Column By: BOBBY CHALMERS / RPW – LOCKPORT, NY –The saying goes, “make a career doing what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Well, for brothers Anthony and Alex Hussak, their love of racing and brains for business have led them to the “start” line in a way to never “work” again.
Their company, Start Imagining, helps small to mid-size businesses achieve more than they ever thought possible…all through showing how Excel spreadsheets and Access databases can be better utilized to help optimize workloads, discover analysis and maximize profits.
Both Anthony and Alex are huge race fans who live in Lockport, NY. Being in the western part of the state they have always frequented race tracks out that way, but it was a trip to Weedsport in 2014 that introduced them to Justin Haers.
Now, what you don’t realize is that Anthony became a fan of Justin’s through a mutual friend, Todd Kirkwood, who was working with Haers’ team. After watching the way Justin was with his fans and watching how he performed on-track, Anthony decided to give him some financial support as well…not through a business…just simply as a fan.
“We knew Todd from a ways back,” Anthony said. “That is how we got introduced to Justin his family. That started our relationship back then. You might remember seeing ‘Anthony H’ on the car. That was me. After Alex and I left our jobs and started our consulting business last year (2018), it just seemed like a great fit to keep our relationship going with Justin’s team, so we put our company name, Start Imagining, on the car.”
Through that relationship, Haers had a feeling that their business expertise could help him out with his family’s business, Phelps Cement Products, where he is the Sales Manager.
“Justin knew what we were doing and said he thought there was a way we could help him with the Cement business,” Anthony said. “We did some project work for them and we’ve had a blast getting to know both the family and company better.”
Combining their professional life and personal love has been great for the brother team as well.
“It’s been neat for us going from race fans to owning a business, and actually having our business help the driver that we sponsor grow his own company,” Anthony said. “It’s really a unique relationship and we love working with the Haers family.”
Haers is quite fond of the Hussak’s as well.
“I really wish them the best with their business and everything they’re doing,” Haers said. “They’re really smart and have a great thing going right now. They’ve helped our business with inventory tracking so we could keep an eye on what’s selling well and what isn’t…shown over the last month, or the last year, or whenever. They’ve even helped with quote sheets that have made our lives so much easier in that department as well. I wish I’d had this years ago.”
Check out their website at www.startimaginingbiz.com to learn more.
Simply put, Justin loves working with Start Imagining.
“We’ve used them on numerous projects and they’ve exceeded all of our expectations,” he said. “I know I’ve referred others to them and they’ve done very well in that regard. Anthony and Alex are just great people.”
Justin also believes that Start Imagining can also be beneficial in the racing community by helping teams organize setup and performance data.
“We’re actually working on some stuff for the new coils that are out now in the rears of these cars,” he said. “We’re working on load numbers and such that you need to keep track of things. There’s so much technical stuff that goes into these cars these days that you need to keep an eye on what changes you made and how you ran. This helps our results and keeps our program moving forward.”
The Hussak’s also know that even a race team needs to be run efficiently to succeed.
“We’ve been spending a lot of time working with companies, but in reality, race teams are essentially a small business,” Anthony said. “There’s a ton of information that needs to be captured. Set-up information, shock data, suspension settings, tire prep, etc. These days, everything needs to be recorded. Being able to keep data and information is important and can lead to a better understanding of where you are at.”
Whether it’s racing or business, Start Imagining wants to help. They have the tools to assist anyone make their business run smoother and challenge the status quo. They can also customize a package to help keep your race information in order so that you have better chances for success.
“There’s a lot that Excel and Access can do to make your business or race team better,” Anthony said. “It just comes down to picking where you would like to improve and utilizing tools already at your disposal.”
Both Anthony and Alex love working with businesses and sponsors involved in the sport.
“The auto racing community is very tight-knit,” Alex said. “By working with these businesses, we share a common bond immediately. There’s a connection that goes much deeper than just doing business with someone. It’s been an incredible relationship working with Justin and his company. We’re able to talk racing…talk about our families, and just have a good time while being able to make his business better.”
But how did they come up with the business name Start Imagining?
“That ties into our childhood,” Alex said. “Growing up, we played with cars, blocks, model trains, etc. It was about using our imagination to build something out of nothing. We want businesses to get back to ‘imagining’ and thinking about ways they can be better through tools they already have.”
Alex and Anthony Hussak live for the sport of auto racing. When they have free time, they’re at a race track. It doesn’t matter if its dirt or asphalt. They just love racing. It’s that love that has brought them to this point in life and as they’re trying to help others achieve their goals, they too are reaching for their own checkered flags…one spreadsheet or database at a time.