In 1995, Henry Fleches and Gerard Amaro launched their company, UDT in Henry’s parent’s home. Since then, the company has extended from two people to multiple offices across the Southeastern United States. To celebrate the 23rd anniversary of the company, Fleches reflected on lessons learned since he began the company.
1. Did you think UDT would grow to this scale when you first started the company?
In reality, we had levels in mind that we tried to reach. We first sought out to make $50,000 in revenue, then $500,000, then $5 million, then $50 million, then $150 million. We envisioned ourselves growing but didn’t know to what extent. We had to change our business and evolve as leaders at each level. We keep pushing to see how far we can go!
2. What are some of the hardest lessons that you had to learn as an entrepreneur?
You can’t will things. Plan for everything and be strategic when you’re a smaller business. During the downturn, we had to lay off good people, and we learned the consequences of an organization not being lean. That was a tough lesson. In our business and in every business, the companies didn’t really do anything wrong but got caught in a financial situation. We now keep the organization lean and properly skilled to continue to grow and to be competitive in the marketplace.
Another tough lesson: performance in the past doesn’t dictate your performance in the future. Making sure that you have a good plan, and earn your clients’ business every day is extremely important. What you’ve done in the past doesn’t ensure their business in the future.
3. How do you see UDT continuing to transform?
UDT is focused on cloud, managed, secure and those are the needs of our client base today. As technology, such as Machine learning, AI, and analytics emerge, we’ll continue to deliver on new capabilities. We’ll evolve from a technology and leadership perspective to meet the needs of the marketplace.
4. What advice do you have for entrepreneurs looking to move into the tech space?
Be ready for a fast-paced and ever-evolving landscape. Also, be aware of the rapid shifts in technology and the cycles associated with those technology shifts. Finally, seize change as the constant.
5. What is your favorite memory of the early days of UDT?
When those that came before me extended a hand to show us the ropes and help us succeed! When we helped customers solve their problems and build relationships because of the trust created during those occasions.
6. What is your ‘I made it’ moment?
I’m still working to achieve that moment!
To get insight on what President Gerard Amaro has learned, view his post here.