as a Client Relationship Manager. The company we were working for was neglecting our product line, so the Product Development Manager and I drafted a business plan, found some venture capital and started our own company after buying the intellectual property and client contracts from our employer.
Job Tasks: As co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of our company I oversee strategic business development initiatives for our company. I need to keep in touch with what is happening in our industry and understand how the market would respond to new developments within our company to generate more revenue.
Once we started our business, I took the lead in establishing the company's vision and core values. In any company, it is important that the management team articulate clearly what the company's goals and objectives are. When these have been spelled out every manager and employee should have documented goals that align with those objectives. The core values determine what ideals the firm as a whole will try to navigate by. I would summarize our own core values as "Quality, Clients, Employees and Technology."
Every month or quarter I report to the Board of Directors on our progress and plans. I need to make sure that the money that has been invested into the firm is providing a return to the shareholders.
I also act as the executive-level contact to our clients. If they have any issues or concerns with our software or our service they have the HelpDesk and/or a Client Relationship Manager to work with, but if their needs are more pressing or they have a contractual issue, I am available to discuss them.
Our software is a custom accounting package that allows firms to improve cash flow, save on processing costs and generate reports that allow executives to make informed decisions about their business. When a prospect is interested in licensing our software I work with legal counsel and lead the contract negotiation efforts. Once the contract is signed, then the Professional Services team shows up and performs the implementation of our software and trains the users.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best parts of my job include:
1) Working with bright and motivated people to achieve a common goal
2) Getting to know new people and cities around the globe that are interested in working with our firm to license our software
3) Providing an automated solution to complex finance and accounting problems so that those that use the software don't have to work over-time or on weekends to successfully complete their jobs.
4) Working to build an enterprise that I helped establish.
The worst part of the job is too much work with too few people one year or not enough work with too many people, which may result in lay-offs.
1. Get as much public speaking experience as you can; find opportunities to present and sell to other people or groups.
2. Read as many business management books as you have time for. Some of my favorite are "Built to Last," "The E-Myth," and "Good to Great."
3. Build relationships with really smart engineers from MIT.
4. Develop a tough work ethic.
5. Learn how to motivate and lead other people by volunteering or joining extracurricular activities in college.
6. Learn to read and understand the fine print in contracts.
Additional Thoughts: First, make college a top priority. Learning how to balance your time and take initiatives are priceless skills that you are forced to develop in college, if you want to succeed. Second, when you leave college, be prepared for full-time employment by understanding that you will only get two (maybe three) weeks of vacation every year...ouch! Sometimes that can be a painful reality. Third, realize that during your career you will always come across "the grass is greener" syndrome, which means that when times get tough, you may feel like giving up or moving to another department or another company. But realize that if you grit your teeth and put in the extra effort to break through and succeed during the tough times, that is what makes a career.
Learn to talk to everybody and create your own opportunities.
If you have a true entrepreneur's spirit then keep in mind that there will come a time when you have to take a leap of faith into the unknown. Once you do, you have to fight for years to stay afloat...but do all you can to hit your five year mark, after that things can get much better.