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Four SWMO firms land on Inc. 5000

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Leaders of the four Springfield-area companies on Inc. magazine’s 2010 Inc. 5000 credit their workers for financial growth.

Springfield companies JMark Business Solutions Inc., Altec Solutions Group and Marlin Network, and Neosho-based Branco Enterprises Inc. made the list of 5,000 privately held U.S. businesses, released Aug. 24. The list ranks companies according to three-year percentage revenue growth. Combined, the area companies recorded $84.5 million in 2009 revenue.

JMark Business Solutions, an information technology services company, is the highest local firm on the national list at No. 1,835, followed by computer hardware company Altec Solutions Group, No. 3,509; construction firm Branco Enterprises, No. 4,111; and advertising and marketing agency Marlin Network, No. 4,204.

Branco has held a spot on the Inc. list since 2007. Electronic Check Services Inc., America’s Incredible Pizza and Ozark-based HealthcareFirst Inc. fell off the 2010 list.

JMark Business Solutions
JMark Business Solutions’ ranking could aid the company’s position in the marketplace, said Thomas H. Douglas, JMark Business Solutions president and CEO. JMark, 601 N. National Ave., Ste. 102, recorded $4.7 million in 2009 revenue and received an industry rank of No. 205.

Douglas chalks up the company’s 149 percent three-year revenue growth in part to charging flat fees for IT services.

Douglas said other companies notice Inc. 5000 list recognition and may be attracted by it.

“Successful leaders surround themselves with successful people. I think people in business do the same thing; they want to partner with people who are successful,” he said.

The ranking is something that JMark’s 40-plus workers can take pride in, he said. “We have put together a great team of people that have worked really hard and care a lot about our customers,” he added.

Altec Solutions Group
Making the list is a major accomplishment for Altec Solutions Group, owner Michael Van Matre said, and he’s already eyeing next year.

“I don’t doubt that we’ll make the list again,” Van Matre said. “This company has grown every year.”

Founded in 2001, Van Matre said his company, which sells computer hardware and service, has posted 50 percent revenue growth during the last three years to land at $2 million in 2009. Inc. gave Altec a computer hardware industry rank of No. 39.

Altec has two locations: 3045 E. Chestnut Expressway and 3845 S. Campbell Ave., with a third set to open at 2939 E. Battlefield Road. The company also operates PC Medics, a computer repair arm, and Van Matre said he plans to franchise the PC Medics brand.

A key aspect to growth is the company’s zero debt.

“Everything is funded on our cash flow,” Van Matre said. “It’s very helpful to have zero debt and positive growth every year.”

Marlin Network
While the advertising industry is enduring hard times, Marlin Network is on the climb.

“Our business is up 44 percent this year over last year,” said founder and CEO Dennis Marlin, and that’s after the 27 percent 2006–09 revenue growth Inc. tabulated.

Marlin considers the Inc. 5000 nod a powerful tool when working with its national clients such as Proctor & Gamble, Starbucks, Mission Foods and Bush’s Beans.

“They want their partners to be strong and successful,” Marlin said. “This will measure up well with them. We’ve had a couple of them say, ‘Hey, I noticed your company made the Inc. list.’”

Marlin is quick to point out that the company, now in its 25th year, maintained its 88 employees during the economic downturn and on its way to 2009 revenues of $7.4 million.

“We were using our strength as a company from our creative product and strategy that we produce for our clients and our financial strength to be able to leverage growth during a down time in the marketplace,” he said.

Branco Enterprises Inc.
Branco Enterprises Inc. has staved off the construction industry downturn by shifting its focus to civil projects.

“We saw the building market slow down. We consciously made the decision to do more civil projects,” said Branco President John Branham, pointing to Missouri Department of
Transportation work, and municipal and school projects such as the Ozark Community Center and Kickapoo and Republic high schools.

As a result, the 150-employee firm increased its revenue 30 percent 2006–09, making the Inc. 5000 for the third straight year. Last year, Branco peaked at No. 2722 on three-year revenue growth of 106.8 percent to $83.2 million in 2008.

Now, civil jobs comprise about two-thirds of its workload, swapping places with private construction orders.

Branham believes Branco might have topped out on the growth list based on its revenue category, now in the $70 million range. “To increase your volume significantly, you’re looking at huge dollars,” he said.[[In-content Ad]]

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