Royal G Snacks of Hillsborough County
Gary Ernneus, president and founder of Royal G Snacks, had to relearn how to live when he lost his eye sight. After that, he wanted to show people that eating snacks doesn’t have to be a bad habit. It can be healthy and, “once you eat right, you live right.”
Royal G Snacks was doing well in early 2021, but Ernneus found himself seeking assistance when the business started to grow too fast, without the proper tools in place. A graduate of University of South Florida, Ernneus connected with the Florida SBDC at University of South Florida via a webinar hosted by the Center, where he learned about the additional services available.
“By testing it out, I have acquired a lot of information,” he said. “Useful information that would help me grow and not only grow but help me succeed.”
Ernneus was paired with international trade specialist Selma Canas for export markting plan services. Exporting marketing plans are a service provided by the Florida SBDC at USF, in partnership with Enterprise Florida.
“The services gave me the tools to understand how to properly target,” Ernneus said of the engagement. “Snacks are everywhere but if you know the proper market and have the tools, that export marketing plan gave me the knowledge. Without that knowledge, I would just be going in there blind.”
“It’s like having a GPS. You put in the address. The export marketing becomes the GPS for me to follow that guide. That will help my business grow and help me succeed as well,” he added.
While the COVID-19 pandemic hindered many small businesses across the nation, it ultimately proved beneficial for Royal G Snacks because consumers started seeking more health and wellness opportunities while at home.
As Ernneus continues to expand, he plans to continue utilizing all the Florida SBDC at USF has to offer, starting with some of the information he gained from his export marketing plan.
“Right now the website is in English, and we will translate it to the language of the market that I’m going to,” he said.
To other small business owners, he recommends the Florida SBDC at USF for their wealth of knowledge and services.
“Entrepreneurs, we are kind of lonely people but having the right tools, knowing that now with the SBDC, you have a team behind you,” he said. “The resources are not going to knock on your door, but if you knock on the door of the SBDC at USF, they will open their services to you. You’re not going to be alone.”