As sales representative for a statistical software company, I heard the same complaints over and over again from frustrated manufacturing quality managers – finance and operations get mega budgets while the quality team is often left piecing together reports from generic spreadsheets and hand-written data. Budget-friendly, easy-to-use quality software solutions were nearly non-existent.
Recognizing the hole in the market, I founded Argolytics, LLC. Our first product, TrendableTM, is affordable, accurate quality control reporting software based in the cloud. By simply uploading data and selecting tolerances in an easy to use interface, Trendable automatically generates professional reports that include control charts, capability histograms, and statistics right in a web-browser with no software to install. Additionally, Trendable’s Key Trends feature plots critical process indicators such as Cpk and Ppk over time, giving manufacturers the opportunity to easily spot long-trend historical patterns.
Argolytics was founded and operates in State College, Pennsylvania, home of Penn State University. While rural State College lacks some of the resources of a large city, a substantial entrepreneurship ecosystem has evolved with substantial support from Penn State. The diverse network of business start-up advisors and experts encouraged me to follow my dream and start my own business.
Start-up assistance programs, such as State College’s Happy Valley Launchbox Fast Track Accelerator Program and the Ben Franklin TechCelerator, provide the framework for starting a business by helping entrepreneurs narrow their focus and avoid common pitfalls. Access to free or low cost legal and marketing services along start-up funding is often available in accelerator programs.
The Launchbox and Ben Franklin teams and networks were essential for me getting organized, setting up the structure of my business, and connecting me with other local startups to help with web design, marketing, and other important aspects of going to market.
In addition to the local programs, other local entrepreneurs were also eager to help, provide advice, and even discuss potential future collaborations. There is nothing more valuable than learning from others who have successfully gone through the start-up journey. I was able to take what I learned from each conversation to help shape not only my initial business plan, but also my vision for the future.
The founder of a start-up has to wear many hats – from sales person to accountant, from marketing to human resources. Budgeting time to each role is vital to getting a business off the ground.
Similar to my time in the US Navy, the idea of an 8-hour workday is not a reality when starting a business. From early morning web conferences with software developers to middle-of-the-night ideas, the budgeting of time and not getting lost in the weeds is essential for success.
Starting a business is a daunting task. There will be good days and bad days. But, with a strong focus, determination, and some help along the way, you can put yourself in position for success.
Nobody knows everything about business. It’s important to have a strong network of professionals from different backgrounds to help bring perspective while you’re growing your business. Find an accelerator program local or online and get started!
Argolytics, LLC is a 100% veteran-owned, woman-owned small business