The Bridge between Business and IT - Timothy Mercer of IBOX Global - Eversprint

The Bridge between Business and IT – Timothy Mercer of IBOX Global

Timothy Mercer, Managing Director of IBOX Global

Timothy Mercer, the Managing Director of IBOX Global, grew his company’s revenue from $1 million in 2014 to $16 million in 2017, a 1,412% increase.  

IBOX Global provides technology consulting and managed solutions to government agencies and Fortune 500 companies.  

In this interview with Eversprint‘s Malcolm Lui, Timothy shares how he and his team accelerated their high value sales by:  

  • Creating and honing processes on small projects that can be scaled successfully for larger projects.  
  • Becoming a tursted advisor and partners with their clients, by providing them with a holistic view of their project and their clients business.  
  • Developing in-house and outside senior level consultants who are highly qualified with 10+ years of experience.  

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Malcolm Lui:
Welcome to the High Value Sales Show of Eversprint.com. I'm Malcolm Lui, the Managing Member of Eversprint, and today we're speaking with Timothy Mercer, the Managing Director of IBOX Global, a provider of technology consulting and managed solutions to government agencies and Fortune 500 companies. Welcome to the show Timothy.

Timothy Mercer:
Thank you.

Malcolm Lui:
Timothy, you grew your company's revenue from $1 million in 2014 to $16 million in 2017, a 1,412% increase. Before we talk about how you grew your company so fast, can you briefly share what your company does beyond my quick intro, and how your company differs from the competition?

Timothy Mercer:
Yes. Yes. So our company provides technology solutions, in particular project management and technology management to government agencies and of course, to Fortune 500 corporations. So our focus primarily is on I.T. products. We are reseller of various I.T. solutions such as Cisco and and Dale and many of the other popular I.T. solutions. But we also provide staff augmentation services as well to clients who are need to to augment their staff. When it comes to project management or even I.T. service management type of resources. So we've been very successful in the area and particularly in the government space. But we also have began to really start getting more involved in the corporate space with fortune for 1500 corporations as well. So we're really excited about being in that private space and helping those corporations meet their needs as well.

Malcolm Lui:
And how would you say you differ from your competitors out there?

Timothy Mercer:
Well, I think we differ from the perspective that no one. My background is I.T.. I mean, I came from an I.T. background. I've actually for several years have been an I.T. consultant. So the leadership of our company are actually consultants, individuals who have worked on projects, who have deployed some very large I.T. related systems for many high value clients, such as some of the largest Fortune 500 companies, AT&T and Ernst and Young and some of these large corporations. So we feel that that experience from a leadership perspective gives us a an advantage over us, over some of the other compound, other competitors, particularly competitors that our small business competitors, because they may not necessarily have that type of experience from a leadership perspective that hands on experience. So the individuals that we hire to work on on the various projects that we have or senior level resources, individuals who understands how to take a project from start to finish. And so we take that that consulting approach when we engage our clients and not only from the perspective of just buying certain products or services, are just basically putting individuals on the ground to do one particular aspect of a project. But we look at the project from a holistic point of view. And even though we may be focused on on on one particular section of the project, by taking that holistic point of view and having the expertise of deploying on projects from start to finish, we think that that has as giving us the edge over our competitors.

Malcolm Lui:
Right. Having the holistic view more than anything else.

Timothy Mercer:
That is correct.

Malcolm Lui:
All right. Got it. So you agree a company pretty rapidly, I'd say from a million in 2014 and then three years later you're at 16 million. What were the three biggest drivers of that growth?

Timothy Mercer:
Well, that that growth, in my opinion, really is like the snowball effect. One of the things that we focused on even from the very beginning is we focused on processes and having the right processes in place to to to ensure that our client that we're meeting our clients needs. And so when we first started out, our company started and actually 2008 and obviously, you know, doing those early years, that site would most businesses. It takes some time for a company to really ramp up and grow. And so during those times, we wanted to be able to lay a good foundation in terms of having the right processes in place, even when we were working on smaller contracts. We looked at those contracts as if they were large contracts and we implemented the right processes and procedures and put those in place. And we started focusing on identifying the type of senior level resources that could go out and help us fulfill those contracts. And so the reason why I say it was more of a snowball effect is because having that foundation in place and working some of the smaller contracts and working them just as if they were very large engagements at the wow, we started seeing the momentum pick up.

Timothy Mercer:
So in the year in the years when we hit 10 million mark and revenue and we started going from a million to two mean, it just started having a snowball effect. And and we believes as like what we call exponential growth. Right. I mean, once once those that foundation was in place, things really just started expanding from there. We we we we have good customers, good clients that we support. And we've been with those clients for a while where we work small contracts for them. And then by fulfilling and doing a great job on those contracts, those clients, then we became more of a trusted advisor to to our clients. And as a result of that, our clients began to trust us with larger contract engagements. And that's how we started seeing that growth really expand from it, from the million revenue mark to deport where we reached the 16 million mark and is constantly growing. Even today.

