Booming your business
Goldman Sachs invested $500,000 in starting a program to teach already established entrepreneurs how to take their business to the next level. The 10,000 Small Businesses Program, run through the Community College of Philadelphia, has already graduated dozens of business owners, and the results are measurable within the Delaware Valley.
Manny Trujillo is the CEO and president of Swain Techs, a technology solutions company based out of Montgomery County. He graduated from 10,000 Small Businesses in September 2013. His company has grown from seven to 45 employees in last four years, and it’s looking to turn $20 million in revenue by 2017. His business is a prime example of how the program works.
Can you tell us a bit about your educational background?
I was raised in Colombia and studied civil engineering. When I came to the United States 18 years ago I was living in an attic in Trenton, N.J. Money was tight. I got a job with Motorola back when it is General Instrument. I started from the bottom as an associate planner in product management, and earned four promotions in 13 years. As Director of Global Product Management, I grew the product line from $40 to $400 million in four years. While I was working there I also obtained my M.B.A.
When did your journey begin with Swain Techs?
I acquired Swain Techs five years ago.
What services do you offer? Who are your clientele?
In our commercial business, we offer IT management services: network administration, cyber security, cloud computing, and more. Our clients are small- and medium-sized companies from 20 to 1000 employees. For our government contracts, we work for Department of Human Health Services and support 3,500 contract officers on all the contracts transmitted to the federal government. On that end, we do a lot of business analytics using oracle IBM solutions.
So what prompted you to take the 10,000 Small Businesses course?
Varsovia Fernandez, president of the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, called me and persuaded me to do it. She spoke highly of the program. I was hesitant at first, but I’m very glad I did it.
How did it enhance your understanding of the business world?
The alumni picked me to represent the class at graduation. In my speech, I highlighted the financial models I learned from Goldman Sachs. They taught how I could benefit from five-year forecasts, revenue balance sheets, cash flow, and financial ratios projections. And those in turn helped me to confidently present myself and get a good financial line from the bankers.
What’s the best piece of marketing advice you know?
My best advice, honestly, is take the course. It’s a mini M.B.A, and they’re masters of simplicity. It’s a very well-rounded and well-designed course for entrepreneurs.
Goldman Sachs donated $500,000. They’re helping 10,000 small businesses, which is basically a $50,000 free education for each business owner. That’s like getting a free Mercedes Benz. So I always say you have to give at least that much back to the community — providing jobs and economic growth. I tell everyone I can to apply for it. Even my competitors.