Richard Harem

Winter Park, Florida

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Richard Harem, a Principal at ZIO, which was recently named one of GrowFL's Companies To Watch for 2016, says the company's success is built on a foundation of people, standards, and processes. Harem knows ZIO needs top talent to stay on top, so the company is selective in the hiring process and takes pride in employee satisfaction.

"We don't believe in work/life balance. We believe in life/work balance where life comes before work," Harem said. "I don't like people doing work when they are not on the clock. If they respond to my emails on the weekend, I will call them and tell them to stop working because you are on your own time now. When our employees are on their own time, we respect that, and when they are working their 40-45 hours for us, we want their full focus and dedication."

For ZIO, the focus on people, standards and processes have paid off with numerous industry awards for technology integration. "We take complex technology, and add more complexity to make it simple," Harem said. "We integrate technology, but we focus on the user experience. Technology is complex and becoming more so. Our ultimate goal is to make it simple so the business executive who never uses a certain piece of technology in the office can walk right in and easily use it the very first time."

Harem's advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is all about teamwork. "If you are looking to build more than a lifestyle business, you will find it extremely tough to do on your own," he said. "Understand what your strengths and weaknesses are and compliment them. Any startup needs a person strong in technology, sales and marketing, and operations/finance. Finding someone strong in all three is rare. If your team integrates all three skill sets, you'll be able to grow your business quicker, better and ultimately have a much stronger company that will last much longer in the future."


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