After Dave and Renee Chronister decided to combine their professional expertise and start Parameter Security, an ethical hacking firm, their transition to full-time entrepreneurs happened more quickly than they had planned.
But Dave says the greater the level of success desired, the greater the risk of failure, so an entrepreneur needs to commit 100%.
“We came up with a plan to continue working full time at our jobs to start funding Parameter while it was getting off the ground,” says Dave. “I decided to explain this to my boss, but he misunderstood me and thought that I was putting in my notice.”
Although this was not what he and Renee had planned, Dave decided to go with it and throw himself into developing St. Peters-based Parameter while Renee continued working at her job in the public relations/marketing field.
“Renee worked full time for 21 days and called me one day saying she and her boss had a falling-out and she would be a full-time Parameter employee,” Dave says. “We had zero dollars coming in, but it made us bootstrap. I don’t even think we had a strap on our boots anymore.”
Hitting the ground running soon paid off. Since the couple founded their business in January 2007, they have experienced 700% growth in revenue, and they now have six employees.
“I think we have had success because we are both involved, so we were able to go hard in our different areas of expertise,” says Renee. “You have to focus on what you are good at. One of our greatest strengths as entrepreneurs is knowing that we don’t know it all. A lot of entrepreneurs want to be experts at all aspects of their businesses, but that’s not realistic. When we started Parameter, we did a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis to determine our strengths and weaknesses. You have to fulfill areas where you’re weak. I think our willingness to recognize not only what we’re individually good at but also our weaknesses is a huge part of our success.”