James Bird worked in the oil field for over a decade. He literally started in the trenches and then worked his way up to middle management. Through his career, Bird saw that many managers had a lot of field experience, but not a lot of management experience. This caused things to “slip through the cracks.”
In December of 2013, Bird was laid off with two small children and a third baby on the way. He had always wanted to start his own business, so the layoff brought the incentive he needed. Good personal financial management had created enough savings to support the family and to get Onrucas Mobile Solutions off the ground.
Onrucas is a software solution that allows any business manager to plan, schedule, track, and confirm business processes. Originally, it was created to mainly focus on the energy industry, but luckily this application can also be applied to any other business.
Because the beta test was very successful, Bird needed help to move into sales and support. His attorney suggested that he meet with Mark Holmes, Director of the Vernal Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Bird said, “Holmes was very helpful. Along with some great suggestions, he provided me with a business plan template to formulate my business from every angle. He also helped me with a cash flow projection to help forecast payables, receivables and future profits. The SBDC catapulted me through many of the learning curves you go through as a new business owner.”
When asked about his challenges, Bird replied “I was surprised by the number of hats I had to wear and the amount I had to learn: sales, marketing, labor, insurance, taxes, and accounting just, to name a few. However, the most difficult thing was to watch my family sacrificing to start the business and living a very frugal lifestyle. But on the bright side, I was able to spend more time being a husband and father where before my job kept me away from home most of the time.”
Bird heard that if you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in trouble. He realized they needed to start a “mastermind group” which consists of entrepreneurs that get together to network and share ideas. The SBDC has helped them by providing a room and offering advice and experience for the group. Bird said, “every business should consider joining or starting a group like this.”