Last month, you read about area businessman Dan Blixt, the president of WE Electric Motors, who has realized quick growth for his family-owned manufacturing operation due to his decision to adopt a new outlook on the way business had "always been done before." This month, we will highlight International Ordnance Technologies Inc., and President Tammy Snyder - another regional business success story which represents more of the economic promise our region has bubbling at the surface.
These success stories wouldn't have been possible if it weren't for the willingness of Blixt and Snyder to embrace the radical changing marketplace that has disrupted previously successful business models. What's led to this dramatic change? Internet technologies and the growth of e-commerce. Both have had a revolutionary effect upon the business-to-business and business-to-consumer marketplace.
The nearly immediate growth experienced by both companies resulted from Blixt and Snyder's decision to expand their business's Web presence which was made simpler thanks to a free consultative service offered through the New York State Small Business Development Corporation at Jamestown Community College. Through this service, business owners are partnered with an e-commerce and Internet marketing consultant to provide guidance and support throughout the entire process of improving their online image.
The fast increase in sales volume has dramatically impacted revenue, profits and jobs at International Ordnance Technologies, which currently employs 30 people.
International Ordnance Technologies' path to business growth opportunities literally started with a knock at the door, and Snyder was not afraid to answer the call. In early 2013, Curt Anderson, SBDC e-commerce and Internet marketing consultant, showed up at Tammy's office to offer his free services in helping develop a website and social media plan.
Says Snyder, "I thought to myself, free? Really? It was true, no strings attached. Our local government is actually providing a free service to help local businesses grow and develop their marketability in this ever changing, fast-paced, technological environment we all live in today."
Feeling invigorated by Anderson's passion and enthusiasm, Snyder soon agreed to start the process of improving her company's Web presence. By partnering with Anderson and Eric Martin from Martin Group Identity and Design, they worked as a team of three to develop an impressive, sales-oriented website. The new and improved site went live in June of 2013. Just three days later, an inquiry from an international client interested in placing a large order came through their website.
Soon after, and thanks to their expanded Web presence, International Ordnance landed a $40,000 order from a new client in Spain, which more than paid for the investment Snyder made in developing her new website. Soon after, another new order from Spain was placed, this time for $400,000. In addition to the new international business, an inquiry from a new client in Michigan was received which could translate into over $1 million in revenue. New requests for business have been coming in almost daily ever since their new website was launched.
What does Snyder think about the growth her company has experienced since answering the "knock" at her business' door one year ago? According to Snyder, "This is remarkable because in our business, it takes years to develop new customers, as we are not a retail business. Who would have thought launching a website could yield these kinds of results? It's amazing. I expect Internet-generated sales to reach over $1 million sometime in 2014."
The fast increase in sales volume has dramatically impacted revenue, profits and jobs at International Ordnance Technologies, which currently employs 30 people. Snyder predicts that she will need to hire up to eight new employees in 2014. Even more jobs are possible in the future as international and national business continues to grow.
View International Ordnance Technologies' website at www.iotusa.net.
The next regional business success story could be yours. It all starts with remaining open to change, and taking advantage of opportunity when it knocks at your door. If you are a business owner in Allegany, Cattaraugus or Chautauqua County who is ready to embrace a new future, there is a free service available to help you take your business to the next level. What are you waiting for?
For more information about e-commerce and Internet marketing services through the Jamestown Small Business Development Center, contact Curt Anderson at 338-1024 or visit their website at jamestown.nyssbdc.org. The Jamestown Small Business Development Center serves clients throughout Allegany, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties.
Elizabeth P. Cipolla is a Regional Director and Senior Consultant with JL Nick and Associates, Inc. She is a business communications professional specializing in the areas of leadership training, creative recruitment strategies, employment branding, professional development and executive coaching for nearly 15 years.
Her leadership experience comes from various industries including marketing, mass media, apparel, education, manufacturing, non-profit agencies and insurance. To contact Elizabeth, email her at email@example.com or visit JL Nick and Associates' website at www.jlnick.com