Malcolm Lui:
Ok, so you mentioned a few things here. Not sure why she lumped it in as this one driver or several. So you talk about improving the processes of treating your small contracts like big contracts. And then once you have these processes nailed down and enabled you to to take on larger projects and deliver and deliver and meet the needs of your clients. So would you say the drivers, this one, the processes or is there a second one? You mentioned becoming a trusted adviser?

Timothy Mercer:
Yeah, I think I think it's the process as one. I think the becoming their trusted advisor and really working with our existing client base and becoming a partner with the clients, with our clients and having a holistic view of what their mission and goals are. I thought I would say that that is true and I would say thoroughly it's our resources being able to have senior level resources, very high qualified resources that can go in, that could go in on these contract engagements and do multiple things, not just having a resource that just focus on one particular thing, but having resources that that serve as consultants to the client and able to then scale it with within with the client in multiple areas. I believe that is what has helped us to really grow because we are able. We were able then to go in and find more opportunities because of our broad skill sets.

Malcolm Lui:
Right. When you say senior level resources, are you talking about full time team members or you tie him up external resources that you bring into a project?

Timothy Mercer:
We're both we both. We do have staff and senior level resources. And when I saw sea level resources, I'm not talking about management, but just senior level consultants, individuals with 10 plus more years of experience. We have those individuals on staff, but we also have the capability of sourcing and bringing on additional resources for projects that assess those projects grow. But we have a pool of of of contracting resources as well with the same level of expertise and experience that we can tap into.

Malcolm Lui:
Ok. Got it. And then to become a trusted advisor and a partner with clients that you mentioned before kind of dovetailed in with having processes that delivered that work in a timely fashion and met or exceeded their expectations. Was there anything else you did to facilitate becoming a client's trusted adviser, becoming their partner?

Timothy Mercer:
Well, I think that one of the key things is from our perspective, going back to the holistic approach, even though we may be hired to do a particular job or particular effort, we try to understand again the holistic approach of all of our clients, whether they're or whether it's a federal government client or even a large commercial client. We try to understand a holistic approach because we understand that the work that we do in the end, it all impacts the bottom line of our clients. So enhanced understanding that holistic view, we're able to then identify various dependencies that our work may that meet that that our work that we're doing. Maybe a dependency on other things is going on within the organization or also there may be other dependencies outside of our scope that we would that we would need help in fulfilling our work. So in an understanding that, yes, we that's how we are able to then become like say more of a trusted advisor, because then we could advise our clients in a lot of other different areas, because as you know, now, technology at one point I.T. or information technology was really more of a complementary thing for most corporations or most organizations, whereas now information technology or I.T. is actually the driver of an organization. At this point, it's the one and probably the biggest driver in most organizations. Now, that really drives the bottom line of all the organizations that we work with.

Malcolm Lui:
Right. Got it. Now, how much of your growth from 1 million to 16 million came from new clients, totally new clients versus just doing more with your existing clients?

Timothy Mercer:
I would say that it's about I would say it's about a 60 40 split where that growth came, 60 percent of that growth came from our existing clients and 40 percent came from from new clients. Obviously, our focus is always to to really ensure that our existing client base is is well cared for. And so we do spend a lot of time, you know, working within our existing client base and in getting additional work from this and from the services that we are currently already providing. But then that other 40 percent actually comes from or even comes. Much of that have came from referrals of our existing clients, where our existing clients have gone out and told partner companies that they have or they know other agencies that they are familiar with. Tell them about the work that we do. And so a lot of our business does come from referrals. In fact, you know, I would say that roughly 80 percent of our business comes from referrals. Any new business that we do come come from. From a referral base.

Malcolm Lui:
Right. And your growth from a million to 60 million. How much of that was from the public sector and how much of that is from the private sector?

Timothy Mercer:
I would say 80. About 80 percent of it from the federal sector. The initial initial years of our of our company was primarily focused on the federal space. That's where we in which actually, you know, we you know, we kind of really got to learn how to deal with large organizations. As you know, the government is what many people will call the biggest customer or one of the largest buyers of products and services on the planet Earth. Right. The US government, they pretty much buy any of all types of products and services. So with us being able to to to get our experience working with large federal agencies, it gave us the insight and the capabilities that we needed to then start venturing over into the commercial space where we are starting engaging some of the larger commercial clients. So our growth primarily during that period of time, 80 percent of that came from the federal space. But what we're seeing now there as a result of that, that is giving us the experience and the capabilities now to to really venture over and to the commercial or the private space with some of the larger fortune. Five thousand for large of Fortune 500 Fortune 1000 corporations.

Malcolm Lui:
Right. How much of your business today is government vs. private sector?

Timothy Mercer:
Today is roughly pretty much the same. About 75, 75, 80 percent is in the federal space and we're still somewhere around 20 percent and the private space.

