Meet Ryan Anderson, co-founder of Anderson|Biro
, a full service, nationwide executive search firm dedicated to the financial services sector with six employees. The company motto is "Powerful Teams, Practical Strategies," and the company takes a flexible, realistic approach to doing business and delivering effective results.
How did you come to be an entrepreneur?
It probably started around the dinner table growing up in the Chautauqua, New York region. My parents are both successful entrepreneurs. When I was just a baby they started a precision tool and die business called Ramjet Enterprise. My dad had previously worked with another firm and decided it was time to break off and blaze his own path. So I suppose the propensity for risk taking is in my blood.
Did you always know you wanted to go into business for yourself?
I spent six years after college working with another executive search business. It was there that I learned the basics of recruiting. I'll always appreciate that segment of my career. That said, I knew that I'd be a bit more comfortable one day working for myself. So, in April 2007, along with my business partner Eric Biro, we started Anderson|Biro, LLC.
Does Anderson-Biro have a niche market?
Absolutely. We have a few. Our main focus areas are the land title insurance and real estate appraisal industries. We also focus on the credit and collections field. We like these niches because we have a deep understanding of the national talent pool and our clients range from Fortune 500 to family owned businesses. We also fill general executive assignments on a special request basis.
What are the components of a powerful team?
I think it starts with finding candidates that have strong, proven track records. We look for past results to determine future performance. Truly powerful team members and leaders are able to succinctly communicate their past performance results, whether it's in business or in their personal lives. The other half of the equation is identifying positive interpersonal characteristics. We typically look for candidates that have high levels of versatility -- considered by many as the number-one predictor of success.
What is the biggest struggle or hurdle you had to overcome and how did you overcome it?
I think the biggest struggle is simply getting a new business off the ground. I'm not sure one can truly prepare for the sacrifices that are necessary to survive the first couple years of a new business. It's kind of like having kids -- you can read books and prepare all you want, but when the rubber meets the road, all of that preparation can easily go out the window. There are a lot of gut-check moments when you have no choice but to succeed. We love that lack of a safety net. I think it helps motivate us.
Our family and friends were also instrumental in our success. My wife Jackie offered an amazing foundation of support for me personally. We constantly try to improve our process and refine the way we help our clients. Happy clients equal future opportunities to succeed.
What advice would you give to someone starting a company in Cleveland?
In terms of knowledge base, Cleveland does provide a tremendous platform for starting a new business. When we were starting out, we reached out to several local contacts that had either started a business or had recently gone through the creative process. To this day, we still partner with several of those fellow entrepreneurs.
One thing I would suggest is for prospective entrepreneurs to look inward and make sure starting their own business is absolutely their best career path. Although it may have a lot of perks, it's not for everyone. There may be challenging moments but if you put in the work and your concept is sound, success should follow.