President & CEO,
“Seek help and advice from institutions, organizations and people who have been there.”
- Founded: 2000
- Headquartered: Troy, Michigan
- About: ICONMA is an award-winning consulting firm providing professional staffing and consulting services with a proven track record supporting various Fortune 500 clients.
- ICONMA is headquartered in Troy, Michigan and has 25+ locations throughout the United States, Canada, and India. Through our network of offices, ICONMA has the ability to recruit both locally and nationally to find qualified consultants in a timely manner.
- Areas of Expertise include: Staff Augmentation (Contract, Contract to Hire, Direct Hire); Consulting (Project Delivery/SOW), Payroll Services, Bulk Buy Staff Augmentation, and Offshore Staff Augmentation.
- Website: www.iconma.com
- Social Media: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn
Q: When and how was your business started? OR If you did not start your business, how and when did you come into ownership of your company?
As a former IT contractor, I had the valuable experience of working for a few different consulting/contract firms. There were some obvious differences in how they treated their contract employees. I had aspired to build a company that treated its employees as its number one asset. I established ICONMA in April 2000. I hired recruiters, salespeople, and a year later, back office staff to help with the payroll, bookkeeping and day to day management. In three years, ICONMA crossed $10M in sales revenue; and by 2011, crossed $100M.
Q: How has your company grown and changed since becoming WBENC-Certified? What has been the greatest benefit of certification for you and your company?
Since becoming WBENC-Certified, the greatest benefit is the opportunity to partner with large organizations to attract top notch contractors and employees. Having WBENC certification helps us to make connections and sell to companies who have a strong diversity program for women-owned businesses.
Q: What are some of the bigger challenges and barriers you’ve faced as a business owner? How have you overcome them?
One of the biggest challenges any new business can face is getting access to capital. In the beginning, as a staffing company that had to meet a large payroll on a regular basis, cash flow was challenging. We always pay our contractors before we get paid from our clients. Most banks weren't interested in working with a company less than two years old. The first thing I did after obtaining certification was to use Great Lakes Women’s Business Council to assist in connecting us with a lender who would help.
Q: What advice do you have for a new entrepreneur?
Give 200% of yourself to your business and plan on long days. Always seek help and advice from institutions, organizations and people who have been there. Many times, people don't recognize the changes they need to make. That's why it's necessary to engage with other business professionals who can offer advice.
Q: How did you learn about WBENC-Certification?
Many clients our sales staff called on were very interested in our story and being a woman-owned business. They always asked if we were WBENC-Certified. We quickly realized the benefits of having the diverse certification recognition. Having WBENC Certification has opened doors to more opportunity.
Q: What should a First Time Attendee know about the conference before they arrive?
First Time Attendees should research companies who plan to attend the conference and come prepared to provide specific examples of how you can have a mutually beneficial partnership. You will be on your feet most of the time so comfortable shoes are a must. Bring lots of business cards to pass out and bring an iPad or paper and pen to take notes. Follow up will be the key to how successful you are after the conference.