Spurgeon Robinson, the President and CEO of MPACT Strategic Consulting, grew his company’s revenue from $613,000 in 2014 to $3m in 2017, a 389% increase, and to $8m in 2018.
MPACT Strategic Consulting is a business advisory and consulting company that delivers solutions that empower clients to achieve measurable and significant performance growth.
In this interview with Eversprint‘s Malcolm Lui, Spurgeon shares how he and his team accelerated their high value sales by:
- Building strong relationships with clients and prospects.
- Providing best practice quality of work.
- Partnering with companies where they can provide complementary services.
- Diversifying into new verticals that leverages the competencies the developed.
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 Spurgeon Robinson, the President and CEO of MPACT Strategic Consulting, a business advisory and consulting company that delivers solutions that empower clients to achieve measurable and significant performance growth. Welcome to the call Spurgeon.
Spurgeon Robinson: Great. Thank you Malcolm. Thanks for having me.
Malcolm Lui: Spurgeon, you grew your company's revenue from $613,000 in 2014 to $3 million in 2017, a 389% increase, and in 2018 you hit about $8 million. But before I ask you how you grew your sales so fast. can you briefly share what your company does beyond my quick intro and how your company differs from the competition?
What MPACT does, and how they differ from the competition
Spurgeon Robinson: Yes. MPACT Strategic Consulting. Operates in what I consider a very niche market. Our primary service line is emergency management and disaster recovery. What we do there is we assist federal state and local entities to recover respond to and recover from natural disasters large scale natural to that. Those include hurricanes tornadoes wildfires etc. So we have to have now a national presence but also local capabilities to assist these agencies to recover from these types of devastation that hit our economy on US and other territories as well. With that we develop unique service and capabilities to manage federal grant bonds to enable not only homeowners but also miss spouses to repair public infrastructure and improve it for long term resiliency and recovery. So that's the model that we operate on helping assisting these local federal and state entities to direct resources so that they maximize the resiliency and recovery efforts from these massive storms. Secondly we also have a service line that also focus on compliance and monitoring Labor compliance to also structural compliance and meaning that we'd look at ways in which we help those who are rebuilding our need compliant assistance and making sure that the quality control metrics are there making sure that people clean people proper wages could be a prevailing wage increases or Davis Bacon related activities to make sure there is also integrity of products and supplies that are being used on either construction projects or infrastructure type acts as well.
Spurgeon Robinson: So with that oversight and capability we've developed the unique niches on how to help agencies but also private sector entities deal with Labor compliance minority and women owned business compliance and goal setting policies around that as well that's been some of the things that we have a unique in as well. And finally we move into transportation mobility and transportation mobility we're helping entities help design innovative solutions or implement their solutions for helping people move through these large urban areas. And so it's a kind of new and innovative stretch for us but with recent clients we're helping them with their strategies and their implementation plans around how to make mobility and transportation in these mobile or in these major hubs such You say possible
Malcolm Lui: He shares some details on the size of the government agencies and the size of the private sector companies that you work with
Spurgeon Robinson: Yes we're important we work with some of the largest state and local governments of course to work with the federal government but also large cities such as New York City New York state state of Texas and also small amounts parties such as Baton Rouge to New Orleans or San Marcos Texas which are small local industries entities that have less than 100000 population. So because disasters can range and hit and impact any coastal region or therefore any large or small city we have the ability to be able to flexible to support their needs as well in the private sector we're partnering with team work with large entities such as tech start but also other private or rather private industry such as a com. We're partner with Tetra Tech and also entities as large as do bury so both who have a national presence as well. So we teamed up with a number of different large corporate and global partners to actually provide and perform our services with
Malcolm Lui: Cool very cool. Now when you say you help agencies with disaster. You help them proactively. You have to be prepared for them. Are you coming in after the fact
How they help agencies with disasters
Spurgeon Robinson: Yeah. So we're actually what we call full scale in and whole disaster recovery model so everything from planning which is a start of it and preparedness which is prior to any incident happening always to what we call our response recovery and resiliency. So the whole fast it up SAS recovery we actually are able to provide to our client. So helping them identify and plan and prepare for disaster all the way through to recovery and response and recovery and resiliency basis of it which is being able to help pull things and build things back together pretty quickly get connected continuity of business operations to actually be unveiled to all the way through to recovery and resiliency so that when these assets do happen again they have a much smaller impact to the community.
Malcolm Lui: Now how would you say your consulting practice differs in your competitors out there who are trying to offer the same things to the private companies and to the government agencies.
