Chad Chancellor is a successful business professional and the co-founder of Next Move Group – a company that focuses on creating economic growth for small to mid-sized companies, communities, and non-profit organizations.
Born and raised in a small town in rural Mississippi, Chad’s early life strongly influenced his career trajectory. As the son of a factory manufacturing worker, Chad’s father was laid off when the company made the decision to relocate overseas. Since then, Chad has made it his mission to bring economic development to various areas across the United States. He attended Mississippi State University, a business degree. In 2017, he was honored to be chosen for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Accelerator Program with curriculum written by Babson College, America’s number 1 entrepreneurship school. Since completing the Goldman Sachs program, he has grown Next Move Group’s revenue 400%. He has secured 600+ clients for Next Move Group from 40+ states and Germany, Israel, Brazil, and Canada.
1. Can you share a little bit about the early days of the company?
We started in 2014 and it was just myself and my partner, the two co-founders. No staff, no employees. We made a mistake by starting in October of that year and since most people don’t do much between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we did not experience much success. However, the following year and every quarter since, we have done much better. Within our first year, we had clients from Colorado, Tennessee, Kentucky, California, and so forth. We knew we had something good, but it took time for us to grow to the point where we were comfortable enough to hire our first employee in 2018. Since doing that we have grown 400%.
2. How would you say you’ve achieved success with your company?
Our goal is to help small and mid-sized businesses and communities grow together economically. When I was younger, my father lost his job at a manufacturing plant due to its relocation overseas. I understand firsthand the devastating impact that an event such as that can have on a family and a community. So, we have been very specific about what we do, we do not beat around the bush, and made it clear that we may not be for everyone. I attribute our success to our unwavering dedication to our mission and goals. We don’t do it for the money, we want to help cultivate positive change.
3. What are the obstacles that you overcome in the process and in cultivating your business on such a level?
We started this business in 2014 with nationwide clients and prior to the pandemic, no one did zoom calls. So, in business, I put 100,000 miles a year on a car. We would drive to see potential customers all over the country and we would always be on the road. Now, our staff and clients are much more accustomed to video calls, which helps us in terms of time and productivity. We no longer have to drive for hours at a time or get on a plane to travel halfway across the country.
4. What drives you to succeed?
My father. He grew up in this rural town, one of ten kids, never went to college, and worked in a manufacturing plant in our town. Then, one day, when I was ten, literally overnight, the corporate executives decided to offshore their jobs. My dad, his twin brother, and several other family members that worked there lost it because the heads of the company wanted to pay a fraction of the labor costs. So, he switched to construction and while that paid the bills, there would be weeks where he was not at home. In many ways, I was raised in a single-family household because he had to go where the work was. So, what motivates me to get up every day is thinking of ways to help these communities grow and thrive in the long term. We set it up so that everyone wins, the company is profitable, they get a good location, and the community wins because the people have good paying jobs.
5. How has your definition of success changed over the years?
The larger our business has gotten, the more I’ve had to become a manager. Before, whenever I made a sale, I had to take care of all of the work. You can do that when you have ten to fifteen clients. Now, we have six-hundred. There are projects that I never even touch because now, our company signs the deal and does the work and I get to hear about it
6. What has achieving this level of success meant to you?
It would have to be the connections we have made. As an example; my best friend’s wife just got diagnosed with stage four cancer and we needed to get her to a hospital that could treat her. So, I called up someone in the area and it turned out to be someone I knew as a customer of ours. I informed them of my situation and they ended up dropping what they were doing and helped get my friend’s wife an appointment within a day’s time. It was never about the money, but the connections. I think what I really enjoy is not just the success or the money, but the connections that help us solve problems together.
7. What advice would you offer to others striving to reach their levels of success?
You have to constantly be willing to reinvent yourself and give yourself room to grow. When we started out, it was just us two and it involved a lot of micromanagement. Yes, I was able to keep the quality of the work high, but the bigger we got, the more I came to realize that I needed to hire competent and skilled people and let them do their job. Goldman Sachs taught me to work on my business, not in it. So, the more success you have, the more your job changes and you have to adapt in order to succeed. In the past eight years, I feel like my career has changed three separate times, but it’s better than it was back then.
8. How do you feel success affects a person’s outlook?
Even though I was raised in a rural area, I always felt like I was going to be successful. Granted, I had no idea if I was going to own a business or be a doctor, lawyer, I had no earthly idea. But, I don’t think my attitude has changed that much as I’ve always been very optimistic.