This past August, Inc. Magazine released its prestigious Inc. 5000 list, highlighting the fastest-growing businesses in the nation.
Among those was Smart Chemical Services, a local business that provides chemical and operational solutions for drilling, oil field production, water, and more for the oil and gas industry.
Lloyd Brown, Jeffrey Snider and Scott Jones founded Smart Chemical Services in 2008. Since then, the business has grown substantially, now serving Texas, Oklahoma , Colorado and beyond.
In an interview with the Amarillo EDC, Brown shares how earning a place on the Inc. 5000 list has affected his company, as well as what contributed to the success of the business.
Reagan Hales: What steps did Smart Chemical Services take to earn a place on the Inc. 5000 list?
Lloyd Brown: We applied for Inc. 5000 in 2013, and we were not accepted. The rate of growth within the company didn’t fit the Inc. criteria.
Since 2013, we have added significant team members to our company. We invested in new operating areas outside of just the initial ones we had, which was primarily the Permian Basin and the Denver/Rocky Mountain area. We also evolved our technology and completion fluids used in hydraulic fracturing.
In January or February this year, I received an email requesting that we apply again. And, at that point in time, we met the criteria that Inc. provided in their email. We went through the process of the application, gave them the information, and that was about it.
Hales: Was this ever a goal you were striving for?
Brown: This was definitely not something that had been on a priority list. Initially, it was not a goal at all. It was more of just seeing if we would be in that group.
However, once I learned about how many companies that we talk about every day had been part of the Inc. 500 and the Inc. 5000, it made me very excited that we had achieved this recognition.
Hales: When you first started Smart Chemical Services, did you ever think you would end up here?
Brown: I dreamed of getting here. Because if you don’t dream big, you don’t get big.
Hales: What are the future goals of Smart Chemical Services?
Brown: We’re doing a strategic plan next week to iron out our goals as a company. We want to be recognized as an industry leader in the scientific design of completion fluids and to be a top-level service provider in all the other oil and gas/chemical services.
We focus more on solving problems using science rather than developing a marketing plan around a product and selling that, whether the product works or not. And we have a lot of experience. I feel like we have a lot to offer the industry as a whole.
Hales: What advice would you give to a business that wants to earn placement on Inc. 5000?
Brown: You should define your core values. And for us, that’s the Smart Rules. That has probably been one of the best processes that we went through that helped all of us identify the things that were most important as managers and owners, and has been the most highly embraced for the people that we recruit to be part of our team.
Hales: How has reaching this goal affected your business?
Brown: It’s brought a lot of positive recognition for the hard work of our team. It’s also not all comfortable recognition. The volume of people reaching out with solutions is through the roof. You should see my Spam folder!
We have very high aspirations for our company. The Inc. 5000 list recognition is just a benchmark for continuing to move forward.
Hales: What have you learned from this recognition?
Brown: I think it all goes back to, it shows if you dream big, you can get there. You also have to realize that you have a lot of people that influence the ability to achieve a certain size or growth.
We wouldn’t be here without all my partners who said “yes” to the day we approached them about starting this company. I’m grateful for them staying engaged and involved in the ups and downs we’ve gone through together over the last nine years.
Additionally, having a story that resonates with people and being able to back it up with your actions is probably the most important thing. ROI Online helps us tremendously in how we market our company, not only to customers but also to the people who market our team.
See how Inc. Magazine is highlighting Amarillo’s growing economy and business development. Click the link below to read stories written by Inc. writers about the City of Amarillo.