When Jonathan Ord and Brad Perry started software vendor FireSocket (firesocket.com) five years ago, neither had experience in the car business. That was a problem for the pair, who planned to sell customer relationship management software to auto dealers.
So Ord and Perry went to work at a car dealership for 8½ months.
"We worked for free so they wouldn't fire us," jokes Ord.
Adds Perry: "We wanted to understand in the dealership world how all the departments work together or should work together to create the synergies you typically don't see among the departments."
Today, FireSocket, of San Clemente, Calif., has about 400 dealership clients, including the Tuttle-Click Automotive Group and Earnhardt Dealer Group. Ord says FireSocket's annual revenues from dealerships are $10 million. He also says the company has no debt and has been profitable about four years.
You may e-mail Chaz Osburn at [email protected]