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Bootstrapping to $20 Million in Charleston, South Carolina: eGroup CEO Mike Carter (Part 5)

Posted on Sunday, May 11th 2014

Sramana Mitra: How did revenue track in that timeframe?

Mike Carter: The first 10 years, we were very immature from a strategy standpoint. It’s only been in the last five years that we evolved in what we’re doing, in terms of investing, and saw a much more strategic approach emerge. Quite honestly, there’s an aspect of not only attracting but developing talent. The Southeast isn’t always known for being at the forefront of the technology industry. I think that’s beginning to change somewhat in the recent years. Being able to emulate success elsewhere has delayed us because we’re always following behind.

Secondly, talking about the dollars coming in and having never borrowed outside investor dollars, we’re really doing on an annual basis based on what we take in the prior years. Often, we’re leveraging our past to build our future, versus putting our future at risk based on what we’re trying to pay for in the present.

Sramana Mitra: That’s generally how bootstrapped companies operate. Coming back then to my question about metrics, what are the actual dollar numbers on how the business grew in the first 10 years?

Mike Carter: For the first 10 years, we were averaging 15% to 25% year-over-year growth. Over the last four to five years, it’s been closer to 30% to 40%

Sramana Mitra: What are the actual dollar numbers?

Mike Carter: This past year, we did just a little over $20 million in revenue.

Sramana Mitra: Where is the sweet spot of the customer base that you have settled on to carry this $20 million in revenue?

Mike Carter: We find the greatest success with clients that are in about the 500-user range and which have multiple locations in the Southeast. It can be a mix of healthcare and financial services. The verticals are important especially as we align what we are doing in the application services space. From a core platform and cloud services approach, we find the best traction out of that customer segment.

Sramana Mitra: If you were to synthesize based on all your experience, what is the core problem that you’re solving for customers?

Mike Carter: Clients need the ability to intercept and put into motion key applications that allow them to run their businesses better. Whether we’re developing specific metrics based on data sets that they have built over time and produce those back to them, or they’re buying off-the-shelf applications to run their business, what we do is we help them take those applications, secure them, data protect them, adhere to compliance, and then deliver those to their end users in a supported and a high-performance way.

Sramana Mitra: Where exactly are you located in the Southeast?

Mike Carter: We’re headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina but we have offices in Columbia, South Carolina and Charlotte, North Carolina. We’ve got a wide territory coverage at Carolinas. We’re expanding into Northern Florida by way of Jacksonville and also into Southern Virginia by way or Richmond.

This segment is part 5 in the series : Bootstrapping to $20 Million in Charleston, South Carolina: eGroup CEO Mike Carter
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