Boone Management Group Brings Corporate Success To Startup Communities
Chicago-based Boone Management Group has been offering a variety of business resources to companies both big and small since its rebranding from Complete Concepts Consulting in 2012. The company continues to offer insourced human resources solutions, but has grown to additionally provide business strategy and startup development programs.
Boone Management Group helped launch its very first startup on New Year’s Eve 2012. The organization’s comprehensive program takes a company from idea to launch in six months, including everything from business modeling, marketing design, and even support during the first three months of operation.
The company was founded by Melonie Boone, a Chicago native who has wanted to be an entrepreneur for as long as she can remember. We chatted with Boone about how her successes in the corporate world have led her to where she is today and the challenges of rebuilding her business last year.
What is the story behind the Boone Management Group?
Three years ago I launched Complete Concepts Consulting, which focused on being an HR consulting firm. We were pretty successful. One of the challenges is that everyone knows they need HR, but people generally don’t want to pay for it unless there’s a need or crisis.
We began working with business owners, asking them, “How do we get to the next level?” We wanted to know “what is the next level and does it exist?” It was something that I was doing to add extra support.
Back in April of 2012 my business partner decided to exit with very short notice. I went back to clients to let them know she was leaving and found out there were some issues.
I realized there was some damage done to our reputation; I decided to completely shut down Complete Concepts Consulting. I went to the advisory board with the issues and we took the big issue to the table, which was that I went from being very profitable in April to operating in the red in May.
I decided to rebrand and relaunch the business and offer business strategy in addition to people strategy. We got our first client in August of 2012. We’re currently operating in four states -- Seattle and the Midwest. We’ve seen a lot of growth and there’s been a lot of planning behind everything we do and put out. We offer an expert level of service at a cost that most businesses can afford.
I firmly believe that a lot of businesses fail or stay stagnant because they don’t have the people to affirm or guide them strategically. Our motto is to offer a monthly retainer that doesn’t change. We’re able to offer our clients what they need in their location, working with their teams to help them grow.
When did you know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
I have always known. When I was 12 I had a contract with my best friend that I still have in a box. One of the things on there is that I always wanted to be a CEO of my own business.
Entrepreneurially speaking, I lost my way growing up from 12 to college. I think I needed the corporate experience to be an entrepreneur. It was always something I wanted to do, but I needed a kick in the pants to get it done.
In 2010, when I was laid off, I made a vow to myself that I would bring the same types of successes in the corporate world to clients under my own banner. It’s common in HR to always be fighting for a seat at the table. I decided in 2010 I would make my own table.
What was the first job you ever had?
My first job ever was actually in college when I began majoring in economics. My first internship was with Smith Barney at the time. I was basically hired to cold call people for a financial planner. I learned that I’m not good at cold calling, and it actually takes hard work to be successful.
When you’re a college student you have this ideal of what life is going to be after graduation. Most of the time it is that way, but you truly have to work for and earn your successes.
If you had all the money in the world, what would your days look like?
If I had all the money in the world I think I would still work as hard as I do on the Boone Management Group. It’s a passion of mine and I love everything that I do as a business owner.
My four year old watches Ni Hao, Kai-Lan on Nickelodeon and she really wants to go to China. My ten year-old has always wanted to travel the world. I would love to be able to do that with them.
What’s next for the Boone Management Group?
2013 is looking very good for the Boone Management Group. We have a pretty aggressive strategy to grow nationally. The Seattle office is the first step in that direction; we’re driving the company into new regions and the next will be Southern Florida.
We’re going to continue targeting businesses with revenues between $500,000 and $15 million and focus on industries that don’t get called on for services like ours but definitely need it.
We’re looking at good growth with 30 to 40 percent growth over last year. I’m really excited. I have a solid team behind me, and I have a plan I put together. To actually see that plan get executed and put to life is really gratifying.