When the previous owner of what is now Innova Digital Systems decided to sell his company, Carlos saw an opportunity to expand on an already-made business that has a large clientele.
Carlos says the previous owner was moving onto other projects. “He pretty much forwarded me the company. I figured that it was good, the business is already built, and the clientele is already there,” he says. “I called some of my partners who went to work at different companies and offered them to team up; they all agreed. The whole idea was to keep the solid team.”
For Carlos, the move was a “no-brainer.” He says the hardest work was rebranding the company name in 2009, but even that wasn’t too complicated.
Innova Digital Systems, located in Carlos’ hometown of El Paso, Texas, is an information technology outsourcing company that works with other companies and nonprofits on providing telecommunications installation, computer repairs, network assistance, and cabling, wireless, theft and maintenance services, as well as security, firewalls, email hosting, and web design.
“Anything that you can think of for your business, we do it,” Carlos says. “We basically become a client’s IT department. Or if the client has an IT department, we act as their consultants. We have more than 75 years of combined experience.” In addition to his experience in information technology, Carlos has a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of North Texas.
The seven-member team consists of three partners and four engineers, who constantly work out of the office, in the field.
“I’ve always been a tech geek,” Carlos says. “That goes back to my college days. I was going for computer information systems, which allowed me to get a business administration background. All in all, it was a good move and opened a lot of possibilities.” Since taking ownership of the company, and re-opening the business three years ago, Carlos moved it to a different location and gained more clients.
Considering his operating expenses, purchasing and payroll costs, and money needed for projects while waiting for payments from clients, Carlos decided to seek financing. Remembering his uncle’s mention of Accion Texas Inc. years ago, Carlos attended one of Accion’s seminars and met a loan officer. He says after that meeting, he felt comfortable returning to the office to apply for a loan, which he says, “keeps us on track to reach our sales goals and increase profits.”
Without Accion’s help, Carlos says, “We would have had to pay real high interest rates on credit cards to fill those expenses. Our margins would have been cut and we wouldn’t have as much business as we do now.” He says he plans to hire more engineers soon. “Our plans are to grow as much as possible,” Carlos says, adding that he plans to expand slowly and carefully.
He’ll hire only one additional engineer in 2013. He is also looking to hire someone to manage advertising and social media promotion.
To learn more about his business, check out his website at www.idselpaso.com.
LiftFund. (www.liftfund.com) is an award-winning nonprofit organization (previously known as Accion Texas) with a mission to provide credit and loans to small and start-up businesses that have limited or no access to credit from commercial sources. Established in 1994 in San Antonio, LiftFund has helped Texas and Louisiana entrepreneurs strengthen their businesses, stabilize and increase their incomes, create employment, and contribute to the economic revitalization of their communities. Learn more at www.liftfund.com.