WashingtonExec reached out to area executives to gain insight and share local “secrets to success” stories. We thought that our readers would appreciate a series designed around their peers as well as from those who have the expertise but might not have the platform to share their knowledge.
Today’s advice comes from Tony Jimenez, President and CEO of MicroTech.
Throughout my career, I’ve come up with ten hard rules that guide me in my planning and decision making, not just while on the job but in my life:
1. Work hard — My father had a great work ethic and that rubbed off on me. I put in long hours; the reward can translate into a great return on your time and effort. Plan your time wisely; it is truly the most valuable commodity.
2. Find the right people — Since day one, I have made it a focus to hire veterans. They offer leadership and unique skills that translate well to the corporate world. Their military training ensures that they show up on time, are well prepared, thoroughly understand their mission, and strive to reach their goals. You can’t go wrong by hiring a vet.
3. Discover your niche — As a SDVOSB, there are many opportunities to make your mark in the contracting world. I recognized that my military experience would open doors in the government arena and I seized it. Discover your niche by closely examining your career experience and the advantages that you may have, then exploit them!
4. Innovation is good – Smart innovation is better. True, most innovation involves an investment; you have to spend money to make money. People are hesitant to change, but you will win the day if you can show them how you can make their lives better and do it for a reasonable price, with minimal risk.
5. Constantly search for new opportunities- especially in nontraditional or atypical places. I’m always prepared wherever I go to deliver my 30-second elevator pitch about MicroTech. Every charity event, every industry forum, every business networking get-together is a possible new way to discover potential business opportunities
6. Remain agile and adept- A flat business management structure allows you to seize new opportunities and rapidly adapt to uncertain economic times. It also allows you to maintain the flexibility needed to evolve along with existing contracts and their ever-changing requirements.
7. Aggressively Pursue Quality Management System (QMS) standards – credentials matter. Keep the same standards as larger, more established businesses — Just because you are a small business, doesn’t mean you can cut corners and still be successful. At MicroTech, we aggressively pursue quality standards and international certifications. They have helped us offer a high quality product for our customers and establish a strong and consistent business process that keeps clients coming back.
8. “Continuous Improvement” is more than just a trendy slogan — Reinvest in your people, processes, and facilities — Don’t water down the wine. The day you stop improving, is the day you start losing.
9. Use “Diversity” to your advantage — Diversity can offer a larger market and open new doors to different demographics. Why limit your audience when you can appeal to a much broader client base? There are so many more opportunities today for diversity-focused business.
10. Give back to the community — We have had people come to work at MicroTech because they liked our focus on community involvement. Regularly contributing to your community can be rewarding, enriching, and without a doubt, leads to becoming a better business.
Passion is the ultimate key to success, to loving what you do.
Passion gets you out of bed in the morning, provides a second wind when it’s been a long day, and helps you close the deal when you need it most. It allows you to be authentic, purposeful, and committed. It helps build trust with both your employees and your customers.
Most importantly, it allows you to find and retain the most vital element in creating a successful business — people. Passion is contagious and makes people want to play on your team.
Do what you love, love what you do, and you can’t go wrong.