The explosion of technology has increased the number of ways people communicate with one another, but it has also created a great deal of complexity.
Do I call you at your office number? Your cell number? What about your home office? Where should I send a fax? And which e-mail address should I use?
These are the questions that OnlyOne wanted to eliminate with its service. Now a person can have one number that will route all calls to the correct place. The phone number is connected to a person rather than to a device.
The concept has been very popular, and the company has rapidly expanded to 11 locations in two years. But it’s the people-oriented focus on the distribution end that’s really enabled its rapid growth.
“We are, in essence, taking our entire business model and sharing it with a fairly select group of business partners,” says Warren Carter, OnlyOne’s CEO. “We have a fairly strong qualification process, and we all determine whether this is the right business venture for us to be doing together as partners.”
The goal is to have a presence throughout the country where customers can have local access numbers and also have a local face to lead the company efforts.
“Having the local person in the market is very key to us,” says Carter. “We deliver the technology. We have the programmed products and services, and they have the local connections and sales skills. That’s what makes our partnership work.”
Limits have been set so areas do not become overcrowded, and the plan is to have 220 companies owned by about 50 ownership groups.
“We do require an ownership group to have a person in each market,” says Carter. “That person must be invested as a 10 percent owner. These are not employees or staff, but vested people that will see this all the way to the end.
“We would like to add about 20 to 25 new locations each year. The pace is manageable, and that’s our target and plan.” How to reach: OnlyOne, (216) 373-2756