Malcolm Lui:
Right. And say five years now. How do you foresee that breakdown?

Timothy Mercer:
Well, five years from now, our goal is to is to kind of is to get more involved in the commercial space where we're starting to see some traction. We started to market more to larger corporations in sharing within the capabilities that we have. Obviously, the commercial space is a different it's a different it's different from the government. Those are two different verticals. And that's really the mindset in the marketing and marketing messages and your marketing plan. It has to be different because you know this just totally different. So we're now starting to put more resources in centred around the commercial space. And our goal is within the next five years is to close the gap on that where we're maybe 60, 40, 60 percent still being government and 40 being commercial. And again, that's because our expertise and our experience over the past several years have been in the federal space. And obviously, you know, we have relationships and that that we've created with various government agencies that we will obviously maintain. But we feel by now being able to now start putting resources towards that commercial space. And we do understand it would take time, but hopefully over the next five years we can close the gap on that.

Malcolm Lui:
So why not just be 100 percent focus on government contracts?

Timothy Mercer:
Well, again, even though the government is one, it is the largest buyer on the planet Earth. Yet still, we still want to have diversification. Right. Obviously, they're there challenges sometimes that that that goes on with the government, as we've seen before, with government shut downs and things of that nature. You have budgets. You have changes of of of administrations and things of that nature that can impact your your ability to win contracts or may slow down on certain things within the government space. We still want to have that diversification. We want to be able to have investigations. One, to know that we that we can still, still be successful and have our business to be success successful with having other lanes. So we just believe that having the government's space is one lane and having commercial as another lane is is probably the best way to grow a business. And if you look at large corporations today, you look at some of the bigger corporations, you look at some of the most successful larger corporations. That's what they do. They have they have a dedicated commercial. Entities are different departments and then they still support the government. So a large corporation today, even Amazon. And in some of these large Microsoft, in some of these large corporations, they still do sale to the government as well. So we try to take that same approach, even though we are small business and we are probably more likely to stay in that small business realm. But we feel that we can utilize some of the same strategies that a lot of large businesses is doing. And just maybe do it on a lower scale. But that. Yeah. Our focus is is trying to mimic what we see some of our larger mentoring type of companies or companies that we strive to be like. We want to we look at what they are doing and try to mimic some of the same things.

Malcolm Lui:
Right. Yeah, it makes sense. No. No point rediscovering the wheel, right. Would just

Timothy Mercer:
Absolutely.

Malcolm Lui:
Take what's working and execute it. Now, how many commercial planes you have today and how many do you think you need? Five years now to get to the 60 40 split.

Timothy Mercer:
Right. So today we support about five commercial clients. I think to get to where we need to be and I don't necessarily think that is not the number of clients. Right. That I think that we need. Meaning that I don't think to get to to that. That that rent ratio that we're talking about, I don't think we necessarily need to to scale up and say now we have 15 or 20 commercial clients. I think that even if we move the needle on that, a few maybe we go to seven to 10, I think is all about the quality of work and the and the the value of the volume of work that we do with those existing clients. That's where our focus is. Right. To be able to to to take the relationships that we currently have with those clients and see if we can scale within those organizations where we are because of many, because these are larger organizations. There are various departments and other areas that we haven't even tapped into yet that I think we can scale better than that would help actually help move the needle on the ratio. And of course, obviously from our marketing efforts where we're seeking out there and going after additional commercial clients as well, too. But I think also if the focus is on how do we grow the client base that we currently have.

Malcolm Lui:
Right. So just to keep the math easy. Say you're at 5:00 today and getting 10, 5 years from now will go a long ways toward hitting your targets. And having less dependency on the government and bring up the commercial side. What's your marketing plan to get these five additional clients? And you can't always depend on referrals or because referrals

Timothy Mercer:
Correct.

Malcolm Lui:
Come and go and you can't really control it. So well.

Timothy Mercer:
Yes. Whereas. That is right. Yeah, I mean, referrals. I mean, although I think referrals are one of the probably the best way, right. Is the obviously the sales cycle is longer. It takes time. Is this relationship building? So that takes time. But at the same time, too, I think that that is it. You are able to build a stronger customer base from that perspective. But in terms of other marketing ways, we're obviously we're doing the other grassroots marketing things. We we do obviously Web based marketing, our Internet based marketing, which which in terms of website marketing and just Internet, all your traditional things that go with Internet based marketing. We're also doing there. We have. We're looking at now. I'm doing a campaign, telemarketing campaign where we can obviously reach out to the primary stakeholders within the organizations, the sea level stakeholders. To be able to offer some of our services in our mindset is to is the not to come in and try to to, you know, gain all all type of work with clients, but actually do come in and start small. Right to to talk to them about some of their smaller initiatives where there may be some project management work or maybe just some small technology management type work that we can come in and do with the mindset of we if we can show you that we can do this work well and we show you that, that we can bring value add to to to that client, then we believe that over time that that work will increase. So. But to answer your questions. Yes. You know, referrals is one. But the grass root marketing methods such as Internet based marketing, telemarketing, calling campaigns, even we're actually looking at possibly doing some television and radio campaigns. And that's more so from a branding perspective, right? I think I think television and radio are things that that really just just solidifies your brand. But that's also important when we're doing marketing as well. To that, we kind of help solidify brand and keep our brand in the minds of of our clients.

