04 Dec Celebrating Growth at the Inc 5000 Gala
We are celebrating Revenue Rocket’s 3 year growth with our earned place on the 2023 Inc 5000 list of America’s Fastest Growing Companies. We couldn’t have done this with out our incredible clients, team and industry we serve. Our leadership team had the opportunity to attend the Inc 5000 Gala this year and in this episode, we’re sharing a little bit about that and the importance of solid, sustainable growth.
Over 400 of the 5000 companies on the 2023 list are IT Services companies!
Learn more about our inclusion on the Inc 5000 list here >>
See Revenue Rocket’s profile on Inc 5000 here >>
Mike Harvath 00:04
Welcome to This week’s Shoot the Moon podcast broadcasting live in direct from Revenue Rocket world headquarters in Bloomington, Minnesota. For those of you that tune in from time to time or even more regularly, because you know, revenue rockin is the premier growth strategy and M&A advisor to IT services companies worldwide. So, with me today are my partners, Matt Lockhart and Ryan Burnett. Welcome, guys.
Matt Lockhart 00:34
Hey, good to be here. Good to be good to be back. I was out, you know, last week, so, you know, ready and and the bucket is full. Ryan, what’s going on?
Ryan Barnett 00:48
Yeah, yeah, we are all gone. And that’s actually what we would like to talk about here a bit. Today was a, we had the privilege of going to the Inc 5000 fastest growing companies in America, their celebration gala and conference. And it’s something where rarely do we kind of take a step back and celebrate and look at the accomplishments. But I think we learned so much that week and met so many interesting people that we wanted to talk a little bit about some of the themes that we saw today. So love to start out. Hey, Mike, what is the Inc 5000? list? And why was that something that when you considered applying for it? What’s a little bit about the process? And what’s it look like? And why should a firm consider being on the list?
Mike Harvath 01:40
Yeah, for sure, Ryan. So you know, Inc 5000. Is, represents the top half a 1% of the fastest growing companies, private companies in America. We’re privileged to have been on the list twice. This was our second time. And I’m very proud of that accomplishment. Well, essentially, it’s measured based on your trailing three years growth rate. So you measure not just one year’s growth, right, but three years of growth, right? So it’s implied that you have to have a little bit of sustained growth in there to be able to make the list. And, you know, we were fortunate enough to make it again, for the class of 2023.
Ryan Barnett 02:29
I’ll note here, the people that are on this list, it’s it’s not necessarily industry specific, but they do break it down by industries. As you get to a company growth rate. It’s typically at least over 100%, three year growth rate. So you see some of those, it is really, truly fast growing companies. You’ve got some rockets that are in there that didn’t exist five years ago. And then you’ve got some companies. One that was just impressive, improving, which is a IT services firm who has been on the list, I think Mike would have imagined 515 16 times in a row. Just an incredible, incredible feat. One interesting fact there are out of the 5000 companies that are there 420 designated themselves as being in the IT services market. I will confirm having met a lot of people there. It felt like almost everyone was in it in some way or another. And that was one of the big things out of the show. Matt, What did you think?
Matt Lockhart 03:32
Well, I think that that first thing that you brought up that technology resonates amongst all firms, regardless of their industry focuses was was pretty clear. It was probably the most entered having been in this business for too long. One of the more entertaining conferences that I’ve that I’ve been to in my career, and largely because of the attendees and our fellow participants on the list, and regardless of sort of what their industry focus was, or their solution or their service or their capability, you’ve just got a group of people who are excited about their business excited about their customers excited about their employees excited about the future. And it’s really refreshing you know, and for weight as we’ve talked this year about it being a little bit you know, have a tougher year in in the tech enabled services space. Just a little bit ahead winds and and whatnot. A you came out of that and you’re just full of energy and full of hope and optimism for the future. And so I just thought, what a what a great group of people and interesting companies across the board. And so yeah, I highly encourage those of you out there that have that have a good growth track record to look into it.
