Before launching LIMITLESS Cost Reduction Specialists in September 2006, Todd Larsen spent the previous two decades in Executive Leadership roles, and the last 5 years as a Regional VP for Sprint, watching and understanding how companies were being handled, how contracts were structured and how billing was managed. As head of Sprint's Enterprise Division for Florida and Alabama, Larsen identified an opportunity to provide additional value if he went off on his own. Larsen shared the story behind his journey along with his plans to expand nationwide.
"The big companies weren't delivering," he said. "They were also under-performing for their clients. I felt that if I started a business with the deep knowledge I had of the industry, I could go in as a consultant and help them obtain better contracts and avoid the pitfalls associated. When Sprint's merger was announced, I decided to take an exit package in October of that year and then started the business the following year."
Larsen set out to build a company focused on vendor management and easing the associated burden on business owners. By optimizing billing, controlling expenses and mitigating risks, business owners save money and time. Larsen shared why, for certain types of businesses, it really pays to utilize his services.
"We look for businesses that have complexities in a few different areas," he said. "We look for companies facing the burden of managing multiple employees, locations and states. Also, companies that merge with, or are acquired by another company add even more vendor complications. Think about a company which has to deal with telecom, utilities, HVAC, landscapers, cleaners, security systems, elevator maintenance, this list goes on and on. That's a lot of vendor complexities to manage! And, most businesses never achieve the proper analysis and benchmarks necessary when it comes to managing their vendors best. We help these companies remove the burden, risks and unnecessary costs associated both in the past and going forward."
Since first launching the business nearly 13 years ago, Larsen has helped clients in 46 states, including a $2.8 Billion retail restaurant chain and a $2.4 Billion retail construction chain. Larsen shared some of his early challenges and what it took to get to where he's at today.
"I started with zero clients," he said. "The first year, we lost money sinking it into the business where it was necessary. We had to establish credibility and get our processes in place. Needless to say it took time. Eventually I hired more people and we started to grow. We utilized a number of resources like the Small Business Development Center for some market research. We also invested in lists, associations and tools like Hoovers for market intelligence. We used this information to strongly identify prospects, and better understand their company complexities. At first, we were only doing telecom which was a lot as it included: data, voice, cellular, tv and a myriad of other technologies. After some time, we brought in utilities and waste management. We found many similarities in how they administered and managed contractual obligations, and the lacking information our Clients had in their possession. We knew these companies were lacking the proper system and benchmark analytics. We earned their trust, walked through their processes and learned their operations. We eventually hit a growth rate of 20-30% and we've maintained that ever since."
Larsen, and his wife Cindy, who currently serves as Senior VP of Operations, love the fact that they help their clients be more efficient, effective and save them money. They're gaining the trust of their clients using a powerful process to deliver great results. About two and a half years ago, they rolled out a complete web-based vendor management platform that gives companies a comprehensive view into their services, contracts, rates, terms, conditions and spends.
Looking ahead, Larsen has two primary goals in mind. The first is to grow the business by tripling total employees and growing revenue by 500%. The second goal is to develop a standalone software solution to help clients on the back-end infrastructure to optimize themselves, with strong processes and applications to mitigate the risks they face with vendors every day. With the growth of IoT and Cloud Services, Larsen sees LIMITLESS as being a big part of that equation. With an incredible initial guarantee that the clients savings will outweigh LIMITLESS’s fees, LIMITLESS is poised for tremendous future growth.
Larsen offers some great advice for aspiring entrepreneurs. "First of all, the younger the better," he said. "When you're young, you're better able to weather the storms and you're largely more passionate. Along the way, don't listen to any negativity and be prepared for the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Also, utilize any available resources such as SBDC, SCORE and SBA to develop a solid plan. Once you have a good plan in place, don't procrastinate. Most entrepreneurs I meet say they wish they started sooner. I'm also a big believer in reading and learning from the experience of others, as there is no substitute for others knowledge and wisdom. Lastly, it's important for entrepreneurs to never forget, and that is “The one thing God gave us that's exactly the same is time. How we use time is what separates us."
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