Making Connections In Challenging Times
Morgan Arundel saw the potential for a franchise business that specialized in on-site repair of hydraulic hoses and pipes, a service that saved customers countless hours of equipment downtime, therefore keeping projects on schedule and within budgets.
Since most of PIRTEK Space Coast’s clients were related to the construction industry, the 2008 economic downturn decimated their base. Some of their best customers went out of business, while others had fleets of equipment sitting idle, with no work in sight. If Arundel didn’t find a solution, his company would face a similar fate.
Searching for a viable answer, they came upon the idea of diversifying their market to government agencies, which seemed to be more recession resistant. For PIRTEK Space Coast, with two of the largest government agencies in the county, Kennedy Space Center and Port Canaveral, a solution seemed within reach. However, the company had no idea how to approach government business opportunities or who to contact, and you can’t just go to a government installation uninvited to make a sales pitch.
The company learned about the Florida Small Business Development Center (FSBDC) at UCF’s Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), and PIRTEK’s director of franchise support, Jamie Vokes, identified the local PTAC representative. PIRTEK took advantage of the Government Contracting Series workshops as well as the annual Government Business Opportunities and Matchmaking event at the FSBDC at UCF offices in Orlando.
“This program really opened our eyes to the way that government agencies and prime contractors work, what a contracting officer does and how to use the web as a tool to find resources and contacts,” Vokes said.
The success of PIRTEK Space Coast caused word to spread through the PIRTEK franchise network and the company was soon bombarded with calls asking how to start pursuing government business. The FSBDC’s PTAC representative was able to help PIRTEK USA, making presentations to 40 franchise owners nationwide.
Recently, PIRTEK Space Coast won a contract with a prime contractor for $725,000 over a three-year period. Initiative, creativity and diversification have paid off for the company and as the economy rebounds, they are well positioned for ongoing growth.