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Starting Your Own IT Company. Laura Ewing Cathy Byrnes Matt Schlanger. Objectives. Why this topic is important to managers Definition of an entrepreneur and personality characteristics Phases of a start-up business and successful attributes Can entrepreneurship be taught? Case studies

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Starting your own it company

Starting Your Own IT Company

Laura Ewing

Cathy Byrnes

Matt Schlanger


Objectives
Objectives

  • Why this topic is important to managers

  • Definition of an entrepreneur and personality characteristics

  • Phases of a start-up business and successful attributes

  • Can entrepreneurship be taught?

  • Case studies

    • Suzanne Joyce – TechGuard Security

    • Greg Sullivan – G.A. Sullivan

    • Adam Buffa – Buffa-Tech, LLC

  • Realistic look at how a business can begin

  • Resources


Entrepreneur
Entrepreneur

  • “A person who habitually creates and innovates to build something of recognized value around perceived opportunities”

    • Initiatiative taking

    • The organizing and reorganizing of social and economic mechanisms to turn resources and situations to practical account

    • The acceptance of risk or failure.

(Gardner, 1995) (Hirsch, Peters, & Shepherd, 2005)


High tech entrepreneur
High-Tech Entrepreneur

  • High level of education

    • Undergraduate or Graduate level

    • Science and Technology

  • Access to a network of associates

    • Business & Technical

  • Primary Motivation

    • Desire for independence

    • Self-achievement

(Roberts, 1989)


Level of education higher in entrepreneurial activities
Level of EducationHigher in Entrepreneurial Activities

Viewed on 4/22/06

SBA Office of Advocacy

http://www.sba.gov/advo/research/rs256tot.pdf


Motivation for launching an it start up
Motivation for Launching an IT Start-up

(Bolton & Thompson 2004)


Entrepreneurial traits
Entrepreneurial Traits

  • Internallocus of control

  • Creativity

  • Achievementoriented

  • Drive

  • Optimism

  • Self-esteem

  • Risk- taking

  • Recognizes opportunity

  • Openness to change

(Koh, 1996, Sexton & Smilor, 1986)


What triggers entrepreneurship
What Triggers Entrepreneurship

“setting off the initial spark”

  • Opportunity Trigger

    • “Being at the right place at the right time”.

    • Potential for growth

  • Technology Trigger - Recognition of:

    • New or different types of technology

    • New or different Applications for technology

  • Cultural Trigger

    • Environmental stimulation: formation, growth, & development

(Bolton & Thompson 2004)


Start up importance to managers
Start-UpImportance to Managers

  • ROI is greater in regions that support entrepreneurship

  • New Technology Start-ups drive regional growth

  • Quality labor pool with IT Start-ups

Viewed on 4/22/06

SBA Office of Advocacy

http://www.sba.gov/advo/research/rs256tot.pdf


Key economic indicators
Key Economic Indicators

High Entrepreneurial Areas

Versus

Low Entrepreneurial Areas

Viewed on 4/22/06

http://www.sba.gov/advo/research/rs256tot.pdf


Benefits to society
Benefits to society

  • Create jobs

  • Create products and provide services previously not available

  • Improve our style of living

(Paulsell, 2005) (Tracy, 2006)


Personal benefits
Personal Benefits

  • Control over their lives

  • Report to themselves.

  • Can work at home

  • Potential to increase their own income.

(Paulsell, 2005) (“Starting small business is appealing and challenging.” 2005)


Drawbacks
Drawbacks

  • “Being your own boss can be overrated”

    Jerry Burnett of Burnett Automotive Services

  • Constant dedication and sacrifice

  • 80% of new ventures will fail within 5 years

    (Butler, p.3) (“Starting small business is appealing and challenging.” 2005)


Challenges
Challenges

  • Finding capital or venture capital

  • Gaining experience

  • Finding the right help

    (Pearsall, 1997) (Phillips, 2005)


Types of venture capital
Types of Venture Capital

  • Boot-Strapping

    • Non- traditional forms of financial support

    • Personal credit cards

    • Personal savings,

    • Loans from friends and relatives

  • Business Angels

    • Wealthy Individuals

  • Private Venture Capital

    • Consortium of investors or fund managers

  • Corporate Venture capital

    • Investment money large corporation

      • Intel - Intel Capital

      • IBM – NetGen

(Bolton & Thompson, 2004)

(Van Osnabrugge & Robinson, 2000)


