When Brendan and I started ATX in 2013, we had a vision for filling what we perceived to be a critical need in the marketplace - a business-focused technology consultancy that allowed emerging middle market companies compete with larger industry peers.
As we reflect back on the past 10 years, we will be sharing insights learned along each year of our journey. This post is part three of a ten post blog series highlighting lessons learned each year at ATX.
2015 – The Importance of Breadth
As we got our legs underneath us from the first couple of years, our attention naturally turned to “What’s next?” We knew we wanted to grow but we needed to figure out what that looked like. Whether that was expanding the team, working with more clients, or adding to our services.
Our entrepreneurial nature saw lots of opportunities in the marketplace, and we pursued many of them. At our small size, we needed to take on the work that our limited clients and prospects needed. Doing so gave us a front row seat into working through new industry challenges alongside our client partners while also learning new skills. We also saw bigger opportunities and pursued them, recognizing they may give us the opportunity to grow our team more significantly than short term projects.
In 2015, we had a broad view of our services under the umbrella of Technology and Management Consulting. In addition to technology advisory and process improvement, we started to provide strategic planning, peer group facilitation, and even outsourced accounting services.
Our clients valued having a nimble and flexible team on their side who could find and enact solutions to their problems. "Whatever it takes!" This mindset helped facilitate growth and learning even though some of the work wasn’t our passion. While this sounds like a formula for failure, it was not.
Our breadth was inspired by a genuine curiosity of our clients businesses and a desire to build a successful foundation for the company which allowed us to grow and evolve. I later learned that “passion follows curiosity” which helped me put this all in perspective.
Breadth of services made way for growth in revenue which allowed us the flexibility to hire much needed staff. While we finally had additional income to bring on help, a new problem emerged. It was hard to find and hire the needed resources given the wide nature of the work and experience required. We needed a team of Swiss Army knives on a spork budget.
In 2015, we identified the importance of breadth along with the weakness. It seems obvious now but we ultimately learned that a better path to doing more for our clients. We needed to develop both breadth and depth, and to do it in a more thoughtful manner. More on that next time…
Check out the other entries in this series below: