Staying Power

A good friend and personal attorney of mine wrote a blog a few days ago titled “Secret Sauce.” It started from a conversation he had with one of his friends who was asking about his law firm and how he has been so successful through the years. She jokingly asked what his “secret sauce” was. So after reading the blog, I started to ask myself the same questions.

Advanced Telecom Systems has been in business for over 19 years and is still growing stronger each day. Having beat the odds of lasting more than a few years (most start-ups fail within just a few short years), I started to list out some of the reasons we’re still growing strong and what makes up our secret sauce.


Building strong partnerships have been critical for Advanced Telecom Systems growth. We have partnered with many contractors and sub-contractors who have helped save on travel costs, manpower and the need to ship tools across the USA. We have gone through a few partners to make the business model work, but once we find qualified contractors that meet our requirements, we build a strong relationship. We always continue to send work their way and many times they have reciprocated work to us.


Being an entrepreneur, self-employed or starting a company is not for everyone. There’s so many facets to face each day and unless you have deep pockets it is very tough to get them up off the ground. My wife and I started Advanced Telecom Systems with everything we had, which wasn’t much. When we first started, I slept in vans, low rent hotels, used points to fly everywhere and anything else to cut costs. There have been many days where I thought to myself I should just throw in the towel and head back to corporate America, but the thought of that just mad me sick to my stomach. So to anyone out there thinking of starting a business, go for it, but you better be ready to do whatever it takes.

Staying Ahead of the Industry:

Regardless of what industry, it is imperative to be ahead of the curb. Since we’re one of the premier distributed antenna system (DAS) companies in the nation, we’re constantly working with our vendors and the cell phone carriers to stay ahead of the market. Telecommunications changes daily and we have spent a lot of money on training to ensure we’re the best in the business.

Word of Mouth:

Up until a year ago, Advanced Telecom systems spent zero dollars on advertising. Everything we have done has been based on referrals. These referrals have been critical to our growth and success. We have always tried to go the extra step for our clients and at the end of the day deliver a full turn key solution that’s cost effective and scalable. Having the majority of our referrals coming from the cellular carriers is a big deal that we take very serious. Without those we wouldn’t be where we’re at, so we have to make sure their clients are happy.

Be a Giver:

The Bible says that “if you give it will be given back to you and in great measure”. This principle of sowing and reaping matters not if you’re a Christian as it applies to us all. Not only does it feel good, but it also comes back to you ten fold! We are living proof of this and try to constantly give back to our community, friends and family.


My family is my rock! They have stuck with me through some very hard times and now they see the reward of hard work, perseverance and that tenacity that I mentioned above. We have 4 girls and a son most of which have worked for the business at some point in their lives. Two of them still do and have really taken over operations, and for that I’m so proud and grateful. If my legacy is remembered for anything, it’s that I did it all for them!

This post was written by Shannon Ray who is the managing partner and co-founder of Advanced Telecom Systems, LLC.

Please contact us at (813) 343-2334 or online at