Small business indicators
SMALL BUSINESS INDICATORS

Venture

Investment 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005

# Deals 4456 3057 2865 2966 2939

Investment 40.7 21.7 19.6 21.6 21.7

(Billions of dollars)

http://www.sba.gov/advo/research/sbqei0504.pdf

Viewed on 4/22/06

SBA Office of Advocacy


Successful launch of new it start ups
Successful Launch of New IT start-ups

Security Technology

  • Target market growth rates

  • Timing of market entry

  • Near-term revenue potential and

  • Impact of the cyclical nature of the industry

(Umesh, Huynh, & Jessup, 2005)


Stages of an it start up
STAGES OF AN IT START-UP

  • CONCEPT STAGE

  • SEED STAGE

  • START-UP STAGE

  • EXPANSION STAGE

  • IPO/ACQUISITION/BUYOUT STAGE

(Swanson & Baird, 2003)


Concept stage
CONCEPT STAGE

  • Entrepreneur comes up with a creative idea or innovation

    SEED STAGE

  • Ideas or innovation are refined

  • Prototype has potential

  • Early-Stage financing needed to develop prototype

  • Very High Risk

(Swanson & Baird, 2003)


Start up stage
START-UP STAGE

  • 1 to 2 years

  • First-Stage financing

  • Product Development Phase

  • Manufacturing & Marketing of product

  • Very High Risk

(Swanson & Baird, 2003)


Expansion stage
EXPANSION STAGE

  • 2 to 5 years

  • Second-Stage financing

    • Working capital to support business

    • Business growing, No profit, High Risk

  • Third-Stage financing

    • Break-even point , Moderate Risk

  • Fourth-Stage financing

    • Capital needed to sustain rapid growth

    • Market Development Phase

    • Profitability achieved

    • Low Risk

(Swanson & Baird, 2003)


Common traits of entrepreneurial centers
Common Traits of Entrepreneurial Centers

  • Location near large, research oriented universities

  • Educated and technologically skilled labor

  • Venture Capitalists

  • Intellectual property lawyers

  • Cluster of new venture expertise

    • Marketing

    • Product designers

http://www.neweconomyindex.org/metro/part5_page5.html

Viewed on 4/10/06


Entrepreneurial centers
Entrepreneurial Centers

  • Silicon Valley

  • Austin, Texas

  • North Carolina Research Triangle

  • Technology Corridor (Cambridge Mass. Area)

http://www.neweconomyindex.org/metro/part5_page5.html

Viewed on 4/10/06


Can entrepreneurship be taught
Can Entrepreneurship be taught?

  • University of Arizona – 2002 study

    • Classes can:

      • Teach basic skill

      • Speed up learning process for those with entrepreneurial traits

      • Force students to make a deadline

    • Entrepreneur majors or MBA’s with this emphasis:

      • Earn an average of $23,500 more in regular jobs than business majors

      • Five years after graduation, earn 27% higher or $72,000 more than graduates with business degrees or MBA’s alone

      • Three times more likely to start a company with average annual sales of about $50 million

        (Gray, 2006)


Benefits of entrepreneurial programs
Benefits of entrepreneurial programs

  • Learning basic skill and ethics

  • Making Connections

  • Raising Capital

  • Making mistakes before entering the real world

    (Gray, 2006)


Entrepreneurial programs
Entrepreneurial Programs

  • According to Jerome Katz, a management professor at St. Louis University:

    • Entrepreneurial programs are among the fastest growing in the nation

  • According to the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation survey:

    • 1,992 colleges and universities offer courses on entrepreneurship compared to about 300 in 1984-85

      (Gray, 2006)


Mary paulsell
Mary Paulsell

“In the end, it makes little difference, as long as we continue to provide opportunities for them and create the right environment in which they can succeed.”

(Paulsell, 2005)


Umsl s entrepreneur class next fall

UMSL’s entrepreneur class next Fall

BUS AD 4614 Entrepreneurship/Small Business Management

(Hauff, Alan. Telephone interview. 13 April 2006.)


Techguard security
TechGuard Security

  • Suzanne Joyce

  • Network security for Government Agencies and Businesses

  • 95 % Government and R&D

(Joyce, Suzanne. Telephone interview. 11 April 2006.)


Her personality
Her Personality

  • “Type A+”

  • “Slightly ADD,

    maybe not so slightly”

  • “Coffee Addicted”

  • “Positive”

  • Natural Salesperson

(Joyce, Suzanne. Telephone interview. 11 April 2006.)


