Meet George Otte


George Otte, Miami Entrepreneur

George Otte, Miami entrepreneur has more than a decade of multi-faceted business operations experience. He is the founder and chairman of the Otte Polo Group, a diversified firm that does business internationally.

Entrepreneurship runs in Otte’s blood. He founded his first company, a South Florida computer repair and support service called TSS, in 2002 when he was just 21 years old. He successfully ran TSS while enrolled full-time in college, building a network of more than 100 clients by 2005.

Otte took the next step in his entrepreneurial journey in 2006 with the acquisition of Geeks on Site, a comprehensive technical support company. Throughout the late 2000s, Otte built up Geeks on Site to become a premier coast-to-coast provider of on-site tech support, remote computer repair, and other value-added technology services. Geeks on Site now works with local technicians in more than 150 US metro areas.

As George Otte’s business grew, he recognized the need to integrate superior customer service with flexible, on-demand product fulfillment. Staying true to his vision, he launched Responsive Call Center, a U.S.-based call center and telephone answering service that provides a range of live call center and answering solutions for clients in healthcare, legal, property management, general contracting, and other industries.

Responsive Call Center is now has a network of six independent answering businesses operating nine different facilities throughout the United States. As he pursues his vision of building Responsive Call Center into the United States’ top privately held call center and telephone answering service company, Otte continues to look for acquisition opportunities throughout the country.

Shortly after Responsive Call Center was established, George Otte turned his attention to product fulfillment and acquired Fort Myers-based Phase V, a fulfillment and shipping operations center with a diversified portfolio of customers, including work dating back to the early 1980s.

Under Otte’s expert guidance, Phase V has grown into Florida’s top fulfillment company. Its diverse capabilities include warehousing, flexible order processing and fulfillment, direct mail, and contact services. Otte is committed to expanding Phase V’s innovative fulfillment and business support model to business clients in every corner of the United States and is actively seeking acquisition targets to support his goal.

Both Responsive Call Center and Phase V work with businesses of all sizes, from sole proprietors and small startups that can’t afford in-house fulfillment and answering capabilities to enterprise firms that trust Otte’s companies to provide impeccable service under the most challenging conditions.

George Otte was born Jorge Otte in Lima, Peru. He moved to Florida with his family at age seven and enjoyed what he calls a “fairly typical American childhood”. Though he maintains distant relations in Peru, Florida is home to Otte’s immediate family, business and social networks, to Otte himself. Although he devotes the vast majority of his time to overseeing his successful business ventures, Otte does manage to find time to relax. His hobbies include boating and fishing in the waters off Miami, spending time at the gym, and traveling to out-of-the-way destinations in Europe and Latin America.

George Otte’s Top 4 Tips on How to Pick Your Moment

Is starting a business high on your to-do list this year? Your timing might be impeccable — or it might be a good idea to reassess.

How can you tell the difference? Entrepreneur George Otte suggests that you use these four tried-and-true tactics to determine whether it really is the best time for you to strike out on your own.

Wait Till You’ve Spotted the Perfect Opportunity

Even if you’re not a certified expert, it’s possible to spot a business opportunity in virtually any industry. Has there been a major shift in consumer tastes that you can make use of? Are there existing products or services that you can bundle in value-added fashion? Does your local market lack some essential product or service? If you’ve said “yes” to any of these questions, you might be onto something.

Be Bold. Be Confident

After a stock market sell-off, bargains are bound to be found amid the wreckage. The same principle can work for general business, too. After an economic downturn or sector contraction, your industry’s incumbents are likely to be under pressure. Some may be willing to sell out for less than their business is worth, or at least sell you some assets on the cheap. Others may go out of business entirely, creating a vacuum that your new business is primed to fill.

Have a Top-Notch Team in Place

These days, many companies begin as one-man or -woman operations. But if you’re going into a more labor-intensive niche, it helps to have a quality team in place before you hang your shingle and announce your intentions to the wider world. If you can’t sell your vision to prospective employees, your timing might not be right.

Make the Business Case

Businesses fail for many reasons. One of the most common: money — or the lack thereof. Before you invest a great deal of time, energy and personal resources into your business idea, make sure that others are (literally) interested in what you’re selling.

On the one hand, you’ll need to confer with investors (who may well be your friends and family) to determine whether you’ve really got a killer product (or app). Are they willing to put their money where their faint words of praise are?

On the other, you’ll need to do some market research (or old-fashioned prospecting, depending on your line of business). Do theoretical customers really want to buy your products or services? Or is your business going to be DOA?

The two sides of this coin are linked, of course. Investors aren’t likely to support a business idea that doesn’t have much support on the consumer side. And, though they might not be able to tell right away, customers aren’t likely to stick with an underfunded business that can’t meet their expectations for service or quality.

Your Best Employees Will Have These 5 Traits

How’s business these days?

If you’re still in startup mode, chances are you’re struggling to find the right talent for your expanding operation.

The United States faces a talent shortage of epic proportions. Employers everywhere are struggling to fill skilled jobs, whether they’re on the front lines of healthcare or responsible for bringing goods from point A to point B. According to a recent Manpower survey, one in three of all U.S. employers struggled to fill jobs last year, and nearly 50 percent say these troubles had an adverse effect on their businesses.

Virtually no industry is unscathed. No matter what your company does (or hopes to do, let’s be real), it’s probably suffering from a lack of top-tier candidates with the smarts and skills necessary to keep your company one step ahead of the competition.Before you jump into the hiring game, set some basic expectations for job candidates — and don’t compromise.

Entrepreneur George Otte suggests that you look for soon-to-be-employees with these five basic skills and competencies. As your business grows, they’re likely to be the ones pushing it forward.

  1. Willingness to Learn New Skills

These days, even the biggest businesses require employees who are willing and able to learn new skills as the times demand. As technological advances shake established industries to their foundations, it’s critical to seek out talent that understands the value of staying one step ahead of the latest trends. In an upstart business, this is doubly important — and could make the difference between life or death.

  1. Honesty and Accountability

Inc Magazine notes, correctly, that companies need to be able to hold their employees accountable for their actions — good or bad. It’s often said that it’s better to ask forgiveness than permission, but it’s even more important to remember that — at least in the modern workplace — the cover-up is worse than the crime. Don’t hire employees who do their best work when they’re looking for ways to pawn off their failings on others.

  1. Creativity and Perspective

If you’re choosing between two equally qualified candidates, the tie should always go to the one who exhibits the greatest range of perspectives and breadth of creativity. You never know when such “soft” skills will come in handy. They could form the basis of your company’s next big thing.

  1. Levelheadedness

There’s much to be said for employees who are calm under pressure, even when a million different signals are screaming at them to be otherwise. Ask yourself this: When all the chips are down and it’s make or break time, would you rather have a cool cucumber or a hot potato by your side?

  1. Diligence and Perseverance

When you’re fighting tooth and nail to get your business off the ground, you need employees who are willing and able to go to the mat for you — employees who you can trust to do what you say, when you say it, and maybe throw in a few extra bells and whistles for good measure.