Today we’d like to introduce you to Tammy Cohen.
Tammy, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was an administrative assistant, but I was always thinking about new businesses. I saw an opportunity to be in a new industry, a service that was needed by many companies: applicant and employee background checks.
I was 25 and making payments on a computer. I had no savings and no idea how to run a business. The early days were difficult, a daily struggle to grow the business. At that time, it wasn’t exciting or popular to be a startup. I didn’t have credit, a degree, or experience in what I was doing so I was unable to secure a loan. I owned one suit and wore it to every meeting. It was financially tight, but it proved to be a blessing.
Like every entrepreneur, I made a number of bad decisions along the way. Each one slowed progress, but eventually, the company grew more successful and I grew a lot wiser.
Many factors contributed to our success story. If I were to select the top one, it would be picking the right employees. In the first year of business, I read an article titled “Betting on the Right Horses.” I framed it and hung it directly in my line of sight, where I would always see it while working at my desk. It still hangs in my office. Hiring the right people and taking care of our workplace family has been crucial to our success.
Our first real employee was a 16-year-old youth apprentice, Amy Phillips, who came after school each day. 28 years later, Amy is our CFO. This year, while launching our solution for a startup to mid-sized businesses, there were 20 people on the innovation team. We did a quick count of the years of experience our team had in the screening industry, and it totaled over 250 years—a quarter of a millennium of experience.
Our second success factor would be our culture, which thrives on being hungry for change and innovation. When I started the company, “high tech” was nothing but faxes and stacks of paper everywhere. We have always worked hard to stay ahead of the technology curve, and we recently launched the first-to-market, smartphone-enabled identity & biometric authentication and verification platform.
Today it is just as exciting as it was 29 years ago but happily less stressful. InfoMart has been on a strategic path for the innovation and transformation of the background check industry. Two years ago, we launched our new platform and hired our CEO, Marco Piovesan. Marco is a recognized global leader in data. His knowledge of data, along with our background screening industry experts—Erica Clausen-Lee, Adam Townsend, and Tim Gordon—are sending waves through the industry with our unique and continuously advancing innovations.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It hasn’t always been smooth sailing. To begin as a start-up with no financial backing is difficult. In fact, the first ten years were challenging. We franchised too early, selling 40 franchises that eventually became our competitors. A couple of times, we have had employees steal our proprietary information, including the only physical documents in existence, then start their own business as a competitor.
I learned a great deal in the first ten years. After that, we have had great success, even though the recession of 2009 was filled with learning lessons. But with every struggle, the InfoMart team not only persevered but we became better. We learned from our mistakes and used the experience to do bigger and greater things in the background screening industry.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
InfoMart has been revolutionizing the global background and identity screening industry for over 28 years, providing businesses with the information they need to make informed hiring decisions. We develop innovative technology that modernizes talent onboarding, including a first-to-market biometric identity authentication application and a verified sanctions search.
We are known for our customer service and turnaround time. We return client calls within the hour, and on average we return background check results in less than two days. We are proud of our work culture. It is unique, and our employees give 150% because they know they are valued.
Our team is FCRA-certified, so they are experts and can help our clients stay in compliance and answer questions the first time they call. As a woman-owned business, we work hard to support other diverse suppliers, and we have over 40 industry awards, including a number of Best Place to Work and system security recognitions.
What were you like growing up?
I was an entrepreneur at an early age, doing door-to-door sales for businesses I found in the back of magazines, like greeting cards. While in High School, a parent complained that I was leading the cheerleaders like I was running a business.
I have always loved being involved and helping out, whether it was for my school, church or community. I campaigned or volunteered for every club leadership role that came available. My interests changed during my school years, and many organizations have been important in my life. My weekends would be happily spent making posters for clubs, planning out meetings or leading cheer practice. I am a lifetime volunteer.
My nickname in high school was Bubbles (I was always very positive and annoyingly happy). I was just an “all American girl” from the 70’s.
- Basic Background checks starting at $28.95
- Website: http://www.infomart-usa.com/
- Phone: 7709842727
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tammycohengtws
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/ByTammyCohen
- Other: www.pinterest.com/bytammycohen