Small business owner finds success by focusing on two things.
Name: John Long
Business: Avionté—staffing and recruiting software
Location: Eagan, Minnesota
What do you think are some of the reasons for your success?
From the beginning we’ve focused on two main constituencies: our customers and our employees. If you get those two things right, everything else works out. It costs a lot more to find customers than to keep them, and if you don’t have the right team around you, you’re going to sink.
What has surprised you about running your business?
I believe in limiting debt exposure if it helps you not make a dumb long-term decision based on short-term needs. I like how we were so conservative we didn’t spend money on fancy desks and such; instead we were focusing on cash flow and our customers.
What have you not yet achieved that you would like to?
We are still in a transitional mode to get into a professional grade. We are not great at anything yet, but I would like to be great at something. Every department can grow and do better. It’s not a specific accomplishment [I want to achieve], it’s more of a professional grade boost.
What does owning a business allow you to do that most people do not get to enjoy?
I can fix the problems. I’m unfettered to be able to fix problems the way I think they should. I might be wrong, and often I am wrong, but that’s the best part for me. If I see something that’s not right, I can adjust it.