President and owner
Big Bang LLC
9851 S. 27th St, Franklin, WI 53132
Industry: Software development
Number of employees: 11
Family: Married 11+ years, no children
What was the smartest thing your company did in the past year?
“In mid 2010 we decided to get involved in the sales and sales channel side of the business. Prior to that, we used an exclusive distributor to handle all of our sales. This now means we control the entire product cycle from design and development, marketing and advertising, support, and now sales.”
What’s new at your company?
“From a business side, direct sales and control of distribution is the obvious new step for us, with a huge learning curve. On the product side, we have had one primary software product on the market, and we will soon be releasing a sister product, which we believe will have a significant impact for our customers.”
Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?
“I would like to think so. We are small enough that everyone wears many hats, but it is entirely likely we will hire one or two people for sales positions. As for capital investments, we’re always purchasing new PCs and systems to test, and I fully expect that to continue. We did also purchase a new lawn tractor as I’m now responsible for maintaining the grounds of our five acre campus.”
What will be your company’s main challenges in the next year?
“The challenges are threefold. The first is continuing to innovate our software and adjust it to our customers’ needs. That is always a challenge for a software company. Next, because of our taking on the sales role, we need to expand our customer base, and that’s a very new challenge for us. The last is financial. While the economy has stabilized, we are finding that some customers are paying slowly. Consequently, for us, cash flow has become more of a challenge than it has been in the past couple years. Of course, we haven’t received any IOU notices from the state of California like we did a few years back, so that’s a plus!”
What’s the hottest trend in your industry?
“We deal with computer hard drive imaging – in other words helping customers deploy Microsoft Windows and of all their applications to multiple PCs. It is a huge time saver and an industry standard function that has been around since the mid 1990s. We are seeing our customers move away from some of the long standing imaging applications though, like Symantec’s Ghost software, and migrating to tools from other companies, most specifically Microsoft’s SCCM software. It has affected us enough that the sister product we are releasing is associated with SCCM specifically, which is our first application specific product.”
Do you have a business mantra?
“Several! Do what you’re good at and what you love, if you can figure them out. Hire really talented people and get the hell out of their way and eliminate relationships with those that damage your reputation. No one likes that last one, but I believe it is critical – difficult, but critical.”
From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?
“I’m a huge fan of Richard Branson. Business is business in his mind, and I agree with that. He’s proven that the right people with the right dedication can run any business, and I aspire to do the same.”
What was the best advice you ever received?
“Put out into the universe what it is that you want, expect to receive it, and then remember to give thanks when you do. I can’t explain how very thankful I am for the tremendous life I have. It can certainly be a ridiculous amount of work and risk, but without establishing your expectations, you’ll never achieve them.”
What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you in your career?
“I’m regularly told that I look like Chuck Norris – hopefully a slightly younger version though as he’s got over 30 years on me. At a recent trade conference, I was interviewed by the roving video journalist, and the caption put up on the video was something like, ‘Chuck Norris visits FOSE and supports Big Bang LLC’s Universal Imaging Utility!’ I’ve since shaved my beard!”
What do you like to do in your free time?
“Well, I enjoy woodworking, so I have built and am now planting my wife Tanya’s garden, so that’s certainly taking up a lot of my free time. We try to golf occasionally and are avid poker players, although we don’t have time to make it to the World Series of Poker this year unfortunately. We also scuba dive, and have been incredibly fortunate to be able to dive in places like the Galapagos Islands and the Maldives.”