My Interview with Chris Hanson, a truly amazing young entrepreneur taking his company vaiz Enterprises to the next level, Hope you guys enjoy the interview.
Hey Chris, thanks for doing this interview with me, how are you doing?
No problem, I was looking forward to it! I’m doing really well.
When was the company started? How did it start?
The company itself was started in June of 2007 after I had done a small web project for a local business. My best friend and business partner Dustin Knittig seen it as an opportunity, and suggested we pursue it further then just side projects. SO he jumped on board and away we went!
What inspired you to start a business? To start vaiz Enterprise?
Since my mid-teens I have always known I wanted to do something big, but I just didn’t know what it was. As the years progressed I started to realize that big thing was freedom. Freedom from financial burden and freedom to live life how I want to live it. Being an entrepreneur and business owner was, in my opinion, the avenue to that freedom.
How many people are involved in the company?
There is the two of us in ownership, and about 8 others involved as full or part time.
We all know that team work is essential in business, how did you know or select the right people for your business?
I looked at reliability. I know that if I can get a hold of that person, and they are willing to put in the effort then I can turn them into a productive part of our team. Of course necessary skills and knowledge is a requirement, but for me it honestly came down to effort and reliability.
How has your market changed in the past few years? How has your business changed to keep pace?
Being in the IT industry things have changed drastically. Not only over the past few years, but the past few weeks! Everyday things are changing in our field of work, and it can be a huge challenge. At the start of this year we had consultants come in and help us completely restructure how we offer our IT Solutions to business`.
That has been one of the biggest moves internally that we have ever made. It put us ahead of the game locally, and nationally. Now we can offer a service to our clients that other companies do not offer. Since we deal primarily with office network infrastructure, it can be very hard to set yourself apart. We managed to accomplish that by utilizing other peoples knowledge and experience then mixing it with our own!
This is the type of process we try to apply to everything we do every day so we can stay ahead of our competitors. Self evaluation is key to any companies survival.
What are a few of your favourite development tools and why?
What skills and technologies are you the most interested in improving upon or learning?
We have been focusing a lot on our green movement. Building better and more efficient servers for clients, using green products within our own office, and making process’ electronic are just a couple things we do. For example we no longer have a paper billing system it is all done electronically.
What are a few sites you admire and why?
I am going to say Google as a company more then just a site. They are not perfect by any means, but boy are they close! They really have a huge organization, and even so they can release such solid products and services over such a wide array. It really is amazing what they have accomplished.
What are a few personal web projects you've got going on?
At this moment I am pretty tied up with Vaiz Enterprises, and I do have an offer to get involved with two other ventures which I am considering. One of them is truly an untouched niche in the marketing industry in North America. Huge potential. It is currently in the fund seeking stage, and if someone bites there is going to be limitless success! firstname.lastname@example.org for more info
What are the most crucial things you have done to grow your business?
Self-evaluation as a company and individual is huge as I mentioned before. Confidence. Confidence in what you are doing, how you are doing it, why you are doing it, and with who you are doing it. If you don’t believe in it then no one else will.
What plans do you have now to expand your business further?
We just launched our IT division at the start of this year, and our first sales team began operations as of March 15th. We plan to expand our sales force into more areas and focus on the services we do provide. At this time we do not plan to expand into any “new” industries, but simply refine our current skills as a company.
What’s your favorite book?
The Answer. Inspirational!
What is one thing about you that not many people know?
As a young man in business you encounter a lot of situations where people stereotype you as “fly by night” or not capable of being a leader or expert.
At first people will not take you serious. I am starting to grow out of this now, but it still happens on occasion.
I think that initial stereotype is an obstacle that many young entrepreneurs face. It is something I have faced. Once people get to know me or take the time to talk with me they realize ok this young man is intelligent and mature for his age. Not to gloat!
Where do you see growth in the social media field?
This may not fall into social media exactly, but i think we are going to see a large increase in intercompany social clouds. Communication is a HUGE issue for many companies currently and the battle has begun to rectify this issue. Social media style clouds are going to take a shot at this niche. You will see intercompany “twitter” style feeds tied into CRM’s that are SaaS updated via mobile apps and online interfaces.
What is your opinion about Twitter and Facebook, for marketing our blog/business. Which one do you think has more potential to drive more traffic/conversion?
Well this really has a lot of factors. Twitter (like many other social media tools) has to be utilized correctly. If you do not give it %100 then you will not get anything out of it. However, if utilized properly I think in YHP’s situation you are going to see more results and higher conversions from twitter. Utilize your blogs and post that material through twitter.
Make sure to re-tweet pertinent search friendly info to your niche to increase your followers. Be sure also to promote your twitter throughout your site. Get your current followers on your twitter. Possibly hold a contest!
How do you define Success?
Back to freedom. Freddom financially, freedom of time. Also, I honestly like to help others succeed. If I can assist a client to reach their goals it gives me more inspiration and drive to be better at what I do.
How could you manage to get clients in the beginning days of your company?
Talk to as many people as possible, and still! Dont ever stop talking to people!
In the social media community, what tools/sites are you most comfortable with?
Facebook has helped us, and Linkedin has done an unspeakable amount for me! The Q&A section is priceless.
Do you think it’s important that any internet company fully engage in social media to be successful?
Thats hard to say. It depends on their target, niche, industry, etc. I think you are only going to see better results if you do, but I wont say one cannot be successful without it. The big thing about social media is it can be done so cheap or even free. You have to use it somewhat.
How do you measure success in social media?
It depends on your goal. Be sure to set your goal for the campaign you are doing. If it is to increase blog traffic, then be sure to have analytics available(utilize link shorteners such as bit and clicky) I see to many people just use social media tools and then complain they don’t see results from it. Like any other marketing you need to have a purpose, target, expected goals, and analytics.
Who or what are your top resources for social media and online marketing information?
Twitter itself! News feeds, and forums.
What should we be expecting from you in the future?
A lot! I really have just got into my groove. Currently our HQ is in a location where technology is not implemented in an up to date fashion to speak. It is my PERSONAL endeavour to educate the business community locally, and wherever needed. Not educate about my company and the service we provide, but to educate that these options are out there.
Options that will increase communication, reduce costs, improve cash flow, improve security, and increase efficiency. Its a burden which I have taken onto my own shoulders. Expect to see seminars , articles, presentations, and interviews.
Vaiz Enterprises is steadily progressing to the front of the pack because people are realizing it’s a company like ours that is the future, and they want to join us as we move forward
Thanks for your time
Thanks for having me. I can be contacted via email email@example.com you can also find more info on Vaiz Enterprises at http://vaiz.org