Spurgeon Robinson: So what's been a small company which I think is benefit we're flexible but most importantly we hire people that have specific grant management we call it experience know where they've done this for multiple years our team averages about 15 years experience and actually helping entities state and local entities recover from these large scale disasters as well as preparing for them and doing the planning necessary. So we have a group practices that really specialize on our focus on how do we plan and I'll respond to disasters better faster and more efficiently so that we're serving the impacted survivors more efficiently and making sure that they get back into their homes quickly or business is up and operational. And I think that's one things that we have been able to define and niche around being small number and flexible some a larger company. This is only a small portion of what they do. In fact some of our partners like a car more apt to more tapped to take you know they have larger engineering footprint and a portion of that is disaster recovery firm. A major portion of our business is disaster recovery measure response so that's one thing that our clients value is that we are very tailored toward their needs.
Malcolm Lui: Right now can you share some details about how you are to grow your business from 600000 or so in 2014 to 8 million in 2018
Spurgeon Robinson: A lot of hard work now I think the most important aspect of it is relationships and what comes from those fallacious relationships and the quality of our work. Right. So we built a reputation that has been based on the value we provide an apology. But with that we develop partnerships with larger entities so we grow when they grow as well. So both those strategies of not only have and capabilities and competence and ability to bring along resources at the right time that help us to fulfill that grow. Those are things that are there for us but all starts with making sure that we have quality work so that we are recommended to other states and other entities to other clients and we get the opportunity to actually win their work and win their trust and then win their value. And by partnering as well with a number of different entities that we do and so we talked to a lot of other our colleagues in this energy space. They have a trusted bond that they believe provides specific value that we do with our niche operation our capabilities to allow them to expand and grow their customer base with the same sense brings us along with them. And quite honestly to I'll tell you the last especially couple of years we've had four major storms that hit the US and with the focus of our business our business model that is also attributed to a large part of the growth we've seen because we have unprecedented storms that hit us in 2017 from Puerto Rico Florida Louisiana and Texas all of those have been unfortunately part of our growth. But also strategically part pucker up as well.
Malcolm Lui: Right. On the flip side as I mean if you go through a decade of of not too many storms coming through that it's going to pinch your business.
Spurgeon Robinson: So it'll have some impact because a large percentage of what we do. But that's also the gift of us also being expanding our service line our diversity of our service lines. So from emergency management disaster recovery we grew into compliance and monitoring and compliance and monitoring. We grew in transportation mobility. So we are also building a pipeline now that has multiple revenue streams so that we're not so dependent on money to match that recovery. Having said that I think as we can starting to see our population grow we are seeing larger scale stores for example. Think by The even historic California wildfires this year these things are becoming larger more historic impact and people that are moving now into what would have previously been rural areas. Now they're housing and homes and infrastructure there now. And so we're going to see a consistent I think need for all types of services emergent mass disaster recovery. But with that we're also diversifying ourselves because of some of the expertise we're gaining through this recovery effort to move into other work core services that we think are also beneficial to growing our business and sustaining our business model as well.
Malcolm Lui: So let me recap the drivers of growth that you mentioned. Any one relationships to quality of work. Three partnerships and four which are not entirely in your control. Four major storms hitting the US which gave you opportunities. Is that about right
Spurgeon Robinson: Yeah that's pretty much accurate assessment about what has been spewed out Brooke going to this point.
Malcolm Lui: Okay. Can we dive a little bit deeper into each one can you share a bit more about how relationships drove your growth how you develop the relate of relationships as well
How relationships drove their business
Spurgeon Robinson: So as any good entrepreneur I believe that relationship is valuable actually things baby your personal life as well. And by relationship what we mean is getting to know your customers understanding and listening to what are their primary concerns looking at and identifying best practices from your competitors but also your partners as well. And with those relationships you develop a trust among either your clients or potential clients that this is somebody that not only understands my business but cares about my business I think that's very important that the sense that as a small farm is very important for us to really have a produce station of value that our clients are looking to obtain and the compassion that goes with it as well. When you really want to live product you have to almost somehow personalize it that I want to make sure this is the highest quality product that someone would receive because of the fact of what I'm putting into it. So in some ways you personalize every experience because the relationships that you're building. And so that's how we kind of pull things together and all our team like those values around hey we want to make sure that we're doing the best thing because not only do we respect our clients we get to know them and we appreciate what they're trying to accomplish. And so those relationships reports from there will also take us there as they grow and grow into different experiences and different different opportunities. They'll remember us as well.
