SD2 Solutions of Hillsborough County
The past two years has taught Sam Desai, CEO and President of Supply Depot 2 Solutions (SD2 Solutions), that expanding a company’s target market to include the government can be a very wise and profitable move.
SD2 Solutions provides office supplies, janitorial supplies, and automotive fleet maintenance and detailing supplies nationwide.
Desai gained years of warehouse, franchising and distribution experience straight out of college. While working for a local car rental company, the CEO of one of the suppliers presented Desai with an opportunity to become a distributor.
Though he started in 2009, at a time when the industry was taking a hit from the recession, he thought it would be a great opportunity to test the waters of entrepreneurism by selling items on Amazon first.
But he wanted to sell on a larger level, so he turned to the Florida SBDC at University of South Florida to see what kind of opportunities were out there.
It was there that he met Charlene Bostic, a procurement specialist.
“When I first met Sam, he was interested in government contracting and how he can leverage his company to participate in bidding,” Bostic said. “We discussed how to market to the government, who to speak with, and identified what programs the company could participate in to make them stand out more.”
Bostic said that Desai was really good about taking his time and following all of the proper steps, and as a result was able to make very successful decisions. Desai said working with the Florida PTAC at USF has impacted the business in a big way.
“The SBDC (PTAC) office was very pivotal in helping us gain not only the knowledge but the information, the ins and outs of what would be required to work with the government,” he said. “Just getting the contracts was a great asset coming from the SBDC.”
Bostic said that she knew from the beginning that Desai’s company would be successful in the government realm because of the industry the business is in.
“Success in government contracting depends on the need that the business can fill,” Bostic said. “If the business can continuously fill a consistent need, the company will be more successful.”
SD2 Solutions re-launched in 2012 with a new focus on government contracting. With Bostic’s help, he was able to secure a GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Contract. SD2 Solutions is also an authorized dealer under the Industry CoOp (Independent Stationers) for the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI).
In 2012, Desai said his gross was approximately $50,000. His company grew quickly and in 2014, with the company earning $500,000 in gross sales.
“Seventy-five percent of our business is done with the government,” he said. “Having the partnership with the Florida [PTAC], especially with the guidance from Charlene, has definitely been a great asset for our business and our growth.”
Bostic said there is still growth potential for Desai and SD2 Solutions. She is now completing a business assessment on the company to delve deeper into the financials and look for opportunities for growth.
Desai said that he encourages other small businesses to follow his footsteps and seek help from the Florida PTAC.
“It is a must. It is crucial for them to know the ins and outs,” he said. “Just knowing that information is there when you want it and when you need it, I recommend anyone that is thinking about starting their small business to make SBDC their first stop.”