I’m honored to announce that the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) named ROI Online one of the 100 fastest-growing inner city businesses in America.
For a humble 7-year-old marketing agency based out of Amarillo, this couldn’t be more of an achievement. I could brag about all the ways ROI has grown in the past years, but I won’t. If you're really interested in that, you can read our profile on the Fortune website.
The truth is, awards are nice (I’m still waiting for my Grammy, by the way), but too many companies chase after awards just for the sake of it. Because they think it makes them look cool.
We’re more interested in what awards mean—particularly this one.
ICIC doesn’t recognize just anyone. They focus on highlighting companies that prosper in under-resourced communities, companies that represent diversity, and companies that bring new money into inner-city economies.
Those characteristics sure feel like a far stretch from where we started.
Never Forget Where We Came From
We started back in 2012, and our team has collectively served hundreds of clients over the years, but we’re still a small agency.
One of the biggest challenges with a small business like ours (and the other 99 on the ICIC list) is that most people think all businesses are big corporations. As such, bigger companies are the ones that get government assistance to do things like hire people, train employees, and hide money offshores (kidding...sorta).
We don’t get those benefits.
As a small business, we have to bootstrap everything ourselves. Knowing that we’ve built ROI Online without that outside government assistance makes it feel even more amazing to have ICIC recognize us.
It’s funny: when you own a business, you spend so much time with your head down doing work. It’s not until something like this forces you to look up and realize, “Oh, wow. We’ve been kicking ass.”
This award reinforces to our team––many of whom went to the local university, West Texas A&M––the impact of what we do: We bring outside money into Amarillo from our clients in neighboring cities and states. That’s incredibly valuable to an inner-city economy.
And as we grow, we’ll bring in even more talent from both the local university and universities around the country. Plus, we’ll attract larger clients who bring more money into Amarillo from communities even farther afield.
We’re Entering The Big Leagues Now
In our company’s early days, we used to feel small compared to our clients. How could we lead them through a process when we could barely lead ourselves?
Now it’s different. As our agency has written and published a book, we’ve taken on more high-level clients. Our team better understands the value we bring people.
Walk through our office any random weekday or sit in on one of our weekly meetings, and you’ll see it in person. You’ll hear it in the way our team talks and see it in how they approach problems. There’s fresh swagger in our culture, and it wouldn’t be there if it weren’t for these changes.
That’s what this award signals to us, the Amarillo community, and the entrepreneurs we serve: We have a vivid vision of being world-class at what we do, and we’re well on our way to getting there.
To learn more ROI Online or to work with us, schedule a strategy session today.