This Lacey-based planning and engineering firm had 85 employees and more than $10 million in annual revenue when it entered the Economic Gardening program in 2016. The company’s goals included adding jobs and increasing annual revenues by $1 million or more.
Economic Gardening resonated with the company’s principal and founder, Perry Shea, since SCJ is a progressive company that is always anxious to stay ahead of the ever-changing marketplace.
The National Strategic Research Team (NSRT) for Economic Gardening outlined three deliverables for the business:
- Digital Marketing: Researchers evaluated the company’s website and social media presence and benchmarked it against 10 regional competitors. The team also made suggestions on how SCJ could improve its efforts to recruit new talent through social media.
- Federal Contracting: Located near Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), one of the largest military bases on the west coast, SCJ wanted to increase its potential for government contracts. The NSRT team provided a variety of contacts, links and resources that the company could use to strengthen its contracting arm and win more contracts going forward.
- New Geographic Marketing Opportunities: Based on the company’s strategic growth plan, researchers identified 428 target counties in 11 western states, based on demographic and business data. This initial list was narrowed down to five high-priority target counties.
After completing the Economic Gardening program, SCJ was able to identify new growth opportunities. In addition to its four offices in Washington State and one in Denver, Colorado, the company opened another office in Centralia, about 40 miles south of the company’s headquarters. The data from the researchers indicated there was an additional opportunity in that service area and results after opening the office were, according to its founder, “crazy good.”
The GIS mapping analytics were particularly helpful, and SCJ said it plans to continue to evaluate new office potential using the data going forward.
The new office created additional leadership opportunities. Four of SCJ’s employees relocated from the main office to the new Centralia office and the company planned to hire additional staff to handle its new project load.
“The Economic Gardening program was a great experience,” Shea said. “In addition to all the new information provided, the researchers were very complimentary of our company, which was reassuring to staff about how we were moving forward on strategic initiatives. The cost and time investment on our part was minor compared to the opportunity we received.”