Ryan Barnett 05:29
I concur, Matt. It’s one of those, again, that sometimes that perspective, by incongruent it by learning from people who are next to you, but not near you. And so it was it to be in the cohort to fastest growing, it was fascinating to hear some of the girls stories, one of my favorite stories was actually someone not in the IT services space, but was a someone who focused in on janitorial cleaning in New York. And they were able to have 1,000% growth rate based on the focus areas, to really narrow in on very specific niches within restaurants. And to see some of the the ability for someone to take almost anything available, be able to apply really specialized thinking to a very targeted market, and then being able to kind of bundle those offerings together, made for a very healthy, happy, fast growing company that others can learn from.
Matt Lockhart 06:36
Applying our blueprint for specialization and verticalization. Again, oh, isn’t specific to the tech services space? I think, Ryan?
Ryan Barnett 06:46
I agree. I agree.
Mike Harvath 06:49
Yeah, for sure. I would add, I would add personally, that, you know, meeting people, I would echo the comments about, you know, meeting a bunch of folks in IT services there that seemed like at every turn, we had a conversation with an IT services on our business leader. We sat with many of them at dinners and chatted with them over receptions and such. But, you know, also connecting with our clients. We have many clients, their former clients, you mentioned improving earlier. Right, we had certainly worked extensively with improving over the years and helped them do three transactions sort of, you know, 10 or so years ago, on the M&A side, and it was great to get reconnected with their leadership and spend a little time you know, just understanding what they’ve done. They’ve certainly built an impressive company. And I think anyone who can be on the, you know, Inc 5000, for as many years as they have is, is certainly an impressive accomplishment. By but, you know, all of these leaders had, I think what was interesting to me had something to share about their journey. And it was a lot of key learning about everything you can imagine, right? Just business, philosophy and life and sort of, kind of where the market is going and all I can all comments, you know, it just filled you with optimism about the future, which I thought was was great.
Ryan Barnett 08:30
Yeah. So one of the, if you step back and take a look at the speaker panel was truly impressive. Starting off with Deepak Chopra, to having some just amazing speakers. Senator Bill Frist was there at dental Levitsky of kind bar fame. Janice Holroyd, from act one was was extraordinarily inspirational. And you got Jennifer Garner over once upon a farm, Ali Webb over try bar. There were some stories that were huge. A lot of them had been through, I think a lot of mergers and acquisition throughout their career. That was one of the themes I think was there’s there’s always a deal present somewhere. And something that I think would take away from I was there anything that either of you saw that was a general theme, I mean, when you kick something off with Deepak Chopra, and you follow it off with a session on psychedelics, it seems like there’s a little bit of a mind body connection theme go on, Matt what do you think?
Matt Lockhart 09:37
Well, it even broaden it into the category of wellness right and, and I think that it was super appropriate, ya know, what we experienced that everyone experienced that they the ups and downs of business, you’re, you’re grinding hard, especially if you’re a fast growing company, there’s a lot of change. You know, these are all entrepreneurs who are competitive, and their drivers and yet maybe sometimes don’t take care of themselves. And we’ve all been there, right. And, and so the context of building sustainability and a business by also incorporating your own personal sustainability and wellness was super interesting theme, I think that it’s probably more appropriate today than I can ever remember it, you know, coming out of the, the COVID haze and the period and the change and sort of disruption that came from that. And, and so I just thought it was a it was a great theme, obviously having the opportunity to, to listen to Deepak and that’s a, that’s a special treat. That’s a wise individual who’s counseled? You know, leaders across the world, right. And so I thought that was, that was great. I didn’t catch the psychedelics session, Ryan, you’ll need to comment on that. But but even all the other keynote speakers, I think, in their own way, really played into how wellness for them. That was a it was is is super important purpose and wellness in in, in having that be a center part of their business. So I think we heard that, you know, time and time again.
Ryan Barnett 11:49
I think the purpose was, it actually was one of the Andean sessions, the editor, Scott over at Inc did a beautiful session on purpose. And that’s something that I think really clearly rang through, there’s really interesting vignettes of of successful entrepreneurs throughout the show. And one of them was they all had a story that connected up to a purpose. And that was very clear in what they did. Whether that was storytelling, or having be able to, to connect musicians to a true revenue, door through even reconciled, which was does a small business accounting, just the the, the niche of the business, and the focus that these entrepreneurs had was, was really something that was special.
