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Views from the Top: Growth drivers

What has been the biggest driver of growth for your company over the past three years?

Developing a well-understood strategy and then executing it through a very successful targeted business development approach.
—Thomas Judson, The Pike Cos.

Expanding our geographical reach and also expanding our national product liability practice.
—Stephen Schwarz, Faraci Lange LLP

Major new contracts with both new and existing customers. Executing those contracts flawlessly.
—Samuel Villanti, UTC Retail

Our proven track record and excellent returns for our net lease REIT fund investors have now allowed us to attract capital from around the country to support ongoing growth in acquisitions and real estate assets under management.
—Amy Tait, Broadstone Real Estate LLC

Customer service along with referrals. Doing a great job for people allows them to not only be happy, but also pass our name along to the next person moving. Moving clients outside of New York has also helped. With New York ranking high on the list of states to leave, our business benefits on this revenue.
—Mike Sheridan, Sheridan Brothers Moving

Consumer awareness of the benefits of tart cherries, combined with rapid penetration into the retail market.
—Ed Maguire, cheribundi Inc.

A relentless focus on delivering services with real value at a lower cost.
—Robert Judd, Beltz Ianni & Associates LLC

The synergy and overall culture of our office has probably been the largest contributing factors of our growth at Re/Max Plus. In addition to our general meetings (partner, staff and office), we have workshops with attorneys and mortgage lenders, “Grilling Tuesday” lunches, family picnics and holiday parties. We also have a lounge area in our office that lends itself to discussion and networking. We have a very supportive and open atmosphere where mutually as partners, real estate agents and staff, we share ideas and work through the myriad problems and challenges that we experience within the real estate industry each day. That culture not only benefits us, but the customers and clients that we collectively serve.
—Terri Granger, Re/Max Plus

The biggest area of growth has come from working more closely with our customers, understanding their concerns and needs and working with them to achieve desired results. This establishes business relationships based on respect and trust.
—Philip Robinson, Insley McEntee Equipment Co. Inc.

Great service to our agent-clients.
—Thomas Schnorr, Re/Max Realty Group & Re/Max 1st Commercial

Our talented and eager employee-owners have developed and delivered cost-saving ideas, services and technologies to our customers, who have rewarded us with increased business.
—Don Waltzer, H&C Tool Supply Corp.

Delivering value to our customers by focusing on business results, not products and services. We bring together services, hardware and software, combining capabilities in data collection, workflow processes and advanced technologies in barcode scanning, printing, data collection and industrial automation. Gayle (DeRose) and I are consistently investing in the company with the best personnel, latest technology, infrastructure and marketing to support our growth.
—RAD DeRose, L-Tron Corp.

Our business is more about people than it is about wheels and steel. Our recent growth has been entirely internally generated, driven by the associates in the stores. They deliver a great guest experience and rely on repeat and referral business. In a relatively stable, low-growth market, it’s very difficult to increase market share without exceeding customer expectations.
—D. Todd Hoagey, Auction Direct USA

As a design innovator and solution provider and having spent a lot of time on our medium- and long-term vision and marketing strategy, we have found customers have reached out to us as they become aware of our full product and service offering. At IDS, we believe we have a product that our customers can relate to and use to enhance their own brand recognition and elevate the environmental graphic efficiency of their facilities.
—Katrina Beatty, ID Signsystems Inc.

Reputation.
—Mihai Vieru, LMT Computer Systems Inc

I have assembled a great team (started with my personal savings of $100,000), built great service and products: That helped us to build a brand and customers, then banks helped us (with loans) to grow our business.
—Sameer Penakalapati, Avani Technology Solutions Inc.

Increased adoption of new technologies such as cloud computing.
—David Wolf, Just Solutions Inc.

