Advancing the social good: how to run a profitable business with a purpose.

Author:McKinney, Jeffrey
Position:Lessons from the BE100s - An interview by Chairman of inscope on how to run profitable business - Interview

AFTER LEARNING OF THE 9/11 ATTACKS IN 2001, MIKE BRUCE WAS compelled to help prevent the tragedy from ever being repeated. His answer was InScope International Inc., a business he launched in 2002 to provide national security and technology services to intelligence and defense agencies. His company's motto was simply, "Never Again."

The Reston, Virginia-based enterprise has since expanded its business model. InScope today mainly develops complex software systems for government agencies and companies to advance affordable housing, defense, chronic healthcare, financial services, and energy sustainability, among other global initiatives.

InScope, which also offers project management technology, architectural, and staffing services, counts Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Defense among its roster of clients. InScope embraces the practice of "doing well by doing good" by working with entities to enable low-income individuals to buy affordable houses and delivering in-home healthcare services to senior citizens. "We built a fraud clearinghouse for the elderly that provided alerts regarding predatory businesses. It was gratifying to build a system that protected and empowered the vulnerable," Bruce says, recalling one of his greatest achievements.

As chairman and CEO of InScope (No. 87 on the BE INDUSTRIAL/SERVICE COMPANIES list with 2014 revenues of $30.1 million in revenues), Bruce plans to spend roughly $500,000 to improve the professional development skills of his existing staff and make new hires to expand business among the health information technology and intelligence communities. Revenues peaked at just over $40 million in 2011, when InScope sold a division that generated $15 million in sales. The company has been rebuilding revenues since 2014. He attributes last year's slight gain to adding business with existing clients as well as new federal agencies and commercial clients. This year, Bruce, 44, expects his firm to do $33 million in revenues and to employ 150 people. Beyond 2016, he projects annual revenue growth of 5% to 10%.

Still, the journey has not been easy. An ongoing challenge is anticipating major changes and economic trends in areas such as energy and housing that could affect his clients' business. "Our job is to provide expertise and consulting to help them navigate those challenges."

Before launching InScope, Bruce was vice president of...

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