Today, we celebrate 10 years of Preemo.
I can’t believe it.
When I started Preemo in my kitchen, I couldn’t possibly imagine the years that would follow. Sleepless nights hunched over broken laptops, shaking hands at every networking function I could find, learning all the ropes of owning a business in real time, and developing countless relationships that would lead to where we are today.
Our success comes on the shoulders of our incredible team, both past and present, and the clients who have entrusted their technology in our hands. Last year, I reflected on what got us to our 9th year, so this year, I thought I might explore what I should have done differently.
So here’s 5 things I’d do differently if I was starting my business today.
1. Build processes, then execute.
This is, without question, the most important realization I’ve had, mostly over the last couple years. As we scale the business, the importance of standard operating procedures is not only important, it’s required. As the book The E-Myth explains, most small businesses fail because too often, businesses become a lifestyle, and not a machine. Our last couple years have been focused on organizing all of our company’s processes, so that everything from service delivery, finance, sales, marketing, all the way to how we run meetings and how we make coffee – is all fully documented. It makes a world of a difference, especially for new hires.
2. Join a peer group
I’m currently involved in two peer groups, IT Nation Evolve (which is industry specific for IT companies), and Entrepreneur Organization (EO), which is more broad, but exclusively in South Florida. When I started the business, I was a bit cocky on my understanding of running a business, and I would have benefited tremendously from being involved in groups like these. Peer groups have helped me understand how to be a better business owner, a better manager, and even a better person. My peer group members have been like family, and are always available to lend a helping hand or provide candid, sometimes brutal advice.
3. Focus on culture fit, not skill set
As I built out the Preemo team, I hired industry veterans, and specifically engineers who had done similar work to that of what we do. Technical knowledge is the foundation of our business, but we wanted to ensure our team was aligned in their values. We have always had an active company culture, but in the last few years, it’s become the near exclusive focus in our interviews. We search for engineers that are not only exceptionally skilled in their craft, but also respectful, hard-working, and deliverer top-quality customer service. Our team is now solidly rooted in our corporate values of integrity, passion, perseverance, and personal growth.
4. Make decisions on metrics and benchmarks
Finance has never been my strong suit, so I learned to read financial statements as I grew the business. Only recently am I so confident in my understanding of our numbers that I can leverage it to make effective business decisions. Having that clarity on Day 1 would have been key, as I would have been able to more effectively make decisions around money. Furthermore, now that we have historical benchmarks of previous years, I can also evaluate past decisions, and use that information to help make future ones.
5. Balance for more success
I knew going into this business that I’d be working a lot. What I didn’t realize is how easily being an entrepreneur can consume you, mostly because it’s fun! I’d spend 10-12 hours a day working on my business, and in the process, neglecting family, friends, and my health. Now, I’m putting more focus on balance, and it’s actually helping my business grow faster. We’re also working on adopting more balance for our team, because it’s just as important for them, as it is for me.
All that being said, I wouldn’t change any part of this journey. I’m grateful to all of our clients, team, family, friends, vendors, and partners for your support and trust. Our team is stronger than ever today, and we’re ready to grow exponentially in the years to come.
Thank-you for being part of our success.
PS. If there’s anything we can do for you or your business, give me a call anytime 305.722.7162, or send us a message here.