We Are 5 Years Old (35 in Dog Years)
It was 5 years ago this month that I launched FatLab, LLC. The weather was just starting to get cold in Northern Virginia and it had gotten dark depressingly early due to daylight savings when I announced to my wife that I was going to start another company. Don’t worry I said, “I have 5 great longtime clients that have agreed to come with me… oh and a little savings”. Lets just say that the look on her face was not one of relaxation. Yours wouldn’t be either if your kid had the same sushi habit as our daughter.
It All Started with an Ego and Not Much Else
I was a little cocky. I had started one other company before, Larrabee IBC, and was partner/owner in another for a long time. However, I was no Silicon Valley startup guy, I hadn’t made my millions (still working on that) and this was a whole new economic climate from when I started my first business… i.e. no one was going to lend me a dime for a service-based idea.
To put this in perspective, when I opened my first business I was a know-nothing 25 year old with decent credit. I walked into a bank and 30 minutes later I walked out with a $60K line of credit. Those were the good ol’ days… can you say “bubble”?
The Roller Coaster of Small Business
So began the roller coaster that is small business. Somedays I would feel like such success while others ended with me reviewing my resume and wondering what I wanted to do with my life.
However the company kept growing and the more and more clients and potential clients I spoke to, the more I knew the niche of website maintenance and support was real thing. Granted it’s not an original idea. There are a few other support focused firms out there (no need to Google it though). However, I have always half joked about how easy it was to get a designer and/or developer to build a website for you but it seemed so much harder to find one that would support a site at high-level of customer service.
A Few Bragging Points, If You Don’t Mind
- I started FatLab in 2011 with about 5 core clients, in 2016 we served about 60 different organizations.
- I operated this as a one-man show for a couple years and today we have a solid team of developers and managers, just check out our team page here.
- We have grown 184% in the last 4 years with an average 43% annual growth rate during that same time period.
We’re still a small company but it looks like we might be around for a little while longer which I am extremely proud of!