“I have found the assistance received invaluable. Art of TV has grown beyond my expectations and the SBDC is definitely the go-to place for small business support and resources.”
Growing a decorative flat screen business
After spending fourteen years in the Hi Tech field and start-ups, Bill Cardoza decided to start a business combining his passion for technology with his talent for product design.
Bill launched “Art of TV” to fill the market demand for a product that can integrate flat panel TV’s into interiors. His approach is to work with clients to design a product that not only blends seamlessly with an interior, but also becomes the centerpiece of a room’s decor.
Bill knew his business had great potential but was initially unsure how to proceed. He had some initial successes and was starting to grow an impressive list of clients but had limited resources and needed assistance managing growth and cash flow.
He had great credit and strong relationships with his suppliers, but there wasn’t enough money left over to invest in the company’s future.
Bill also needed to protect his intellectual property for his design concept.
First, he met with Silicon Valley SBDC Business Advisor, Susan Lewis, who worked with him on his unique difference in the marketplace by assisting him to define his core strengths—design and manufacturing. Then, to research his competition and current clients to assess the true value he offered from a customer’s perspective. He also wanted to minimize competition by communicating his niche and focus efforts on his target clients—to build a stronger brand and generate new business.
Second, a website review was conducted by SBDC-Technology Adoption Program Business Advisor, Janet Wentworth. She provided insight into the user experience, search engine optimization and recommendations that would drive more traffic to the website.
Third, he conferred with Steve Schneider, Intellectual Property advisor, to review how to safeguard his designs and images. This would further distinguish Art of TV from competitors.
Fourth, his internal business processes were reviewed to improve his cash flow. Susan worked with him on his pricing and client payment terms. Bill also attended additional SBDC classes on basic bookkeeping and Internet marketing.
Bill is meeting and closing more deals with his target clients and had increased sales in 2010 by 30 percent with even more growth slated for 2011.
He has hired a bookkeeper, CPA and marketing consultant, so he has more time to work on his business development.
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