"I needed a new challenge," he said.
So Vargas left the Air Force and joined a government contractor that soon merged with the Raytheon Corporation. He continued in the field of intelligence, and continued pursuing his college degree at night and on weekends. It was while he was with Raytheon that Vargas earned his BA in Management from National Louis University in Evanston, Ill.
After serving with Raytheon for about five years, Vargas jumped into a new field: telecommunications. He joined the trade initially with Sprint International. The company soon merged with France Telecom and Deutsch Telekom and the joint venture created Global One. He wanted to learn about the "guts" of the telecommunications industry, so he first was involved in program management. His stint in the trade also led him into corporate, consumer and wholesale sales. After the joint venture dissolved and France Telecom took over, he was asked to take a leading role in sales and marketing for the company's wholesale division in the Americas. His major work consisted of growing the company's U.S. presence and increasing the business in Latin America. He became immersed in marketing and public relations throughout the hemisphere.
His Own Business -- VARCom Solutions
By 2004, Vargas was bitten by the entrepreneur bug. That's when he started VARCom Solutions in Herndon, Va. The company specializes in marketing/sales strategies; public, media and government relations; marketing communications; publicity, advertising, and campaign/outreach support; management consulting; and more.
"There were certain criteria I wanted to follow when starting my own business," said Vargas. "First, I wanted to do something I enjoyed. Second, I wanted to do something I was good at. In my role with the telecom companies I went from sales to marketing to public relations. I headed efforts to help a Latin American company take up presence in the U.S. . . . so I developed all sorts of marketing and public relations skills. Third, I wanted to do something that I could turn into a valued business. Fourth, I wanted to do something in which I felt I was contributing to the community and to my clients."
Vargas was able to self-finance the start up. "It was a low overhead, low capital venture," he said. "It was consulting, so I didn't need a whole lot of infrastructure or investment. I worked out of my home."
The greatest obstacle he had to overcome was dealing with corporate America.
"I didn't have a brand name," he said. "The company was meant to service small and medium-size businesses."
Vargas said that getting those businesses recognize him was "challenging." His strategy was to get involved in the regional Chambers of Commerce in Northern Virginia and in business associations.
"By working with the Chambers and the business associations I learned what small businesses were dealing with and what their challenges were," he said. "Then I tailored my knowledge to help. I was able to use my experiences from the Air Force, Raytheon, and multi-billion dollar telecom corporations -- sales, marketing, business management, dealing with a crisis, understanding strategy and tactics," he continued. "I used all of these things to provide the services needed by small businesses."
Working through the Chambers also helped to get his name out into the community.
It was his networking that earned him his initial client list and led to the turning point in the business -- the moment that he knew he would be successful.
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