Defying age and perception, 21-year old CEO Alexander Slade founded A Corp Computers at the age of 12 with a vision to support businesses utilise IT at their optimal best.
Tell us about A Corp Computers.
A Corp Computers is a team of IT professionals looking to help small-to-medium businesses achieve their goals and assist them in utilising IT to serve them best. We are a Managed Service Provider, and when we work with clients, we become their on-call IT team. We aim to completely take the stress away from maintaining and servicing IT infrastructure and services.
You started A Corp at the age of 12. What sparked your entrepreneurial spirit?
As long as I can remember I have had a strong drive to achieve something incredible in the business world. The idea of running a tech firm stemmed from my interest in computers, which had been fostered from a very young age. Even in primary school, I showed a keen interest in technology and my teacher at the time would give me pieces of old computers to tinker with at home. At one point, I actually ended up electrocuting myself, but that didn’t stop me! I still keep on and off communication with that teacher and am very grateful for his encouragement.
What was the biggest hurdle you faced in the initial years of your venture and how did you overcome it?
Without a doubt, one of the biggest obstacles in my early years of business was my age. Having started the business early, I was often confronted with business owners who doubted my abilities. The way I worked around this was demonstrating, as clearly as possible, my knowledge in IT and the dedication I have to the work I do. After winning over my first major client, this task became easier as I drew on them as an example of my skills and professionalism. It helped immensely that my first client was a long-standing business in the field, and as it happens, they are still an A Corp client today.
You’re currently pursuing a double degree at university as well as managing your business. How do you balance this with personal time?
It’s definitely a challenge, especially during peak study and exam times. I’ve been studying at University for almost two years, and I’ve found some great ways to manage my time effectively, schedule my classes at night and make sure everything I learn benefits the business.
What does success mean to you?
Success for me isn’t a huge spike in profit or sales growth – both of which are vital but don’t necessarily spell out success. For most businesses, especially SMBs, IT is a significant investment, so it is important that their IT works for them. For me, success comes in the form of seeing the results of helping a customer to achieve their own goals in their business.
What is one thing you’ve accomplished that you take the most pride in?
One thing I take pride in is growing the company significantly in the last two years. Since moving to Sydney from the Hunter Valley, where I started the business, I have found that we have experienced growth in terms of revenue, workforce and client numbers.
If you were to start over again, what would you do differently?
The only thing I would change would be to bring additional technical support into the business sooner. A Corp has always been my passion, so I found myself hesitant to let go of smaller aspects of the firm. Having a strong team of people just as dedicated to A Corp as I am, has been the best thing that could happen.
What advice would you give to someone who aspires to become an entrepreneur?
The best advice I can give is to simply “have a go!”; this is something that has stuck with me from a young age and happened to be the words my high school principal would say on a daily basis. This rings true for anyone looking to become an entrepreneur. If you’ve got a good idea, there shouldn’t be anything stopping you from turning that idea into a reality.
For more information, visit www.acorpcomputers.com.au.