Over the next several weeks I will be fully defining the InterWorks Vision & Roadmap for all to consider. InterWorks strives to create a unique offering for both the client and the employee, so this series will help to solidify the directions the company will take and why these directions were chosen.
This series will come in several installments and will focus on the following simple questions:
- How did we get here?
- Where are we going?
- Why are we going there?
- Who will go with us?
My goal is to provide a vision of the future of InterWorks while answering the core questions stated above. I hope you are excited by what you read and are willing to share your thoughts on vision and strategy of the company.
InterWorks Vision & Roadmap
Part 1: The Groundwork
It All Starts With Passion
I’ve always had a real passion for technology. From elementary school to junior high, I had access to the latest and greatest in technology at Oklahoma State University through my dad, then a professor at OSU. This combination, coupled with having people who cared enough to help me along the way, made a big difference in my future and provided the insight I needed to start the business.
Even today, this level of excitement must exist in order to keep InterWorks moving in the right direction. If you love what you do and have a strong desire to share that love with both clients and employees, the company will continue to grow. This is where it began and what will frame everything that we do at InterWorks.
The Early Years
While attending college at OSU, I began providing technical consultant services for local businesses as a means of supporting both my passion and my student lifestyle. This consulting service offered an excellent opportunity to build a strong portfolio of clients in a relatively risk free environment. The work was rewarding and enjoyable and by the time I earned my master’s degree, there was enough incoming revenue to support a start-up business.
The business grew and, after just a few years, reached a level where my income was adequately covering my expenses. My lifestyle was comfortable. I was no longer working just to pay the bills.
A Philosophy or A Business Plan?
Contrary to many in my position, I’ve never had any desire to bring in millions of dollars simply for the sake of luxury. My true passion has been learning new technologies and then applying that knowledge to help other people successfully employ it in their own businesses. Being recognized as exemplary and having clients who appreciate my contribution to their success is what truly drove me then – and what continues to motivate me today.
Providing network and infrastructure support is how InterWorks started. Expanding into development, web and other related services was just a natural progression of the desire to help clients succeed – this is what I see as fun and rewarding. This is the real goal and financial security is the byproduct of successfully servicing the client.
In the early years, I was repeatedly told that I needed a written business plan to provide a roadmap for the business. No matter what business book I read or class I attended, the message was clear: You need a business plan to succeed. However, I chose to focus on helping my clients achieve their goals. By making this choice, I learned to state my business plan in a single statement and I believe this still represents my philosophy today:
If you take care of the client and take care of the employees, everything else will fall into place.
Using that philosophy as my business plan was easy to remember and did not require committing it to paper. The first leg of my business journey was to follow this plan and I believed that it has worked. Our clients were happy and the business became successful.
The Roadmap to Define the Journey
As InterWorks grows, so do our opportunities to expand into many new areas – both technologically and geographically. In the early years of the business, a roadmap would have been a distraction from the core philosophy; however, these new opportunities are changing the game. Every option in front of us must be weighed against our goals for the future in order to make prudent and efficient choices. It is apparent today that building a roadmap will allow us to grow in a direction that will continue to feed both the passion and the philosophy.
So in defining the roadmap in the coming articles and posts, you will see that my focus remains unchanged: To help our clients succeed while providing a stimulating work environment. If we continue to do that well, the financial rewards and career opportunities for InterWorks’ employees will continue to grow.