Tim Bankes of Libertas Technologies
Tim Bankes is a partner with Libertas Technologies
in Cincinnati. The company is a software, website and mobile solutions provider that has grown steadily since it was founded in 2001.
What is your background and education?
I have over 16 years as an entrepreneur with experience in the areas of management, consulting, application architecture and application development within various technologies and industries.
Prior to joining Libertas Technologies, I was the sole owner of Bankes Enterprises assisting organizations in building "best-of-breed" Internet, Intranet, and Extranet solutions. Prior to working on that, I was the Director of Application Development for Eviciti Corp., a professional services partner that worked with companies to integrate the Internet into their core business by providing complete eBusiness/eCommerce solutions, services, and technologies. Prior to Eviciti, I was a partner and Principal Information Systems Consultant with Definiti, Inc. which was sold to Eviciti in 2001. There I managed the growth of the business, provided consulting services, and managed the development team which specialized in the design, development and deployment of comprehensive, enterprise groupware/workflow solutions.
I have a B.B.A. in Information Systems, a B.B.A. in Management and a certificate in International Business from the University of Cincinnati
When did you become a partner in Libertas?
Libertas was started in 2001 (I joined as a partner in 2003). I was excited about being a part of a professional services firm providing custom software, website and mobile solutions and strategic IT consulting delivered with the highest level of quality, integrity and ethics. We’re known for listening to our client’s needs and collaborating with them to deliver high ROI solutions tailored to their unique processes. Our work has earned us nearly 60 testimonial letters.
How do you know when you’ve reached success?
As an entrepreneur, you never reach your destination because it’s a moving target. You have never arrived. Currently, Libertas is looking to further expand its capabilities and enter into new markets built upon mobile devices, evolving Internet technologies (such as HTML 5), and constantly changing consumer demand.
How do you find or recruit employees?
We seek people who understand the need for lifelong learning and we make available training resources as needed for their ongoing development.
While we follow traditional methods of locating talent such as recruiters and online recruitment sites. Our greatest success for locating quality individuals has been referrals (typically from existing employees) and working with local universities and community colleges to find upcoming and recent graduates.
What state or local resources did you take advantage of and how did they help?
Libertas is a member of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Greater Cincinnati Better Business Bureau. As members of these organizations, we stay active by providing seminars on Social Media, SEO, business process improvement and other technology-related subjects. This membership has also provided us the privilege of being nominated and winning several awards from these organizations.
Also, our partners are active alumni members with several local universities, including University of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky University, and utilize many resources that they provide. For example, as members of the Goering Center (University of Cincinnati) we receive real-world support and advice on complex and unique business ownership issues.
What’s the most difficult thing about running your own business?
Like many small businesses or entrepreneurs, we are no stranger to adversity. We have faced many trials and our approach to facing adversity is simple: understand the issue, then improvise, adapt and overcome with diligence, persistence and faith.
Our greatest challenge may lie ahead of us, as finding talent has been difficult. We are currently engaged in multiple potential acquisitions of similar companies to help meet the rising demand.
What do you find most rewarding?
We enjoy helping our clients succeed! Year after year, we work closely with our clients to define and solve significant business challenges that improve their bottom line. Our vast business experience allows us to apply technology wisely, making our clients more efficient, effective and able to compete at a higher level with lower long-term costs.
Also, we are committed to give something back to the community that has been so generous to us. As entrepreneurs and business owners, we have the opportunity to commit our skills and resources to organizations and causes that we believe in.
What strategies do you use to attain growth?
We plan to grow on three parallel tracks. The first is to continue hiring business technology professionals who display the highest degree of business and technical acumen. The second is to sell more of our existing suite of software products and to build new software products, which will allow us to reach more customers and generate more recurring revenue. Additionally, our products often lead to additional consulting opportunities. The final track is strategic technology consulting, where our most experienced business technologists help our clients create strategic and tactical plans to ensure their business is using technology to maximize sales, productivity, profits, and minimize risks.
Finally, we are currently engaged in the potential acquisition of other similar local companies in order to more rapidly expand our capabilities to meet increasing demand, particularly in the mobile space.
What companies or founders do you admire and why?
It is difficult to own a software development company and not respect the success of organizations such as Apple (Steve Jobs) and Microsoft (Bill Gates). The profound effect that these entrepreneurs and companies have had on our industry is staggering. However, based purely on commitment and results, Jack Welch stands above the rest. He served as CEO for 20 years. During those years he was forced to make difficult decisions but under his leadership, GE’s market value rose exponentially (around $13 billion in 1981 to $410 billion – a 4,000 percent rise in their stock). By the time he retired, GE was one of the most valuable companies in the world.
Writer: Val Prevish