Malcolm Lui: Now for the relationships that you're developing are you targeting particular people it to develop those relationships either ask prospective clients or perhaps as strategic partners you can refer your clients are those the relationships you're focused on voting proactively
Spurgeon Robinson: Right. We have. We do that. So we focus on who would be our prospective clients of course and obviously but also at this thought that you never know who could be a future client or need you in a different space. We could be talking to someone totally in the heavy civil construction arena that one day may need us or compliance up that we hadn't thought about before. So some of it is just building and a depth of just relationships that you have that eventually something may come across where they may remember you or you may have a point at which you can provide a service to them as well. So they're both strategic both with our partners to help them with their relationship that they have with their client as well as the fact that we just think it's good business to be good friendly people
Malcolm Lui: Right now. How do you go about initiating contact with prospective clients or prospective partners. Are you searching through land and finding people that meet your criteria. Are you going to trade shows.
Spurgeon Robinson: We do a lot
Malcolm Lui: You know what the
Spurgeon Robinson: Do conventions or do exhibiting at different conferences that are relevant to our industry. There is also we are a minority owned business as well. And we also particularly in New York market have found it fascinating that The New York market develops a lot of opportunities for us to provide services or exhibit our serves the conferences that are dedicated toward FWB development. And so a lot of our contacts are made through those networks and channels as well. So I would say primarily the bishops that develop the initial meet and greets are exhibiting at these conferences extensions and then through word of mouth from others that have met us they would like to also introduce us to their clients or we somehow make sure that we have a business development specialist on team too. And our goal is also to meet and identify and interact with potential new clients as well
Malcolm Lui: Right. OK very cool. Do you ever do a cold outreach to people
Spurgeon Robinson: Rarely you know rarely do we do that. That's not something that we've invested into. Like going through like say you mentioned LinkedIn or through other services and just cold calling for say or just reaching out. We are pretty much because our size very strategic about who we want to involve. We will do that in our local markets that we serve though. So in New York City in Houston Texas where we're based there's a little more reaching out to people who may not have known but we know that in our region easier to access. Have lunch with go visit with because they're in the local market. But I would say most of to pretty much warmly
Malcolm Lui: Right. Okay great. For their second driver quality of work can you share a little bit of how you define quality of work.
Spurgeon Robinson: Right. That's very important and
Malcolm Lui: S
Spurgeon Robinson: Quality of work and me a lot of things a lot of different people for us what it means
Malcolm Lui: S
Spurgeon Robinson: Is that
Malcolm Lui: S s
What quality of work means to them
Spurgeon Robinson: We're providing value added solutions that can be implemented things beyond graphs and charts to tell a story we want to be able to in a sense once they produce a story. So we want to make sure things are moving in that direction to a solution that's sustainable or at best practice. So we do less of making things pretty and powerful or we do more hands on a. This is how this needs to function and work. And this is the metrics that also demonstrate accomplishments. Finish line and get you to what we call close out whether that project or activity may be. So the quality of work is making sure we're accurate. Making sure that we are timely that we have thought about consequences of different strategies that we will approach. So we have a good grade recommendation basis and that we then the day either answering the question or what we call completing the job. So those are things we look at is high quality making sure that the work the perform achieves a measurable result that we get to in a very efficient manner and that just making things look quote unquote pretty on paper it's about hey get this. Actually get why I need to get accomplished.
Malcolm Lui: Right to understand that number three on your list of drivers partnerships which I assume is kind of a little bit related to relationships as well. He died a little bit deeper about how how partnerships drove your growth.
Spurgeon Robinson: Yeah. Partnerships are important because of the fact that as a small business there are love opportunities that are larger scale than we can actually lead or have the band with to reach geographically on. So it's important our partners that we work with that and trust us for not only our value but also see us as a credible resource to help them win business. So our partnership strategy is to identify those that either have a geographic presence or a relationship that they've acquired and believe and then make sure that as we team with them and partner on them with projects or solutions that we're adding value to their competition that composition that team as well. We're not duplicative. We're not trying to get as away from them. We don't try to post our clients etc.. We try to work in a team environment where we're trying to steal accomplish one thing the right solution for our client calls for our client in a high quality fashion. So that's why our partnership stride develops and we're wide open to those that we think have the same values we have. That's very important because you're Ron Cross lab partners he realized that I had the same values and those are the ones we don't want to do business with those that we've had long valued relationships that have been very important to our firm's growth.
Malcolm Lui: So that you proactively seek out these partnerships.
Spurgeon Robinson: We do and someone actually tried to seek out us from the hearing by us through our network and our capabilities. But yes we proactively identify those that we think have a great reputation in the business line the services that we're working in and some reach out to us or recommend to us by our clients or our clients recommend us to them. Those are things I think are more reflective of how well we've been viewed in the industry and our value and that other partners and meantime our sources to people they're trying to get us on board with their team as well. And.