Malcolm Lui:
Right, and it has especially important with the larger entities, both government and corporates and private sector like. Right. And they have a long buying process and might take a year, two years before they're ready to make a decision. So I took a look at your Web site before we did our interview and I didn't really see a huge amount of Web traffic coming to your site, nor did I see paid ads being run right now. But my business intelligence tools can give an accurate data. Is it the case where you're not doing a lot of SEO work in an organic traffic building work and not much paid ads? Or is there

Timothy Mercer:
Right.

Malcolm Lui:
Something else going on?

Timothy Mercer:
Yeah. And for now, we know that that is correct. That that is part of our strategy and plan going forward, and particularly as we approach the upcoming year. And one of the reasons being is, again, is that our government sector for us has been very beneficial in terms of because obviously with the government, we don't necessarily have to do a lot of that type of marketing with the government is more about understanding. They the there they are buying process for the various agencies that we work with. And basically following that that buying process. So there's not a lot of web marketing we'd have to do in that regard. Now, of course, with the commercial business that we have achieved in one over the past several years, a lot of that has been driven from the relationship that we have with some of our larger partner vendors such as Cisco and Dale, those vendors that we work very heavily with. So in that regard, we've been able to get business or on our track business through the relationships that we have with those vendors. So the plan going forward in terms of as we approach the fiscal year on 2020 is to implement some of those those those strategies, such as getting the website SEO improvements, paid ads and those type of things going. But you are correct at this point time, we haven't been actively doing those things. Yes. So that's really part of the future plans that we're looking to implement.

Malcolm Lui:
Right. I didn't much email marketing right now.

Timothy Mercer:
Not as much as we should. We've done, we have done. Email marketing through the relationships that we have with the Cisco, which is one of our main vendors. We do a lot of Cisco. We sell a lot of their products, services and solutions. And so through they have a partner portal on a partner program, would they assist in email marketing? And they have an outstanding marketing department that assists partners like us with those type of campaigns. So we've leveraged those they're their marketing campaigns. We've leveraged the marketing support that they've provided over the past couple of years. We've been leveraging that and that has been successful. But we haven't we haven't gone out and done those type of things. And either internally I've gone out and hired external marketing companies to do that for us yet. But then again, that is something that we're looking forward and planning to do as we go into the next fiscal year.

Malcolm Lui:
Right now, you talk about quite a few different things that you're thinking about doing on Internet marketing space. What he thinks the first thing you're gonna do first.

Timothy Mercer:
Well, I think the first thing is, is the refresh of our website. We are planning to just do a whole refresh of the Web site whole now. We I believe that your Web site is like your store front. And so if you have a store front in a neighborhood or in a community, obviously you want to know that that that store front should change from time to time. Right. So I honestly believe that on a yearly basis, we should refresh our site and just kind of give it a whole new rebranding. So. So one of the things we're looking into now and we're making part of the plan is to just to hold you to a whole new refresh of the site where we actually kind of do a whole new rebranding of the site, whole new fresh look and feel. And then also as a result of that, having putting together a whole new approach with regards to SEO marketing, as you mentioned before, some Google and advertise it as well as some additional email marketing campaigns around that. But the first initial thing is to to just do it at whole new refresh put aside so that we can then incorporate those marketing aspects into it, you know, after the fact.

Malcolm Lui:
Are you planning on doing this all in-house or will you bring in some outside partners to help

Timothy Mercer:
More

Malcolm Lui:
Help

Timothy Mercer:
Like

Malcolm Lui:
You

Timothy Mercer:
We

Malcolm Lui:
With?

Timothy Mercer:
Bring in outside parties. Yeah. Yeah. You know, we do have a small marketing team, but we also believe that, you know, with these type of projects, we feel I feel that it's more cost effective to to to have outside consultants. I have outside contractors come in to help with those types of engages, because obviously those are these type of projects and things that we know for now anyway. We don't necessarily do on a consistent basis to have someone, a full time person doing that type of work. But as we as we grow and as we see the need and we may decide to do that, but yeah, we use. We do use outside companies. We we also use a lot of ten ninety nine contractors. We we're very you know, we're big. We're starting to see now the value of sites like Up Works and many of those sites where they are a lot of very well qualified freelancers and contractors that that can help out with those type of engagements. It just depends on what the engagements are and how it and how sophisticated they need to be, which will help us to determine whether we need to hire a full time agency on a contract and agency or if we go out, just get individual contracting work.

