FAST 50

Fast 50: How B3 reached growth over 100 percent

Company sets goals but stays flexible

It takes a team to grow your company at the pace B3 Solutions has been experiencing. In the past year, its annual revenue jumped from $13.7 million in 2010 to $22.5 million in 2011.

And from 2007 through 2011, the company’s compound annual growth rate was 127.85 percent, good enough to rank it No. 18 on Washington Technology’s 2012 Fast 50.

When asked how the company achieves such success, President Brenda Bearden said teamwork is the key. All members of the team are important and are therefore given the “empowerment to go do what they need to do,” she said. It’s about matching the “right people, the right processes and the right tools in order to leverage your combined prowess for success.”

It’s also important to be flexible. William Almas, B3’s CEO, described the fluid nature of running a business. “A lot of time is spent planning for what you need to get to the goals you’ve established for yourself,” he said. “But you also have to be flexible enough to run and catch up when things happen ahead of schedule.”

That’s why you need “smart people with tenacious personalities, with honesty underpinning their work,” Bearden said. Only then can you be “a valuable contributor in the federal marketplace.”

The two executives have a long history in the federal market. Before founding B3 Solutions, Almas held acquisition and program management positions at Lockheed Martin, Honeywell and other international companies. Bearden previously held positions at other small businesses, including serving as vice president of business development, vice president of contracts management, director of supply chain operations and senior principal for strategic sourcing.

She joined B3 in 2006 and has since served as president and executive-in-charge for all programs, including the company's growth strategy. B3’s work on the Federal Aviation Administration’s System Engineering 2020 program under the Next Generation Air Transportation System has been a major contributor to the company’s success, she said.

“We have people — from program managers to acquisition personnel, financial talent, human resources talent, as well as systems engineers — all working in a collaborative environment to build a very complex program management capability [and] managing the performance of numerous contractors in all of the activities associated with leveraging that program across the FAA,” Bearden said.

Looking to the future, Almas sees a few challenges — in particular, those that come when a successful small business evolves into a successful large business and outgrows the 8(a) small-business development program.

“While we hope to continue to grow as fast as we have…I just don’t think that that’s something that we should expect that we would be able to do,” Almas said.

The company’s business will likely deal more and more in niche markets, Bearden said.

Although B3’s leaders have a realistic vision of the future, they are still enthusiastic about pressing forward. Most of all, they are excited to continue helping people.

“Our company motto is ‘commitments kept, excellence delivered,’” Bearden said. “At the end of the day, it’s all about the people.”

B3 might not grow as quickly as it has in the past five years, but the company will “continue to build better business solutions,” Bearden said. After all, she added, those three Bs are the foundation of the company’s name.

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