Northern California Couple Makes their Business a Family Affair
Since 1999, husband-and-wife team Mike and Heather Johnson have been growing their family and their business on the immediate outskirts of the technology epicenter known as Silicon Valley. Their company, Dataflow Networks, is located in the Northern California town of Livermore, Calif.
Heather was pregnant with the couple’s eldest son, Jordan, now 12, when Mike started working out of their garage, managing technology for small businesses in the area. During the day he worked full-time in Silicon Valley’s then-thriving dot.com world. By 2006, he was ready to quit his day job to focus full-time on Dataflow Networks. The Johnsons rapidly started putting together their now six-person team, which includes Heather, who has a background in human resources, managing the business operations while Mike handles sales and technology.
The Johnsons have been able to weather the ups and downs of the Silicon Valley wave by nurturing a core set of trusted clients who have stuck by their side over the years. Most of their clients are small businesses in the Livermore area with which they have developed close working relationships.
“We look out for our clients and treat them like personal friends. When they call us, they reach someone they know, who knows their name, knows their needs and knows their issues,” says Mike. It isn’t uncommon for Mike to meet with his clients one-on-one over a cup of coffee.
Truly a family shop, the Johnsons’ love of working in their own community, knowledge of technology and passion for building a service-oriented business has flowed down to the younger generation. Their son has been working with computers since age 8 and, actually, created the website for www.laurenslove.net/, a nonprofit organization, founded and run by their 10 year-old daughter Lauren, that supports homeless people in the area.
The Johnsons take pride in their personalized, family approach to customer service and look to surround themselves with vendors who carry the same philosophy. That’s what attracted them to HEROware when they became a client more than four years ago.
“HEROware knows us as individuals, just like we know our clients,” says Heather. “It’s that great, personalized service you can’t get from larger companies that makes us feel comfortable which, in turn, makes our clients feel comfortable.
Dataflow’s clients run the gamut from medical professionals and lawyers to cabinet suppliers and restaurants. Michael adds that, with HEROware’s array of products and services, it is easy for them to help their diverse client base with a range of activities, whether it’s accepting credit cards, running patient names or organizing logs.
Most importantly for Mike and Heather Johnson, though, is the quality of products and services HEROware offers that allows them to provide their family of clients with the stellar service they are known for.
“Before HEROware, if a long-time client lost their files, it would take hours to clean up the mess, costing the client thousands of dollars,” says Michael. “With HEROware, we can restore their files in moments, at a tremendous cost-savings, which is the type of excellent service they expect from us.”
And in the competitive Silicon Valley technology industry, being known for an excellent level of service is essential to helping a small family business achieve success.