Henry Tobolka: It is mostly about being a leader for your company, friends and family, and your community.

March 20, 2024

Follow Henry Tobolka in LinkedIn and Twitter

Tell us about yourself?

In college I was the rebellious dropout that studied everything but never went to class. I grew to love the edge that gave me, though most would consider it a weakness. My dad is also a business owner without a degree, and he has taught me more than I could express.

I started a construction delivery app out of college; Nile Delivery. I leveraged that opportunity to start a an accelerator; Ideaists. From here I felt I still had a lot of learning and growth in order to fill the shoes I was wearing.

I hated phone sales, so naturally I got a job selling life insurance over the phone cold calling old leads. After I had pulled all my hair out from being an insurance broker, I decided to focus on data analytics.

So, I became a database administrator at my dad’s company for some time. Today, I have since started a data analytics company; Method Analytics.

We support small businesses by implementing lean management solutions. Right now we are working on case studies to prove our business model and better define our services.

What lessons has being an entrepreneur taught you?

It is mostly about being a leader for your company, friends and family, and your community.

So many entrepreneurs have vision and passion to improve the world they live in. I have found that, most of the time, the best was to do this is by helping your neighbor.

If you could go back in time to when you first started your business, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

I would actually like to go back to a previous venture.

Those early days as a college dropout trying to prove myself as an entrepreneur while my friends were still in college were very intimidating, but I braved it. And I would tell myself that it all will work out in the end.

As Thomas Edison said; “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time”.

A lot of entrepreneurs find it difficult to balance their work and personal lives. How have you found that?

Organization and planning ahead is everything! For a long time I was more reactive to whatever needed to be done next.

But, learning to take the time to plan ahead and build out tasks – especially as a team grows – is vital to keeping a company of any size on track and on target.

Also, good friends and family are very important to help keep your personal life balanced.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

After Nile Delivery dissolved, mostly due to the market need being filled by the supplier stores themselves – most have 1 hour product delivery to job sites now. I decided to take my experience and learning of the process to help others with their business.

I realized in this venture, Ideaists, my passion for working with and on startups and small businesses was better fulfilled by helping others with their ventures. I have an opportunity to pursue this passion again via Method Analytics.

What do you think is your magic sauce? What sets you apart from the competitors?

A love of learning, and genuine care for the success of our clients. We take the time to learn a clients business to help them along their journey, providing complex solutions considerate of the entire business.

How have you found sales so far? Do you have any lessons you could pass on to other founders in the same market as you just starting out?

We are currently targeting local businesses in mid-sized towns outside of Dallas. We are working on case studies to provide lean solutions to brick and mortar b2c businesses, and small e-commerce businesses.

I would say that we have yet to formally open our doors to the online world. We are still hammering out our process in order to build our team and implement a sales process to offer our services.

A Lesson I can share from my experiences would be to focus on the person next to you, and then ask the next one, and the next one.

The internet can be an intimidating place for small and young businesses. Do not be afraid to present your business online as ‘a highway that is always under construction’.

This implies you are improving rather than trying to appear overly polished and complete. A very lean idea. Focus on your local community and offer solutions at the scale your business is able. But if you find work, you can then find help.

Use your online presence to improve the UX for potential clients and try to improve your inbound strategies over time. Also, do no worry about the bigger competitors as much as you would think. They likely are not focused on the same target markets anyway. Fly under their radar, you could say.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced so far in your business, and how did you overcome it?

Absolutely defining our services. With our focus on implementing lean salutations for SMBs, we currently learn the clients business processes and do our best to find strengths and weaknesses.

We find ways to improve their efficiencies and improve their business learning via optimizing their build-measure-learn feedback loop – a core principle of lean management. Most successful SaaS businesses today utilized this model to scale and grow.

Enterprise companies are even adjusting their processes to adapt many of these principles. I would even go as far to say that many of the recent company layoffs were efforts by these businesses to ‘trim the fat’ and increase their lean mentality.

Universities have even improved their efficiencies by removing employee roles that do not add value to a student’s education yet still increase the cost of their tuition. In conclusion, I would like to try to help SMBs adapt to these processes as large and enterprise companies and institutions are doing.

We are using the build-measure-learn feedback to loop to exact our services thanks to our wonderful existing case studies.

What do you consider are the main strengths of operating your business in Texas over other states in the US?

Proud Texans equals proud business owners. I am proud to be from Texas, and there are many strengths to Dallas’ location, especially for national shipping and logistics. It is a cost effective place to live and run a business as well, if you can stand the heat.

There are many major organizations that have their headquarters in Texas, most notably to me is Space X. Kind of an automatic win for Texas if you ask me.

Are there any disadvantages of operating our business in Texas?

I have found that Texas is on average a bit behind in terms of adoption of burning edge tech solutions. This can be seen as a weakness, but also a strength.

As we can reiterate and improve upon the solutions initially implemented in early adoptions areas such as Silicone Valley. We like to have our own solutions, like H-E-B, Buc-ee’s, Whataburger, Lone Star Beer, Favor Delivery, and more.

This plays as a disadvantage sometimes in finding adopters to the new concepts for both finding talent and proving value to potential clients.

Texas has a pretty diverse population. How have you found the quickly changing demographics have impacted your business? Have you got new opportunities? Managed to expand your business into new areas?

I have noticed that mid-sized Texas cities are growing, especially in and around the area surrounding DFW.

This absolutely create new opportunities to help develop areas that are currently experiencing urbanization with the population influx in these towns.

Something that seems to be a chicken or the egg is the education and job opportunities in these areas. By creating more opportunity in these areas, we can progressively improve the overall quality of life for these communities.

To me, this really aligns with Bidenomics; ditching trickle-down economics and focusing on building sustainably from the ground up.

It is often reported that, in Texas, politics and business are intertwined. Have you noticed this? Has it impacted your business?

See the previous answer. We are young and still forming our company culture, so it does not play a role internally.

However, it could be said that conservative ideals to preserve tradition add a barrier to offering innovative and disruptive solutions that change how a business operates.

To an extent, we inherently must teach most clients the lean model and how they should change the way they see and manage their businesses.

We gradually take a more hands off approach as per client requirements as they grow.

With rising prices across Texas (and the US as a whole) have you been impacted? Do you have a plan for dealing with inflation going forward?

We are trying to help businesses combat this by improving their efficiency, decreasing operating costs and expenses, and maximizing RoI, reach, and customer experience. Also, we just have to be that much more competitive.

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