Gurnet Consulting, a project- management-solutions firm that enables clients to deliver on successful IT initiatives, does not have a sales or marketing arm. Instead, as founder and CEO Martin John King explained, “We have grown our business through word of mouth and reputation. We’ve been able to exemplify that through social networking. We have done a very good job of nurturing our professional networking.”
The company, which began in King’s kitchen in 2008, now has 30 employees throughout New England. The rapid growth of the firm – 104 percent over the last three years, 625 percent growth in 2011 – is based entirely on reputation, according to King.
“We drive zero sales through the traditional model; 100 percent of our business comes through referral, and 85 percent of our hires come through referrals, through Facebook, through LinkedIn,” he said.
The consulting firm’s success is based on what King calls the four R’s – reputation, referral, relationship and results, as well as savvy use of social media tools.
A layer of social media connections permeate the framework of the business, according to King. “Every time we have a success, we ask our employees to post that on LinkedIn or Twitter and in some cases on Facebook,” King said. “It keeps us in the mind of potential employees, clients and partners.”
It’s about the value that potential customers derive from the posts or micro blogs, King said. “It’s not the fact that Marty King made a ham sandwich and it was delicious.”
The company is also an active participant on relevant online forums for its industry. •CEO (or equivalent):
Martin John King
2011 REVENUE: $2,960,0000
2009 REVENUE: $711,000
3-YEAR GROWTH: 316%