I recently had the opportunity to grab coffee with one of the most genuine and helpful entrepreneurs around. His name is Lance Trebesch, the CEO and Co-owner of Ticket River + TicketPrinting.com. Since becoming a co-owner in 2007, Lance has helped the company grow tremendously. With over 100,000 customers and counting, they've seen a growth rate of 25-30% year after year. The company now operates in 3 continents including North America, Europe, and Australia.
What does Ticket River + TicketPrinting.com do?
Ticket River + TicketPrinting.com creates and sells high quality event tickets, raffle tickets, stickers, and event badges for all kinds of venues, bands, and happenings across the globe. They've seen orders from thousands of bands and event planners. Ticket River + TicketPrinting.com has even created tickets for events hosted by President Barack Obama and singer/songwriter Celine Dion.
Lance is an extremely passionate, disciplined, and motivated individual. He's a family man and a person who enjoys helping other people. Growing up in rural Idaho, he learned to love the outdoors. In fact, his passion for skiing, fishing, hunting, and whitewater sports are big reasons Lance resides in the outdoor mecca of Bozeman, Montana.
Prior to Ticket River + TicketPrinting.com, Lance spent time building companies based in various places out west including Silicon Valley. Savi Technology, Viant, and Dimmension X are all companies Lance has been a part of. Savi was bought out by Lockheed Martin and Dimmension X was acquired by Microsoft.
We met at a local coffee shop and Lance graciously spent an hour with me to share the company's story. He also gave valuable business tips and advice to help with my own ventures. We talked about our hobbies and then got into the nitty gritty about business. Lance had a great deal of information to share and his positive outlook and high energy is contagious. Trebesch always credits how vital his team is in building the business. Without everyone's help, Ticket River + TicketPrinting.com would not be around.
Ticket River + TicketPrinting.com was originally started in 1997 when Founder Mike Yinger saw a niche that needed to be filled. Living in Big Fork, Montana at the time, Mike was looking for a way to live in Montana and create a scaleable business. He went to a local summer playhouse and asked what was difficult for them. They said printing tickets was a pain in the neck, and thus Mike got to thinking about ways to make the process easier.
In the beginning, Mike developed software (ElkRiverSystems.com) to enable customers to print their own tickets at home. Much like a greeting card printing program, except specifically designed for tickets. He soon found that venues and event planners preferred to pay someone else to print tickets. They also needed the tickets to be perforated so they didn't have to cut each one. This led to the formation of PerforatedPaper.com.
Mike wanted to start a company that would help bring a small community together. While searching for a town, he came across a community full of great people in Harlowton, Montana. The work ethics and values of the people were a perfect match for his company. The price for warehouse space was also right, which left just one question on the table. The question dealt with finding out if the quality of internet services in the area would be sufficient. Luckily, the availability of broadband internet service in the rural town of 984 people was quite good.
What I learned from Lance
1. Focus is Key
So often we get distracted and lose focus of our core business strategy. New business ideas are always popping into our heads and it is all too easy to move on to something else. However, if we stick with our core business and are persistent, good things will happen. Lance is disciplined and focused on growing Ticket River + TicketPrinting.com
2. Entrepreneurs love to help startups and other entrepreneurs
I've had the opportunity to interview many successful entrepreneurs. One common theme I've learned is they love to help others and to give back. Lance is no different. He wanted to learn all about my business ventures and find out how he could help. Having this connection with Lance is like having a board member on my team that I can call up for advice.
3. Technology allows world class businesses to be based anywhere, even Montana.
There are many high tech entrepreneurs who think a tech company has to be located in Silicon Valley. That's not the case anymore. With high speed internet and the advancement of technology, internet companies are popping up all over the globe. Ticket River + TicketPrinting.com has done extremely well in the rural town of Harlowton, Montana (located north of Livingston, Montana or about 100 miles northeast of Bozeman, Montana). In the video below Bill Gates mentions Ticket River + TicketPrinting.com, noting that technology enables internet businesses to start in any town.
4. Find a “Pain” in the market
Ticket River + TicketPrinting.com started because the founder saw a “pain in the neck” process and created a solution to make ticket printing hassel free. This is a great way to come up with new business ideas. For instance, if you've worked in an industry you've probably come across processes that could be improved. Ask yourself, “How could make something better or easier?” If you haven't noticed a specific “Pain,” go ask your friends in various businesses what problems they'd like solved.
For more information about Lance and Mike's company or to get some ticket printing done check out Ticket River + TicketPrinting.com at www.TicketPrinting.com