Howard Holley, founder of The Holley Group, launched an IT business in 1970, transitioned to Xerox, where he spent 33 years, and then left to launch The Holley Group in 2008.
"I worked for a major brokerage firm in New York City as Assistant Vice President for Management Information Systems," he said. "From there, I started my own MIS firm on Wall Street with a partner in 1970. We went from IT to publishing but that business did not survive the Nixon recession. I joined Xerox so I could better understand the marketing and sales part of business. At Xerox, I was an intrapreneur and rose to a level where I led a $1B business and had the opportunity to build organizations and services doing the same thing that entrepreneurs do in terms of building a product/service. I also owned a restaurant during that time and kept dabbling in entrepreneurship. I retired from Xerox to incorporate The Holley Group."
The Holley Group helps clients to communicate with their customers better.
"We help them to achieve a goal with their customers that we call customer intimacy," Holley explained. "It's an evolution from customer experience to building deeper relationships with customer as a result of leveraging touchpoints regarding how they want to be communicated to and what they want you to communicate to them."
One of the company's differentiators is its customer touchpoint focus whereby The Holley Group helps its clients to define its relationship with its stakeholders.
"Surprisingly, many companies haven't done a quality job of stratifying who their key stakeholders are and the message they want to deliver to them and what their differentiator is with them," Holley said. "We help them define those things and put together communication strategies. We have years of experience in doing this and we've got success and proof sources of our ability to do that."
Holley's advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is get your ideas out of your head onto paper and into a discussion because you will have a much better offering in the end if you expose it to the critique of others.
"The worst ideas I ever had were those I never said aloud," he explained. "The first step is to document and verbalize what you're trying to do and what your value proposition is going to be. Where are you trying to go and what is it going to look like when you get there? Will it be small or much larger? Is it local, global or state or national? Then go to talk to people about that. Take advantage of the resources out there. I'm a big believer in mentoring and seeking help."