By Victoria Kertz, California Business Journal
As businesses wrap up the first quarter of 2018, many of them are relying on QuickBooks or Fishbowl Inventory (inventory management software) to do a myriad of critical tasks.
Bottom lines have become increasingly dependent on the functionality of these applications and an error in either one can be devastating.
Enter Jeanne Tarazevits, CEO of TaraByte Solutions. She and her team not only sell the applications, they implement, fix, and teach businesses how to manage it on their own.
Tarazevits founded the company in 2001 after spending 17 years at Gish Biomedical, where she was CFO. Early on in her new business, she saw an opportunity in the inventory and manufacturing niche, and focused on it.
Years later, 95 percent of her revenue is derived from Fishbowl, but it all began with QuickBooks.
Her job satisfactions, she says, comes from helping others. “A lot of times, people will self-implement,” she says, “then they find out that things aren’t going as planned. And that’s when they reach out to me to straighten things out. They don’t hire us to do their day-to-day work. We are hired to teach them how to do the work.”
Fishbowl’s inventory platform, which was initially released in 2001, joined Tarazevits’ suite of offerings in 2004. Since then, she’s established herself as a Top 100 QuickBooks Pro Advisor and Fishbowl Inventory Super Hero.
Fishbowl agrees. Tarazevits is so fluent in Fishbowl that she offers free support when Fishbowl’s own inside support can’t answer their users’ questions related to QuickBooks.
“The Quickbooks community is a very tight knit group, those of us at the top. We know who we can reach out to,” she says.
It’s one thing to use both QuickBooks and Fishbowl, but quite another to set up a custom integration.
“Fishbowl’s sales force relies on us to do those custom integrations, so I am constantly ‘quoting’ the Fishbowl sales people, so they can close the deal,” she says.
Tarazevits travels to the Fishbowl home office in Utah about three times a year and has established a close relationship with the 150-person company. “I know almost everybody by name,” she says with a laugh.
Her own team at TaraByte, which has an office in Costa Mesa, is an efficient group of two employees and some programming subcontractors for special projects. When it comes to consulting, Tarazevits offers herself and her unique set of skills, but all customers have different needs.
“We’re a team when it comes to custom reports and integrations,” she says.
Companies that ask for consulting pay for her know-how. Over the years, she’s seen thousands of scenarios and says mistakes happen when parties in an organization don’t communicate well. The question she hears most is actually more of an exclamation. “Help?!” she says.
“When you’re implementing an inventory system, we have two factions. Operations care about quantity. And accounting cares about dollars. And the biggest mistake is when those two groups don’t work together. If this implementation is being headed up by Accounting, they sometimes forget about what Operations needs. It’s important to have everybody on board. It’s important that everyone’s concerns get addressed. It’s important to make sure everyone is trained on both sides of the building,” she says.
“A lot of times, they have tried to self-implement. Or they want me to explain it. I’ve got a lot more experience since I’ve worked in this type of environment and knowing what they should do. I bring a lot more experience to the table. I can tailor what they need for their business model. And once you have a relationship, it goes on for years. Or, as long as they’re using the product,” she adds.
Tarazevits tells potential clients that she speaks their language and she almost certainly does. She’s tri-lingual.
“I speak three languages: user, geek, and accountant,” says the Cal State Fullerton grad with a laugh. “I solve problems and I make people happy. I make things work.”
What’s in a name? The name of her company: TaraByte Solutions is a clear take on her last name, but it wasn’t her idea originally. After spending a small fortune on letterhead and graphics for another name, a friend suggested that she call her business TaraByte. She thought nothing of it. A month later, a second friend suggested the exact same name. She changed the name and with 1,500 customers, the company is thriving.
Jeanne Tarazevits, CEO