Owning and running a small business isn’t easy. Certainly there are perks: you are your own boss, you reap the rewards of your work directly, you chart the course for your business and your future. But offsetting those benefits is the responsibility on your shoulders for your business, your customers, your employees and more. You have to make decisions, often with limited information and no one to advise you. It’s no wonder they say “it’s lonely at the top.”
Finding a solution to the feeling of isolation that can come with being a small business owner was the challenge that Phil Medina, President and owner of KeyCom Technologies, needed to pursue. It was within the Florida SBDC at UCF (FSBDC at UCF) and its CEO XChange program that he found the answers and support he had been seeking. CEO XChange is an executive roundtable program that offers a confidential setting for business leaders to discuss vital issues, opportunities and trends with a group of peers.
KeyCom Technologies is a full-service design, installation, and support organization for a wide spectrum of technologies tied to carrier services, phone systems, access control, surveillance, data networks, Wi-Fi, and infrastructure utilizing fiber optics in the ground and data cables in the walls. They have been particularly strong outfitting assisted living facilities, schools, and auto dealerships, but have worked in almost all environments. At the helm of a 35 year old, fast-moving technology firm having served 5,000+ business customers, Medina has a lot on his plate.
“Originally we were a pure telecom company, doing old-fashioned phone systems,” recalls Medina. “Over the years we began casting a much wider technology net, but back in 2008-9 when the world was falling apart economically, there were different decisions to be made that required more than just tech innovation.”
“I tried other CEO groups, names you’d recognize, but they were expensive and didn’t have what I wanted,” continued Medina. “Then I discovered the FSBDC’s CEO XChange. It’s a group of business leaders who’ve been there, done that. They provide feedback loops and insight into all kinds of skin-your-knee experiences without you having to go through them yourself.”
“Since we started with the CEO XChange almost 9 years ago, KeyCom is much healthier, much happier, and seeing consistent annual growth in the areas pursued,” Medina went on. “But that almost misses the point. Although we’ve seen solid top-line growth, the really big change is our business model. We’ve transitioned from a transactional sales model to a recurring revenue model. That required a full commitment to the long-game we feared undertaking, but we gained considerable courage by bouncing the plan off of my peer group at CEO XChange.”
“The CEO XChange is a safe environment with smart people who listen to your issues, offer you feedback, and leave you with action items you can execute,” concluded Medina. “It’s been a very, very good return on my investment in terms of time, money, and outcomes. Without the CEO XChange, it probably would have taken twice as long to implement this transition that has opened the door to a much brighter future for my company.”
For information about KeyCom Technologies, please visit www.keycom.net.