January 24, 2023
Most of us don’t like to learn things the hard way, but that’s exactly what needed to happen for this small consulting company to experience the impressive growth it has today.
Impact7G offers diverse environmental services to clients in the public, private and governmental sectors. As president, Ryan Peterson oversees the operations of the company’s eight business lines: Environmental Compliance, Community Development, Natural Resources, Cultural Resources Sustainability, Environmental Drilling, Asbestos, Watershed Planning & Design and Telecommunications.
“Early on, we wanted to grow; we wanted to get bigger; we wanted to provide our employees with more opportunities,” said Ryan, “but we didn’t know how to do it.” After learning some lessons the hard way as a young consulting company, Impact7G shifted focus to find opportunities that made sense for the business. “We learned that we don’t have to grow. We don’t have to go out and make an acquisition or hire a bunch of people if it is not the right fit. We need to do what feels right.”
Since Impact7G started, they’ve acquired some companies and passed on others, with continuous improvement always top of mind. “In our field, you can’t over promise and under deliver,” said Ryan. “If you mess up on the front end of a project, you’re probably not going to get another shot.” This dedication to quality work has earned the business a reputation in the industry, giving them the luxury of choosing the clients they want to partner with. “When you start up, you’ll work for anybody. You’ll do whatever you need to do to keep those lights on. It’s different now, which is a very good place to be.”
While the company has grown to approximately 60 employees in a little over 10 years, Ryan focuses on steady, controlled growth over scaling up to be the biggest. With a solid client base, Impact7G’s focus is on trying to expand those relationships — though it takes some doing. “I’ll be honest, we’ve done a terrible job of making sure our clients know us outside of the core service we’ve been providing to them,” said Ryan. “Maybe it’s an Iowan thing, where you don’t want to go out and brag about how great you are. But when we look at some of our accomplishments, it’s pretty cool. We’ve done a lot, and we’re very proud of it.”
Despite their unwillingness to self-promote, Impact7G is starting to get national recognition thanks to organic growth and client recommendations. Every few months, another market seems to catch wind of the company, and lo and behold, it inches its way up to become the top vender in that market. “There’s no better award that we could get other than our clients giving us work unsolicited,” said Ryan. “To me, that’s like, ‘Okay, we did it.’”
Impact7G has landed some big, highly visible, multi-year projects in recent years. In fact, they’re currently working on a big project for the City of Des Moines, and they just finished another one for Marion County — a veterans’ home in Knoxville, which involved 50 buildings on almost 100 acres. Inspecting the land in the dead of winter over the course of six weeks was just one of the many challenges they faced on the job, but they brought their best, assembling a team across multiple departments to accomplish the impressive feat. “I think most folks may not have been able to perform the way we did,” said Ryan, “but that’s why these projects are the fun ones.”
Like Ryan, we believe in working hard on behalf of our clients, our team members and our community, as reflected in our own values: Be people-centered. Bring your best. Enable great things. Think big. At Bank Iowa, we strive to live out our values every day to support our vision and fulfill our purpose.
Did this article resonate with you? Share with others in your network who value what you do. And if you want to hear more, listen to Ryan’s session here.
NOTE: Comments have been edited for length and clarity.
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