Bryon Beilman is co-founder and CEO of iuvo Technologies, Inc. which he and colleague Jeff Ouellette started in 2007. With more than 25 years in IT and systems management, Bryon brings a broad set of technical and business skills he has developed while working for small, large, government and startup organizations.
Bryon is an industry leader and as CEO has responsibility for Sales, Marketing, and Business Development at iuvo Technologies. Bryon has a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Colorado, Boulder and has been a contributing author on books and conference papers, and is a regular contributor to the iuvo Blog.
How did the concept for iuvo Technologies come about?
I had worked in the startup world, particularly for semiconductor and systems companies. Startups are awesome because your skillset grows so quickly around a lot of different topics. Some of them succeeded while others failed. During my last startup, it was a struggle getting more funding and getting the deliverables out. I realized that they were not failing because of the IT systems that I had built from the ground up, but for other reasons out of my control. I wanted to control my own destiny. I then contacted an old colleague, Jeff Ouellette, whom I had worked with before to gauge his interest in starting an IT Services company that would be based on our ability to execute. He was interested and we started planning iuvo Technologies.
The other driver was my experience at the time interacting with another IT service company. I was shocked at how poor they were and how much they charged for the poor service. I knew that businesses deserved better IT and a better value and I knew that we could provide it.
How was the first year in business?
We started in January 2007 and began building a good customer base, particularly around startups, rather quickly. Our first year, we had enough work to hire three full-time staff. If you recall, in 2008, the market crashed and most companies tightened up their spending. Despite that, our revenue grew 125% that year and has continued to grow every year since. We have been on the Inc. 5000 fastest-growing companies in the US for the last four years and the Boston Business Journal‘s Fast 50 (fastest-growing private companies in Massachusetts) for the last four years as well.
What was your marketing strategy?
Our marketing in the beginning was to just have a website, make relationships, and grow by referrals. Only in the past two years have we embraced SEO, marketing automation, and things like trade shows to help spread the word on our services. This year, we hired a full-time marketing leader to really invest in those areas.
How fast did the company grow during the first few years?
Our three-year revenue growth from 2007 to 2010 was 387%.
How do you define success?
Success is creating a great company. A company that employees want to work at, and customers love working with. If you focus on culture, customer service, and service delivery, revenue and profit will follow.
What is the key to success?
Hire the right people and make sure they are smarter and better than you. Give them the roadmap and autonomy to do what they think is right and move roadblocks out of the way for them.
What is the greatest lesson you’ve ever learned?
Believe in yourself and never be satisfied with what you know or what you can do. Continually learn and grow.
What are some quotes that you live by?
There are many quotes that I like, however the simple one is “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”
What are some of your favorite books?
I am an avid reader of business books. A few of my favorites are:
Tell me about one of the toughest days you’ve had as an entrepreneur.
The toughest time is when you need to let a person go. At iuvo, we take hiring very seriously. You need to fit into our culture and have a few key traits to work with our clients at our level of satisfaction. It is always difficult to terminate people, but if they are not a fit or if business conditions change, we need to do what is right for our business and client standards.
When faced with adversity, what pushes you to keep moving forward?
I try to focus on what is important. I am actually more motivated by adversity than I am success. I am a problem solver – all of us at iuvo Technologies are. If there is a problem I want to solve it, and if something is challenging, it is an opportunity to learn from it and become a more capable leader.
What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs?
Find a good mentor, have coffee, and meet up with them whenever you can. There are so many people who love to share their knowledge and the relationships you make can be invaluable to your growth.