Founders’ Friday: Brandon Checketts, Check It Books
Hi, Brandon here again. Today’s featured Friday founder is Brandon Checketts from Check It Books. I had the opportunity to sit down and talk to him about what his company does and where his passion for entrepreneurship comes from. Enjoy.
Founder: Brandon Checketts
Company: Check It Books
BC: Tell me a little bit about your company:
Checketts: It essentially buys and resells books. We are buying books from all kinds of sources; we buy them usually by the pound or truck load. We go through them using a lot of technology that we have created on our own to figure out which books are the best ones to sell. Our software allows our employees to scan a book which tells them where to put it, which stickers go on them, how to mark them and their locations. Then we mark them and use different options to put them on online sites such as Amazon and Half.com.
BC: Was this business something that you planned on doing or did you have other career aspirations?
Checketts: I kind of stumbled upon this business but I have always been an entrepreneur. I have actually started eight businesses; this is one that finally stuck and has done well. When I was 12 years old, I started a business delivering papers. Four years later, I started a computer repair business with my parents at the age of 16. In a way, I have always been an entrepreneur.
BC: What have been some of your biggest challenges so far?
Checketts: Delegating responsibility. There is some point when you have to learn to delegate. You have to figure out that you must delegate some things to other people. You must hire that first employee and train them as best you can, even though they won’t do things exactly as you want them to, because it gives you the freedom to do other things which is better for the company as a whole. I have spent the last two years trying to delegate and take things off of myself. Even today, I am still learning to delegate.
BC: Where do you see yourself being in the next year?
Checketts: In the next year I hope to start three to six more businesses. The way that I found success is by trying things. So if you have an idea, you should try it. If something sticks then that’s good, if not you move on. You have to keep trying till you find something that sticks and then put your resources into the successful product. I have three or four projects in the pipeline right now, so hopefully in the next couple of months I have something else going.
BC: When you say you are starting other businesses, are they separate from Check It Books?
Checketts: I own one company called RoundSphere, it’s sort of the parent company of everything. RoundSphere owns Check It Books. RoundSphere develops the technology and initial idea of the other companies; it provides a platform to get the new business ventures out to the public. Once the business is able to make money on its own, we put it out there on its own.
BC: Would you ever consider selling your company if the right offer was presented?
Checketts: Sure. Define the right price. If you offer me a hundred million dollars, then I am going to say yes. I am sure there is some number out there that would definitely grab my attention.
BC: How did you end up in Athens, and do you plan on staying?
Checketts: I have been in Athens four years. I grew up in Utah. I met my wife in Florida and we lived briefly in Utah, Chicago, and Annapolis, Maryland. We moved here because we took a quiz online at findyourspot.com; it asks you all kind of things about where you would like to live. My wife and I both took it, and Athens showed up on the first page of both of our results. So we did a little more investigating and decided it was worth checking out. We flew to Athens, looked around and decided to move here.
BC: What has been the high point in building your company so far?
Checketts: We had a Christmas party in December last year and it was really cool to see all of the people there. It was nice to see that what I am doing does not just affect me. My company is providing people with jobs and affecting others as well. We had a similar barbeque the year before and we had six or eight people there, and this past December we had around 20 people, so it was really neat to see that growth.
BC: Has there ever been a point where you wanted to give up on starting businesses and get a more stable job?
Checketts: No. Even when I worked for other companies in the past I never felt like I would be there my entire career. I was always doing stuff on the side. Being an entrepreneur is a big part of who I am.
BC: What is the best thing about being the founder of your own company?
Checketts: Providing jobs for people. I am learning that I really enjoy providing jobs. I started the business to provide jobs for people to help them grow, mentor and develop. This part of what I do is really the most amazing part to me. Also, I enjoy the benefit of being able to choose what projects I want to work on. Having the final say in what I choose to work on is a privilege that I very much appreciate.
BC: Do you find it is easier to create a company or to sustain it?
Checketts: It is easier to create it because all you have to do is come up with an idea. To maintain it, it has to be profitable and that is where problems arise.
BC: What is your favorite thing to do when you are not working?
Checketts: Spend time with my family. I have four little kids and I like to spend as much time with them as possible.
BC: Is there anything else you would like our readers to know about your startup?
Checketts: If you are a great programmer let us know; we are always looking to hire more great programmers.
If you would like to learn more about Brandon Checketts and his companies, you can visit His Website.