Processes for Growth: Sales Focus, Inc.

Processes for Growth: Sales Focus, Inc.

Sales Focus, Inc. (www.salesfocusinc.com) is based in Marriottsville, MD.  Sales Focus (@SalesFocusInc) is a premier sales outsourcing company. Founder, President, & CEO Tony Horwath chatted with Ascent Advisor (@AscentAdvisor).   Ascent Advisor – David Grau: What was your vision when you first started the company 15 years ago? Tony: The model has always been to build dedicated sales teams for companies that either don’t have the infrastructure or the knowledge to provide that service, or they need a sales solution that is fast, flexible and closely managed. That was my vision going in. Fortunately, we’ve been successful for 15 years in doing exactly that. Ascent Advisor: Has the vision changed going forward?  Tony: It has been modified a little bit. We’ve had to tweak it based on the economy.  Fifteen years ago I didn’t have any competitors so it was more about explaining what we did and who we were. Now we do have some competition and our vision is about being more competitive and developing a better infrastructure. My initial vision wasn’t launching a 50 person team or a 200 person team, it was about producing a 10-15 person team. As our company grew, it became much more important to grow our support team and provide more infrastructure and resources.  When we launch a large program, providing sales teams across the country in 45 days, we are able to control that process fairly tightly, making the launch go smoothly. Ascent Advisor: As you look at your competitors, what makes you unique?  Tony: The simple answer is that we’ve been doing this longer than anybody else, but that’s not...

Halfaker and Associates: Continuing to Serve

Halfaker and Associates (www.halfaker.com) is based in Arlington, VA.  Halfaker (@halfaker) partners with clients to overcome challenges and create lasting value. Founder and CEO Dawn Halfaker (@dawnhalfaker) chatted with Ascent Advisor (@AscentAdvisor).   Ascent Advisor – David Grau:  What was your vision when you founded Halfaker and Associates? Dawn Halfaker:  When I first decided to start the company my initial vision was survival. I had just been through a series of life-changing events regarding my military service and to me the most important thing was regaining a sense of purpose and being able to continue to serve.  Starting a company was the best avenue to do that. Ascent Advisor:  You have undergone rapid growth in just 6 years.  What do you attribute that success to? Halfaker:  In 2006 I wanted to focus on projects where I was working with DARPA, looking at different medical technologies that would eventually transition into the military and save lives on the battlefield.  I didn’t have a long-term plan of what I wanted to see for the company.  As opportunities started to come in, eventually the work became too much so I decided to hire someone.  I thought about my initial vision of wanting to continue to serve and realized it was a great opportunity for me to go find some other people trying to transition out of the military like I was.  I started looking for like-minded people who could come on board and get engaged in some meaningful projects.  Once that started to take off I made one hire and the projects found us.  About 2 years after we had been in business,...
Ultradent Products Inc: A Family Company

Ultradent Products Inc: A Family Company

Ultradent Products, Inc. (www.ultradent.com) is based in South Jordan, UT.  Ultradent (@ultradent) is revolutionizing the dental industry with innovation and quality. Founder and President Dr. Dan Fischer chatted with Ascent Advisor (@AscentAdvisor).   Ascent Advisor – Preston Pond:  When you founded Ultradent in 1976, what was the vision? Dr. Dan Fischer: I had invented a hemostatic for controlling gum bleeding, a device for applying it between the gum and the tooth, which helped in impression making for crown and bridge work. It started from research in my basement. I’d draw blood on myself, work with different chemistries, and through this process I discovered that I could bring a hemostatic that was much more effective to dentistry, and it was very much needed. I took this technology to some large dental companies and they didn’t see the logic in it, so the company was founded on the basis that if dentists are to receive this technology, if dentists are to benefit from this, we’ll have to do it as a family. We worked as family only from about 1976 until 1983. We didn’t have the money for fancy advertisements, but we knew how to work. We had no idea that the company would grow to the size it is now. It was by continuing to meet the needs of dentists that we grew to this size. Ascent Advisor:  What would you say makes your company unique now?  Dr. Fischer:  One of the most unique aspects of our company is that we work hard to maintain a family feeling. A company’s culture is a big deal. There are other important, unique things...