David Goldman has a competitive advantage that he has exploited to earn clients across the nation and overseas, and grow his company from a husband-and-wife act to a business that employs approximately 50 and growing.
Goldman established Ideal Software Systems Inc. in his hometown of Meridian way back in 1983 with nothing more than programming he wrote while a college student, his wife, Amy, to handle the books and some hope.
“Sure, I envisioned this success when I started out — only after one year,” Goldman said with a wry laugh. “As I’ve grown older, I’ve gotten wiser.”
Goldman literally learned the rent-to-own and family entertainment center (FEC) industries from the ground level. Growing up in Meridian, one of his early jobs was driving a delivery truck for a rent-to-own company owned by his parents, Dennis and Edna Goldman. Active entrepreneurs, the Goldmans also were successful in the FEC industry, owning and operating video arcades in malls.
“I learned the needs and challenges of the business — even down to making change for a dollar,” Goldman remembered. “I think one of our keys to success is we develop software to meet specific needs. We don’t just write software then try to sell it. We listen to clients, then develop a product to meet the need.”
Leaving home, Goldman attended the University of Texas, earning a degree in electrical and computer engineering while developing his original software program.
Back in Meridian, he started peddling his product. The early days were spent traveling, cold-calling, pitching his product written for the rent-to-own industry. Goldman said there were no large accounts or milestone events in the early days, just a lot of hard work that resulted in steady growth.
Steady, but today the growth is obvious. Ideal creates software and hardware-based business management systems, operating two product divisions: Ideal Amusement Software serves the amusement and FEC marketplace with comprehensive POS systems and e-commerce products; and, Ideal Financial Software serves various financial markets, most notably lease-purchase (rent-to-own).
The firm touts Ideal N-Site as the most comprehensive business management system for the amusement industry, encompassing the latest cashless, wireless and mobile technologies, for admission and ticketing, restaurant service, redemption games, party scheduling among others.
Still tapping into cutting-edge technology, Ideal has created Blink Cloud Services to offer cloud-based e-commerce and e-ticketing services.
Goldman admitted Ideal felt the recent economic downturn as properties closed or downsized and few new facilities opened.
However, the company not only survived, but also has thrived. Goldman said Ideal enjoyed its best year in 2012.
Even more is expected. Not only has Ideal unveiled new products, the firm is focused on an area Goldman admits has lagged — marketing.
“We haven’t done a very good job of getting our name out there,” he said flatly.
To that end, Ideal recently brought in Jim Beaugez, a seasoned PR/marketing professional who spent approximately a decade at Peavey Electronics serving as public relations manager and communications manager.
Goldman believes Beaugez will have even more to promote in the future.
“At one time, I worried that we would run out of things to do,” said Goldman, pointing to cloud-based technology and new markets. “Now, I see lots of growth ahead.”