For the past 14 years, Colorado Computer Support has been offering its clients a range of technological services and the company has sustained consistent growth through it all.
Through achieving the company’s goal of making technology simple and accessible for businesses, Colorado Computer Support has also increased its annual revenue from $1.9 million in 2013 to $2.5 million in 2014 and projects that it will top $3.5 million in 2015.
President and CEO Blake Schwank, who runs the 31-person company with his wife Christie, spoke to the Business Journal this week about how the company started, how it has grown and the role it plays in the Colorado Springs business community.
Why was the company started and why did the founders chose to focus on this specific field?
I’ve always had a passion for computers and initially I was just creating an IT job for myself while my wife and business partner managed the back-end of the business. We started Colorado Computer Support in 2001 and CCS is now the largest IT provider in Colorado Springs, providing IT services and personnel to companies from 10 to 1,500 employees.
What makes the business stand out among others in the industry?
Our employees are our biggest strength so I asked them their thoughts on this question: “I think it’s the range of knowledge and versatility of the team.” “When we come together as a team with multiple areas of expertise… we are unstoppable.” “I appreciate all the care and development that goes into the employee development and learning.” “CCS, more than any other employer I have worked with, exemplifies the concept that if you take care of your employees, they will take care of your clients.”
Do you have any advice for other business owners?
Do not be an island — seek out advice and coaching from others. As I mentioned earlier, initially I started the business as a job for myself. By word of mouth, I kept busy. I loved the technical side, but soon became overwhelmed with doing invoices and billing. It was not until we started working with a business coach that I learned I was the bottleneck and needed to let go of the duties I didn’t enjoy. Hiring those first employees made a huge difference in how the business evolved. In addition to employees, we outsource our payroll, accounts receivable and financials to a local accounting firm. Learning the value of outsourcing was instrumental to our growth. Outsourcing has allowed us to focus on our core business, just as outsourcing technology has allowed our clients to prosper.
What do you think of the business environment in Colorado Springs? If you could change something, what would it be?
This is a great environment for businesses to start and thrive. Many industries are expanding including education and health care. Military personnel are getting out and settling here. The city has several tech colleges and a university. This allows us to hire great employees who enjoy living and working here. From our perspective Colorado Springs is a great place to have a business. As we look to expand, Colorado Springs will always be our home.
What are some challenges you face? How did you overcome them?
With all the changes taking place, this is an exciting time to be in IT. The challenges are keeping ahead of the technology and becoming a full-service IT provider to our clients. We keep our technicians trained and reward them for gaining certifications. Our technicians are fluent and certified not only in Windows, but in Apple, Google and more. While the cloud has reduced internal infrastructure and given companies huge growth potential, it has also increased the complexity. While other IT companies are putting out fires and charging by the hour or block, we partner with our clients and help them plan their IT infrastructure. By working with our clients and understanding their goals and budgets, we can develop a managed service plan that will eliminate challenges, allowing us to deliver superior service.
Is there one thing about your business you want people to know?
Colorado Computer Support has focused on providing exceptional service and maintaining long-term relationships with its clients. We have built our support models and trained our technical staff to provide the best level of service possible, allowing our clients and future clients to focus on what they do best — their business.
Colorado Computer Support
4925 N. Union Blvd.
Fastest-Growing Company, $1.5 – $5 million category