Short Version: I started my first business tech company when I was 21, and I just sold my IT, Website Design / Marketing, and Hosting company at 33. I’m here to provide tech support and experience to others such as website designers, website host, and marketers.
Extended version: About the ups and downs of my entrepreneurship journey.
My entrepreneur journey started at the prime age of 21 years old. I was young, on fire, and ready to take on the world. But reality kicked in….I knew how to fix computers, but I did not have a clue on how to run a business.
I started my first business called Laris Technologies in 2006. Laris Technologies provided residential and business computer repair services. Eventually, the company began to focus only on business only as a managed service provider (MSP).
I had a good handful of clients that we provided IT services for and a few started asking for website design. At the time, I only knew a little bit about websites, but I had a friend who was willing to help me grow the website side of the business. He and I started to offer our clients HTML websites and eventually, we moved to CMS base sites such as Joomla, WordPress, and Magento.
Around 2011 I started my second business called Laris Media which strictly provided website design and marketing services to customers. While we still offered IT services but wanted to have a separate brand that focused on digital media. After the switch, to its own company, I also switched the focus on the business to only do websites in WordPress and Magento. From there I created Laris Hosting (now Hive Node) which provided fast and secure hosting for WordPress websites.
Back then the best way to market your website was SEO and PPC (Pay Per Click) via Google. I was able to rank my site high in the search results, but it all came to a close around October 2013 when Google made some significant changes. In the marketing word, we called this a Google Slap, and it undoubtedly was a big slap. I had to make some significant changes to keep my lead generation going, or I was a going to sink. I had to go back to my roots. Good old handshaking and networking. While networking and PPC still worked, I wasn’t getting the leads I wanted. I needed to restructure my business from the ground up.
Around 2014 I eventually realized that I need to grow the business to the next level and while I had employees or contractors throughout these years none of them wanted to help the companies grow as much as I did. During this time I was looking for a mentor or someone to help me get the business to the next level. I got a phone call one day from someone head hunting me for one of his clients as a Magento designer, but I turned him down. He mentions to me that we should do lunch one day and get to know each other. At first, I shrugged my shoulder, but about six months we eventually did lunch, and we started to work together. He helped me make some changes to my business which improved it, and in 2016 we ultimately did a partnership together with another IT tech that just got out of the military. While both are great friends and great partners, I eventually was not getting challenged enough as an entrepreneur. It was time for me to sell my shares and start over.
I decided it was time to move on and take all of the experience I have from the past 12 years and apply it to a more personal approach with website design, online marketing, and business consulting. It was a tough decision because those companies have been my kids for over 12 years, but now I’m up for new challenges.
Articles about me:
WHRO Young Achievement:
Inside Business (The Virginian-Pilot)