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Engineering a Solution to Every Problem

When Dave Smith came to the harsh realization and he alone was in charge of his future, he took a resourceful route to become an expert in his field. Mixing the desire to make it with the imagination to fake it, he went to great lengths to connect with TekScape IT customers and make them believe that his tiny organization was big enough to solve their trickiest problems. Created by Kauffman Foundation.

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Video transcript

- Hi, my name's Dave Smith. The name of the company is TekScape IT. I look at just about every aspect of my life in a very engineering aspect. Engineering is driven by logic. So I logically deduce every decision and every fork in a road and find a way to say, okay, if this equals this, then this is the net result. Then to convert that to business owner, I had to learn the finesse side of it and leave a lot of the engineering side behind. Every entrepreneur has to be a salesperson. If they're not a salesperson then their product they're developing isn't going to mature. You're your best salesperson as an entrepreneur. If you can't finesse the product then you're gonna have a hard time trying to deliver it to market, or even creating a strategy to deliver it to market. Otherwise you would have to rely on somebody else to deliver your idea, your concept, your entrepreneur spirit. Fortunately it was something that came naturally to me and I had an engineering background, but it came naturally. And I've realized over the last five years, my gift as an entrepreneur is to be able to bridge the gap between technical ability and business ability and be able to articulate and explain to any business owner, here's the solution that you're looking for. Some things you learn over the years of being an entrepreneur and growing in business is that you have to focus on the things that you're good at and then hire people to do the things that you're not necessarily good at. I'm good at sales, I'm good at bridging the gap. Other aspects like operational aspects, accounting aspects, those aren't my specialty. So I need to entrust in people those operational aspects of the business for them to be able to deliver what I'm looking for. You need to have a general understanding of your accounting aspect. I think that's the most critical thing that you need because when you start to develop past two, three million dollars of business, if you don't have a good handle on your accounting and the KPI, your key performance indicators that you should be getting from your business, you're not gonna be able to measure how fast you can grow or what you can invest. Also a marketing strategy. What is your go-to market strategy? Is it a social networking aspect? Is it a direct marketing? Is it a telemarketing? What is gonna be able to establish the best customer base for you and be able to target that marketing strategy. It's not the same for every business. If you think you're gonna start a business and then sit back and enjoy whatever's gonna come, don't start a business. You have to be able to work harder and more diligently than anybody that's working for you because they won't believe in you if you don't. So I'm unsatisfied everyday. There isn't a day that I go into work and like great. Life is great. Now I'm gonna enjoy the day. Everything's fine. It's because people's lives, I'm responsible for them. And so the more people that I hire, the more people's lives that I'm responsible for. So it's almost like a duty, that I feel responsible for is to support these people's lives. And making sure that I'm building a company that's financially sound, that has the ability to grow in the future. And I have to be able to support their lifestyle behind it. You go through these different aspects of building the organization. And I originally started my business saying, okay, I wanna make a million dollars. Or I wanna grow however big I can grow. And then you achieve these goals. I feel like people lose sight of what they're trying to accomplish. Money isn't everything. I have to be in the mix of it all. I have to be involved in it all. I have a passion for the product that I'm delivering and the success of that product. And if I moved on and I went and sold this company, I still want that 'cause I'd built it. It's my baby.