2024 marks twenty years of business for C2IT Consulting, Inc. I’m so proud to celebrate this year with our team, clients, friends, and families, many of which have grown tightly intertwined over the past two decades. While it is quite a source of personal pride and joy to see “our baby” grow into a twenty-something this year, it’s also been quite a journey with many ups, downs, twists, and turns. This month I’d like to share the story of the places we’ve worked from, how they’ve affected us as a company and a team, and the lessons we’ve learned from our journeys.
2004 – 2013: The Early Days
When I did the math, I found it hard to believe that we were in our original office space for an entire decade. I first got into technology work as a high school junior at Plainfield High School working as a summer intern at National Car Sales, down by the “big old green sign” on West Washington Street in Indianapolis. This part-time job of building computers and replacing lightning-damaged equipment evolved into writing software for National Car Rental franchises around the country as my boss started his own business. Eventually (officially on December 1, 2003), C2IT Consulting, Inc. was born as we launched out on our own.
C2IT spent the first 10 years of existence in this “back office of a client.” We were literally in the back room of the rear-most building, and this client was really The Only Client. While we picked up a few side jobs doing other things, Joe and I were basically doing the same work we had been for Custom Computer Software, just for C2IT Consulting, Inc. now.
2013 – 2015: Life as a 10-Year-Old Startup
Ten years into our life as a small business (it was still just Joe and I at the time), C2IT experienced an “entrepreneurial seizure.” If you’ve ever read the book The E-Myth, you’ll know what I mean. While we were a business on paper and in front of the IRS, I basically “owned a job.” We never had to sell anything, never had to market our services, and never had to strategically plan for the future. But when The Only Client tells you they are selling the business to a corporate parent and the need for your services will change dramatically, you have some decisions to make.
Thankfully, we had the right people in our corners. Thanks to strong family ties and some great connections with mentors such as David Pilcher and Jeff Harris, along with a great new relationship forged with my business coach Mark Sturgell, we found our way through this season. We solidified some larger relationships, started learning how to ask for and get referrals, and even wrote a rent check for the first time.
These were the days on Perimeter Road, once again renting space from a client, but we were starting to really open our minds to the world around us. We brought Andrew Roy on board as a summer intern to help us write some software and experiment with team-building, and then later partnered with a local coding academy to bring our first full-time employee, Vic. I can still remember the fear I encountered with bringing someone on full-time; we literally saved up his entire first year’s salary “just in case” things didn’t work out as we hoped.
Needless to say, we made it through this season as well. As the business continued to grow and our client grew out of the space they shared with us, we were once again “forced” to move onward and upward.
2016 – 2017: Our Teenage Years
In 2016, C2IT finally made the move “back home.” I grew up in Plainfield, and while the west side of Indy was close enough to be a local office, our move to Plainfield felt like a part of our journey was complete. We had a place to grow roots now.
Our first office wasn’t large, but it was home. It was one big room and an entryway, and we still all worked out of the same space together. We brought on our first “sales guy” along with a project manager, all of which had been written up in our strategic plan that seemed like pie in the sky dreams just a few years before.
So many people have been part of this journey, and as I glanced at the ribbon cutting from back in that day, so many of them still are. We’ve parted ways with a few, but we’ve also grown closer to many, many others, and are thankful for the roles they’ve played in our maturing as a business.
As we brought on more technical staff and began outgrowing this small space, we dialed in on one of our remaining goals of our 5 year plan: Find an office space that fits our needs for years to come.
2018 – 2022: Growing Up as a Business
In 2018, C2IT moved to our current home on Clarks Creek Road (still in Plainfield). We started our lease here with a suite that housed about 8 people comfortably, and then expaned to another half suite that allowed us to continue growing the team. Whiteboards hang in about every room, one of our old bathrooms has become a walkway between offices, and our conference room is now quite packed when we all gather together.
Over this stretch of our business maturity, we added some more technical team members and management staff. We hired people that knew more than me, and people that could lead and organize things in ways that allowed us to continue focusing on growing the business. Erin joined our team in a much more visible fashion as our office manager, and we now have a place we are truly proud of and can continue to grow into.
2023 and Beyond: Onward and Upward
There’s no new office to move to right now, but 2023 did take us into some new ventures. Erin and I formed a small property company and purchased the building we work out of, giving us some additional opportunities for expansion and growth over the upcoming years. We brought in some experienced leaders and continue to promote from within as we see our team members leading, coaching, and delegating amongst themselves. We’re in the mist of writing a new 5 year plan, and I’ve learned enough to know that these dreams aren’t just pie in the sky… when you take the time to dream big, write things down, and take small steps towards your goals, they are almost always achievable.
Thank you to every single one of you that has been part of our journey – as a mentor, a partner, a client, an employee, a family member, or any other way. We cannot say enough about the importance you have held in our journey, and we hope we can hold a place in your growth as well.
Watch for more retrospective and forward-looking content from me this year. There are very few things I have stuck with for 20 years of my life, and the ones I have are cherished deeply.