Sales had begun to decline at Columbia, S.C., based Lifeguard Fire Protection Systems, and the horizon appeared bleak as the company was unsure how to adapt to the uncertain market conditions. Lifeguard knew it had to place itself in a better position in the market to be successful. With the help of SMI, the company was able to create a more effective business plan, which resulted in the company seeing a more profitable course of action. SMI’s marketing consultants helped Lifeguard retain fifteen jobs and add eight more in recent months. Even more impressive is that Lifeguard has targeted sales to increase by 75 percent or more as a result of implementation of marketing strategies identified by SMI.
Kim Patterson, Owner of Lifeguard Fire Protection Systems, states, “The strategic market planning and creative services provided by their talented team was instrumental to our growth and success.” The process SMI used included leading the Lifeguard ownership team through a market development process and the conception of a strategic marketing plan. SMI presented several new ideas for promotional messages tailored to help the company increase market penetration and expand its line of services and products. In addition to promotional messages, SMI also launched an online campaign that showed a new sleek website, search engine optimization (SEO) and an industry-revolutionizing customer access area where customers can view account statements and set service reminders.
The new website ranks as the first entry in Google searches for several target keyword phrases. Lifeguard’s new Facebook and Linked-In pages also rank at the top of Google’s results. Lifeguard’s new website is such an asset that owner Kim Patterson said that, “One of our biggest potential projects arrived as a lead from our new website, and our customer satisfaction has increased even further with the new online customer service center”.
Learn how SMI can help your business with lead generation, marketing strategy, and more.
Founded in Inman, South Carolina, Tool Technology began by providing machining and tool and die services to the electronics, medical, and automotive industries and over the years expanded to custom injection molding and metal stamping capabilities. However, the company noticed that customers and prospects had a tendency to classify the business as providing either molding or machining services, but not both. The company had the capacity for growth but needed new leads and an organized system for generating, tracking, and working new leads.
SMI’s Growth Acceleration training program that included modules to help improve lead generation, marketing messaging including online and graphics, and an expanded online presence for Tool Technology proved very useful to Tool Technology. To help with the expansion of the company and to help facilitate better sales, SMI helped Tool Technology create their logo, website, photo/video, graphic, sales collateral including flyers, a folder, business cards, lead generation campaign, and search engine optimization (SEO). To help implement this new plan of action, SMI trained Tool Technology on best practices of website development, SEO, lead generation via its website, and how to use its website as a sales tool going forward. With the help of SMI, Tool Technology has seen a significant jump in website traffic and leads, retained $100,000 in sales and 11 jobs, and the company expects to hire 2 new employees in the immediate future to help process the $1,000,000 in new sales forecast for 2013.
SMI is partnering with representatives of the South Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership (SCMEP), Nelson Mullins law firm, and the Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing and Technology (SiMT) to offer a one-day workshop to help business owners and managers accelerate profit growth. The workshop will take place on Thursday, October 24, at SCMEP’s Business Learning Center in Greenville.
A major problem faced by many companies is the desire to grow with no real plan in place to implement any sort of growth strategy. For many reasons, growth plans can fail – resources including time and money can be wasted and risk can be increased without a systematic growth approach in place.
The Business Growth Strategy workshop attacks head-on some of the key areas of concern for growing a business: Marketing, Innovation Engineering, Legal Issues, Rapid Prototyping, and Virtual Simulation-based training and teaching.
The workshop is led by South Carolina’s only certified Innovation Engineering Black Belts, marketing and sales consultants with experience with companies ranging from Mom-and-Pop operations to Michelin and all sizes in between, financial and legal experts with manufacturing expertise, and leaders in 3D/Virtual Reality and Virtual Immersion technology used in businesses of all sizes.
The Strategic Growth system developed by SMI and SCMEP has proven results. It has helped existing businesses grow by as much as 10% and start-up businesses by as mych as 50% in one year. Become South Carolina’s next success story!
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According to a May report on trends in manufacturing location production from the Brookings Institution, the Charleston region experienced the largest growth in manufacturing jobs of any US metro area at 14.4% from Q1 2010 to Q4 2011. The lowcountrybizsc.com article featuring the report attributes Boeing’s Charleston workforce to the 7.1% unemployment rate that is well below the nation’s average. Boeing’s $750 million manufacturing plant created more than 3,800 jobs and approximately 11,000 indirect jobs during the reporting period.
“Charleston is growing manufacturing jobs at a faster rate than any other metro area in the country because this region offers the expertise and strategic global connections needed to compete in America’s renewed manufacturing age,” said David Ginn, President & CEO of the Charleston Regional Development Alliance. The Charleston region is home to over 100 automotive manufacturers including Robert Bosch, Daimler, and Force Protection, collectively employing over 6,500 workers. Manufacturing companies like these rely on Charleston’s skilled engineers and technicians.
South Carolina also has an innovative workforce training program, ReadySC, which trains new employees at little or no cost to companies. In addition to workforce training resources and manufacturing job talent, Charleston also has a port with direct service to more than 150 countries. The Brookings Institution ranked the Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville MSA 16th of the top 100 metro areas for average annual manufacturing wages for jobs classified as “very high-tech” at $100,360 and 18th for manufacturing jobs classified as “moderately high-tech” at $65,779.
“The region’s growing aerospace cluster, established automotive industry and deepwater port is not only attracting talent at a rate we have never seen, but these jobs offer some of the highest wages in the state. We are seeing increased investment each year and expect the growth trend to continue throughout the next decade,” added Ginn.
For more information on Charleston’s manufacturing boom, visit the Charleston Regional Development Alliance website at crda.org.