Stacey Limacher is the owner and director of sales and marketing K-12 education accounts at Fathom Media. Fathom Media is a full audio visual integrator that offers technology solutions for educational facilities, businesses, houses of worship and residential use. In addition to offering thousands of top brand products, they have a dedicated installation team, in-house designers and programmers as well as certified trainers for professional development.
As the director of the K-12 division, Limacher manages all K-12 education accounts, selling classroom technology solutions as well as auditoriums, conference rooms, media centers and digital signage solutions for campuses and district wide designs. Her goal is to partner with school administrators to develop a long-term technology strategy that coincides with their curriculum goals and allows for flexible growth.
(Photo courtesy of Stacey Limacher)
What has been the biggest challenge you have had in your business?
As a small business that started out of our home office, it has been a constant challenge determining the best way to grow the business without overshooting our ability to manage the growth internally. We wanted to take on bigger projects and win more bids, but we were limited by manpower to complete the work without hiring subcontractors on a temporary basis for each project.
What have you implemented to overcome that challenge?
The solution was ultimately a two part plan. Our business was primarily focused on K-12 accounts from the beginning. We knew that in order to grow, we needed to diversify and offer business solutions. So we made a decisive split in the company, with me taking on the education division and my husband attacking the business market. By creating a clear division between the two markets, we were able to create distinct solutions and marketing plans that drove more business. With more orders coming in, we needed to step out of our comfort zone and hire a full-time office manager, dedicated installers and technicians that we could train properly and develop as a team that would represent us in line with the high standards of business. Taking on full-time employees required a huge investment on our part, both financially and with our time. Suddenly, we were not only managing a busier project and installation schedule, but we were responsible for training other employees and maintaining their livelihood as well.
What are the results after you implemented your solution?
Because we made the investment in hiring and expanding our resources in-house, we have been able to take on more projects at once including bigger and more complex projects. Investing money back into the company in the form of employees and training has allowed us to expand even further over the last few years. Putting money into hiring in order to make money through sales was one of the greatest risks we took but in the end, the biggest payoff. We now have four distinct business markets that we sell into, and we are on the verge of opening our newly purchased company headquarters in Oswego, IL in 2016.
This article was written by Michelle Guilbeau of Examiner.com for CBS Small Business Pulse.