Malcolm Lui: Right okay. And then the fourth driver one it was a mate and being fortunate to have a number of storms hit the US that you could help provide services to. But at the same time you also talked about diversifying into other related services. Can you share some some thoughts on how you determine what are the areas that you should diversify into.
How they diversify
Spurgeon Robinson: Yes so they would learn to manage disaster recovery being such a large volume of what we do is just as important to identify what other core competencies we develop by doing these types activities. So the interesting thing about disasters that they impact every facet of our daily lives as citizens as well as professionals. So whether it's our work whether the infrastructure that we are using bridges roads dams highways pipes etc. water treatment facilities to housing etc. So it impacts at some level all are different basic needs for us to want to or need to recover. So with that we build competence around construction construction management oversight around infrastructure design cost estimating inspections. We build housing in case management outreach services as well that are important to make sure that we are communicating with them. The survivors are impacted families and system. So with that we've developed some core comms around compliance understanding federal regulations understanding how to comply with what documentation is important how to make sure that the quality of work is specified per the program design. So those things that we develop so how do we then transition that to private sector where are need to rebuild in certain areas and they have other requirements on top of that to be MWP participation would be local hiring could be Section 3 contracting could be developing a strategy around there in WB participation. So with that we've also been able to develop those types of core competency competencies as we launch into emerging markets disaster recovery. And then from there we talked about the infrastructure. So you dealt with vertical and horizontal infrastructure time New York City subways to other types of transportation mobility solutions. So have you now be able to buy what you've learned in compliance and monitoring to help enable faster swifter resiliency efforts around you know subway transportation worker aviation industry and making sure that they have continuity of business operate operations in line with the major event that may happen. So these are our core these core competencies rolled into these other service lines that we're actually actively pursuing to happen or enough to engage in as well
Malcolm Lui: Right. And you're looking at service lines where interruption of service whether it be from an environmental issue or some other issue is impacting businesses and individuals across different dimensions. Right. Just like for example if a system goes down that's a major
Spurgeon Robinson: As
Malcolm Lui: Problem.
Spurgeon Robinson: A major problem or if an airport is and power goes out or if a private entity like that will work with the Texas bullet train what has an emerging situation onboard a high speed rail that's going to turn 10 miles an hour. Those kind of things. So that's a private opportunity right. So we also look at the private sector and helping them design solutions that could be American Airlines trying to determine what happens if one of terminals goes down. What kind of response they need to have there what kind of security methods they mean may need be in place. So we look at all these different things. As you know may may have started from us being comping down to say emergency medical response or recovery to how we apply not only from the barrel of space but also to private sector
Malcolm Lui: Right now I'm let me help a bit. So for 2018 you you your company generate eight million dollars a business. What what are your targets and plans for 2019.
Targets and plans for 2019
Spurgeon Robinson: So we would like to hit like everyone think of 18 as being a leap year but some way. But we'd like to grow to at least be another 10. About 10 million dollar company. So we still want to have sustainable good growth both for the fact that I think we have to be smart about it. One is that you don't want your revenue to get so far in front of your back and infrastructure that you become so misaligned or you can waste for you are your quality material. So we're very mindful of balancing how fast we grow with the infrastructure need and the resources that we need to enable this growth in fuel power. Our focus is still going to be growing in our other service line. We think we will continue to do more work in emerging markets with vast recovery. But we also believe that there is also opportunity for growth with a lot of building that's going on and infrastructure building is going on both across the country. So lots of focus and compliance monitoring capabilities are oversight quality commands and capabilities as well. And then Transportation Mobility as we spoke about is a very important sector and we believe that now more states and local entities are looking at transportation as a factor in their growth and managing their growth and traffic patterns accessibility to those different things and then for them to build smart cities as well as hubs within their inner cities now where people can walk and play at the same within the same four or five mile radius.
Spurgeon Robinson: So we look into things like that and they will enable solutions to help us define how we grow. And last but not least we are a federal or a small business. A lot of our growth has not been through our or a tool but we're investing heavily in that this year as well. We think that's going to help us achieve some unique benefits as well by focusing on we're into year two of our fil A doesn't make it all we're really at the point where we're going to launch an effort to help used as a contract and be a go and opportunity to be a plus to grow as well
Malcolm Lui: Now for the federal A I'm not familiar with that program. This has been a problem where it makes it easier for the government to engage your company's services.
