Jason Caras, co-founder of IT Authorities, which was recently named one of GrowFL's Companies To Watch for 2016, is a prolific serial entrepreneur who has never known how to give up. Caras started his first company at the age of 15. He grew that painting company to two full-time teams of painters that did jobs while Caras attended high school classes. Along the way, he has launched both insurance agencies and an insurance company, a telecom company and two IT companies.
Those companies were not always successful, but Caras has always believed that when you fall down, make sure you pick something up. " It never crossed my mind to give up and work for someone else," he said. "Working for someone else was never a long term solution in my eyes." Now IT Authorities is growing rapidly, to the tune of 137% growth in 2015. It employs 90 people and just moved into new corporate headquarters in Tampa.
Caras attributes the firm's success to three main factors: focus, people and processes. "We bought an IT company in 2002 and ran it into ground by 2005 by taking a narrowly focused business and turning into one that tried to be all things to all people," he said. "We decided to start over but with a militant, disciplined focus on doing one thing and being the best at it."
In addition to its focus on managed services, IT Authorities also adheres to finely honed and documented processes that allows it to consistently deliver on its service promises. Lastly, Caras credits his co-founder for much of the company's success. "Jason Pollner is a true genius," Caras said. "He is the maestro to the orchestra of precision that is our company."
Caras's advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to follow your passion. "Don't start up a business for the money," he said. "Find something you are actually passionate about because when you're passionate, you will live and breathe it. Those who are in it for the money will never be able to do it as well as you then. Have a singular focus on what you can do better than others and document every process possible to allow for duplication of efforts and scalability."