Tempe man goes from spare bedroom to $7 million operation - East Valley Tribune: Tempe

Tempe man goes from spare bedroom to $7 million operation

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Posted: Thursday, May 29, 2014 11:30 am

Just a few years after starting his business in a friend’s guest room, Tempe businessman Joshua Hadley’s profile rose significantly and his is now one of the fastest growing companies in the country.

Hadley’s company, Now Communications, landed at No. 36 on the Inc. “5000 List,” and received the listing’s top mark as the top company in both Arizona and in the Phoenix metro area. According to Inc., the company’s listing is based on a three-year growth in revenue from 2009 to 2012.

According to Inc., Now Communications increased from slightly more than $100,000 in revenue in 2009 — the year Hadley founded the company — to $7 million in 2012. That represents a more than 6,700 percent increase in revenue and came with a jump in employees from six to 110 in 2012. Hadley said the number of employees now sits around 150 in all.

Now Communications centers on selling DirecTV services to customers across the Valley. Hadley described Now Communications as a sales force for the company, one that serves as DirecTV’s sales, marketing and fulfillment branch.

What it is now is a far cry from when the now 34-year-old Hadley first founded the business alongside Chris Pearce in a spare bedroom at a friend’s house.

“We did it mainly out of necessity to build our lives up,” he said.

The unusual office accommodations aren’t the only hindrance Hadley faced in his attempts to grow the company. The primary issues came from health problems related to Crohn’s disease — a disease that attacks the bowels and does not have a known cure.

He’s had to cope with the disease for years while building the business, which has led to ER visits on Saturdays and a return to the office on the following Monday. He even had approximately 13 inches of his intestine removed in 2005.

As Hadley put it, the disease gets pretty nasty when it flames up, but Hadley’s father, Don, said his son has always had a strong drive that’s pushed him through previous tribulations.

“For most people that’s debilitating ... but Josh is not that way,” he said.

The success with Now Communications has led to a number of accolades aside from the recognition from Inc. Among the ones cited by Hadley was the DirecTV dealer of the year and received a nod as a semifinalist in the Ernst & Young Mountain Desert Entrepreneur of the Year award.

“By setting your goal and going for it, those awards start falling in your lap,” he said.

Hadley’s next step in his business development includes the start of a new company, Farmers Brand, to create a new type of formula. He said the fertilizer, called Green LightningT, works on all plants and not just trees, hedges or certain type of flowers.

He also anticipates increasing Now Communications to two or three times its current size in the next few years.

“We’re very focused on growing it and keep on doing what we’re doing,” he said.

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