OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS: The recession presented opportunity for the then-fledgling Gurnet Consulting, which gained momentum in 2008 and 2009. Pictured above are Thomas Streicher, left, company enterprise-operations head, and Martin King, founder and CEO.
PBN PHOTO/RUPERT WHITELEY
By Lindsay Lorenz PBN Researcher
In 2007, Martin King started project-management-services firm Gurnet Consulting from his kitchen table.
He had recently left a steady, full-time job to go out on his own and rebrand his former IT-service company, Gurnet Group, into a business that focused on the consulting and strategy aspects of technology services.
And then the economy imploded.
King soon found himself at the helm of a business focused on project management in a time when project budgets were being slashed.
“Call me in two years,” potential large-market clients told him. Their project portfolios had decreased and, internally, they already had more project managers than projects to manage.
So, King started to reach out to some midmarket contacts. These companies told him that they had some projects that were currently underperforming. Could he help?
“That’s where the rubber really hit the road for us, in that new market, and that high-touch relationship and referral business,” King said. “We really got some great traction through 2008 and 2009.”
And since then, most of his business has come from referrals. The company has been able to deliver with close to a 98 percent success rate, he says.
“It’s been a heck of a ride, and it’s been a lot of fun,” King said. “What really gets me excited is not only the great work we’re doing for our clients, but it’s how were building the business [and] really breaking down traditional barriers for the use of technologies … and social media tools.”
When King first explored starting Gurnet Consulting several years ago, he thought about a study that had been done in the early 2000s, which found that more than half of all IT projects either fail completely or fail to meet original expectations.
“That’s not a good track record,” he said.
New devices and products can sometimes make it easy to gloss over functional considerations, such as the impact to the organization once it’s in place, the resources and organization resources needed for implementation, and the right project management, software development or service-delivery methodologies.