Eric Beser was a software engineer working at large corporations, including NASA, for a number of years. He saw that the contractors coming through the offices selling various services were their own boss.
He told his wife of 43 years, “If I have to sit in a cubical much longer I’m going to go nuts!”
His wife, a private school teacher raising their two children, gave him the go-ahead to start his own business and became a partner.
“I went to work for myself and learned how to do office furniture appraisals. Soon one of the largest law firms in the country was one of my clients.”
E-ISG Asset Intelligence was founded by Beser and his wife 13 years ago. Keeping it all in the family, the first person they hired was Beser’s brother-in-law.
The company provides asset management that manages and tracks physical and IT assets. E-ISG helps customers save costs, improve operational efficiency and reduce risks.
He bootstrapped the business, using his own money cautiously.
“I promised my wife we would do it on our own and not go into debt. We funded it one job at a time.”
However, he was ready to grow and needed additional funds. He considered taking on investors.
“Investors wanted to take away percentages of ownership. We decided to look into a loan instead. Our goal was to keep our equity and borrow only what we needed to expand the business.”
Beser heard that the paperwork and red tape to secure an SBA loan was enormous so he first went to a bank.
“The bank said that they would be happy to help but that I needed to sign over my house. My wife, also my partner, said that there is now way we could put our house up. We didn’t want to put our personal property at risk. ”
The Besers were about to give up on getting a small business loan but an E-ISG board member recommended SmartBiz. Beser had already received a SmartBiz promotional mailer so he was familiar with the name.
“I told our CEO that this might be the way we could raise money to grow the business. We decided to go for it.”
Beser found the paperwork less daunting than he originally thought.
“Of course I had to provide information and pull together documents but we didn’t have to make a business plan or other things that the bank wanted.”
Beser’s SBA loan for $250,000 was funded in less than 2 months.
“It was so easy I couldn’t believe it,” he reports. “Andrew was my relationship manager and he set my anxieties aside. As we needed additional information he would pull it together and tell us what we needed.”
The company currently has 10 employees but is adding staff. They’ve hired a second sales person and are bringing on another employee soon. They are also increasing the company’s visibility with more pay per click advertising and SEO strategy.
Beser has big plans and wants to grow the business from 1 million to 10 million dollars in the coming years. Although he’s excited about growth, he’s also looking forward to retirement.
“I’m going to do a lot of sailing but I might do some side logistical projects,” he says with a smile.