Jaime Staalenburg – Owner of TekBoost

Surround yourself with mentors and listen to what they have to say.

Jaime Staalenburg started with very humble beginnings. It was his mother, originally from Mexico, who taught him the importance of having pride in what you do as well as the opportunities this country can bestow to those who work hard. After high school, he enlisted in the Air Force as an accountant and served 11 ½ years. During his enlistment and while working full time, he graduated from college with a Bachelor of Science degree (with honors) in Computer/Management Information Systems. He then did a short stint working for the Department of State as a programmer. The entrepreneur in him took hold and he started his first company operating solely as a one person IT consulting shop. During that time, he and his younger brother got an idea to create NFL licensed mouse pads and created a partnership with a former Denver Bronco’s player. Townsend Computer Associates was born. Although successful from a sales perspective, Jaime learned the importance of operational details and used this knowledge to benefit his next endeavor. Him and a few other folks started ENSCICON, which was in the engineering services sector. They built the company into a 20 million dollar a year company only to have to downsize due to the Enron debacle. That led to his current endeavor with TekBoost at which he has been at the helm for almost 13 years. TekBoost focuses on the resale of used computers , refurbished servers , refurbished workstations , and more.

Where did the idea for TekBoost come from?

I was an executive for an Engineering company that had to downsize as a result of the Enron debacle. I was tasked with closing offices and selling off the furniture and computer equipment and noticed that there is collusion amongst the companies that buy used assets. I wondered if companies undergoing this process even knew or cared about how this is done so I contacted a friend of mine at a large online travel company and got in touch with the right people. Within a day, I had our first client as they were also going through the process of shutting down some offices.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

My day fluctuates depending on my daily schedule and can range from planning meetings to networking to having a great to-do list and making sure we have the right data to determine future actions and what will make us more productive.

How do you bring ideas to life?

It is a collaborative effort but what it really comes down to is a determination of if and when to implement these great ideas. We have a ton of initiatives going on daily and we can only handle so many changes. If we decide to take on an idea, we have to make sure we give it 100 percent effort to make sure it succeeds.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

Recognition of the importance of computer security. Although the cloud was a concern of ours, we are now finding that private cloud implementation is the new norm for our clients. Our business clients are finding that public cloud still is an unknown in terms of security. This has meant continued business opportunities for us.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Delegating responsibility. It is important to find the right people and talent and then let them do their thing. That frees me up to focus on the future and tackle projects that are key to our growth.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Surround yourself with mentors and listen to what they have to say.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on?

At my previous company, we were going through many challengers and were debating the best ways to use our limited resources. In one of our meetings, our CEO simply said, “Make more money”. We sat there and wondered “well if it were that easy…” Now as I reflect on his words, I am amazed at the simplicity of the statement and how often we get bogged down with details and lose focus on our customers and our ability to make profits. Most people, myself included, seem to think this is too simplistic.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Read, read, and read. Most of the information you need is readily available at your fingertips. You just need to find it and learn.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.

Focusing on our customers. Our market has many different types of buyers. Some are “Features, Advantages, Benefits” buyers, others are “Experience” buyers and yet others are “Institutional” buyers. We work very hard to identify our market and create strategies to take care of the customer according to their perspective.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

We had a great idea and failed in the operational deployment. Although we didn’t overcome it for that particular business, it taught me the importance of detail and how they relate to operational processes.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

If I had one, I probably wouldn’t give it away. ; )

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I presented a Spot award to an employee who had a particularly productive day. It sets the tone and provides an extra incentive for everyone else to work hard.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?

Our Customer Relationship Management package. It helps us be more productive because it gives us insights into our customers.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Influence: The Psychology of Sales”. It helps you understand how varied your customers are and how important it is to develop specific strategies to reach them.

What is your favorite quote?

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”. To me, it highlights the need to get out of your own skin and try something different. The key though is having the data to let you know if you are getting the desired results.


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