Working on the sales department, adding sales reps, developing a process for selling, getting television exposure.
—Eric Elwell, 2TouchPOS

Our SaaS (Software as a Service) cloud-hosted model provides the ability to scale our service up and down, ensuring we can be cost effective with any mix of services. We benefit from adding new customers and just as importantly through the growth of our existing customers. We continue to find the most efficient, fastest ways to solve business problems and enable our customers’ growth.
—Don Culeton, IDI Billing Solutions

An improving economy in the auto industry and helped by low interest rates and an aging average car on the U.S. roads.
—Richard Dorschel, The Dorschel Automotive Group

Having a laser-sharp focus on our goals and getting the entire company working toward the same goals have been key to our growth. We don’t chase shiny pennies. We set a strategic path for our company and we get everyone pulling in the same direction. This creates the traction needed for 10X growth.
—Sitima Fowler, Capstone Information Technologies Inc.

I think the seamless connection between our social mission of supporting brands that make the world a better place and our marketing, creative and business savvy. When your work has purpose, it has a power and energy that drives business opportunities.
—Sue Kochan, Brand Cool Marketing

Positive economy, great staff, added two additional salespeople. Tele Data Com is finally seeing the fruits of our labor after 30 years in business.
—Michael Grant, Tele Data Com Inc.

In 2012, MSM became an ESOP (employee stock ownership plan) company, which made every vested employee a part-owner in our business. Since then, we have experienced explosive growth, more than doubling revenue in the last three years. We believe that giving employees a direct financial stake in our company has helped foster that success, energizing each person to bring extra passion to serving our customers on a daily basis.
—Donna Shultz, Mirror Show Management

The continuing development of powerful systems and tools in the pharmaceutical industry has driven the need for training and rapid organizational change.
—Robert Cannan, Eagle Productivity Solutions

Everything starts with providing a great service. Growth came by getting referrals and positive feedback from our clients. Then we leveraged that in our marketing.
—Michael Fowler, Capstone Information Technologies Inc.

Even though we have experienced double-digit organic growth recently, by far the biggest driver of our growth is mergers with other outstanding CPA firms in our existing markets and beyond. Our industry is consolidating and firms in Upstate New York realize we are a great merger candidate for them. Combined, organic growth and mergers have enabled our firm to grow more than 20 percent per year for the last two years. In the Rochester area, however, we have grown almost solely through increasing our client base and providing clients with more services—beyond traditional audit and tax—to help them cope with business challenges and grow.
—Thomas Bonadio, The Bonadio Group

The trust and belief placed in us by our employees, vendors and customers. Business is about relationships and we have been blessed with great relationships!
—J. Daniel Ayer, Custom Courier Solutions Inc.

Organic growth within our current customer base.
—Dawn Smith, Pace Electronic Products

Good execution has driven growth in a shrinking market; we have taken over competitors who were unable to survive the changing market. Three of our largest competitors have exited the market and we able to acquire some key employees that have driven sales to new heights. The pie is essentially smaller, but our slice has steadily increased in size.
—Michael Donoghue, Premium Mortgage Corp.

We believe the biggest driver of growth has been the success of our repeat customers and their trust and faith in our abilities. This is a result of our employees and their dedication. Without a top staff, we would not be able to retain our great client base.
—Mark Costich, Costich Engineering, Land Surveying and Landscape Architecture P.C.

The economic rebound, which triggered companies’ and organizations’ willingness to grow and banks’ willingness to finance construction projects.
—Scott Hept, Accurate Acoustical Inc.

In response to the changing dynamics of IT technology and the industry, we have successfully moved to a far more consultative model and are now well positioned to serve the mid-market of 100 to 5,000 users.
—Michael Spoont, IV4 Inc.

1. Increased marketing and lead generation activities, and 2. the improved economy.
—James Campbell, Viewpoint Systems Inc.

The resurgence in popularity of pre-prohibition cocktails around the world.
—Joe Fee, Fee Brothers Inc.

The biggest driver in growth has been doing a quality job for our customers so they are comfortable referring us additional work. We also have a targeted marketing plan in place that has helped with our branding.
—Jason Pignagrande, Five Star Improvements Inc.

10/31/14 (c) 2014 Rochester Top 100 supplement. Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email rbj@rbj.net.

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