10-Years-Old: Builds First Computer, 20-Years-Old: Owns Web Company
Cameron Collings is businessman and tech-geek in equal parts. He started his first entrepreneurial venture at 6, selling candy, and built his first computer at 10. Today at 20, he runs a successful web-hosting company. Is he the next Larry Page of Google?
It’s one a.m. and Cameron Collings, 20, is hard at work, typing furiously on his computer. But unlike the rest of his peers nation wide, it’s not a term paper he’s rushing to finish. Instead, he’s fulfilling his promise of providing round-the-clock personalized service to Host Quack’s customers.
A part of the growing trend of young entrepreneurs, Collings acquired Host Quack in May 2008 and it has been growing ever since.
The then 19-year-old had just shut down his electronics site and was on the lookout for his next business venture.
“My sister randomly suggested web hosting and told me a little about her provider. So I looked into it,” Collings said.
“I had already had years of experience in networking, system administration, website building, coding, etc... so it sounded great!”
He proceeded to draft a 45 page business plan and structured his business model.
Collings then married his computer skills to his keen business acumen when he purchased the company for $1,200.
He explained his strategy. “I saw HostQuack for sale online and it was a very small company that had everything configured so that would save me time of thinking of a name, building a site, integrating a billing system, etc.”
The young owner of the web-hosting and online company has lots to prove. He has more than a hundred clients from as far away as Saudi Arabia and India.
The company’s edge over its rivals is its commitment to round-the-clock, personalised servicing. Having a competitive price range (plans start from as low as a dollar a month) helps too.
In fact, Collings is proud of his record thus far. While he declines telling his total earnings, he reveals that Host Quack has grown over “14 times its original size” and he manages a staff of ten. All of them work remotely.
The company broke even by its first month, and Collings said: “Every month since I purchased the company, [it] has been better than any previous month.”
In fact, the current recession has left his company virtually unscathed. “This month (March 2009), I have actually broke[n] last month's number by about 20%,” Collings said. He added that every penny generated is reinvested.
The road to success hasn’t been easy. Collings feels that many dismiss him because of his young age.
“People think because I am 20 years old that I don't know anything,” he admitted. “ So I try to stay as knowlegeable as possible so I am given some respect. And I use the computer as my main area because no one knows your age.”
Collings said he built his first computer at ten and started coding websites since he was 12.
Collings’ business sense must come from his genes; every one of his family members is an entrepreneur of some sort. His father builds hotels in Las Vegas, and is a source of inspiration and motivation for him.
In fact, Collings’s first foray into business was at age six, when he sold candy to people around him. He quickly moved onto bigger things; he raked in $7,000 in the first ten days of his aforementioned electronics business.
Now, after almost a year since the aquisition, Collings is working on other online business projects, as well as strengthening Host Quack. He also hopes to help other young entrepreneurs.
He has started a mentoring group for young entrepreneurs to build a platform for networking and support for like-minded people.
“I’m on a quest to find more people like me: young, entrepreneurial, and really want to be the best and successful,” he said. “So I started a mentor group from a personal success community I am a part of.”
He has advice for other aspiring young entrepreneurs.
“Always stay driven and focused. You can do anything you want to in life and achieve anything if you truly put your heart into it. And don't let others slow you down. Stay focused and surround yourself with people you wish to become.”
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