Jim Quesenberry, president/CEO
Jim Quesenberry, president/CEO
When Jim Quesenberry started Corporate Business Systems in 1993, he had spent many years on the road, calling on copier dealers – and he was done with that.

“Once I started a family, the travel became rather oppressive, so I decided to start my own deal,” Quesenberry said.

He admits the company’s beginnings were humble.

“I began with just one employee in a small office in the Southern Hills Shopping Center,” he said. “It was a lot of sleepless nights at first. My one employee got paid when I didn’t.”

But time – and ambition – have a way of changing things.

“I have 48 employees, four offices and we broke $10 million in revenue [in 2011] for the first time, and we’re about 15 percent ahead of that rate this year,” Quesenberry said.

Though Corporate Business Systems initially sold only copier systems, the company now sells printers, scanners, electronic imaging devices and network services.

“I have some extremely smart associates who understand all the technology better than I do, because I wouldn’t profess to be very good at that; however, I’m very good with math,” Quesenberry says with a laugh.

The company has moved beyond just selling machines. It also offers equipment leasing, as well as document security and managed print services, according to CorporateBusinessSystems.com.

“Today, we sell solutions, and a piece of office equipment is just a part of that,” he adds. “So all of our salespeople are trained extensively to understand customer work flows, understand their pain points and then look at the whole host of different types of software coupled with our hardware that’s going to bring game-changing technology to the workplace.”

The key to getting the company where it is today has been hiring the right people and fostering a fun and collaborative corporate culture, Quesenberry says, estimating that about half of his employees have been with him for at least 10 years.

“My management team would tell you we’ve surrounded ourselves with winners with good attitudes who don’t dread Mondays,” he says. “It’s truly fun to see the growth and development in our associates. We recently hired some folks right out of college, and they get it. They know the technology. They grew up playing games, and they know computers.”

The company’s financial foundation also gives Quesenberry and his team more freedom to choose how Corporate Business System grows.

“We fortunately have no debt, so we haven’t been in a situation where we’ve had to make business decisions that we hoped would work out. We had the fundamentals in place to have the confidence to move forward with our heads held high,” Quesenberry says.

The company built its 20,000-square-foot headquarters at Cherry Street and Highway 65 five years ago, expanded its Joplin office and, nine months ago, opened a new facility in Rogers Ark., Quesenberry says.

Now, he’s exploring an expansion into information technology services.

“We have negotiations going on to buy a local company that would significantly enhance the solutions we can bring,” he says.

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