Happy New Year! Happy planning of goals and objectives for 2017! Happy reflection on 2016!
We recently finished our goal and planning retreat for 2017. One of the biggest items to plan for in 2017 is our 10 year anniversary of InteleCONNECT, Inc. It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years already. Time flies when you are having fun. Reflecting back on how InteleCONNECT got started, what’s changed in our business and the industry, and how some things remain the same.
On July 12, 2007, InteleCONNECT became a registered S Corp. After months of planning, meetings with lawyers, creative designers, accountants, vendor partners, SCORE, and the Small Business Administration office in St. Cloud, we finally made the decision to move forward with our business plan. Having been in the industry since 1998, we had come to the conclusion that if I wanted to jump back in to the telecom industry as an independent broker/consultant, I should do so sooner rather than later. So, on August 1st, I hung my shingle as the St. Cloud Areas first independent telecommunications brokerage/agency and hit the ground running (well actually walking, calling and selling).
After only 1 year in business, it became evident that I needed help in order to continue to grow. There are so many hats to wear as a small business owner, and the time had come to find someone who could take a few of those hats away from me. That is when Lisa Vouk, my operations manager, came on board. We like to joke that Lisa is the only Type A personality you will see at InteleCONNECT (outside of my business partner/husband Keith). She keeps everything running smoothly in the office and is a great asset to InteleCONNECT!
Another year passed and we added another sales person, Robin Grote. She handles new sales and national accounts that we have acquired over the years. She is one person who definitely fights hard for her clients to make sure they are well taken care of by the carriers who service them.
In 2010, Todd Fritz and I sat down to talk about the telecom broker concept and to find a way to make it fit in the wireless industry that he is so well versed in. He started Intelligent Wireless Management (IWM) and operated under the name of InteleCONNECT managing and growing his wireless customers. Over the years you may have heard us refer to Todd as the wireless side and the rest of us as the wired side of our business. It is a great partnership and we were the first brokerage/agency in the nation to offer our clients both sides and give them a true One-Stop Telecom Shop. Recently Todd has decided he’d like to utilize his own brand and business name of IWM (Intelligent Wireless Management), so you may see both names out there. Although the names you see associated with each side of the business have changed, we still remain the same great partnership that we’ve always been. Now, as InteleCONNECT and IWM you can continue to expect to see us marketing and servicing our customers together!
So, what other changes have we seen in the past 10 years? Wow, there’s been a lot. Providers have changed what services they offer, Cloud services has become increasingly more popular, pricing has come down dramatically for some services, while others have been become less cost effective. Faster internet bandwidth has become increasingly more important and many providers now offer cost effective fiber options for business needs. Some providers have merged, and some names have changes, while others are brand new. Though the industry has seen many changes the one constant for our clients is us – InteleCONNECT. They still only have to make one call for help, one call to service a trouble ticket, one call to change or order new service, and that will always be the same!
So, as we plan our goals and objectives in 2017, we will begin the year in a new office space. We will be moving our zip code over to Sauk Rapids in the second quarter with some new digs. We are excited about the opportunity to have a small conference room where we can host trainings for our clients and educational seminars for business leaders who want to hear more about the ever changing telecom industry. Please stay tuned for an invitation to our open house along with a list of seminars for 2017.
And, there will be plenty of opportunities for you to help us CELEBRATE our 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY this year. Keep your eyes and ears open for them. If you haven’t already done so, like our facebook page in order to be kept in the loop on not only the fun celebrations and prize giveaways, but also for alerts when we know about area outages and breaking industry news etc.
Most importantly, THANK YOU for believing in us either as our client, vendor, business partner, family or friend! The last 10 years have been a very fun ride and we wouldn’t be here today without all of you! Cheers to many more!