Joseph Sanda

It takes more than business savvy to run a successful business, says Joseph Sanda, president and CEO of Astute Solutions. It takes passion — for the customer and for achieving your goals.

“I have a lot of drive and passion toward the goals I set,” says Sanda.

He took over the customer relationship management (CRM) software company in 1995, growing it from two employees to 34, with revenue up nearly 500 percent under his leadership. His accomplishments earned him the SBA’s 2002 Small Business Person of the Year award.

Sanda says the company’s growth and success have not come easily.

“When I acquired the company, it was a challenge,” he says. “My first customer call was not a pleasant experience — the customer was not happy.”

However, Sanda met the challenge and turned that customer around.

“The company turned into a loyal customer, but I had to make things right for them,” he says.

It’s that passion for the customer that gives Astute Solutions its competitive edge.

“We have a very strong passion for taking care of the customer,” he says. “We listen, respond and do everything we can to make the customer succeed.”

He advises new business owners to expect the unexpected.

“People tend to put together a business plan and think that everything will go as planned,” says Sanda. “And it never does.”

Always have a contingency plan, and be creative in generating revenue, he says. He also cautions entrepreneurs to listen to the customer and focus on action.

“Sometimes companies start believing their own marketing material instead of listening to the customer,” he says. “And it’s easy to overanalyze. It’s more important to execute, not just plan.”

Unaware he was even nominated for the SBA award, Sanda is excited about receiving it and credits his staff.

“I really think it’s the team that makes the company a success,” he says. “This award is a tribute to the company.” How to reach: Astute Solutions, (614) 508-6100.