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Start Your Business Entrepreneurs

Small Business Snapshot: Kenway Consulting

Small Business Snapshot: Kenway Consulting Credit: Kenway Consulting

Our Small Business Snapshot series features photos that represent, in just one image, what the small businesses we feature are all about. Brian King, president and CEO of Kenway Consulting, explains how this image represents his business.

In 2004, after nine years of working for one of the consulting industry's global giants, I decided it was time to go out on my own and start the company for which I always wanted to work. Kenway Consulting, a Chicago-based management and technology consulting firm, was born.

At Kenway, we operate under the general philosophy of "always doing, under all circumstances, what is right" and believe that the means to success is actually more important than success itself. Each employee promises to uphold a set of Guiding Principles, oaths, if you will, that focus on integrity, quality, value and respect. It's these Guiding Principles that continue to inspire and motivate us to find new and innovative ways to support our community.

I started Kenway because I believed there was an alternative to what I was seeing in the consulting landscape. I believed there was a way to focus on delivery, and let sales and growth be by-products of being good and spreading the word. I believed there was a way to focus on always doing right, even if that meant dips in revenue, believing that in the long run, growth would result from the integrity and good will that permeated. I believed there was a way to hire and retain talented personnel by focusing less on corporate goals, and more on the unique personal and professional goals of each employee. These were the attributes of the company for which I always wanted to work, and I knew that leading with culture was the best—and right—way to run a business. I was one person. I found one client. And I hoped that doing right would lead to more. And it has.

This photo symbolizes much of what Kenway represents as a company. We've hosted a golf outing each of the past seven years to raise money for a local charity, and this picture was taken at our 2016 event.  Kenway's Shara Scheibe, who at the time had been an employee for only 4 months, is featured with her husband, Adam. Neither of them plays golf and employee attendance was not required. Despite these facts, Shara, her husband, and 90 percent of the Kenway team elected to come out that (rainy) Saturday to volunteer for Alive Rescue, a Chicago non-profit that serves as a rescue and safe haven for animals.  We raised $30,000 helping Phinney, the adult dog in the photograph who had been rescued from a Puppy Mill and sheltered by Alive Rescue, find his forever home.

What's next for Kenway? Undoubtedly, some challenges still stand before us, not the least of which is being viewed with similar street credentials as those same industry giants that inspired me to start Kenway.  But from our modest means and thanks to our 40-plus employees' efforts, we are on pace to achieve our five-year plan targeted for completion in 2020. In terms of culture, size, impact and location, Kenway's employees are marching our company towards a shared vision that despite its documented outcomes, is focused squarely on the means to get there. We view our past with learnings, and look to our future with excitement, and hope to find some furry forever homes along the way.