Metric Environmental Used â€œPlantingâ€ Approach to Start Up
INDIANAPOLIS, IN Ken Beache, PE, hopes that others can learn from how he started Metric Environmental, an environmental consulting firm headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, that began providing services just last April.
The idea for how to start the firm emanated from lessons that he and his former employer, Bill Shrewsberry, both learned from the method that their mutual church employs to grow to other locales.
Shrewsberry is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Shrewsberry & Associates, an engineering design and consulting firm headquartered in Indianapolis. Beache had been serving as their vice president and chief operating officer before getting the idea of starting the new company but wanting to do so in a manner that could assist both companies.
Beache called the method that Eastern Star Church uses a "church plant." In that method, the senior pastor will groom a junior pastor and when they are ready, transfer them to a new area of the city to start a new church. The bigger church asks a certain portion of their congregation to travel with the junior pastor to the new location where they are asked to support the new church, contributing their time, treasure and talent.
The bigger church provides administrative help so that the new pastor can focus on what they are suppose to be doing, namely, providing spiritual guidance and development to members of their new congregation.
Eastern Star has employed the concept successfully three times in the last decade and each of the resulting churches now serve congregations of over 2,500.
In addition to being inspired by the "church plant" concept, Beache also noted that many baby boomers were justifiably concerned with preparing for their retirement. Many such small business owners found that the most feasible way of doing so was to sell their firms to larger businesses, and many times those larger businesses are headquartered elsewhere.
The result, Beache believes, is that many such successful baby boomers are unable to maintain or extend their legacy.
Beache thinks that many of the resulting larger companies may not be able to serve their clients as well as could a smaller more nimble local outfit; and, says that many times successful minority-owned firms lose their minority identity in such transitions.
He wanted to avoid these outcomes.
Shrewsberry and Beache set up a system by which Shrewsberry & Associates provided Human Relations assistance, financial management and software support to the new firm. Doing so helped Beache focus on building the company, expanding services and servicing clients.
Some Shrewsberry employees accompanied Beache to Metric.
Beache said that Bill Shrewsberry was instrumental in creating the model and encouraging some employees to move over to Metric. "He framed the argument for this such that everyone willingly came along so that they are happy and content in the new company," said Beache. "If folks are happy in the company, then so is the business."