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Intelligent Business Systems Inc. (IBS), a Philadelphia-based firm, has built its business on relationships and quality customer service. The company, incorporated in 1997, provides solutions for voice, data communications and Internet systems integration to a client list that includes nonprofit business and local government agencies. Thanks to referrals, IBS had revenues of $340,000 in 1999.
Customer service is IBS’s strong suit. IBS president and founder Darryl Boozer set up and ran businesses for 18 years at King Management Corp. in Philadelphia before he invested over $20,000 of his and wife Audrey’s savings in IBS.
“I stress with my staff that we can recover from a financial loss, but a loss of reputation, we can’t,” adds Boozer, who has nine employees. “We have to be more concerned about the customer and how we satisfy the customer.”
Laurette McNear, supervisor of pastoral staff support at the 4,000-member Christian Stronghold Baptist Church, has been an IBS customer for four years. “It’s their philosophy of helping people,” says McNear. “It is their quality service. They provided telephone support. They walk me through what needs to be done. And I’ve never had a problem with them promptly responding.”
Maintaining relationships is great, but Boozer feels he has made a mistake by not marketing his business earlier on. “My mentality was that my staff and I had to be technically competent. So I focused more on being technically competent as opposed to public relations,” says Boozer, who recently hired IBS’s first salesperson.
Boozer also feels lack of exposure is hindering the firm’s growth. “If most of my business comes from referrals, I can’t really complain. We just can’t build the business beyond that, because we really need to be marketing and selling ourselves.”
Boozer plans to increase IBS’s client base by doing more presentations, participating in more seminars and stepping up television and newspaper advertising.
For the past three years, IBS also has been developing its Website design services, building a Web portal and broadcasting the radio signal of WHAT-AM, a talk radio station. If IBS stays on its path, the firm won’t be a secret for much longer.
Intelligent Business Systems, 7500 Germantown Ave., Elders Hall, Suite 202, Philadelphia, PA 19119; 877-427-1638; www.ibsone.net.