ViArch Integrated Solutions, Inc.
Angela and Eric Jones
Orange, CA 92865
John Pietro, Dennis Wright, Terry Chambless
In 2008 Angela and Eric Jones took their technical know-how and experience consulting to the next level. They incorporated ViArch Integrated Solutions, Inc., which develops software applications for the aerospace industry.
During the depths of the Great Recession in 2009, Eric learned about SCORE at an industry conference. Intrigued, Angela attended a free SCORE seminar about financial statements, and found it so helpful she began taking more seminars and eventually sought one-on-one mentoring. Despite the couple’s strong technical and educational backgrounds they knew they had much to learn about running a business. For example, ViArch obtains most of its leads through referrals from its alliance partners, but the Joneses were seeking help developing a strong marketing message to attract more clients.
“Before SCORE, we didn’t really have a marketing message. We had a very technical description of our company, explaining our technical capabilities,” Angela says. “John Pietro, who’s a marketing specialist, explained that it’s important to get across the emotional benefits you bring to your customer.” At first, the couple struggled, but Pietro helped them better hone their message. “Now, for instance, we explain, that our rapid delivery allows clients to perform precise measurements quickly,” Angela says. “Now, our message is focused on benefits.”
Fine-tuning their marketing message did more than just attract new clients—it also helped the couple develop new services. “SCORE helped us to define our market and our business niche,” says Angela. “By asking ourselves what benefits we offer our customers, we’ve been able to rethink how we do business, provide more solutions and expand what we offer.”
“Beyond all the individual seminars I regularly attend, I’ve been able to get specific help on unique things I’m doing by talking to individual mentors,” she says. For example, mentor Dennis Wright helped the Joneses find a building and negotiate a lease, and mentor Terry Chambless help them navigate their clients’ corporate cultures.
ViArch’s sales doubled in 2011, grew by 60 percent in 2012 and grew 10 percent this past year. With three employees, the company is seeking more independent contractors to handle its plentiful workload, and plans to hire a senior employee.
Going forward, Angela is working with Terry Chambless to develop a strategic plan. “He is helping us think through exactly what our business is and how to determine, achieve and measure specific goals each year,” she explains.
“When you get into business, you think ‘I can do this from a technical perspective,’ but there’s a whole lot more to it than that,” Angela says. “SCORE helped us understand the nuts and bolts of running a business.”
Mass Mutual is not associated with, and does not endorse, the business featured.