Sam Schutte of Unstoppable Software

How did you start your business?
Unstoppable was started when I had an opportunity to take on a programming consulting contract with a major industrial firm. Unstoppable is the third company I’ve started, but the first that I’ve really dedicated full-time efforts to, so running a company is always something I’ve wanted to do, so it was good timing.  

After consulting on my own for a while, I was able to take on additional projects and customers and grow our client base beyond just myself as a single consultant, and eventually specialize the company into the document software business by working with partners who provides solutions we can then customize and implement.

How did you come up the idea for your business?
I have a background in records management and document management, having worked in medical records and other areas. I saw firsthand while working in those areas how healthcare firms needed to control their documents because of regulations like HIPAA, and collaborate and generate them as a patient record flowed through its lifecycle.  

While the healthcare market is pretty saturated with solutions, I think a lot of other types of businesses also have these same types of problems – specifically in manufacturing, industrial services firms and biotechnology companies. Our goal is to help these companies benefit from some of the same types of technologies that the healthcare sector has benefitted so much from – providing them with document compliance, collaboration and creation.

What resources here did you take advantage of and how did they help?
One of the best resources I’ve found has been SCORE. Having access to counselors from a variety of backgrounds that can pick apart your ideas has been hugely valuable, particularly because a lot of the counselors come from the same types of businesses that we target. I also invested in sales training with a local Sandler Sales Trainer, Bob Rosselot, to help me build a sales methodology and marketing approach for the firm.

What would you do differently if you started your business again?
I think I would have spent more time in the beginning developing a marketing plan and following it. In the beginning, I didn’t know exactly what direction I wanted to take the company in, but it would have saved time to more fully executed “trial visions” and try to fail fast on them.

What’s next for you and your company?
Right now we’re getting a lot of traction with our compliance solutions in the areas of ISO 9001 and FDA CFR Part 11.  These are complicated quality systems that our solutions make much easier to implement and maintain, and there’s a lot of demand for help. 

Also, as part of our document creation focus, we’re finding a lot of need for systems that automate AutoDesk Inventor, Revit and AutoCAD to generate documents for engineering firms. These solutions can drastically reduce the manual labor it takes to provide customers with engineered-to-order drawings, so we will be running several promotional campaigns in the coming months around these needs.

Interview by Robin Donovan