Couple gets second chance at business success

Atmospheric Water Generators of Polk County

Couple gets second chance at business successThough there are many people who see the increase of news reports about the developing global water crisis and feel helpless, Mel and Isabel Gordon were inspired to act.

One day, Mel started to notice run-off water from his air conditioner accumulating in his backyard and realized that making water out of air could be the answer the world was searching for.

“I was looking for ways to capitalize on that wasted water,” Mel said. “I came across this opportunity. It was already being made but at the same time it was not really out in the marketplace.”

The Gordons invested in a multi-level marketing company that had a machine that converted air into water. However, the company closed and they no longer had access to the product.

But Mel was not discouraged. He knew there was a need and he was going to find a way to fill it. After finding a new distributor, they turned to the Florida SBDC at University of South Florida for help.

“We have gone to a lot of classes and meetings that have given us a lot of information on marketing, business information, on just about everything on how to make our business grow,” Isabel said. “It’s been very helpful, a lot of one to one consulting that has helped us make our business grow.”

Not only did the Gordons take marketing and financing classes at the Florida SBDC at USF, possibly the classes that made the most impact on their business was Government Contracting 101 and Federal Contracting for Small Business. Through insight gained in these classes and one-on-one consultations, the Gordons successfully earned a contract with the United States Air Force.

“We got an email from the Air Force that they wanted a water generator,” Isabel said. “We immediately went to [the Florida PTAC at USF] and they helped us with all the different organizations we need to register with and how to register. They walked us through everything so that we could get the contract from [the Air Force].”

She continued to say, “Without [the SBDC’s] guidance we would have never been able to get to these organizations. It would have been impossible.”

The contract with the Air Force was the biggest success so far, but the Gordons see it as just the beginning. They will continue to rely on the services and classes the Florida SBDC at USF offer.

“There are a lot of opportunities,” Isabel said. “We are taking the opportunity of going to all of the classes they have and meeting the different counselors and helpers so we are definitely taking advantage of [the program]. They are a big help, a big help.”