EzProducts International, Inc. of Hardee County
In January of 2013, EzProducts International, Inc. (EzPi) owner, Dave Brown, moved his business and staff from a cramped 800 square foot site to a building with more than 2,400 square feet in Wauchula. This move came in part, due to the decision to move assertively into the international trade exporting venue. The company has experienced an increase in annual income estimated to have doubled in the past year. The company has also increased its workforce from six to eight employees.
Throughout its current venture into exporting, Brown has utilized the Florida SBDC at University of South Florida to learn and grow.
“Your assistance with EzProducts’ market development in Canada was much more valuable than we ever anticipated,” Brown said. “We have closed business deals with three prospects and we plan to close business deals with more very soon.”
Several years ago, EzProducts International, Inc., which manufactures heat-sealing presses used to apply labels or patches to fabrics, needed a place to sell more products. The products invented, developed and manufactured at EZ as a response to market needs, had gained 70 percent coverage of the national dry cleaning industry as customers. While their domestic position was strong, the sales revenue had plateaued.
As they began to look outside the United States for potential growth, Brown and his Chief International Officer, Diane Rue, knew they needed some help. They discovered the export initiatives promoted by the State of Florida through Enterprise Florida. Enterprise Florida referred EzProducts to the Florida SBDC at USF, who asked Maria Yepes from the Tampa center to assist them in the development of an export marketing plan.
Yepes, a certified business consultant, is also a Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP). She began researching the company and the international markets to help find areas most suited to the company’s products, developing an export marketing plan. Yepes and David Noel, certified business consultant in Hardee County, assisted the company with information about which people and agencies to contact for access to markets in various countries and answered exporting questions as they arose. Once the plan was complete, Noel worked with EzProducts as they began to implement it.
A year later, EzProducts’ sales revenue continues to grow and they are investigating other markets identified in the plan. The company is continuing to use the services of the Florida SBDC at USF.
Rue said, “David Noel and Maria Yepes have been fantastic in directing us to the correct departments and people for the different programs offered to Florida’s small manufacturers wanting to increase their international sales. Before the SBDC, our Canadian sales were very small; we now are growing it into a large percentage of our foreign sales. We look forward to the SBDC’s assistance in expanding to Australia and New Zealand in our 2013-2014 campaign.”