Nashville Business Journal Article - Feb 2008
Interview with Michael Maffei, President & Managing Partner of the BrandonWayne Group.
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - Nashville Business Journal Article - Feb 2008
Friday, February 15, 2008Maffei heeds his callingCall center entrepreneur grapples with rapid growth, industry demandNashville Business Journal – by Linda Bryant Nashville Business JournalPatience has paid off for entrepreneur Michael Maffei. Maffei spent 10 years planning hiscall center human capital firm, the BrandonWayne Group, before launching it in 2006.The business, named after Maffeis first-born son, is taking off. Maffei, 46, is faced witha decision he doesnt have 10 more years to make. Should he grow slowly or bring oninvestors who can help the company tap into a large potential market?The Franklin-based company has grown from about $30,000 in revenue in 2006 to$375,000-plus in 2007. Maffei projects $1.5 million or more this year. "It became veryapparent after a year that we could stay small or get very big," Maffei says. "I have todecide whether or not I can give up some of my control."The BrandonWayne Groups business plan is getting a complete overhaul before Maffeimakes a final decision about his rate of growth. He recently hired Master Plans, abusiness plan consulting firm, after reading an article about them in The Wall StreetJournal. The Portland-Ore.-based company is helping him develop a business plan."It was a big relief to find them," Maffei says. "Id really recommend it [working with aprofessional business plan consultant] to anyone." Investors are calling and Maffei ishearing from bigger customers. An Atlanta company is holding out an opportunity for thecompany to screen, train and hire 1,000 call center employees, Maffei says.Business is also rushing in from existing call centers that want help with issues fromemployee retention to recruitment and training. Clients have included Colgate, eLoyalty,Verizon and Caremark.Maffei is also getting interest from firms that need help with executive recruitment. Hedlike to hire three or four executive recruiters this year. "We really think the industry
potential is unlimited," Maffei says. "Even with outsourcing, over 3 percent of the U.S.workforce is customer service call center type work."Bruce Molloy, CEO of Energies LLC, a management consulting firm near San Francisco,has used Maffeis services and worked with him as a colleague. "Michael is an expert,"Molloy says. "He knows so much about the call center business. I believe hes someonewho knows how to take the call center model to the next level." The industry is re-vamping and jobs are coming back to the United States, he adds. "A lot of call centers arebroken," he continues. "Some are very dysfunctional. Theres a tremendous need to helpthem."Maffei, who spent more than a decade working for staffing agencies such as Staffmarkand Norrell, doesnt like the old image of temporary staffing for call centers. Hiscompany helps call centers by offering an analysis of their operations and training andcoaching. They guarantee a 25 percent savings on bottom-line operating costs.Overhead and staffing is kept low because of Maffeis confidential "strategicpartnerships" with five other companies that can offer skills, solutions and value to hiscompanys services.Other things are lining up. Maffei launched a division in May 2007 –CallCenterClassifieds.com. The Web site, which provides the industry with a singlesolution for call-center job posting, won the Annual Product of the Year Award from callcenter industry publication Customer Interaction Solutions magazine. Maffei has bigdreams for the Web site, including advertising revenue."Our goal is to become the leading call center job board and employment services Website, period," he says. Nadji Tehrani, executive group publisher and editor-in-chief ofInteraction Solutions says the BrandonWayne group stands out because of innovativethinking. "They are committed to quality and excellence in solutions that benefit thecontact center experience as well as ROI (return on investment) for the companies thatuse them," says Tehrani.| Lessons learned |MANAGEMENT STYLE: Very engaged and diplomatic. The ability to bring peopletogether.GUIDING PHILOSOPHY: Life is a game - play it. Life is a challenge - meet it. Life isan opportunity - capture it.GREATEST BUSINESS CHALLENGE: Prioritizing! We have a great business modelthat people want. Theres so much to be done that sometimes figuring out which directionto go can be daunting.
BEST BUSINESS DECISION: So far, the development of the CallCenterClassifieds.comjob board. Though its unproven, having this Web site creates tremendous opportunityand visibility in securing additional business and marketing our services.FIRST MOVE WITH A CAPITAL WINDFALL: The first thing would be to hireadditional staff and to further expand the reach of our company.FIVE YEAR VISION: I would like to see our revenue around $8 million to $10 millionand our programs and services available overseas in Australia and Europe.MENTORS: My father, for stressing the importance of a college education and hisbusiness acumen. My two grandfathers. One was a blue collar worker. The other was anexecutive in a cotton mill. Both were hard and honest workers who set a great examplefor me to follow, both as a man and in firstname.lastname@example.org 615-846-4258All contents of this site © American City Business Journals Inc. All rights reserved.