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Meet Cary Matthews of Opal Partners Group in Cumming

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cary Matthews.

Cary, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started my career working for Fortune 100 companies and learned a lot from them. In the early 2000s, I had several opportunities to work with smaller organizations with anywhere from 15 to 200 employees and realized I had found my passion. In small and mid-sized companies, things move quickly and you may wear a lot of hats. If you aren’t pulling your weight or you are unavailable for any length of time, it has a noticeable impact on the business and your team. If you want to feel like you are part of a team and not just a number, work in a small business.

You are a product of your environment and training. My father was an engineer and my undergraduate degree is in engineering too. Logical thinking, cause and effect, processes – I’ve had these influences around me my whole life both at home and at school. It just seemed natural to me to apply these concepts to business, and I gravitated to operations.

Being in business groups with other executives from small and mid-sized independent businesses, I saw first-hand that many of the challenges I faced and conquered in my companies were common to other businesses as well regardless of industry. Not every business has the resources or experience to effectively identify and deal with these issues, so I began Opal Partners to help business owners overcome the challenges facing their businesses and reach their goals both professionally and personally.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Starting a new business is never easy and it’s not for the faint of heart. You are responsible for every last detail, and success depends on your resolve and commitment to the business. You have to believe in the value you are bringing to the community and your customers.

I have been fortunate to have friends and colleagues who have been down this road before me to give me encouragement, practical advice, and prayers. Without them, Opal Partners wouldn’t be where we are today.

Please tell us about Opal Partners Group.
Opal Partners offers fractional COO services to small and mid-sized businesses. Companies often need help addressing good problems like handling growth or resolving issues like improving profitability or driving accountability, but they may not need a full-time resource. The fractional COO model allows us to offer solutions to our clients at a lower price than hiring a full-time employee.

As operations consultants, we address all three levels of the operations hierarchy: Process, Structure, and Strategy. Process focuses on how your business operates so it can be efficient and profitable. Structure focuses on measuring performance, staying compliant, and protecting the business. Strategy is the logical pathway to success based on the company’s DNA — who you are, how you behave, what you do, and why your customers choose to do business with you.

Companies are only successful if Process, Structure, and Strategy are in alignment.

Opal Partners isn’t a consulting firm that gives you a report and walk away. We are player/coaches who jump in and work side-by-side with you to reach your desired outcomes.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My parents taught me an appreciation of being outdoors. I grew up fishing in lakes and ponds all around middle Georgia, and every summer we spent time in Tennessee at my grandparents’ homes; we would play on my grandfather’s farm or go to the Smoky Mountains every year. And while I certainly didn’t realize it as a kid, even the times cutting wood or working in our small garden was actually fun. I’m guess I’m in the minority, but as an adult I actually like chopping wood on a cold winter day. And if I need to clear my head, relax, or just be re-energized now, a quick trip to the mountains with my dog and camera works wonders.

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