X3 Sports recently interviewed Chad Massaker, CEO & President of Carceron. Read the interview to find out more about Carceron and Chad and how he has successfully built his company.
1. What is Carceron?
Carceron is Atlanta’s most customer-recommended IT firm on Linkedin.com in Atlanta. Carceron provides managed IT services (outsourced helpdesk & monitoring), cloud services. telecom and broadband services, and IT consulting to businesses with 20-200 workstations. We’re primarily focused on the professional services businesses (e.g. legal, financial, healthcare, engineering, etc.). Carceron was started in 2002 out of a college apartment by Chad Massaker & Jeffrey Lee. Now Carceron provides IT services to clients all over the country and has an office located in Cobb Galleria area. Carceron has been the recipient of many awards and designations, including:
• CRN Next Gen 250 List
• MSPMentor Top 501 List
• CompTIA MSP Trustmark (we are the first company in Metro Atlanta to receive this designation)
• Cobb Chamber Top 25 Small Business of the Year (2005 & 2006)
• Microsoft Gold Partner
• Carceron CEO, Chad Massaker, has been named to the MSP Mentor Top 250 list many times and was also a top 5 finalist for the Metro Atlanta Small Business PErson of the Year in 2010
2.Tell us how you got involved in BJJ and how BJJ is a big component of your life After taking several styles of martial arts over the years (tae kwon do, kung fu, boxing), I decided that my size and strength were better suited to grappling. Having watched the first UFC matches, I began to develop a real appreciation for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu early on. Eventually, I took the plunge and started training at a local gym when I lived in Kennesaw, but within months I injured my back (not because of BJJ) and was out for 6 months. During this time I moved my office and home south towards the Galleria area. Once I recovered, I began looking for a new place. I had heard good things about X3 Sports, so I decided to give it a go.
At first, I just did kickboxing classes just to get in better shape, but within months I enrolled in the BJJ program and never looked back. I’ll never forget my first tournament, it was NAGA in July of 2011. It was held at a high school in Jonesboro with no air conditioning. I took silver in the No-Gi match and gold in the Gi. I was hooked. A dozen or so gold medals later, I guess you could say I have done well. I have only lost three matches out of all the tournaments that I have fought, have never earned less than a silver medal, and have never been submitted in a tournament (all 3 losses came from points). I recently won the gold medal at the IBJJF Pan Am, the largest tournament in the world.
3. You are one of the most networked professionals out there. Tell us a typical week in Chad’s networking schedule and how you manage it. Over the years I have built Carceron up almost solely through networking and word-of-mouth referrals. Only in recent years have we really started to add on contemporary and traditional marketing methods to aid with growth of the business. In terms of finding time to network, it comes down to two simple things: making the time and knowing where to network. In my case, I worked my way out of the day-to-day operational roles of the company.
Now my only role is business development and weekly accountability meetings with the operations team. In terms of knowing where to network, that all boils down to who your target market is and who your potential strategic partners are. Find that out, then hang out where they hang out (trade shows, chamber events, etc.). Another trick is to start your own networking group/event and then attract those people to you. For example, I started Speakeasy a monthly, members-only cigar mixer for business-to-business owners and execs 2 years ago. We now have over 170 members ranging from solo-preneur consultants, all the way up to an owner of a $50 million dollars a year company. Another colleague of mine started a similar group but based it on endurance athletes (business execs that like to do triathlons, iron mans, etc.). Find your niche and create a group. Use social media, like Facebook Fan Pages and/or LinkedIn Groups to keep in touch with your group.
4. If you were to give a young professional/entrepreneur any advice, what would it be?I For anyone starting a new business, I would say start with marketing first and never stop. It’s far easier to start this way and pick and choose your leads that you would like to convert to customers than spending your initial capital on operations and being left with no funds to attract new customers. In regards to networking, understand that social media is a powerful tool to virtually extend your networking activities and is a great keep-in-touch mechanism. Embrace social media.