Mike Harvath 12:39
Yeah, I would agree, I mean, even to the broaden the purpose argument, or the purpose initiative, to bring joy to people and to giving back and to participating in role, certainly bigger than the individuals and their companies they built. And certainly way beyond, you know, making money or, you know, being effective at the business operation was much broader than that. So, I mean, I think overarching themes certainly were around purpose, and around health and wellness of not only those leaders, but their, their, their teams and their, how they really have care, and focus on, you know, building balanced teams that can live a life of, you know, live a life that is purposeful, and one that brings everyone happiness, I think, surely was the overarching theme, and one that I thought was well presented and well thought out.
Ryan Barnett 13:44
One of the things in this particular event it really surprised me was actually that smaller amount of of vendors that were participants in the show, oftentimes sometimes when you go to a show you it’s like a salesperson said every table and this time, it seemed like everyone was free to talk about what they were doing. And but the vendors that were there actually got quite a bit of attention. Mike, I know you went around and he was there any recommendations that you saw of a booth that actually worked? I mean, you might there might have been only eight vendors, but was there what attracted you to actually go talk to some of the people that were exhibiting there?
Mike Harvath 14:24
Yeah, it was interesting question. If any of you know me, I’ll disclose all something I have sort of sprinter man, nd you know, I don’t have a sprinter van. But I certainly someday would love to have one. And Mercedes was there showing their electric Sprinter van which I was just completely enamored with, and had to learn all about and it was just a feat of engineering. And so I thought they call it pretty interesting. There were they’re certainly targeting companies now like ours targeting companies that were you don’t really need vans or service vans or delivery vans. And I thought the just understanding the engineering around that was fairly intriguing to me at the same time, there was many other things that were quite interesting, like, you know, the State of Ohio had a huge booth there that was essentially a soft sell on recruiting businesses to operate in Ohio, or I have branch offices in Ohio, which I thought was interesting. And so there was some, you know, the some financial services companies from vendors around, you know, kind of web marketing and advertising. And I’d be interested to get both of your perspectives as well. See, if you visited any of those vendors, they certainly got a lot of attention, I think.
Matt Lockhart 15:54
Well, as part of that, Mercedes booth, I saw one of the coolest things, these guys who do, you know, on premise rent, so the production of of any sort of labels, and then and then real time printing, shirts and hats, and, you know, you name it, I thought that was fascinating, you talk about the, the next gen of manufacturing, and, you know, we saw it, you know, front and center. And Then, you know, the some of the bigger players, I think that they I think that those vendors, they, they really invested in, you know, pretty highly and they feel pretty optimistic on the future of of growth, within, you know, let’s face it, most of the businesses, I think we’d characterize as medium sized businesses, right, some smaller, some larger, but a lot of medium sized businesses and, and those vendors felt very optimistic with the future of growth, you know, within the sort of the small and medium business sector, so I thought that was awesome.
Ryan Barnett 17:16
I will have to say, I found the interactivity of everyone that was there to be exceptionally high. So for example, the development, the state development, it literally you could record a video and give your one minute pitch and they did give you back and edit that video. In spirit, I believe as Insperity had a kind of a green screen to put your name on that’s the front of Inc 5000. And just kind of bringing companies into what the possibility of what you can do together. And a lot of branding to there’s just getting your name in front of people in the right audience, I think was very interesting. And, and to be able to execute, kind of the follow up on on this is something that if I was to give advice to people who are attending the that level of interactivity in which the guest feels great, the you’re able to talk through the business’s challenges, business challenges, and you’re aligned on the potential working together, that could come up with a multi year relationship coming out of something. So I thought there was I never thought there’s gonna be a lesson learned. But that was a it was a great lesson learned for for that time. Yeah, the other thing that was just a note was, I think the conference this well, and I think, if you’re attending to conferences is critical is the opportunity for networking. So there was a golf event you have to see a couple of and as part of an event, but great day, I think we’ve froze ourselves. I didn’t know San Antonio could get down to 40. I think 40 degrees and blustery wind. We all left with a little bit of wind burn. But the networking opportunities were really something special. And it was really interesting that you could just simply say hello, and ask the simplest question, what do you do? And everyone was just joyous to to talk. My mat? Was there anything in that networking component that you’d give our listeners, some kind of advice to see or anything that you learned that they can apply?
