Luis Ortega, founder of L. Ortega & Associates, an IT services firm, got started in entrepreneurship the classic way – he started his company in his garage. “The joke is that my first secretary was my dog because she lived in the garage,” he said. “She would look at me as if to ask what I was doing so I would tell her I was doing paperwork.”
Today, Ortega’s firm has 25 employees and deploys large hardware systems for such clients as colleges and school boards. “We’re an IT services company specializing in deployment of computer equipment,” he said. “We have expanded into cloud services for small to medium sized businesses and we also provide staffing for IT projects.”
Ortega recognizes has benefited from the entrepreneur resource agencies Hispanic Business Initiative Fund and the Small Business Development Center at USF. “The Hispanic Business Initiative Fund really helped me with my business plan,” he said. “Now I have a plan instead of having it all floating around in my head.”
That plan includes capitalizing on the firm’s differentiators. “We keep a core team of techs who grow in the industry,” Ortega said.” Too many staffing companies have continuity problems. Also, customer service is critical. We communicate to our clients in their language on the level of technical expertise.”
Ortega’s advice for aspiring entrepreneurs centers on the themes of perseverance and assistance. “Never give up and always ask for help,” he said. “People are always willing to help. Just go after something and work at it.”
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