Inc. Magazine’s recent interview of MicroTech President & CEO Tony Jimenez has definitely put the spotlight on the successful entrepreneur. Numerous articles are hitting the internet and print media highlighting Tony’s latest achievement landing him in the highly coveted Inc. 500 Hall of Fame as their sole inductee for 2012 and the only existing Hispanic-owned company among the membership.
For the fifth consecutive year, Jimenez has led his Team in qualifying for Inc.’s Top 500 fastest-growing businesses list. This feat is even more impressive considering the challenging economic climate of today and the last several years. Tony reaffirmed his “all in” business strategy and commitment to growth by announcing this week the further expansion of MicroTech facilities in VA and NC and the continued roll out of new technology capabilities and solutions.
"Tony Jimenez, CEO and founder of IT-services company MicroTech, talks about the road from military service to running a tech company--where he sometimes hangs with heads of state.
As founder and CEO of Microtech, an IT services company that works primarily with the U.S. government, Tony Jimenez has hobnobbed with Presidents and generals. This year, he joins another elite group as MicroTech enters the Inc. 500 Hall of Fame, an honor reserved for businesses that make the list five times. Founded in 2004, the Vienna, Virginia-based company had revenue of $342 million in 2011 and is No. 490 on the 2012 Inc. 500. Jimenez spoke with Darren Dahl.
I spent many years in the Army managing large IT projects. When I retired from the Army, I landed a job with Unisys. After about nine months, I left to start MicroTech. I told myself that if I was ever going to start a business, now was the time. It was a good decision.
We like to say that we are an IT company, but that narrows what we do. We focus primarily on managing large networks, data integration, and functions such as e-mail and cloud-computing applications.
We currently have contracts with 100 state, local, and federal agencies, such as the Department of Defense and the Social Security Administration.
Everyone in our industry is always concerned about the government stopping spending, but that's not realistic. It might slow down or go through cycles, but there will always be opportunities for small, agile companies like MicroTech.
I've had the opportunity to meet with Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama. The one thing I discussed with all three is what we can do as a country to create more jobs. I love that we are building more roads and bridges, but I think we need to keep investing in the information highway as well."
"4. You Run Out of Money
Scenario: Cash flow is always a concern--no matter how much cash you have.
You wouldn't think Tony Jimenez, CEO of the IT-services provider MicroTech, would have had to worry about cash flow. Within several months of founding his company in 2004, he had a $500,000 line of credit and a pair of partners with money in the bank.
But Jimenez learned that even the best-prepared businesses are never free from cash-flow concerns. In fact, Jimenez says, it's a problem you never truly outgrow. "Your company's never big enough to buffer you," he says. "At the beginning, you're playing with smaller balls of fire. The bigger you get, the bigger the balls of fire."
In his research, Kunkle has seen this repeatedly. As companies land bigger contracts, they need to put larger sums of cash on the line to buy equipment and staff up long before they are able to start writing invoices. "Companies often actually become less liquid as they grow," says Kunkle. "They grow themselves right into bankruptcy."
That's nearly what happened to Jimenez and MicroTech. Shortly after launching, the company scored a major coup when it landed a gig as a subcontractor to General Dynamics, which had been hired by the Department of Defense to perform a major data migration. Jimenez quickly hired 40 people. And then the funding was pulled.
Jimenez was faced with firing 30 of his newly hired staff members. Plenty of business owners would have wielded the ax immediately. Instead, Jimenez called everyone he could think of, trying to find jobs for his new people. But in the meantime, he was still paying them, which was killing his cash flow. Says Jimenez, "I was convinced I was going to lose my company. It was a very emotional time for me."
Jimenez has no regrets. But he has learned his lesson. Now, even with a $30 million credit line and $100 million in credit from Dell, Jimenez never stops keeping a watchful eye on his cash."
"One of the companies seizing that opportunity, MicroTech (No. 490), made the list for the fifth straight year—earning them a coveted place in the Inc. 500 Hall of Fame.
The company’s founder, Tony Jimenez, who started his company after retiring from a career in the military, says that 70% of his revenues come from government contracts—all of which have to do with using technology to improve how the government operates. "Our focus for the past eight years has been on helping the government consolidate its IT resources," says Jimenez, whose Vienna, Va.-based company has 422 employees and $342 million in sales. "We primarily bid on contracts that deal with managing large networks, data and information. But we also do a number of things like managing day-to-day email and applications that are running in the Cloud.""
MicroTech’s Inc. Achievements in the News: