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I've had to rework a few things, start up with a fraction of the projected cost and face some industry hurdles. Through everything, I was helped and encouraged by the SBDC.

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Byte Technology

In the dot-com boom, Clarence and Terry Low were riding high, involved in a number of startups. When Silicon Valley went bust in 2000, the Chinese-American brothers regrouped and decided to combine their talents and establish a business of their own.

“We started in my living room, but three months later we had an office in Monterey,” said Clarence, president of Byte Technology. “Now, we’re also based in the Rocky Mountain region with clients and community relationships in both places, and as far away as Mexico and the United Kingdom.”

From Web design and hosting to search engine optimization (SEO), Facebook training, e-newsletters and copywriting, Byte Technology creates value-added websites that help promote clients’ brands and achieve bottom-line results. The company’s business model extends beyond customer satisfaction to include a commitment to the community.

“From our earliest beginning in Monterey, we immediately got involved in the community,” said Clarence. “We joined the local chamber of commerce and did a lot of volunteering. We were the youngest kids on the block among at least a dozen other web companies. What set us apart was our commitment to community, and our track record of donating time and money.”

To date, the “byte boys” have invested more than $125,000 to charitable causes, in addition to their membership and participation in such organizations as the Rotary Club, Boy Scouts of America, the chambers of commerce in both Monterey and Denver, and Denver’s Asian-American community.

Clarence also serves on the advisory board of the Denver Metro Small Business Development Center.

“As Byte Technology continues to grow, I’m faced with the challenge of setting a business strategy for the next few years,” he said. “I took some helpful SBDC seminars, and consultants Jim Olp, Caroline Hanna and Andra Hargrave have all been extremely helpful. I meet with them regularly to discuss the state of my business.”

To date, Byte Technology clients include start-ups and small, mom-and-pop businesses, as well as Fortune 500 corporations like Chevron.

“As part of our strategic growth initiative, we want to work more closely with nonprofits,” Clarence said. “Of course, we’re going to continue giving back to the community. It’s just part of our culture, our character.”

Indeed, that approach is paying dividends. In 2009, despite the recession, Byte Technology realized 23 percent sales growth. In 2010, Clarence aims to increase that figure by another 20 percent.