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Denver small business profile: Vector Defector

Vector Defector
Vector Defector
Tom Benway / Used with Permision

With the growth of Denver small business, the way people operate is changing every day.  People are looking to different alternatives in the case they lost a job during this downturn, and businesses are turning to less expensive options to get things done.  For those who unfortunately did lose a job, it has a silver lining for the actual small business world as it has added in a new era of Denver small business owners and provided more options for the consumers to choose from.

With this recent influx of new small businesses, I decided to start picking their brains a bit, and pass on the information to you in a profile sort of way.  As I speak to more and more small business owners in the area, a lot of things are coming across that are pretty important for other small business owners to learn.

This first profile is about a company that I have done some work with in the past and I have always been very impressed with the speed, and the quality of work they provide.  Let me introduce you to Tom Benway, owner of Vector Defector.

Business Name: Vector Defector
Industry: Online Media
Owner(s): Tom Benway
Year Business Started: June, 2001 - Re-established in June 2008
More Information Phone: 303-519-4563
More Information E-Mail: info@vectordefector.com
Website: http://www.vectordefector.com

Industry
What type of Industry were you in before opening Vector Defector? Online Media / Streaming Media

What made you choose this Industry? While it wasn't a 100% change in industry (streaming media is still offered), it was a change from a full corporate business model to more of an independent contractor service, owned and operated by me.

The Business
What does your business offer the public? Graphic Design & Branding, Website & Custom Web Application Development, Streaming Media applications, SEO optimization, E-Commerce and online payment integration, email marketing, and much more!

How has the "downturn" effected your business? The only real negative side I've seen is when it comes to pricing.  I know the value of the work we put out there, but sometimes I need to lower my prices to in order to remain competitive.  Overall, business for this industry has still been excellent. What I have noticed about this "downturn" is that full-time job offers for work seem to be harder to come by, and there is a lot of additional time in between these offers.  On the other hand, it seems that work for independent contractors such as myself has continued to be fairly free-flowing.

What separates your business from other Denver businesses in the same or similar Industry? My turn-around time has always been something that I have taken pride in, but I like to offer a higher quality of work.  Also, since I am an Independent Contractor rather than a full-scale business that you see on a street corner, I can offer lower pricing. This allows my customers to get what I refer to as more "bang for their buck."

Thinking Ahead
A lot of businesses tend to crack under the pressure when the economy hits these rough times, so I am interested in finding out what you have had to do to keep your doors open during this time, and to make sure that your business can continue to move forward?  It's been important to be forward-thinking. While contract business has been good, it's still important to keep looking for the next opportunity.  Sometimes you have to look months in advance to make sure that the business you have today is not the only business you will have all year.  It's also very important to make sure and bank your excess income whenever you have a good quarter.  Anytime you get more than expected in any quarter, it doesn't mean it has to be spent right away. That's a temptation that not just business owners, but people in general tend to give in to and it can be very detrimental to the business.

The Benefits
What would you say is the best part about being a small business owner? Nothing is better than feeling like you're in control of your own destiny - being able to set your own hours and be 100% able to choose who you work with.

And the worst? It's kind of a tie between two things.  The first is that you have to constantly hustle for new business when things get slow, and the other is constantly having to validate your costs.  It can become extremely tiring.

Do you have any big plans for Vector Defector coming in 2010? Every small business has hopes and aspirations, but I am working on a few things that will help ensure I start getting bigger jobs from bigger clients and more ideas for ongoing income that will help keep us strong.

Advice
Each and every Denver small business has a unique input into how business is going, how to grow the business, and a lot of other ideas, so my final question to you is what advice would you give to an aspiring small business owner?  Above and beyond anything else, stay organized!  It's also important to know yourself - know how much work you're capable of doing. The first mistake a lot of small business owners make is that they try to jump in with both feet and get overwhelmed.  It's okay to build the business on your own terms and at your own speed.  If you are overwhelmed, your quality of work will show, and that's a big turn-off to clients.  You also have to be aware of where your skills lie, don't offer things you are not capable of doing.  The best advice I can offer though is to keep your finances in order.  You have to be aware of how much you can afford when things get slow.  Being a small business owner does require a bit of sacrifice, so be comfortable with that.

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