Focus Telecom Expense Management co-owners Gianni Castaldo, Michael Ciaburri, and Joseph Picone told Innovation Destination Hartford about why they launched their startup and their future goals.
INNOVATION DESTINATION HARTFORD: When and why did you start the company?
FOCUS TELECOM EXPENSE MANAGEMENT: We started in the second half of 2017. The three partners of Focus Telecom managed a wireless retail franchise in Connecticut, specializing in small and medium business support.
IDH: How did you develop the business concept?
FOCUS: While working in the industry and talking to our clients, we saw their need for a more personalized support system for our clients’ wireless needs. Some businesses don’t have a dedicated employee or enough resources to monitor and manage their accounts. This causes companies to incur unnecessary additional fees and pay higher rates.
That’s where we come in—Focus Telecom is essentially an extension of your business, constantly working with you to save money.
IDH: Did each of you always want to own your own business?
FOCUS: Yes, we have always loved the idea of being our own bosses and have finally taken the steps toward our goal.
IDH: What differentiates you from other companies?
FOCUS: Believing in the principles instilled in us by our former employer to “put the customer first,” our mission is to create the most value for any client. This is accomplished by our continued work on refining our process to become as efficient as possible, making our clients the main beneficiaries of our efforts.
IDH: What makes your services innovative?
FOCUS: Our goal is to reduce your company’s overall telecom expenses. We have more than 25 years of combined wireless experience, with specific knowledge regarding business offerings and billings. We work to optimize a client’s wireless plan to best fit their needs, pairing with them with a plan that is the most cost effective and provides the best value.
Additionally, we provide monthly bill audits to discover any anomalies and erroneous charges, and work with the carriers directly to resolve them. That means no more time wasted on the phone or in store for any your company’s employees, eliminating unnecessary and costly downtime.
IDH: Why did you become a MetroHartford Alliance investor?
FOCUS: We saw all the great partners MetroHartford Alliance already had as well as all the Hartford initiatives that the Alliance offers and thought: This is the group we want to grow our company with!
IDH: What has been your biggest challenge as a startup?
FOCUS: Educating our clients about the value of the services we provide. In an ever-changing industry like wireless, it’s impossible for most companies to stay on top of all the new and most cost-effective offerings, meaning they are paying more than they need to. Working with us reduces the wireless expense line item, leading to a bigger bottom line for your company.
IDH: Aside from funding, what resources do you need most to move your company forward?
FOCUS: Our company is simple with minimal overhead. Our biggest need, like all companies, is more clients.
IDH: What is your ideal vision for the company one year from now?
FOCUS: We plan on growing our company to include a sales force and expand outside of the state.
IDH: What is the best advice you have received?
FOCUS: “Don’t be afraid to take a risk in life.”
Learn more about Focus Telecom Expense Management
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