Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.
I have often thought to myself “if an economic development consulting firm like Camoin 310 can’t figure out how to grow and offer career and income opportunities to its employees along the way, we have no business claiming to be the authority on how our clients can do the same in support of their businesses and communities.” Up until last March, Camoin had grown organically to about 14 full-time employees, but on March 11th, 2019 we grew to 24 with the acquisition of 310 Marketing in wonderful Richmond, Virginia.
It’s hard to believe almost a full year has now passed, and while many of our current clients have seen changes firsthand, Christa Franzi, newsletter editor-in-chief, thought it would be a good idea to update our friends, family, and colleagues on how it’s all been going.
Boy, has it been going! I’ll start by saying I don’t know how larger organizations with more complex systems do it. We have spent the last 12 months digging deep into the ins and outs of the two firms and integrating our accounting, marketing, project management, employee benefits, IT, and other internal systems. Along the way there have been some growing pains that have required changing accounting platforms, adding healthcare plan options that can handle employees located across multiple states, converting our retirement plan, and more conference calls than I care to count. We also needed to upgrade computers and servers to allow for greater collaboration between multiple offices - Karen Meier, our Richmond VP, is going to figure out how to fire me if we don’t work out the bugs on that ASAP.
So while the effort of bringing two small businesses together has been challenging for all of us at Camoin 310 - and it’s not easy managing change while keeping up with our day jobs - it’s been wonderful getting to know and work for a wider client base and see professionals collaborate across offices to develop more informed and effective solutions. I’ve seen how our combined team has led to greater career growth opportunities for our staff, improved access to information for our industry studies, and additional analytical capabilities for more effective prospecting campaigns.
Jim and I will probably leave it to future Camoin’ers to decide if growth through acquisition is on the horizon. For now, however, we will focus on building more capacity to meet our clients’ needs, supporting the professional development of our team, and combining our analytical capabilities with our prospecting and other services to help our clients grow their businesses and communities. And with March Madness season just around the corner, I hope the famous coach Jimmy V quote inspires you all to stay at it - “Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.”