Clear vision

Visimax Technologies Inc. has increased its sales 1,374 percent in the last five years by finding a niche and hiring the right people to carry out its vision.

Visimax applies precision optical coating to precision optics across many industries. Customers send manufactured optics to the company, which applies the coating process to them and sends them back.

President Dane Clark and his wife, Vice President Melanie Clark, founded Visimax Technologies in 2000.

Dane Clark, who worked for 20 years in the optical coatings industry of putting coating on eyeglass lenses, developed an interest in precision optics and saw an opportunity in more high-tech applications.

He based his business plan on those applications and mapped out a strategy to serve a broad range of businesses and position the company to withstand cycles in the economy. His first year in business, Visimax had revenue of $104,000 with three employees, including himself and his wife.

The next year, revenue nearly quintupled to $609,000, rising to $994,000 in 2002. It fell off to $817,000 in 2003, but then nearly doubled the next year to $1.53 million. “There’s been a lot of hard work and a little luck along the way,” says Clark of his company’s explosive growth.

But despite this growth in revenue, the number of employees has only risen to 12.

“Our equipment is very sophisticated and very highly automated, with a limited amount of labor,” Clark says.

The 6,000-square-foot Twinsburgh-based plant runs 24 hours a day, with three shifts, and Clark says the company is currently looking to purchase a building to essentially double the physical size of Visimax’s plant.

With a new plant in the works, Clark is anticipating his company’s growth will continue, with a 10-year projection of $5 million in annual revenue.

As the company grows, Clark will need to continue adding employees, a task he says is time-consuming.

“We don’t necessarily look for experience specific to the industry, we look for the right skill set and right attitude,” he says. “It’s a long process with multiple interviews. We’re looking for, No. 1, the right attitude; No. 2, a solid work history; and No. 3, the ability to do intricate work, very detailed work. And some background in inspection is helpful.”

And while he anticipates continued growth, his involvement, and that of his wife, won’t change. “We’re partners in every facet of the business,” Clark says. “She’s involved on the production side and administration side. We’re still small enough that we both need to do everything.”