“If you aren’t growing you are dying as a business”, is how the old saying goes and although “growth for the sake of growth can be bad” is another old saying; we are in the process of growing. As you may have already heard or read, we have opened an office in Covington, GA and I can tell you this wasn’t done without long and thoughtful consideration. I though I would share some of the thinking and consideration with you here as many if not most of you are invested stakeholders in Infinity. The reasoning came down to 2 items around growth; 1) Growth to meet business plan goals and 2) Growth to meet client needs. But first the backstory . . .
About 2 years ago we had the fortune to work with TAG (Technology Association of Georgia) in an economic gardening program which had a purpose to help companies evaluate the markets they serve, potential new markets, and how they serve their markets. I was amazed at what this effort uncovered for us. It helped us understand just how large the Middle GA market is and how much of it we serve. It also showed us places we could consider expanding if geographic expansion was something we wanted to do. They helped us understand how we serve those markets and how we might consider serving them better. I am grateful to TAG for allowing us to take part in this program. We decided to expand into the Covington market because we had already been serving clients in that area for the past 10 years. It is a place that is much like Macon in many good ways. After meeting with their local Chamber of Commerce and other organizations we were able to feel confident that much like Macon, they wanted new business coming into their market.
So how does that get us to the reasons we expanded you ask? Well first we have a business plan that has goals set for us to grow. Those goals, while internal to Infinity, deal with the fact that we understand that our employees and partners want to see us expand as much as we do. For the employees it provides more opportunities for them to take on roles and responsibilities that come along with growth. For our partners it means we can use their resources and equipment to serve more people which is always good for them. For me personally this growth allows us to continue to move toward a structure that truly allows for the ‘hit by the bus’ scenario that many business people fear. I work every day to be responsible for less and less of the day to day. Not because I am lazy or not interested in what we do but because the more we have the roles and responsibilities spread across people that are highly focused the better we can serve and the more we are protected from the loss of one person.
The second reason for the expansion is that we know that there are new things we want to be able to do for our clients, things we want to do better, and things we want to do more cost effectively. To achieve this goal we need to scale. Through the focus I mentioned above we gain efficiency. Through growth we have the ability to hire more people with specific skills or train staff for those skills. With the end result being better service for our clients. Also growth allows us to build more features and services into our offering at little/no added cost. Years ago we discovered if we just put all of our support clients on one AV solution we could purchase it at such a cheap rate we could just include it. Which has made that aspect of what we do for our clients much easier to manage, more consistent, resulting in fewer issues and better results for everyone. So what are we talking about including, we aren’t sure yet but we know that like any IT department if we scale up we can deliver better service and that is what we plan to do.
One thing that we spend many hours discussing was if growth would change us in ways that aren’t good for our employees, partners and especially our clients. We came up with a number of potential issues but the biggest for all of us was the potential loss of personal touch. Both for our staff and our clients. This is why when we decided to make this expansion it wasn’t about taking existing resources/staff and just focusing them in Covington, but it was about putting new staff in that area both from a relationship and a service perspective. This is how Clay and Jim both came to join our team. So we can continue to apply our high touch direct relationship model for everyone. We want to invest them and energy into our clients so that we can serve them and their business well.
So as I said many of you are invested stakeholders in what we do so please hold us accountable to deliver what we say we will in the way we say we will and most importantly in the way you need us to. Also please feel free to reach out to me directly with any questions or thoughts about this or anything else.