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Creating a Global “Mom and Pop Shop”

The world of information technology, data centers, and tech support seems impersonal to most people. These large companies are pretty much as far away from small town “mom and pop” businesses as you can get. Whoever decided this concept forgot to tell Jim Wolford and Larry Patterson, who started Atomic Data 15 years ago.

Now a global presence, Atomic Data has been able to keep the same focus that is usually attributed to small town Midwestern family businesses. According to Jim Wolford, Atomic Data’s CEO and Co-Founder, this philosophy was a no-brainer; they started small with a good idea that could scale well and waited to grow until they were able to do so. A feat that is rare in today’s tech world, where we see companies starting huge and waiting for their ideas to catch up to their size. This mentality also enabled Atomic Data to keep its culture and dedication to giving back at the center of their rapidly growing business. Almost all of their employees around the country and the world started in the Twin Cities at the corporate headquarters and were trained in the same culture; when they move to new locations, that culture follows and spreads a bit further.

At their North Loop Minneapolis headquarters, Atomic Data has a rather unorthodox quote on the wall as a tribute to their mission: “Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, benevolence, were all my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!” For those who don’t recognize it, that is a quote from Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol. It is a reminder to everyone at Atomic Data that their services are important, but just a small part of the whole business, giving back to those who need should be just as big a focus as any other part of the business.

From their beginning, Atomic Data gave back to local communities and organizations in what Wolford says is their duty, “don’t wait for someone else to help out, take the lead, do good and be self-sufficient.” Just as their business model was based on scaling, their giving efforts have scaled with their expansion; the giving initiatives started 15 years ago are just as important today. The employees hold these initiatives close at heart as well. They are a part of the communities they help, making the efforts even more personal.

This personal touch is another facet of their local to global approach. They are a tech company, but at heart Atomic Data is a service-based company. Their employees and the relationships with their customers are more important than the equipment they provide. This personal connection has ensured that Atomic Data has a less than 1% client turnover.

Through consistency and dedication to personal connections, charitable giving, and smart growth Atomic Data has brought proven business philosophies and Midwestern values to a fast moving and sometimes impersonal industry. They have shown that even when rapidly expanding to a global stage, companies shouldn’t compromise the values that they started on; they should use those values to drive change.

 


Learn more about Atomic Data here: atomicdata.com

Photo credit: atomicdata.com

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