Meet George Otte

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George Otte, Miami Entrepreneur

George Otte, Miami entrepreneur has more than a decade of multi-faceted business operations experience. He is the founder and chairman of the Otte Polo Group, a diversified firm that does business internationally.

Entrepreneurship runs in Otte’s blood. He founded his first company, a South Florida computer repair and support service called TSS, in 2002 when he was just 21 years old. He successfully ran TSS while enrolled full-time in college, building a network of more than 100 clients by 2005.

Otte took the next step in his entrepreneurial journey in 2006 with the acquisition of Geeks on Site, a comprehensive technical support company. Throughout the late 2000s, Otte built up Geeks on Site to become a premier coast-to-coast provider of on-site tech support, remote computer repair, and other value-added technology services. Geeks on Site now works with local technicians in more than 150 US metro areas.

As George Otte’s business grew, he recognized the need to integrate superior customer service with flexible, on-demand product fulfillment. Staying true to his vision, he launched Responsive Call Center, a U.S.-based call center and telephone answering service that provides a range of live call center and answering solutions for clients in healthcare, legal, property management, general contracting, and other industries.

Responsive Call Center is now has a network of six independent answering businesses operating nine different facilities throughout the United States. As he pursues his vision of building Responsive Call Center into the United States’ top privately held call center and telephone answering service company, Otte continues to look for acquisition opportunities throughout the country.

Shortly after Responsive Call Center was established, George Otte turned his attention to product fulfillment and acquired Fort Myers-based Phase V, a fulfillment and shipping operations center with a diversified portfolio of customers, including work dating back to the early 1980s.

Under Otte’s expert guidance, Phase V has grown into Florida’s top fulfillment company. Its diverse capabilities include warehousing, flexible order processing and fulfillment, direct mail, and contact services. Otte is committed to expanding Phase V’s innovative fulfillment and business support model to business clients in every corner of the United States and is actively seeking acquisition targets to support his goal.

Both Responsive Call Center and Phase V work with businesses of all sizes, from sole proprietors and small startups that can’t afford in-house fulfillment and answering capabilities to enterprise firms that trust Otte’s companies to provide impeccable service under the most challenging conditions.

George Otte was born Jorge Otte in Lima, Peru. He moved to Florida with his family at age seven and enjoyed what he calls a “fairly typical American childhood”. Though he maintains distant relations in Peru, Florida is home to Otte’s immediate family, business and social networks, to Otte himself. Although he devotes the vast majority of his time to overseeing his successful business ventures, Otte does manage to find time to relax. His hobbies include boating and fishing in the waters off Miami, spending time at the gym, and traveling to out-of-the-way destinations in Europe and Latin America.

6 Management Strategies for First-Time Entrepreneurs

By George Otte

Starting a business isn’t an easy task. Not all new enterprises survive past their first year of existence; more than half fail to make it past their fifth anniversary.

But don’t let those statistics deter you from following your dream. If you are not sure that you have the management expertise to build and inspire a first-rate team, you may wish to bring on a co-founder or senior executive with more experience in this regard.

Alternatively, you can help develop your team. These six strategies will improve your team’s internal functioning and may give your company the advantage it needs to survive and thrive in a competitive marketplace.

1. Delegate Non-Core Tasks to the Best-Qualified Vendors or Subordinates

New managers must learn how to delegate. There simply is not enough time in the day for you to address every issue that comes up in the course of business. Nor are you always the best person to address such issues. Indeed, as founder, your purview is strategic and high-level; you must leave it to others to execute on many necessary but non-core tasks. That said, part of your role involves finding and cultivating the best internal employees and outside vendors for each such task.

2. Maintain Clear Boundaries Between Your Professional and Personal Spheres

Although it is important to make your employees feel welcome and supported in their work environment, it is perhaps more important not to blur the lines between the personal and the professional.

 

“Strive to clearly and effectively communicate standards of workplace behavior and practices, and then hold yourself to these standards above all others.” — George Otte

 

3. Focus on Clear, Concise Communication

Professional behavior is not the only workplace matter that demands clear and concise communication. As a general rule, your employees should always know where they personally stand; they should also have some visibility into the company’s strategic direction, finances, and competitive position, as these domains may all come to bear on their own roles and employment security.

4. Lead by Example and Follow Any Policies You Set

As the company leader, it’s incumbent upon you to follow your own rules and policies. Make a point of leading by example; if you find it difficult to personally follow a policy you’ve set for your employees, think carefully about whether it should continue.

5. Use Project Management Software to Manage Complex Initiatives and Stay on Track for Longer-Term Goals

Rather than relying on ad hoc organization systems to drive complex initiatives forward, use a project management tool that allows collective visibility by all applicable stakeholders.

6. Give Subordinates Space to Thrive

Provided you’ve made sound hiring decisions, you should have the utmost trust in your subordinates to do the duties they’ve been assigned (as defined in their job description and subsequent coaching). Accordingly, do your best to resist the urge to micro-manage their day-to-day activities.

Are you a first-time entrepreneur? Which of these tips do you find most valuable?

 

George Otte is a Miami-based entrepreneur and executive with more than 15 years of multifaceted business operations experience.

How to Protect Your Company’s Sensitive Information & Intellectual Property

By George Otte

Intangible though it may be, it’s impossible to overstate the value of intellectual property. For many technology-driven companies, intellectual property is the most valuable asset on the books.

Your company’s intellectual property faces a variety of evolving, multi-directional threats. So does the sensitive personal and financial data it collects on employees, clients, and third-parties.

It’s crucial to do everything you can to keep this information safe.

Here’s what you can do to increase your information and data security.

Only Collect Data You Absolutely Need

First, only collect data that you absolutely need for your essential business operations. It’s common for firms to collect sensitive data, such as Social Security numbers, when they don’t really need to do so.

Keep Financial and Personal Records Under Lock and Key

Keep your most sensitive financial and personal records, such as bank account data and Social Security numbers, in highly secure conditions.

 

“Limit the number of people who have access to these sensitive records, and place tight restrictions on their removal.” — George Otte

 

Be especially careful with electronic files and to put firewalls and security measures in place to keep information encrypted, safe and secured at all times.

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The Top 6 Risk Factors for New Businesses & How to Avoid

By George Otte

 

Not all of the challenges that you’re likely to face as an entrepreneur are avoidable. However, most can be contained or surmounted with foresight, planning, and resolution.

Here’s how to mitigate or avoid six of the most common risk factors for startups.

1. Lack of Understanding of the Market

Before you formally set your business idea in motion, you need to make sure you’re pursuing the right idea at the right time.

One of the most common causes of early-stage business failure is a lack of due diligence: market testing, product research, and especially competitor analysis. Your due diligence may reveal that you’re entering a crowded, fiercely competitive marketplace — or that you have a tailor-made niche practically to yourself. This alone could be the difference between success and failure.

2. Nonexistent or Unclear Growth Strategy

Once you have a clear understanding of your market, you need a clear understanding of how you’ll grow into that market.

“Growth strategy” sounds intimidating, but developing one is actually a straightforward proposition. Start with a pre-made template and fill in with specific, relevant information based on your understanding of your business and your market research activities.

3. Unclear Value Proposition

 

“Your company’s value proposition is the clearest possible distillation of its mission, values, and objectives.” — George Otte

 

The value proposition is a compelling message that answers the question posed by every prospect who considers giving you their business: “What can you do for me?”

If you can’t answer that question clearly, concisely, and persuasively, you may struggle to gain traction with your target audience.

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