Malcolm Lui:
Yeah, that's. I agree with you in terms of doing it in-house versus bringing someone on board, in some cases you have to bring it bring someone outside if what they're doing is constantly changing. For example, in the paid advertising space, I've talked to business owners who just say I could have never gotten Google ads, campaigns to give me a a a decent enough return on investment. And in my mind, the problem is that they're competing against other people who have outsourced it to an agency who live and breathe, pay per click ads 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Right. Whereas the business owner is focusing on how much time are they spending? A couple hours a week maximum. Right.

Timothy Mercer:
That's

Malcolm Lui:
Their

Timothy Mercer:
Right.

Malcolm Lui:
Campaigns.

Timothy Mercer:
That's right. That's right.

Malcolm Lui:
And it's hard to beat someone like that from a simple expertise and amount of time you have available to watch over everything.

Timothy Mercer:
Absolutely. Yeah. And I think from a small business perspective that we are small business owners, we have to know how to leverage other other resources. That's external resources like like other companies and agencies. Right. Because as a small business, very difficult to to just have a full time, full time staff to do some of those some of that type of work. Right. Because it offsets an expense, but it is an ongoing expense that can then kind of bleed into your revenue. So I think having being able to know how to identify partner companies that can help augment those type of oh, those have those aspects of your business who are very good at those things. Right. And then obviously you got to be able to discern how good they are, but they are good at those things. And finding companies that you can partner with that can can be an extension of your our internal staff. I think that's obviously a smart business moves to be able to do that.

Malcolm Lui:
Well, it's not too different for what you do with your current clients as well, right?

Timothy Mercer:
Absolutely.

Malcolm Lui:
So you brought up an interesting phrase here. Expense you. What's your take on marketing? In your mind, is it an expense or an investment?

Timothy Mercer:
I look at it as an investment, obviously marketing is something that you have to do. And again, there's this there's different aspects of marketing, right? I mean, you have marketing obviously that you that you want to do to to to generate and bring in new clients. And then there's the branding aspect, being able to constantly keep that brand out there in front of you, in front of your existing clients. But but either way is still a it is is an investment that you have to make in order to to continue to grow the business. Now, obviously, on your on your income statement is gonna be listed as an expense. Right. And but yet it still is an expense that hopefully would give you an all. And I think the key for a lot of small businesses like our like us is that we have to have things in place. We have to have processes and things in place to be able to help us to determine what that our eye is. One of the mistakes I think that most small businesses makes is that we will put money into marketing. And marketing can be very hard to to to assess and determine what that our eye is. So I think, first of all, you have to first figure out, first of all, how do I determined that my are what what things are in place. Help us to determine what that our eye is so that we can know what is what is being effective and what's not being a factor, because every marketing strategy is there's some market strategy more successful than others. And once you pinpoint that down as to what's more successful, then, then you just continue to hone in on that. And that's when you start putting more investment dollars behind behind that marketing strategy.

Malcolm Lui:
Yeah. Exactly. And that's what's nice about the digital marketing, right? It's much easier to track where leads are coming from. But one thing that's I think is always challenging is how you track the brand recognition that you get from marketing, whether be online or offline.

Timothy Mercer:
Yeah, I think brand recognition is is the most difficult thing to track, right? Because again, the branding match when you branding really doesn't necessarily always bring in new customers, right? Branding is there too, too. In my opinion, just to establish your presence in the marketplace. And that is difficult to to to determine because, you know, you may one of your existing clients may see your branding and they may call you up and say, hey, listen, you know, but they're not going to tell you. That's the reason why they calling you up, because they saw your brand and they just they

Malcolm Lui:
It

Timothy Mercer:
Just

Malcolm Lui:
May

Timothy Mercer:
Know.

Malcolm Lui:
Not

Timothy Mercer:
Right. So

Malcolm Lui:
It might not even know that

Timothy Mercer:
They

Malcolm Lui:
That's

Timothy Mercer:
May

Malcolm Lui:
Why

Timothy Mercer:
Not,

Malcolm Lui:
They called

Timothy Mercer:
You know.

Malcolm Lui:
You upright.

Timothy Mercer:
That's exactly right. Yeah. So I think but I think from a branding is is that spin with branding, in my opinion, is just a spin that you just had. You have to know that you should be doing is the spin that that. That you you allocate certain dollars behind it with not necessarily looking at it and saying one for one. This is my my. All right. But it may be something that you look at your overall return on investment as you assessing your return year after year, quarter after quarter. You look at it and you say, ask yourself. Am I. Am I meeting my are I goals? Is my revenue growing? And I think then you have to know that the branding aspect is as a part of that. But I do believe that if you don't do branding and if you're not seeing your our eye grow, then I do believe that you have to look at that and say that maybe that's maybe one of the reasons why MRI isn't growing is because I'm not putting the investment of some investment into branding.

Malcolm Lui:
Right. What's your take on how much a company in the private sector should spend, like what percentage of revenue do you think a company should be spending on their marketing?

