With a background in engineering, Bernd Geropp founded his first company, a German tech firm, at age 32 with a friend.
He recalls his time in the startup, which made and sold hardware and software for condition-based maintenance, as a bit chaotic, even after the founders took on money from venture capitalists.
“It felt like a roller coaster ride,” Geropp says, remembering that, after five years of struggle, the company had 20 employees and was still having trouble becoming profitable.
“We were running out of money,” Geropp adds. “It was a tough time having lots of discussions with banks, with investors, and with our employees.”
The situation often left the fledgling company with more questions than answers.
Geropp remembers some of the biggest concerns from those days: “Do we still have enough money to pay our employees end of the month? Will our bank cut the line of credit? Will our important customer finally place the large order as promised – or not?”
At last, the co-founders sold their business to a large global engineering firm in 2000, giving Geropp a new role as he traveled, learning about management and many new cultures, with responsibility for directing 350 employees worldwide.
Despite the transforming experiences of the job, Geropp said he eventually discovered he wasn’t cut out to work for others, and returned to the world of entrepreneurship, this time as a consultant hoping to help small to medium-sized companies–owners, managers, and founders who are facing some of the same challenges he has seen during his career.
“I precisely know the problems, feelings, and difficulties of business owners and managing directors in these businesses,” he says. “I can appreciate what it means to constantly be under pressure and still to have the need to make the right decisions.”
Beginning this year, Geropp also decided to distill some of his wisdom into regular posts on his blog, “More leadership, less management!”
Topics of the blog include development and implementation of management strategies, how-to leadership advice, and managing yourself as a leader.
He now also uses the BizSugar community to share that content with other business leaders.
“BizSugar is a great help for me to get my blog posts read by more people,” he says. “I regularly share articles on BizSugar. I also love to read articles on BizSugar from other experts in the entrepreneurial and small business community. BizSugar is a great platform to get to know about others in my field of business.”
Would you like to be a featured Contributor of the Week like Bernd Geropp? Sign up for a free BizSugar account and start sharing small business news and information, voting, and commenting on the submissions of others members. Don’t forget to “like” our Facebook page and engage with us there, too. We’d love to hear from you today!