Not literally, of course, but the CEO of ThinkWrap Solutions Inc. followed the philosophy of author Patrick Lencioni’s recent book, Getting Naked, to focus on building relationships with clients, rather than just selling.
So ThinkWrap worked with several clients who were feeling financial pain despite knowing they were unlikely to be compensated in 2009.
“These clients have a good memory,” explains Mr. Byrne.
“Sales will follow if you do the right thing to help your clients achieve success,” he adds, noting those investments created positive momentum for ThinkWrap in the early part of this year.
He concedes 2009 was somewhat of a “lost year” for his company, which was forced to reduce its staff compensation to control costs. Mr. Byrne even took himself off the payroll for four months.
But the move meant ThinkWrap weathered the economic storm without resorting to layoffs. The company is now back in hiring mode in both Toronto and Ottawa, where it plans to take another half floor in its Moodie Drive office building.
One of OBJ’s Fastest Growing Companies for the past three years, ThinkWrap’s main business lines include helping public-sector clients deploy enterprise performance management strategies as well as assisting major chartered banks and health institutions develop integrated information management strategies for their clients.
The company is seeing significant growth in the retail sector, where it partners with e-commerce powerhouse ATG in building personalized online marketing and commerce programs for clients such as Cineplex Entertainment, Black’s Photography and The Brick.
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And, while it may not comprise a significant part of their business, Mr. Byrne says ThinkWrap continues having fun working with Google on highly visible digital mapping projects.
This year, ThinkWrap is part of the NoPhoneZone campaign to reduce cellphone use by drivers behind the wheel. Along with building an application to track pledges by motorists to not use their phone while driving, the project also compiles incident statistics, violations and different legislation by state in an interactive map.
The initiative will soon be featured by a well-known celebrity, who Mr. Byrne is unable to identify due to a non-disclosure agreement.
While growth in 2010 is likely to come organically, Mr. Byrne isn’t ruling out further merger-and-acquisition activity if a strategic opportunity presents itself. And he isn’t backing down from a goal of reaching $100 million in revenues over the next seven years.
“The reason I like $100 million is that it’s big and it’s hairy … It pushes us to think beyond our comfort level.”
Year founded: 2004
Number of employees: 56
Product/service: Custom software solutions
Revenue growth: 203%