Spurgeon Robinson: Yes it does. That's great for small businesses and it's a decimate program and you only have nine years and the program allows the agency to set aside specific contracts for a classified venders to do work where they can directly contract with the federal government we can also use that without partners and very large partners as well. As long as we perform a certain percentage of the work so and that enables us to grow enables the federal government to provide resources to us to get contracting opportunities. So that is a very unique program that's been going be very beneficial abuse properly and that's what we're looking at to help us fuel our growth this year.
Malcolm Lui: So for the other areas of growth you're talking about you know of course you can do more emergency disaster recovery management items going in to municipalities and governments on the Transportation Mobility side. Now I take it this is OK this will all be new business for you as opposed to more business from your existing clients. Right.
Spurgeon Robinson: We anticipate 50 percent our growth will be through new business
Malcolm Lui: Ok. What's your plan for finding a new business
Spurgeon Robinson: So we're looking at a couple of things we're believing that the best thing or looking into a couple of different CRM solution one but also a marketing vendor to that will enable us to get data and information on not only the federal contracting side but some of the private sector side. Those are the things that we're looking at as far as tools that we would be able to implement this year and considering implement and to enable us to be more efficient but also track and gauged all the of the types of opportunities out there for that fit our needs
Malcolm Lui: Right. So once you have your database of key people to contact at the federal side and ask in the private sector side what will your team do with all that information. How would they do the outreach and then make the connections and win the deals.
Spurgeon Robinson: Well our whole team figured it out for me. But part of the role I ask you questions as father role will be to help vet that out and then you know a combination of two things. It'll be relationship driven to find out who we know that may be at these different entities already you you partner or other relationships we may have in-house. And we found and also be successful once again it's more of a warm lead. And then also be I think some cold call and based on our capability statements that we develop to be able to solicit introduction to people we may not know yet that say hey this is something we do that we think is a niche something that you may need a service line you may need that our company is pretty proficient and so I think it will be a combination of both.
Malcolm Lui: Right. Will you be doing all this in-house that you can outsource the initial outreach
Spurgeon Robinson: There's going to be most of in-house but there is a component for example offer a marketing net. So some of that would be outreach for me outsource as you say because of the systems and tools that are available from external resources but also some people that are very proficient in the space that sometimes are smarter to outsource that capacity.
Malcolm Lui: Right. Now in terms of your the the risk that you see in your business or in your industry what the trends you see that are occurring that could either be to your comp benefit or perhaps be to your detriment. And you want to get out the way those trends
Trends he sees
Spurgeon Robinson: So we operate a lot with federal state local government so changes and regulations always can be an impact to our business and our lives will be very cognizant of what impacts any changes in the federal law state local laws may have to our services and our offerings and the importance of those things. Those are some of risk. We primarily look at we also look at the fact of a market that is has a very low employment unemployment rate right. And so capturing new resources to help us fuel growth so we win the business right. We have that people that can actually perform on a job get trained in our environment. And so we're bringing in a lot of new people to they have to get integrate into our culture and how we do things. So you know our risk is growing too fast. Where people are not properly trained before they set foot out into the field. But we're getting our hands around that too we think that again smart to do that. But there is a potential risk of us is just availability of resources out there and type of resource for what we do and competition for those resources as well. Those are things are risky for us. And last but not least I think another risk I always look at is the most important thing is our reputation. And so we have to be consistent with that across all the different geographies or in where we have remote employees that have to be integrate into our culture. How you maintain that would have a number of different people spread across the country.
Malcolm Lui: Right. Three last questions for you. First question. What's the one line the one sentence that best described impact consulting
Spurgeon Robinson: Impact is focused on making you the greatest entity and provider in the country. And we do that by partnering with you to offer solutions that are valuable to your clients customers
Malcolm Lui: Right. And asking in question number two and number three. Who are your ideal clients and what's the best way for them to contact you and your company.
Spurgeon Robinson: Ideal clients are those who value solutions that are pragmatic and innovative that actually delivers a result that you can measure. Those are the appliance and I'm Father hope. Last question.
Malcolm Lui: What's the best way for them
Spurgeon Robinson: What
Malcolm Lui: To reach you
Spurgeon Robinson: O
Malcolm Lui: And your team.
Spurgeon Robinson: W w w that impact dash consulting by car. But you know I don't put NCT that consulting that car. That's the best way for them reach us find us engage with us and hopefully you know extra peers and partners we think have a great reputation and we try to maintain that
Malcolm Lui: Fantastic. Thanks so much for joining us this virgin and sharing how you accelerate your company's high value sales
Spurgeon Robinson: Green. Thank you very much. Oh.
Malcolm Lui: We've been speaking with Virgin Robinson the president and CEO of MPACT Strategic consulting 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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