Glenn Davis of On Call Holdings International LLC could have told people he was CEO and president when he started the telecommunications management firm at age 26 in 2000. But, as the only employee there, he opted for "senior sales associate."
"I thought that if I'm the senior sales associate of the company, maybe the perception is that there are some more people in the company," Davis said at a recent panel discussion, adding that he also bought thick business cards and paid rent to use a friend's business address for his mail. "I started out in my one-bedroom apartment, but I knew that whatever the end customer saw, the perception that I created was extremely important."
Davis was one of four panelists who spoke during the 2013 Entrepreneurial Excellence Awards event June 17, and the cadre of business launchers answered audience questions about lessons learned, core principles, community service and more.
The event, held at Founders Inn in Virginia Beach, honored nine Hampton Roads entrepreneurs. It was hosted by Inside Business and the Regent University School of Business & Leadership.
During the panel discussion, Brad Scott, president and CEO of business solutions firm Cetan Corp., said he had no idea what he was doing when he started his business in 2007 with $5,000 of his savings. But he found his way.
"I took it out of the bank, quit my job and my wife said, 'Do you know what you're doing?' " Scott said. "I nodded my head 'Yes,' but inside I was like 'Hell, no.' "
Cetan Corp had about $11.5 million in sales last year, Scott said.
One man asked the panelists about obtaining capital to start their businesses. Kevin Tucker, president and owner of SOLitude Lake Management, said he didn't use any financial capital, just human capital.
"I didn't hire the first employees until I had been in business for two years," Tucker said. "To this day we have no debt."
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Since 1998, SOLitude Lake Management has been committed to providing full service lake and pond management services that improve water quality, preserve natural resources, and reduce our environmental footprint. Services are available throughout the Eastern United States. Fisheries management consulting and aquatic products are available nationwide. Learn more about SOLitude Lake Management and purchase products at www.solitudelakemanagement.com.