Finding great people is not hard, keeping them is. Put their needs first and do everything in your power to retain them.
David has had an extensive career as an owner, operator and executive in the restaurant industry. His wealth of knowledge and leadership in the areas of customer service, financial planning and human resource management will position the business for continued growth and expansion. David grew up in the Attleboro area and graduated from Attleboro High School in 1987 where he was a three-sport athlete. One of David’s first jobs was working with his father in the Burglar and Fire Alarm business. Prior to graduating college, he worked as a manager for fast food restaurants and officiating basketball and baseball games. David graduated from Bridgewater State in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance.
Where did the idea for Inspired Technology come from?
The Rothwell’s were running a family business that had always been known as a telephone systems company. We were actively growing and expanding the technology services that we provided. We wanted to start a technology integration business that would be known as a full integrator and not just a phone company. Today, Inspired Technology is a full technology integrator performing structured cabling, telephony, network hardware and software solutions, audio video solutions, and security solutions.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I typically have one department head one on one per day. I am personally responsible for 3 departments, which is typical for company of our size, and I usually set one day aside for activities related to that department. As for productivity, I am a list guy, always have been. I always know what I need to get done every week, month, quarter, etc. I prioritize that list on Monday and don’t leave Friday until it is DONE.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I think it is important to involve 2-3 employees and one of my business partners when great ideas are presented. I certainly don’t have all the answers and would rather get the opinions and experiences of many before making a decision and moving forward.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Security breaches scare the hell out of me and excite me at the same time. This causes a never-ending stream of solutions available to our clients.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Well, besides having a Master in making lists, I have a very good system for keeping people accountable. And when I give someone a deadline, they know the day it is due I am going to ask for it! Keeps people on their toes and sets a clear expectation right out of the gate.
What advice would you give your younger self?
The rest of your life is WAY more important than work. The more I enjoy life, the more successful I am in business. Make the most of and enjoy those other hours not devoted to your business.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
If we don’t collectively kick-ass every day, we will not be in business next year. Most have the “everything will be fine attitude”. NO, it will only be “fine” if we kick-ass and take names.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Challenge how we do things. It is not good enough to say, “this works fine and always has”. You have to ask “is this the BEST way?” I try to challenge my people to find great solutions even if I think I have the right one. This serves two purposes. I get to see what is really under the hood of each employee. And more importantly, if their solution is spot on, they get the credit and feel great about being part of it.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
The ability to recognize where our customers need help and how we can help them, has been our recipe for success. We learned early on that customers would prefer to deal with a minimal number of vendors or contractors. The more services we could provide to a customer, the easier it was for them.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest failure in business came when I didn’t do my homework on the financials of the company I was getting into bed with. Having faith and confidence in individuals is great but the numbers don’t lie, scrutinize them until your eyeballs bleed.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Interim CEO’s or Business Managers for hire. Well trained business leaders that would love the challenge of taking on a firm with poor leadership, hire and train their replacement. How many mom and pop businesses could use this service?
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
No doubt it is my food processor. I cook 90% of my meals and this saves me more time than any other device in my kitchen.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Microsoft Outlook/OneNote/Teams – These software packages from Microsoft help us keep our internal and external communications organized, allow for group collaborations, and also give us a simple to use customer documentation and information locations. This information needs to be accessed by sales, service, admin, project managers, and technicians.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Flying Without A Net by Thomas DeLong. Most business owners are scared of change. This book can help you overcome that fear and make you realize, if you’re not changing, you’re not growing.
What is your favorite quote?
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” -Thomas Edison
- Finding great people is not hard, keeping them is. Put their needs first and do everything in your power to retain them.
- New ideas and strategies are rare. Steal what your competitors do we and find ways to improve it. There is nothing you do better than ANYONE.
- Don’t be afraid to fail, there should be learning experiences every day. I have learned way more from failures then I have from successes.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.