Orit Pennington founded TPGTEX Label Solution in 2002 in Houston, Texas.
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Tell me about your current business. What are you doing exactly?
TPGTEX Label Solutions creates software to produce labels with barcodes. We connect our software to QuickBooks, Inventory programs and MSDS programs to name just few. In addition, we can provide customers with custom built databases to store information that can later on be extracted to produce the labels they need. As a "one-stop-label resource" we provide printers, label stock and ribbons.
What were you doing before this, and is this your first business?
We worked in various IT related jobs as well as sales and training.
What advice would you give to somebody else who wanted to start a similar business?
Do your homework first! Check what the market has to offer. See if what you have to offer is unique or has added value. Be sure that companies need your service.
Did you operate your business from your home? What were the challenges and benefits to this strategy?
We chose to operate our business from home. We modified our house to have 2 offices and a storage area. The benefits are:
1. The overhead cost is relatively small (the most noticeable change is in the electrical bill – as we operate close to 27 computers and about 12 printers).
2. Our employees truly feel that we are a family friendly company and they think of us as part of their family.
3. We can work as many hours as we please. If an idea strikes us in the middle of the night or if there is a dead-line to finish a project, we can do that without a problem.
Did you have a partner when you started your business?
We are a husband and wife team. We spend 24 x 7 together. It has worked great for us. We love working together and we work very well together.
Have you hired additional staff? What is your greatest human resources challenge?
We have hired additional staff. The biggest challenge was to find people who can work with us from home. They had to know how to draw the line between home environment and professionalism. We found people who could that – and they have been great!
Social marketing is consistently being written about in the small business space. Has it worked generating business for you?
Social marketing has not worked for us yet. We are marketing B2B so it is a little more difficult. However, we do maintain an active tweeter account and LinkedIn. We have been able to connect to some other businesses so maybe some collaborating will occur in the future.
I love hearing from husband and wife teams! Sounds like you two have made a successful business and life together. Thank you for your time!