INDUSTRY: ENVIRONMENTAL CONSULTING, INC.
YEAR FOUNDED: 2002
PARTNER COLLEGE: LONG BEACH CITY COLLEGE, COHORT 19 (CASANDRA), COHORT 20 (ROBERT)
How did 10KSB help you?
We (Robert and Casandra) have an interesting perspective on 10KSB. Since we own two companies, we were both able to, as married partners, benefit from the 10KSB program and receive information from two totally different places and perspectives.
CASANDRA: I went to GS10KSB for CRCA, a background screening company, in its 4th year. The learnings were more about patience in progress and growth, and understanding it takes some companies many years of growth to become profitable. The exercises of researching the competition and defining your customers had huge value for me since our competition and customers for CRCA are national, which is vastly different from my customer experience with A-Tech whose customers and competition are more regional. It is a completely different set of challenges, opportunities, skills and approach.
ROBERT: Attending GS10KSB enabled me to start identifying and focusing on growth opportunities and create a strategic road map that allowed me to articulate our goals and provide my team with plans they can align with and execute. Additionally, making money and keeping employees busy on projects isn’t always the answer to being profitable. You need to know your financials (PNL, balance sheets, cash flow statements in cash and accrual) and have the right metrics in place to keep you informed in real time. You need to understand your finances are directly tied to all areas of your business. Increasing revenue and keeping a healthy profit margin are both important and when strategic opportunities present themselves understanding the value of bank financing is important. When we attended class for our respective companies we brought back takeaways for our other businesses as well. Overall, we got a great deal of benefit as leaders and employers in general.
Tell us about a challenge you’ve faced in your business.
The challenge in our business is taking time to connect with others at all levels. As you grow it becomes more difficult to keep that nurturing pulse. But, it is what makes us who we are, so we continue to build our culture and our core values in our people daily.
What do you enjoy about being a small business owner?
It all goes back to one word: Growth. The top thing we focus on is growth in our people, both professionally and personally. We just taught four employees financial planning methods for personal budgeting and saw two of these employees get completely out of debt in six months. Personal wellbeing has a huge impact on a employee’s professional performance.
We also offer ongoing leadership and career growth training. We do vision boards with our employees so we know (and can support) what their life goals are. In addition to our team development, growth falls into place in every other aspect in our business, [specifically] growth in sales, revenue, processes, employees, clients, opportunities, network, learning, services offered, locations and ability to give back to our community. Growth is everything and seeing accelerated growth is extremely exciting. Seeing results come directly from each person’s contribution is rewarding. We really are a team and a family at A-Tech and we care about one another greatly.
Since graduating from the 10KSB Program, is there an accomplishment or goal you’re particularly proud of achieving?
A-Tech recently made the INC. 5000 fastest-growing companies list for 2018. This is a goal Casandra has had on her vision board the last five years. To see our revenue for the last two years make the cut, when the economy as a whole is growing rapidly and many companies are experiencing explosive growth, is a true honor. It really speaks to how much we have done to build an internal foundation and an external reputation. This is just the beginning of a new chapter for us. Robert has a lot of plans and is putting people in place to [turn] those plans into action and results. There is a new energy, inspiration and direction in our company to think bigger. We are working towards opening new office locations, providing more jobs and career growth, achieving more industry and business awards, and becoming a brand people know, trust and support. We are continuing to contribute to our community financially and educationally in partnership with local non-profits. We think all of this is the essence of what GS10KSB is wanting to attract, teach and have modeled in its participants.