Matt Lockhart 19:32
Well, a couple of things. One, I think that it was just great learning and in general is is the ability to learn from other leaders across industry, see what applies universally see how they were thinking about growing their companies. I think that that was that was great. I will say there’s a couple of actually interesting somewhat surprises. For me, what one was the amount of engineering services firms and you know, for those of you who are closer to Revenue Rocket than others, you may know that we we’ve actively helped a couple of engineering services firms here in the in the past year here. And so it’s it’s a bit of a growing adjacency to to our offering. But I think that that’s an industry that’s really ripe for growth. And, you know, having spent 30 years in IT services it harkens back to, really decades ago in terms of technology services, so something to be on the watch for. I think the other thing that I found awfully interesting, was there were a number have you characterize it, Ryan is as accounting services. And that’s that true. Anything from, you know, CFO, services, fractional CFO, fractional accounting, adding to you know, it was also It surprised me, it was just, I think that for all of our listeners, and we’ve encouraged a number of our clients to seek these types of services. Because sometimes a small and medium business may not have the ability or the attractiveness to hire a big gun CFO, yet they have the needs for financial planning, in that, in that light. And so I think that those were two of the areas that came through some of my networking that we’re, you know, just some learnings from, from an industry perspective.
Mike Harvath 21:56
Yeah, I’d say for sure. Very fascinating stuff. Just getting to know some of these people and kind of what they do and where the fast growth companies our I think it’s really always an eye opener to say, what areas of sort of product development logistics services are fast growing. And, you know, what, what does that look like, I would also say, some of the network that was done with an inc staff are very impressed with the staff, very interesting group of, of pros and publishers and writers and researchers that, you know, really know their stuff, and should be commended for being just an excellent group of people that are obviously running a great organization. So that stood out to me as well.
Ryan Barnett 22:51
And that’s great. Both again, it was it was a lot of fun hanging out with both of you and celebrating a bit. And it’s something where it was a it was really refreshing just to be part of something and to feel that energy. I’ll say that one of the things coming out of it was there is such a you know, we made the list this year and I use this as truly the global we it was everyone was there you know, how are we going to make it next year. And I think that’s a theme that was to route and we’re certainly here to help out you make the list next year if the helping buy a company can really accelerate those growth needs are helping exit which was I guess another theme I thought South route or people were happy about their success but also looking forward to the future of what an exit their potential and succession plan would look like in their in their firm.
Matt Lockhart 23:47
Conversely, sorry, Ryan to interrupt but conversely, number of discussions, you know, again, firms across the industry that are pretty gung ho to incorporate their own acquisitions to incorporate it or inorganic growth as as a leveling up as a as a next step as a fast forwarding as a rocket ship if you will, to their business and and I think that that was really encouraging as well. And so you know, the future’s bright and some of our listeners may be surprised it shouldn’t be but I personally think that Ryan could be a tuxedo model if you know I’m putting a vote in as a as a follow up career for Ryan to be at tuxedo.
Ryan Barnett 24:41
I will take that under advisement. I will say that say the same. You guys all look great. It was fun and had a great time. Next time I’ll go there, maybe a shed a few pounds and perhaps wear a tighter fitting bow tie. Mike, any last thoughts?
Mike Harvath 25:04
No, that’s great. So with that, I think we’ll tie a ribbon on it for this week’s Shoot the Moon podcast. certainly encourage you next week to tune in for other hints, tips and tricks around growing your IT services business and or facilitating m&a deals. And as always, you’d find lots of useful content at revenue raketech. com. Thanks and make it a great week.