Aaron Freeman is pretty happy where his company is right now. But the future? He's still trying to decide.
He is president of SendThisFile, an Internet file-transfer company. The 7-year-old company's growth has been strong. Just last week, the company hired its first marketing manager, Alex Hund, a Wichita native most recently a marketing manager for Cox Communications in California.
The company has five employees, including Freeman, and owns virtually no hard assets, preferring to lease. The employees work from home.
Freeman, 37, has a master's degree in electrical engineering from Wichita State University. He and his wife, Larissa, have a 2-year-old son.
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What is the business?
"We're in the business of transferring files from point A to point B. The reason why that's useful is because a lot people have e-mail systems through their companies that have limitations on the size of attachments they can send. So we solved that problem where you send the file to us and we sent an e-mail that doesn't contain the attachment. It has a link to the file, and at that point they can download the file. For businesses, we have auditing and security all around that."
Are you still seeing good growth?
"You could put a ruler on our growth rate and from the day we started to yesterday, it hasn't varied much. It's been really steady.... The percentages taper off, but the growth in terms of new user sign-ups maintains.... We now have almost 1.5 million users."
What was the most intimidating thing about starting a new business?
"I was fearless back then. There was nothing intimidating about it. There were no unknowns back then."
But there are unknowns now?
"The crossroads we're at, since we now have a marketing guy, is do we go after the business market or the consumer market. If we pursue consumer marketing, we'll probably go more heavily after social networking, but if we don't, we'll probably pursue avenues more appropriate for business, more (search engine optimization) and more paid ads."
Your larger competitors are spending millions in venture capital. Are you in the market for it?
"We don't need it. We've been growing really conservatively, and been profitable since Day 30 when we got our first customer."