Timothy Mercer:
Wow. You know, I think that's the more you know. I think it's a difficult question. It's probably more. I know there there's probably studies out there that people probably come up with studies and may have said maybe 25 percent or maybe, you know, 30 or less. I think, you know, I think each individual company has to decide on their own what where they feel that that value is. Me personally, you know, we look at it from the perspective that maybe you're looking at 20 percent, you know, maybe you have somewhere around 20 percent. For us as a small business. And I think that's I also think when you're looking at the different pools of of expenses or where you actually you where your expenditures are. You have to look at the map perspective and say, hey, look, you know, we're spending money, you know, staffing and resources. You kind of look at all those buckets and then you got to kind of decide where, where, where, you know, how you want to break up that that ratio. So, as you know, I think as was a very difficult thing to just to give us a company, US company, adjust our business owner, GSA, a technical and some you got books out that is read marketing books. They try to give you that technical number and say that that is the number. But I don't necessarily think that works. I think you have to look at it from your own perspective. You have to have your own discernment about where you feel that the dollars is giving you that. All right. I think you start out you may start out with the number that you may want to look at focusing on, but you have to evaluate that consistently in mapping, you know, every month or even every quarter. Oh, but you have to be a periodic review of it to determine if if if that number is working for you or not. And then you can determine if you need to scale up or if you need to back down.

Malcolm Lui:
Right. Exactly. So when you talk about marketing, what do you lump into marketing is that include your advertising and feed your sales team and feed your marketing team?

Timothy Mercer:
Yes, I would say yes. As Mark is advertising, obviously our hours, the staff of that that's working, that's helping put those things together. If you have a marketing like in our case, we have a marketing person, one of the individuals that kind of helps drive those those different campaigns. But it's that there is the spin that we make on executing the marketing strategy. A lot of marketing plan. But it's also the spin that the expenditure that's associated with putting together putting together the marketing strategy, that having the individual the resources they're putting, putting it together. And even though we break out like business development, we own our income statement and that and our bookkeeping, we break business development out from from marketing. But even business development is a form of marketing.

Malcolm Lui:
Yep.

Timothy Mercer:
That's either if if I have an individual that's that's just that's own salary that's paid to drive this development, or even if we have commissioned local we do have commissioner bull sales reps who are out who are out hunting down business for us as well, too. That's also a part of of that spin. And so I kind of look at it in both. Well, you know, all of that kind of lumped together, even though on our income statement is kind of broken out.

Malcolm Lui:
Right. I definitely concur with you about lumping all the things in together. Now, you talk early about telemarketing. Do you have a telemarketing process in place right now?

Timothy Mercer:
Not at this point time. That is, we've been vetting out and interviewing several different companies. One of the things is you probably know you probably work with a lot of companies that that that are on the INC. Five hundred or five thousand. That can become a part of it. But as a result of him becoming one of the 500 companies, we obviously we get a lot of of of solicitation from various companies that's in that space. So we've been interviewing many of those companies, trying to vet it out. It is a new process for us. So we're kind of taking the time to really vet out what what it means for us and really assess what how do we evaluate whether or not we're getting our eye on that because it's new. But I think it's an upside, I think is something that is needed because, again, a lot of that still is. Some good people would say that telemarketing is the old school way of doing things, but it has been around for years, even more so that longer than Internet based marketing. So it's still effective in some way. Otherwise companies would not still be doing it.

Malcolm Lui:
Yeah. Yeah.

Timothy Mercer:
But

Malcolm Lui:
And the

Timothy Mercer:
But

Malcolm Lui:
World's biggest companies are doing it.

Timothy Mercer:
In

Malcolm Lui:
So,

Timothy Mercer:
The world's biggest companies.

Malcolm Lui:
Yeah.

Timothy Mercer:
That's right. So. So we're vetting that out now. We're just making sure that we have a good understanding of of how we assess how what what we're getting assessing what kind of companies are going to be beneficial for us, assessing what our messaging will be, because we don't want to just be out there, you know, spamming companies and calling on companies for the sake of calling. And we don't want the companies that we that make we contract this work out to to be just doing that. We want to be it and know that A, that we are are actually reaching out to companies to offer them value add. And then we need to be at assesses, assess whether or not the the the partner company that we work with is doing the things that are getting us. All right. That we're looking for.

Malcolm Lui:
Yeah, and it's definitely some strategies behind it. You know, I'll be calling every single a five thousand fortune five thousand company out there. It's only there is a percentage of them that would be your best candidates. You really need to dial in on those guys and ignore everyone else.