Funding support
Funding & Support

  • Wanted to give 10% of the company for 10 million dollars

  • Started Feb. 2000, at the beginning of the dot com crash

  • No more easy money 

    • Friends and Family

    • Bootstrapped

    • Incubator and other Entrepreneur Groups

(Joyce, Suzanne. Telephone interview. 11 April 2006.)


What keeps you up at night
What keeps you up at night?

  • Financial issues

  • Personal responsibly for employees that rely on the business

  • Personal responsibly for investors that are taking a chance on the business

(Joyce, Suzanne. Telephone interview. 11 April 2006.)


Her suggestions
Her Suggestions

  • Find a mission or a focus

  • Attract people with your passion

  • Don’t do it for the money, but because it is important to you

  • Don’t try to be everything

    • Build a team not like yourself so you can compliment each other

  • Use the resources available to you

    • especially other in the Entrepreneur community

(Joyce, Suzanne. Telephone interview. 11 April 2006.)


Case study greg sullivan
Case StudyGreg Sullivan

  • 1982: Founded

    • Used Boot-Strapping

    • Custom software for businesses using the IBM PC

  • 1992: Expansion Stage

    • $335,000 in revenue ,25 employees

  • 2000: Experiences rapid growth

    • 22 million in revenue, 300 employees

  • 2004: Buyout Stage

    • 30 million in revenue, 350 employees

  • 2004: Sold to Avande Inc

    • Undisclosed selling price

  • 2006: CEO Global Velocity

    • Innovative reprogrammable hardware solution

  • At Early Start-up Stage

    • Raised 1.7 million used Business Angels

    • Ready to leave incubator - Technology Entrepreneur Center

“The company specializes in providing e-business solutions for middle market companies, E-business start-ups, as well as Fortune 500 companies” (St. Louis Commerce Magazine, Jul, 2000)

(Sullivan.Greg Telephone interview. 11 April 2006.)


Greg s advice
Greg’s Advice

  • “Quality prevails ultimately, but brief periods when sizzle has more appeal”

  • “Starting your own business is not for everybody only if you’re in a position to take career risk”

  • “You must be serious about business but at the same time have fun while your doing it, when its not fun its time to get out”

  • Be prepared to adapt to the changes in business and technology “I changed the way we did business to better use the internet”

(Sullivan.Greg Telephone interview. 11 April 2006.)


Key points we learned from greg
Key points we learned from Greg

  • Technology presents opportunity

  • Need vision, drive, and a network of good people

  • Requires sacrifices before you reap rewards

  • Personal satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment

(Sullivan.Greg Telephone interview. 11 April 2006.)


Buffa tech llc
Buffa-Tech, LLC

  • Adam Buffa

  • Buffa-Tech, LLC

  • Goal: To provide technology and accounting support to small businesses and homes in the St. Louis area.

“Providing Small Businesses the Personal Attention They Deserve”

http://www.buffa-tech.com/index.htm Accessed 4 April 2006

http://www.bnistl.com/memberdetails.php?ID=13494 April 2006


Why did adam decide to start his own business
Why did Adam decide to start his own business?

  • Change

  • Passion for technology

  • IT companies skip over small businesses

  • If he can perform IT services for one small company, why not for others

  • Always willing to try something new

  • Not afraid of failure

(Buffa, Adam. Telephone interview. 6 April 2006.)


Funding
Funding

  • Took $1000 from his savings account and opened a checking account for the business

  • Produced enough income to keep the business operating and to receive a salary

  • Fortunate to have his former employer as a client

(Buffa, Adam. Telephone interview. 6 April 2006.)


Non financial support
Non-financial Support

  • His wife

  • Business Network International of Missouri ~ Southern Illinois (BNI)

    • Helped him market his business

    • Positioned him in front of other business owners and prospects

    • Helped him to establish a routine

(Buffa, Adam. Telephone interview. 6 April 2006.)


What keeps adam up at night
What keeps Adam up at night?

  • Being asked to fix something or perform a task that he is unable to accomplish

  • Finding clients

(Buffa, Adam. Telephone interview. 6 April 2006.)


Personality traits he thinks entrepreneurs should possess
Personality traits he thinks entrepreneurs should possess

  • Willing to fail, take risks, accept failure, and move on

  • Outgoing

  • Able to sell one’s business

  • Organized

  • Know who to turn to for help

(Buffa, Adam. Telephone interview. 6 April 2006.)


Adam s advice for future entrepreneurs
Adam’s advice for future entrepreneurs

  • If accounting is not your strong point – find help!

    • This will save you time and money!

(Buffa, Adam. Telephone interview. 6 April 2006.)


