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Rather have a check

Publication: Bucks County Courier Times Published: January 26, 2011


Courier County Times

A Bucks County native says he’s proof some folks don’t need a degree or even a diploma to succeed. Dan Schneider is used to doing things his way.He grew the business to 12 stores throughout the Greater Philadelphia area, then sold the business and started a wholesale company that helped Fortune 500 companies liquidate their cell phones to other businesses.

In just over two years, the company grossed more than $35 million in sales.

Despite his success, Schneider wasn’t happy. He was working long hours. He was 50 pounds heavier.

“All I did was work,” he said. “I never got to be a kid.”

After a customer called to chew him out during a dinner with his parents, Schneider decided to call it quits. Within minutes, he found a buyer for his house in Philadelphia and arranged to give away his business.

“Fifteen minutes changed my life,” he said. “That’s why I have no patience. If I can sell a house and my company in between entree and dessert, things shouldn’t take that long.”

Using the money he saved from the wholesale business, Schneider traveled the world, started bicycling and took up kite boarding. He moved to South Carolina and even contemplated moving to the Dominican Republic, where he could kite board year round.

“I went on vacation as if it were my job,” said Schneider, now 29.

But after two years on vacation, Schneider realized he was bored. So he leased some office space in Charleston, SC, and started going to work every day even though he didn’t have a job to go to or any idea what business to get into next.

“Me coming back to work wasn’t out of need,” Schneider said. “It was out of boredom.”

Boredom led to thinking. What kind of business would make it in a down economy, he asked himself.

The answer, Schneider found, was SIB Development & Consulting, which helps other companies cut expenses and save money.

SIB takes monthly recurring bills utilities, trash collection, telecommunications, worker compensation, alarm systems, property taxes, etc. and looks for savings. It’s most successful with large companies that have multiple locations and vendors, such as restaurants and health facilities.

In fact, Schneider said, SIB saved one client, Benjamin Moore Paints a division of Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway seven figures.

SIB doesn’t get paid up front. Instead, it receives a portion of a company’s savings, paid out over several years.

Today, Schneider splits his time between South Carolina and Chalfont, where his parents still live. He’s hoping to move back to the Philadelphia area, at least part time, while keeping his office and 14 employees in Charleston.

Schneider said he enjoys the work and has no plans to change careers again. He also has no plans to complete high school or go to college. Eventually, he said, he’d like to start a nonprofit organization that would provide entrepreneurial courses to students struggling with high school as much as he was.

“Maybe one day, I’ll save a college enough money they’ll give me an honorary degree,” he said. “I’d rather have a check than a diploma.”