Where Are They Now? Follow Up with Avi Smith-Rapaport, Owner We Care Computers
Innovation Destination Hartford met with We Care Computers Owner Avi Smith-Rapaport in July 2017. (Read the interview: West Hartford Entrepreneur Runs Successful Computer IT Company).
The West Hartford-based small business specializes in providing managed services and networking, troubleshooting and repairs for clients throughout Connecticut and western Massachusetts.
Avi is a thoughtful entrepreneur who priorities being a part of the community and giving back. He and his son are currently planning their third annual service trip to the Dominican Republic with Watkinson School and University High School of Science and Engineering.
IDH Website Curator Nan Price caught up with Avi, who shared about what’s kept his company successful for more than a decade and why it’s always important to keep things simple.
NAN PRICE: You’ve been operating We Care Computers since 2004. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned on your entrepreneurial journey?
AVI SMITH-RAPAPORT: I’ve learned to just listen when I’m around successful people.
NAN: With 14 years of entrepreneurial experience, anything you wish you’d done differently?
AVI: I probably would have sought out more mentors, even though I was really lucky to have those who appeared in my life.
NAN: When you first started the company, it was just you. You now have 10 employees. Tell us about the transition from becoming a solopreneur to having a team.
AVI: When it was just me, I obviously had to wear a lot of hats. I was building the company, which meant doing everything from answering the phone to on-site IT help. Early on, I knew I needed to bring in help—and I’m glad I did. Now I can focus on business development and meeting people.
NAN: Speaking of meeting people, when we last met, we talked about the importance of networking.
AVI: Right. And we actually met at a networking event! I think it’s important to network because it helps you identify who can connect you to those who may need your skills.
NAN: What’s the secret to your company’s success?
AVI: We don’t let things fall through the cracks. We’re detailed oriented and we always follow up. We have a follow-up system with set procedures. And we listen to our clients—we really hear them, so we can best meet their needs. Those are key points that lead to word-of-mouth referrals.
NAN: What would you tell someone who is just starting their business?
AVI: Always follow up and communicate clearly.
NAN: When we last talked in 2016, your advice was simply to listen and learn from others’ experiences. Any additional advice?
AVI: When in doubt, be kind.