A group of 19 Arkansas companies outperform their peers, according to Inc’s 2021 list. Magazine of America’s 5,000 Fastest Growing Private Companies.
The annual list, released this month, ranks companies based on revenue growth over a three-year period. To be considered, companies must apply and meet certain requirements, such as having at least $ 2 million in revenue in 2019.
[FASTEST GROWING: List of companies not appearing above? Click here » arkansasonline.com/829arfastbiz/]
Two of the local businesses on the list are in Inc. magazine’s top 500 and will be featured in the magazine’s September issue.
The 19 companies generated total revenue of $ 441.1 million and have recorded a median growth of 206% over the past three years. They also added 2,014 jobs.
Magazine Inc. published its first annual list in 1982, giving readers a glimpse of the country’s entrepreneurial landscape. It featured 500 of the fastest growing private companies in the United States and over the years recognized brands such as Pandora, 7-Eleven, Toys R Us, and many other companies that have become household names.
The list grew to 5,000 companies in 2007.
Arkansas companies on the 2021 list include experts in digital media, work placement, school communications, home medical care, and cybersecurity.
As shoppers begin to rely on online retailers for housewares and everyday items, brands are adjusting to how and where they sell their products. This is where Rogers’ Bold Strategies comes in.
The digital marketing company works with clients to create a personalized plan that gets their products noticed with media ads and search engine optimization to increase online sales.
Essentially, it’s an “e-commerce department for rent,” said Allan Peretz, president and co-founder of Bold Strategies. Most of the clients are large or medium-sized businesses that may not have an in-house digital marketing department, he said.
At the start of 2020, many of these clients are wary of the future and things got tough for Bold Strategies. However, they quickly realized the positive effects the pandemic had on e-commerce growth and business recovery, Peretz said.
“It started out as a scary quarter, but by the end of the year things had completely turned around,” he said. “It has been an incredible year.”
Bold Strategies, founded in 2018 with Lisa Peretz, focuses exclusively on the marketing of consumer packaged products. After working for 14 years at Procter & Gamble, most recently as Senior Director of Global Ecommerce Programs, Peretz said he likes to stick with what he knows. It can be shaving cream, shampoo, bread or milk. Books and clothing are not in this category.
Lately, keto and gluten-free products have been important to Bold Strategies. He said if someone is suffering from celiac disease, they may not find all the variety they want at the nearby grocery store and, as a result, fill their pantry with these. specialty items.
In addition to strategizing with brands, the Bold team handles copywriting, web development, market research, analytics, and pricing. They also offer management software, among other data tools. Partnerships with clients can last a few weeks or indefinitely.
Looking ahead, Peretz is gearing up for the Christmas holiday season and helping customers develop more video ads and streaming content. He also noticed that advertising investments are moving away from traditional media, Google and Facebook, to retail media such as Amazon, Kroger and Walmart.
“This is how buyers want to look at brands these days,” he said.
One of the struggles of businesses is to find skilled workers. Depending on the position, many rely on recruitment agencies. But what about top tech workers?
“It’s our bread and butter,” said Jordan Franklin, CEO of Stratice.
The company, which moved to Bentonville during the pandemic, is designed for organizations and government agencies looking to fill information technology positions, as well as accounting, human resources and engineering roles.
What sets Stratice apart from other recruiting agencies is its ability to meet client needs while maintaining a warm and friendly culture, Franklin said.
Rather, the company has a startup attitude that attracts workers and boosts internal morale. He also has a different, more consultative approach that helps the company find talent often overlooked by competitors, said Chris Hampton, chief strategy officer at Stratice.
Clients in the South work with Stratice, including major insurance companies and Fortune 50 companies in Arkansas.
“With the leadership and consultative spirit we have, we can come and go with whatever our customers need,” said Scott Franklin, Founder and COO of Stratice.
Business slowed down last spring as state agencies and businesses navigate federal rules and find out how their staff can work from home, Franklin said. After about 60 days, things picked up.
Lately, Stratice has seen the demand for cybersecurity positions outstrip the available talent pool, leading to “wage wars” between hiring companies, Hampton said. There is also an increased demand for cloud computing specialists.
There are many ways to communicate in the modern world: email, social media, SMS, etc. This can be a headache for teachers who need to send messages to administrators, parents and students at the end of their day, said Tyler Vawser, vice president of personnel at Apptegy.
What Apptegy has developed is software that brings all of these communication channels together in one place, so teachers can send a message and do. School officials can also manage and develop their entire communication strategy and brand identity.
The company, founded in 2013, has grown from a Little Rock start-up with a handful of school districts enrolling in the program, to a company with software used by more than 2,200 districts in all 50 states.
In Arkansas, more than half of the state’s school districts communicate through Apptegy, Vawser said.
Apptegy’s recent success has come in reaching out to teachers and school officials about the business. However, when the pandemic hit, the company suspended sales and decided to “pull out” for about three months, Vawser said.
The business resumed in June 2020 and officials realized that consolidated communications was a “must”, with some teachers going from “10 posts per week to 10 posts per day,” he said.
Currently, the software is designed for internal communication between school leaders, but there are plans to develop a program specifically for parents and teachers.
Vawser said it was exciting to see the company grow and create jobs for people who had never worked in the tech industry before. This year alone, Apptegy made 100 new hires.
ELITE SENIOR TREATMENTS
Lindsey Hagood, owner of Elite Senior Care, wants to be clear about her clients.
“We don’t just take care of the elderly,” she said.
Founded in 2013, the company is a caregiver service for people of all ages who need home assistance due to mental or physical illness.
What started in Manila has grown from northeast Arkansas to 14 locations across the state, including Carlisle, Dumas, and North Little Rock. Some of these expansions have taken place in the past six months.
“I hate to say it, but covid has really woken up a lot of people to understand that there are places like us that can help family members,” Hagood said.
When nursing homes became the first hot spots for the virus, people became concerned and began to research alternative methods of care. As a result, she said the company’s numbers have grown rapidly.
Elite Senior Care is the state’s largest private care service, with more than 3,000 employees. A caregiver is paired with each client, limiting the number of people in close contact. Helpers undergo background checks, drug testing and continuing education.
Looking ahead, Hagood said there are plans to expand to Missouri, Florida and other states that allow private care agencies.
About 70% of Elite Senior Care clients are considered elderly, with the remainder under 35. Hagood said nearly 90% of clients are vaccinated.
“It’s huge that they can stay home where they want to be,” she said. “It’s the number one thing for me.”
SEBASTIAN TECHNICAL SOLUTIONS
Federal defense contractors are generally based near Washington, DC
Sebastian Tech Solutions calls Jonesboro home.
Meg Sebastian, CEO, said she started the business with $ 1,000 in her pocket and some high-level government contacts. Seven years later, it has grown into a cybersecurity company with 60 employees who do federal defense and work for municipalities.
After earning a computer science degree, Sebastian moved to the East Coast and worked in various technology jobs, before landing a managerial position at the Defense Information Systems Agency. She used this work experience to start her own business in Jonesboro, creating dozens of tech jobs.
Some young workers even used their time at the company, doing various contract work, for a job at the Pentagon, Sebastian said.
“Yes, we deliver for our customers, but we take good care of our people,” she said. “What we are bringing to Arkansas is an opportunity.”
In addition to federal work, Sebastian Tech Solutions has developed a program called Little City Cyber that protects municipalities against various cyber threats.
Due to the nature of the business, deemed “mission critical” by the government, the impact of the pandemic has been limited.
Going forward, Sebastian plans to create 200 jobs at Jonesboro by the end of next year.
“We are positioning ourselves to take it to the next level,” she said.