It’s more than 20 years since Doug Pelletier ended a successful run at IBM to seek out a better work-life balance and build his own career path via his own company, Trifecta Technologies
Pelletier’s instincts were spot on. He has grown Trifecta into a leading web-based business solutions provider that develops e-commerce, mobile apps, and custom web apps for customers like Disney, Bon-Ton, Starwood Resorts, Carlo’s Bakery (the Cake Boss) and locally, ArtsQuest/Musikfest.
Trifecta was recently named one of the fastest-growing companies in the Lehigh Valley, one of the Best Places to Work in PA and earned a spot on the Inc. 500/5000 Fastest Growing Companies list. The company boasts revenue between $12-15 million and employs 80 in the Lehigh Valley, Canada and India, up from $4 million and 27 employees five years ago.
What was the inspiration behind Trifecta?
I had put my time in at IBM and learned a lot while I was there, but I was ready for a change and had a different idea of how I wanted my career to play out. My goal was to create a company that encouraged a good balance between work and family, while embracing all the emerging technologies being developed at the time. While at IBM, I worked very closely with a lot of clients to get their projects off the ground and together we saw some great results. That experience helped me think more like a customer, put myself in their shoes and empathize with the deadlines, budgets and expectations they had to manage. I think that really set the tone for how we work with customers here at Trifecta and a big reason we’ve built so many long-lasting business relationships, some that have lasted over a decade and counting.
What was the biggest challenge in getting Trifecta off the ground?
We started on a shoe-string budget with no knowledge of how to efficiently run a business.
What resources did you take advantage of to grow Trifecta?
We rode on the coat tails of our major suppliers, IBM in particular. We joined and took advantage of their Business Partner programs, discounts and sales force.
How can we stimulate small business to be an engine for job creation?
Lower marginal tax rates. Better yet, no tax on business income until it is distributed to the business owner(s) so that more funds are available for the business.
What key partnerships in your region or state have helped Trifecta grow?
We’ve been active supporters of the United Way of the Lehigh Valley for many years and that relationship has allowed us to interact directly with a lot of the great companies in region and those introductions have led to some new business over the years. We’re also members of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce and that visibility has certainly helped us make some key connections that have contributed to our growth.
What advantages does being in your region hold for entrepreneurs?
The Lehigh Valley provides a lower cost of living for our employees; employees can live and work close to home; employees from this region tend to be more dedicated and loyal (perhaps because they have seen the devastation on families when large companies shut down or move “south”). The proximity to large urban centers like New York City and Philadelphia gives us a tremendous advantage as well. We can easily attend meetings or industry events in the largest metropolitan area (New York City) in the country in under 90 minutes or drive to the 5th largest market (Philadelphia) in the country in under 60 minutes. Easy access to these to markets make the Lehigh Valley very attractive to entrepreneurs and corporations alike.
Where does your region need to improve in terms of support for entrepreneurs?
We need more entertainment and activities that will attract and keep young professionals in the Lehigh Valley. What is happening in Downtown Allentown (new hockey arena) and Southside Bethlehem (Artsquest.org) are great steps in the right direction. There are six very highly regarded colleges/universities in the area and we need to retain a larger percentage of all those bright people once they graduate.
What’s the big differentiator for Trifecta?
People – we have hired very smart and very talented professionals over the years that continue to impress our clients who are some of the biggest and best-run companies around the country. Our people are our best asset and our customers know it.
What’s next for Trifecta?
Salesforce.com – we are building applications and web-based solutions on the Salesforce Platform for our clients and seeing excellent results. Salesforce.com is one of the fastest growing companies with cloud-based products and solutions. The idea of building a social enterprise in the cloud is replacing old technologies and systems, and we’re helping our clients build business infrastructures that are highly scalable, encourage growth and fend off competitive pressure, both domestically and internationally.
— by Joe Petrucci