Brian Seeling, co-owner of Peerless Tech Solutions in La Plata, has always wanted to own his own business. “I was always trying to find ways to be an entrepreneur,” he says. “I wanted to find anything where I was successful and turn it into a business.”
Seeling was introduced to the technology field at Thomas Stone High School in Waldorf and went on for further training at the College of Southern Maryland, as well as a few certifications in Annapolis. A friend helped him land his first job with Hewlett Packard, and after being in the IT industry for 15 years, he knew it was time to start out on his own.
Seeling and his “tech” friend, Mr. Jim DePhillip, decided to start a business in La Plata. “We knew each other previously and figured our skills and talents would work well together,” says Seeling. They started with three employees (those two and a receptionist) in 2014 and have grown to a staff of 11.
Last month, their success was recognized by the Charles County Chamber of Commerce when they were named 2017 Small Business of the Year. Seeling credits regular attendance and involvement with the Chamber in helping his business grow. “We make sure we have a presence at all times,” he says. “I can sit at a Chamber event and probably point out four or five of our customers in the room. Networking works!”
Having a business close to home also has benefits, including being a part of the community. “Having a business here and living here, I see my customers at Walmart or Target,” says Seeling. It also means being able to help out and give back, something he wouldn’t have time for with a long commute outside the county.
As experts in cloud computing, network design and IT outsourcing, Peerless Tech Solutions supports both the federal government and the private sector. Seeling finds Charles County to be a prime location for their federal contracts. He says, “If you are looking to become a part of the NAVAIR community (at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in St. Mary’s County), and you’re not involved, it’s definitely harder to get it in. It’s a tight-knit community and a close network. From what I’ve seen, if you’re not down here and involved in the community, a lot of times those opportunities just aren’t there for you.”
For anyone thinking about starting a business in Charles County, Seeling offers this advice: Live in the area and be a part of the community. Also, be patient. Be diligent. Put the time and effort into your business and you’ll be successful. It’s not a 9-5 job, and success definitely doesn’t happen overnight.
Photo: Peerless Tech Solutions receiving the 2017 Small Business of the Year award from the Charles County Chamber of Commerce.