Timothy Mercer:
Absolutely. And I think the messaging has to be has to be correct. I mean, I know as well as all of us being a father to come to, we get a lot of sales calls all the time where people have gone. And, you know, obviously they probably gone out and gotten the list of the five in five hundred five thousand companies and they basically just are calling on us. But one of the things that I've noticed that a lot of these companies call on us their messaging, is that even right. So and then all you know, all you've, you know, being as busy as I am, you know, I don't want to be, you know, just called upon by someone. And they are not really giving me telling me exactly what is it that you're looking for, you know, for with that call and you need to be at it quickly, do it within a matter of 45 seconds, because my attention span is very is very short in that regard because I've got a lot of things going on. So I think the messaging has to be right. And so if you're contracting that type of activity out to someone else, they have to understand that you got to be a hit that point very quickly and show or at least, Pete, that those C-level individuals interested enough where they feel that that that that go into the next step in having another call that they've made feel that they're going to get some value and it's going to help their bottom line.

Malcolm Lui:
Right. How specific does a cold color need to be for you to give them some time to hear their thoughts? Hear their pitch?

Timothy Mercer:
Well, I think they have to, first of all, be able to touch, hit, hit. You got to be able to peak my interest by hitting some of my my hot buttons right off some of my. You know, the things that I'm concerned with immediately calling me up or or even if we have telemarketers is calling FEMA up immediately calling me up and just mainly talking about what what you can offer me that I don't think that asked to pitch because emoting we live in a society where all the products and services that we offer pretty much the same. Right. I mean, you know, I mean, there's nothing new under the sun, right? I mean, you can pretty much Google an idea that you may have and I guarantee you somebody else is either doing it or they don't thought about. Right. So. So. So I think the key is, is someone being able you got to be able to touch figure out in this web. Market analysis needs to come in first before you pick up the phone call and call in this person. You've got to figure out what are their pain points. So when that kid you only got 60 seconds to be able to to to to to be able to, you know, pick someone's interest. And so knowing what my pain point is in speaking directly to that pain point within that 60 seconds is what I think would get my attention. And I think that's what would get any sea level person's attention is speaking to what my pain point may be and speak it to how you can impact my bottom line. But in doing that, you have to do some market analysis first to be able to kind of figure out what that pain point is. And I think that's where companies have to be good at doing in doing that business or marketing analysis.

Malcolm Lui:
Right. Got it. Three last questions for you. Timothy, first one. What message would you show on a billboard along the freeway? It's only going to be seen for six seconds or less.

Timothy Mercer:
Mm hmm. So the message, you know what to put on a billboard that

Malcolm Lui:
You know,

Timothy Mercer:
Were.

Malcolm Lui:
Forget. People are driving by at 60 miles per hour so

Timothy Mercer:
Right. Right.

Malcolm Lui:
That

Timothy Mercer:
Yeah.

Malcolm Lui:
They only have six seconds to see it.

Timothy Mercer:
Right. Oh. What would I say? I would probably say that your I.T. plan is broke. And because I'm trying to attract the attention of individuals who would want to. Who would want to. Who would want to gauge us for a flighty support. Right. And and I say that because. Overseas studies indicate that over 60 to 70 percent of I.T., most I.T. projects fail, right? Most companies will deploy I.T. products and solutions that they either don't use a year from now or a year after deploying them or that are that project never, ever fully gets deployed. And so when I say that. So if I say the messaging is that your I.T. plan is broke. What I'm trying to do is I'm trying to to to engage the stakeholders and figure out, well, OK. May. May, maybe he's right. Right. So it's a message to be something centered around that fact that that over 80 percent or nearly 80 percent of our I.T. projects fail. And what we've become good at or our focus is from a project slash technology management perspective is to close the gap for agencies, federal agencies and organizations is to close the gap on them for how you know, how they're you know, how well they do with their projects. One of our slogans is that we will, you know, is that we excel at execution. Right. This one about our slogans. And in that, that's still basically saying that, you know, our goal is to ensure that whatever project that any engagement or endeavor that you're doing, from our perspective, you know, we've put together the process procedures and we bring the expertise to ensure that those projects become successful where kids again, the statistic says that nearly 80 percent of our most I.T. projects either fail or are they? Basically, it gets thrown out a year, year later after deployment. And so we want to close a gap on that.

Malcolm Lui:
Right. Yeah, I remember one company, if you which one it was that they were taking so long to execute their project is a large computer server sort of project that that that that that the equipment day, Bob, was on the verge of becoming obsolete.

Timothy Mercer:
Absolutely.

Malcolm Lui:
Yes. It takes a long.

Timothy Mercer:
That that's his bag, right? Yeah, I've been on projects like that before. We've worked projects like that before where you're absolutely right. I mean, it took so long that the equipment goes into life or I've been on projects where the projects have gotten double deployed. Right. And so you have that. I from the I.T. perspective, the I.T. departments of the organization says, OK. It got deployed, but the business was never ready to receive it. So even though we got to deploy, the business was never ready to receive it or what, they didn't even have the idea of it being, you know, how what is going to do for them. And so the business owners or the end users never used the new solution. So a year later, the solution ends up getting thrown out.

Malcolm Lui:
Right.

