10 Years of Silo
Written By Cynthia Wiatowski
Cynthia is the co-owner and Marketing Manager at Silo
It all started in October of 2004 when we moved from the city to rural Brant County, Harley to be exact. Andreas, who you might know as CEO of Silo Wireless but who I know as my husband of nearly 18 years, was a network consultant and did the bulk of his work from home which required the Internet.
As with many people relocating to the country – we didn’t even think about high speed Internet, let alone if it was even available! Yes – back then most rural homes only had the option of dial up.
We could get high speed – sort of – through satellite. But Andreas soon learned that this was a painful option, both in the cost and in the time it took to access his company’s private network remotely. This was not going to work for us.
The search was on and Andreas found a company that had started using the wireless technology that our business would later be founded on. We were at the furthest edge of their coverage area and needed to put up a 100ft tower to get over our trees to get service – but we made the investment. This was a much better option but expensive and still not good enough for Andreas.
By mid 2006 he had had enough and the research began. Soon boxes started arriving on our doorstep and Andreas climbed to the top of our tower to install the equipment. He then put another unit on my parents’ home a couple concessions away to test the signal. IT WORKED! Andreas was thrilled, and I was impressed. At this time he was only looking for a solution to our own personal needs – neither of us had any inkling that we would soon be providing the same service to the masses.
Not long after Andreas came to me to pitch the idea of us taking this to the next level and making a business out of it. He explained how he planned to approach local farmers about putting transmission equipment on their silos. Initially, I’ll be honest; I told him he was crazy. But then I started seeing things his way – if we needed this, maybe our neighbours and community did as well. Maybe, just maybe – with Andreas’ techy background and my customer service/admin background we could do this. It was certainly worth giving it our best effort, so I jumped on board and the fun began!
First – a business plan and then convincing some unsuspecting but very generous family to invest in the idea. Andreas’ aunt and uncle were more than happy to support this venture, so on to the next step.
In April 2007 we incorporated SILO WIRELESS INC – fitting name don’t you think?
Between April and June 2007, we were busy, busy…Andreas searching out vendors and site providers and me getting a website designed, developing marketing material, contracts and the list goes on. Like I said, we were busy!
In late June 2007 a postcard was delivered to two rural routes outside of Burford letting them know that there was finally a long-overdue high speed alternative to their dial-up! A little later that day the company phone (which at that time was in our living room) rang! And it kept ringing!
Within a week or so Andreas was up to 3-4 installations a day, while I continued taking the calls and answering questions. Andreas’ mother and my father would come in to build customer units for us as well. Yes, these were all assembled by hand by us in the beginning – thankfully today they come fully assembled.
By mid July we moved out of our living room into the upstairs of Andreas’ parents’ home. The phones were so busy and the paperwork was piling up so we brought in a family friend to help out a few hours a day.
Before long, Andreas was doing up to five installations a day and working six days a week. After all, he was not only doing the installations, but he also built the transmission sites, supported the network AND was still doing network consulting for 15 clients! It was time to hire our first fulltime employee. In November 2007 Rick Seemann joined our team as an installer and he is still with us in 2017 as our Operations Manager.
The momentum didn’t seem to stop and we hadn’t even begun to advertise! We had no idea there would be such a demand for the service we were providing.
Before long, two transmission sites turned into four and four into eight and the pattern continued. Our footprint kept growing. We had three fulltime employees plus Andreas and myself and were starting to overtake my in-laws upper floor and driveway.
Andreas and I purchased the home we currently live in in April of 2010 and moved the business into the shop on our property. From there we kept adding to our staff as the demand required us to do so.
Every year we would take any revenue earned and reinvest it into better, newer technologies to serve our customers better.
By the middle of 2013 we had already out grown our shop. Our driveway looked like a family reunion every day!
We took some time to find suitable accommodations that would give us room for future growth and finally moved into our Brantford location in March 2014.
This year, we are celebrating ten years connecting our communities. We have connected over 6000 homes and businesses with just over 90 transmission sites and utilize all the latest innovative technology available to our industry.
We have a team of over 20 wonderful people, always willing to go the extra mile for our customers.
Our mandate from the beginning was always to treat our customers as we would want to be treated and are quite proud to say we have a team that truly respects this and does everything in their power to uphold that standard every day.
We are so happy you are a customer or are considering becoming a customer. Our commitment to you is to not forget where things started and to do our absolute best to bring you the best service and experience possible every day.