Better Service, Better Access, and Better Technology

Chris Forbrich

The U.S. Small Business Administration recently partnered with the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), the exclusive certification body for the LGBT Business Enterprise®. The LGBT inclusion and outreach initiative aims to bring focus on economic empowerment in the LGBT business community providing access to SBA programs and services.

One small business has become the first in the San Antonio to obtain this certification. Like many people trying to live the American dream, Christopher Forbrich started his business the summer of 2006.

By becoming a certified LGBTBE, businesses are able to build relationships with America's leading corporations, generate prospective business and clients, and collectively team with each other for contracting opportunities. As corporate America becomes more inclusive and further diversifies its supply chain, certification offers the opportunity for LGBT-owned businesses to differentiate themselves from their competitors and access strategic growth opportunities.

“While in college, I worked as a secretary at a small oil & gas firm and wanted a job in the computer industry,” said Forbrich. “When I graduated, my bosses told me they would support my business if I decided to go start my own.”

One day during his lunch break a co-worker notarized an assumed name certificate; he filed for record at the courthouse and thus the birth of Forbrich & Associates, LLC. As a new small business owner Forbrich called on friends and family for referrals in order to get his business off the ground.

“For several years I continued working a pay-rolled job during the day and would spend my nights and weekends working on my business,” said Forbrich. “Eventually my business was paying me what I was making as a pay-rolled employee. My employer offered to outsource my job duties to my small business and we have been working as computer consultants ever since.”

Forbrich attributes the survival of his company for the past decade to his great customers. Forbrich & Associates, LLC prides themselves on good communication and keeping a customer’s budget in mind. In doing so, current clients eagerly refer the company.

“When people call our office, they are usually upset that something is holding them back and they trust us to provide them great service at a value,” said Forbrich. “Every telephone call or email ordering equipment, or asking for technical support, is treated with priority and we stay on the job until all crises are settled.”

As a new business, Forbrich stated the biggest obstacle the company had to overcome was cash flow on larger accounts but over time were able to develop an operating income and budget to insulate any payment issues.

“Small businesses don’t have access to many financial tools early in their formation,” Forbrich said. “We had to strategically plan spending for goods, essentially developing a “just in time” inventory policy.”

Forbrich suggest that small businesses must be creative every day whether it’s developing a product, marketing plan, budget or even a logo. Some of his creative advice include, developing a brand, which includes a website, logo, and the entire customer experience and developing programs to provide customers value while being able to provide without excessive costs or delays.

“Having your own business means you are all in – every day – to your family, your customers, and to your vendors,” said Forbrich. “I also think making a plan and constantly challenging that plan is vital to staying relevant.”

Being a small business owner comes with unique challenges as well as rewards. Small business owners are often described as being driven, disciplined and philanthropic.

Community is important to Christopher Forbrich as he serves on various committees but for him, the most exciting has been Bexar County’s small, women and minority-owned advisory committee along with regularly sponsored community organizations, little leagues, and neighborhood/ park groups in the San Antonio area.

“As small business owners, we know we can’t do everything all on our own- we are always “Better Together,’” said Forbrich. “Our company has had a great 10 years, but for us – it is just a start. We want to continue to build on our reputation of Better Service, Better Access, and Better Technology.”

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Company Name: 
Forbrich & Associates, LLC
Location: 
San Antonio