Key points we learned from adam
Key points we learned from Adam

  • Be able to sell/market your business

  • Know who to turn to for help

  • Be willing to take risks, fail, accept failure, and know when to move on!

(Buffa, Adam. Telephone interview. 6 April 2006.)


Start your own it company

“Start Your Own IT Company”

A Step-by-Step Example


KEEPING IT REAL

Disclaimer

  • Many books, trade publications, and information sources out on starting your own business.

  • Although many qualified sources were used in this story, it is not a technical how-to guide

  • Each business is different but in order to avoid broad generalizations this story is very specific


OfficeMax

PC House Calls

Safeco Insurance

Scopel & Associates

Softwaire Centre International

St. John & Co. Accountants

St. Louis Business Journal

St. Louis County Government office

Stephen Finch & Associates Inc

Sunset Office Suites

TigerDirect.com

Vistaprint.com

Yahoo.com

Yellowbook

Yellowpages

Adsell

Bank of America

City of Maryland Heights Government office

Computer Concepts Inc.

Computer Ease

Computer Nerdz

Data Science Corp

Data-marq

Friendly Computers

Godaddy.com

Google.com

InfoUSA

Kaiser Law Firm

Kama Inc.

KEEPING IT REAL

Companies Involved


Keeping it real
KEEPING IT REAL

About Jane

  • Jane Pevely

    • Graduated BS in Computer Science, 2000

    • Working as programmer ever sense

    • Making good money, but hates the cubical

    • Too social to continue this career forever

  • Would like to start a small on-site computer repair business


KEEPING IT REAL

Competitors

(Based on phone conversation, 21 April 2006.)


Keeping it real1
KEEPING IT REAL

Business Goal

  • Decides on $75 an hour.

  • Goal: to maintain 15 hours a week for a full year

  • $75 x 15 hours x 48 weeks =

    $54,000 gross income

  • Will work part-time until the goal is reached


Keeping it real2
KEEPING IT REAL

Lawyer Consolation

  • $150 an hour

  • Comes prepared with questions

  • Supports LLC or Inc. to protect personal assets

  • Suggests business insurance

  • Reviews and makes suggestions on Jane’s service contracts

(Paul Kaiser, Kaiser Law Firm, phone conversation, 21 April 2006.)


Keeping it real3
KEEPING IT REAL

Accountant Consolation

  • Small, low risk company more concerned with taxes than legal liability

  • Prefers the Inc. over LLC because it “has been around longer” and the rules are more established than the LLC

  • Suggests Inc. filed as an S-corporation to avoid double taxation

(Scopel & Associates, St. John & Co Accountants, Stephen Finch & Associates, Inc., phone conversations, 21 April 2006.)


KEEPING IT REAL

Business Name

  • Missouri Secretary of State’s website to search current business names

  • Likes

    “Jane’s PC Repair, Inc.”

(https://www.sos.mo.gov/BusinessEntity/soskb/csearch.asp, 21 April 2006.)


Keeping it real4
KEEPING IT REAL

Returns to the Accountant

  • Although it would only cost her $58 to incorporate online, she chooses to pay the $775 to the accountant to have both the business entity and the tax information filed correctly

(Scopel & Associates, St. John & Co Accountants, Stephen Finch & Associates, Inc., phone conversations, 21 April 2006.)

(See Appendix I for full details of how the $775 is spent.)


Keeping it real5
KEEPING IT REAL

“Board of Directors” Meeting

  • Two months later the approved Articles of Incorporation are received

  • Meeting at the kitchen table

    • Jane’s Husband, Jack elected Secretary

    • Review business plan

    • Agree to file for a business license

    • Agree to open a business bank account

    • Agree to loan the business $10,000

    • Agree to repay Jane the money she spent with the lawyer and accountant

(Scopel & Associates, St. John & Co Accountants, Stephen Finch & Associates, Inc., phone conversation, 21 April 2006.)


Keeping it real6
KEEPING IT REAL

Government Licenses

  • St. Louis County Government office

    • Merchant License

    • Does NOT pay the $5 charge since she is running a service based company.

  • Her county, City of Maryland Heights

    • file as a home-based business

    • pays the one-time occupancy inspection charge of $25

    • And $25 per year charge for a business license.

(St. Louis County Government office and City of Maryland Heights office, phone conversations, 21 April 2006.)


Keeping it real7
KEEPING IT REAL

The next day

  • Business checking account for $11 per month

  • Buys envelopes, paper, toner, and gets her contract printed at Office Max for $157.23

  • Spends $80.59 at TigerDirect.com on computer repair tools

  • Spends $50.03 for “janespc.com” and a year of basic hosting

  • Designs basic 5 page website explaining her services

(Bank of America, OfficeMax, TigerDirect.com, GoDaddy.com, 21 April 2006.)


