It was rewarding for McCollum to see how commerce helped villagers turn their lives around and provide for their families. His experiences in
McCollum was already contemplating his own consulting startup, tapping skills he learned as a former Bank of America and
With those goals in mind, McCollum launched
To boost its bottom line, McCollum and Brabbs decided to specialize in customer relationship management consulting, which involves helping other businesses improve their interactions with customers. Torrent helps clients work within
Companies of all sizes, even small ones, are increasingly looking for digital ways to track these business interactions to boost efficiency, according to
Beyers said Salesforce has emerged as one of the bigger players on the market, competing with similar tools including Nemesis by
It's a business focus that has not only fueled Torrent's growth, but its philanthropic goals, too: The company sets aside 10 percent of its profits to support social entrepreneurs and provide consulting services to these operations.
Finding their 'Purple Cow'
Salesforce, which launched its global company 15 years ago in
Torrent, which says it is adding its 100th client soon, is one of the only Salesforce implementation providers in
Adopting this focus as its core business in 2013 has made all the difference for Torrent, McCollum said. When he first launched his startup, he focused on providing consulting services for social entrepreneurs looking to solve community issues. But he quickly realized that "you can't make a living with that."
Seeking out a more lucrative specialty, McCollum and partner Brabbs talked about being distinctive. McCollum drew inspiration from the book "Purple Cow," which notes that the difference between a remarkable business and an invisible one lies in whether the company has a focus.
"Instead of creating a product that sells at
Having had positive results working with clients on Salesforce, McCollum and Brabbs decided last summer to be an implementation provider.
Since then, Torrent grew from two to 25 team members in
"... People starting thinking about us" when it came time to growing their business, McCollum said.
Taking up community causes
Torrent also pursues its other cause of doing greater good through its company. In June, it hired
Santoro runs Enderly Coffee, based in the
A former teacher with
But McCollum, who knew Santoro as a fellow member at
Now, Torrent is serving as a business incubator of sorts for Enderly Coffee. Santoro says McCollum advises him on using Salesforce to break down sales numbers and draft business prospects. The goal is for Enderly Coffee to become independent under its new business model in 18 months.
Santoro works 32 hours a week as an operational analyst at Torrent's
Brabbs says neither of two existing business worlds satisfied Torrent: corporations that are good in profit model, and nonprofits carrying missional purposes.
"We merge them together," Brabbs said, "and take the best world."
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