Timothy Mercer:
And you see that a lot with various project engagements. And so one of the things that we've done is we've started honing in on that for the I.T. service delivery perspective. While we you know, we there's a you know, we one of the service that we offer is called I.T. service to service delivery, which is a component of TSM, which is actually service manager. But. But, you know, basically is the component of how do we bridge the gap between the technology side of the business or and even the I.T. departments and the business side that the individuals, the end users are going to be using that solution. Bridging that gap to ensure that when an I.T. solution is deployed, the end users, the business folks that are using that solution are ready to receive it. They welcome being able to receive it and they understand how it's going to impact their. The apps that they're there day to day operations so that they are comfortable with receiving it and and they understand the value of it. And so our services that we offer comes in to help bridge that gap. And so that that that they're successful in the end, so that that span that the organization has made on that solution does not go in vain.

Malcolm Lui:
Right. Makes sense. So when you come across a new client and they've got these broken projects or projects on the verge of becoming failures and in bust, they completely. Do you salvage them and fix them? Or do you just introduce a totally new solution?

Timothy Mercer:
Well, it all depends on the. It all depends on what direction the client wants to go in. And it all depends on where you're from from assessing that situation in. In an agreement with the client as to what direction we need to go, in some cases we may need to throw it out. We may need to throw the old solution out and start from scratch. I mean, we've. There was a project that we worked with, a federal project. We worked on where that was just a case where we were brought into to. It was a software solution that they had put in. It was a mike solution that was kind of old and antiquated. And they wanted us initially to come in and fix that solution. But as we began to dive deep into it, we realized that, hey, you know, for what you guys are wanting to do, you need more of an enterprise. Great solution, because at the scoping it out and understanding their requirements, we began to realize that the what the solution that they needed was something that was more enterprise level because of all the different I mean, there were like four or five different work streams that they needed to tie end and to utilize that solution. So we recommended a more of a robust enterprise gray solution. The cost obviously did increase. But but when they saw the value of what the solution would do in terms of of giving them a better I, they made a decision that that was the right way to go. So it just all depends on on own from the assessments that's being done and working with the client to understand what again, what their overall goal is and not just from a year from now, but what the overall goal is five years from now and then showing a roadmap, how to get there and then putting that roadmap and plan together. And then they kind of help us. We kind of help them determine what direction to go in.

Malcolm Lui:
Right to last questions for you. Who are your ideal clients and what's the best way for them to contact your company?

Timothy Mercer:
Yes. So our ideal client, obviously is federal agencies, we would do a lot of work with federal agencies and again, we in again, you know, that's the government again is one of the biggest customers out there. But more importantly, we there's there's there's a lot of excitement for us to win working with federal agencies. You know, being ex military, I'm actually myself and being that we are a veteran owned company as well to. We are. You know, it gives us priding, knowing that we are helping out in particularly with us. We do we do a lot of work with DSD is gives us a lot of value in knowing that we're helping our military men and women be able to successfully accomplish their mission. So so there's a great pride and value in doing that. So obviously, you know, in that regard, you know, if the military, a federal agencies that support the military, those those agencies that we really like doing a lot like doing work with, we also, too, like to work with some of the, you know, your Fortune 1000 and Fortune 500 corporations as well, though we feel that those companies in particular, we do we've done a lot of work in the past with telecommunication companies and we do a lot of work with financial organizations. So. So a lot of our capabilities is focused around telecommunications and finance. We do have work, do a lot of work in that space. And so know helping them with their staff augmentation needs, helping them with putting together becoming more efficient. And in that regards, obviously we feel value in that because in the end, that not only helps the impact their bottom line, but it also helps us to be able to to provide the larger customers in general, customers who who these agency of these organizations sail to. It helps them to be able to to to have better products and services. So we feel that some from that perspective, we are having a greater impact on society as a whole.

Malcolm Lui:
Right. And what's the best way for the federal side and the Fortune 1000 side to contact your team?

Timothy Mercer:
Death. The best way, obviously, is to go to our Web site. All of our contact information is on our Web site. W w w that I box g. That's I is in India. B as a boy. Always an Oscar. X is an x ray. G is and George dot com for one. That's the best way because a lot of information is readily available on our website. And of course as I said, we were doing a refresh of our Web site. So there's gonna be a lot of new content that will be there that that gives them a greater understanding of what we can offer. There will be you know, we're gonna be doing is part of that rebranding. We're gonna be putting case studies out of things that we've done. So going there, getting, you know, you're able to get more information about who we are and what we do. And then our contact information is located on that website as well. So again, the website address is W W W that I box G. Dot com.

Malcolm Lui:
Timothy, it's been awesome having you on my show today. I really enjoyed hearing how you grew your company so fast.

Timothy Mercer:
Thank you so much. It's been a pleasure as well.

Malcolm Lui:
We've been speaking with Timothy Mercer, the Managing Director of IBOX Global, about his company's rapid growth. For interviews with other fast growing, high value sales companies, or to learn how we can accelerate your firm's high value sales through automation, visit Eversprint.com.

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