Keeping it real8
KEEPING IT REAL

Marketing

  • According to her business plan, she is going to use primary direct mail

  • Purchases demographic specific mailing list from InfoUSA.com for $1,416.40

  • Purchases St. Louis Business Journal’s listing of businesses for $149.95

  • Bulk mail permit for $160 from US Postal Service

  • Orders 5000 business cards and 5000 postcards from VistaPrint.com for $443.57

(InfoUSA.com, St. Louis Business Journal, USPS, VistaPrint.com, 21 April 2006.)


Keeping it real9
KEEPING IT REAL

Secondary Marketing

  • Yellow Pages listing for $540 per year

  • Google Adwords budgeted $20 per month

  • Yahoo express search $49

(YellowBook quote, http://www.google.com/ads/, http://searchmarketing.yahoo.com/srchsb/sse_pr.php, 21 April 2006.)


Keeping it real10
KEEPING IT REAL

Insurance and “Office”

  • $1,000,000 insurance

    • Does not cover “workmanship” but will cover accidents

    • $500 per year

  • Virtual Office

    • Physical mailing address $25 per month

    • Live receptionist for $100 per month

(SafeCo Insurance recommended by anonymous insurance agent in phone conversation, Sunset Office Suites phone conversation, 21 April 2006.)


KEEPING IT REAL

Minimum Estimate for her First Year of Business$8,481.77

(Added all the following costs plus $1,000 for random expenses, estimate example only, not an exact science, refer to paper for complete narrative)


Key points
Key Points

  • Make a plan

  • More to starting a business than just the Articles of Incorporation

  • Find a good accountant


Resources
Resources

  • http://www.missouribusiness.net/

  • http://www.startupjournal.com/

  • http://www.entrepreneur.com/

  • http://www.score.org/

  • http://www.sba.gov/

  • http://www.sos.mo.gov/

  • Steingold, Fred S. Legal Guide for Starting & Running a Small Business, Berkeley: NOLO Publishing, 2006.


Conclusion
Conclusion

  • Why this topic is important to managers

  • Definition of an entrepreneur and personality characteristics

  • Phases of a start-up business and successful attributes

  • Can entrepreneurship be taught?

  • Case studies

    • Suzanne Joyce – TechGuard Security

    • Greg Sullivan – G.A. Sullivan

    • Adam Buffa – Buffa-Tech, LLC

  • Realistic look at how a business can begin

  • Resources



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Appendix i
Appendix I

Date ___ /___ /200__

Discuss strategy with client, incorporate, and Handle all filings for:_____________________________ , Inc.

Phase I: Develop strategies and filings

Client interview to determine issues and strategies of preliminary business plan

Determine proposed Corporate name availability

Develop all necessary and pertinent information to scope project out

Determine type of entity and tax effects $180.00

Phase II: Do Incorporation

Preparation of Incorporation Articles

File Incorporation Articles with MO Secretary of State (includes travel)

Pay all necessary filing fees on behalf of client

Initial Annual Report to Secretary of State & pay fees

Preparation of Corporate By-Laws

Preparation of Corporate Minutes of initial meeting of Incorporator and Director(s)

Develop and prepare supporting exhibits

Issue Stock

Purchase Corporation book, Stock Certificates, Corporate Seal on behalf of

Client & pay fees. $230.00

Phase III: Preparation of documents and registrations - Federal & State(s)

Compile and file Federal, State, and Local:

1. SS-4 Federal Identification Number

2. DOR 860-1663, Corp. 65/m860-1103 State Withholding, Corp Registration

3. Election of Sub S status form 2553 (if appropriate)

4. Sales Tax Registration Form (if appropriate)

5. Annual Secretary of State Report of Directors/Owners

6. Section 351, Tax Free Rollover Election (if appropriate)

7. Annual Franchise Tax Report (if appropriate)

8. Election to Amortize Incorporation Costs

9. Election to Amortize Start up cost $275.00

Phase IV: Finalize

Issue Stocks

Set up meeting to discuss Payroll

Set up and forward paperwork to bank to set up new account

Determine amount of assets to be included in corporation

Meet with client to finalize and sign all necessary documents $ 90.00

Total Cost for Incorporation – Flat Fee $775.00

____________________________ __________ ____________________________ __________

Client Signature Date Incorporator Signature Date


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