Albany's Integra Business Alternatives Plans to Expansion in Columbus

Barbara Kieker

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Integra Business Alternatives, a payroll, staffing and human resources firm based in Albany, continues to experience steady double-digit growth.  Against a backdrop of high national and local unemployment, the firm grew revenues by 32 percent from 2009 to 2010 and 46 percent from 2010 to 2011.

"Our growth is coming from both payroll services and temporary employment services. Albany has been a very good market for us. We continue to see steady growth in 2012," said owner Sonny McGee.

"I attribute it to the marketing strategies we've implemented and the aggressive way we've pursued sales.  Also much of the temporary employment we handle is seasonal in the pecan and peanut industries.  Those industries have been doing quite well recently."

McGee opened Integra Business Alternatives nearly 22 years ago as a temporary employment agency for all types of businesses within a 40- to 50-mile radius of Albany.  He later expanded to offer payroll processing services and human resources consulting services, such as family medical leave and sexual harassment consultations, for primarily small businesses across the southeastern United States.

Over the years Integra has significantly grown its customer base in and around Albany.  That strong base has enabled Integra to expand.

Expanding in Columbus

In early 2013, Integra will open a second location in Columbus, Ga.  According to McGee, "Columbus is one of the highest growth cities in Georgia and the Southeast."

The Columbus area is home to a new Kia auto plant and the new combined Armor and Infantry School at Fort Benning.  In addition to the jobs that are directly created, both enterprises attract many parts and services suppliers.  As a result, their impact on the local economy is much greater than even their employment numbers indicate.

Other employers in the area include Aflac, NCR, Prosperity America, Inc., Synovus, Lance, Inc. and Kellogg.  Columbus is also home to the Martin Army Community Hospital and St. Francis Hospital.  And the city is beefing up its tourism offerings with plans to build whitewater rapids on the Chattahoochee River.

"Columbus is definitely the place to go.  Our success in Albany has opened the door for us to be able to expand to another location now and maybe more in the future," McGee said.

Customer Retention

Some of Integra's customers have been with the firm for more than 17 years.  McGee attributes that to the company's focus on quality of service.

"When customers stay with us for 17 years, we know we are doing a good job.  We are extremely customer-driven and we stay flexible so that we can meet whatever needs our customers may have," McGee said.

On the temporary employment side of the business, the biggest challenge Integra faces currently is finding the right people to fill open positions.  The company puts a lot of effort into upfront screening.  On the payroll services side of the business, smooth processing is key.

"We try to prevent any mistakes from occurring, but if they do, we correct them ASAP," McGee said.

More information on Integra Business Alternatives is available at

About Barbara Kieker

Barbara Kieker is a freelance writer who writes on business-related topics for a number of web-based properties. She also provides communications services to Fortune 500 corporations, small businesses and nonprofit organizations.