Riad Shakeer builds his company with diversification

February 1, 2011  |  Fabric Structures, Features, Marine, Marketing, Perspective

Riad Shakeer moves his company forward through product diversification. By Sigrid Tornquist As soon as my business started to grow, I started looking for something else to produce,” says Riad Shakeer, owner of Calypso Marine Canvas Ltd. and Calypso Fabric Architecture Caribbean Ltd. in Chaguanas, …
Expanding business internationally

February 1, 2011  |  Features, Marketing

There’s never been a better time to expand into an international market—if you are patient, committed and open to new ways of doing business. By Jill C. Lafferty When Walt Disney songwriters Richard and Robert Sherman penned “It’s a Small World (After All)” for a ride a…
Bob Campbell gets it just right

January 1, 2011  |  Awnings & Canopies, Features, Marketing, Perspective

Bob Campbell ignores the competition and focuses on his best small business strategies. By Sigrid Tornquist I don’t worry about the competition. They can do whatever they want to do,” says Bob Campbell, MFC, president of Mt. Lebanon Awning in Presto, Pa. “They can be more expensive than we are…
New media presents new opportunities

January 1, 2011  |  Marketing

Get your online lexicon in order. By Richard Ensman So what exactly is a “vlog” and what does it have to do with you? Can you really use podcasts to promote your products? And just how do you get your business on Facebook without sounding like a friendless geek? Businesses need to go whe…
Marco Sánchez is on a roll

December 1, 2010  |  Features, Geosynthetics, Marketing, Perspective

Marco Sánchez turns a thesis project into a thriving business. By Sigrid Tornquist “Of course starting the business was a risk,” says Marco Sánchez, general manager of ML Ingeniería and Azoteas Verdes in Mexico City. “It was very complicated at first and we were very close to broke, but by …
Tony Marsh creates a package deal

November 1, 2010  |  Features, Marketing, Perspective, Tents

Tony Marsh bundles products to offer clients valuable versatility. By Sigrid Tornquist One of the benefits of packaging product lines is that you can offer value and continuity to clients,” says Tony Marsh, managing director and owner of L.H.Woodhouse & Co. Ltd., Nottinghamshire, U.K. “We’…
Tap into expanding government markets

October 1, 2010  |  Business, Features, Marketing, Markets

One of the biggest markets to tap—and likely to expand—is the federal government. By Barb Ernster With its myriad agencies, the U.S. government offers the makers of specialty fabrics and fabric end products ample opportunity for those who learn to navigate this market. Consider the needs…
Dispatches from the wired world

August 1, 2010  |  Marketing

A checklist for making your e-mail more effective. By Richard Ensman By most accounts, e-mail has become the most prevalent form of business communication today. But because e-mail is so easy to prepare—a few clicks on the keyboard and a press of the “send” button—many e-mail…
Ken Jacobs gets his company noticed

July 1, 2010  |  Features, Marketing, Perspective

Ken Jacobs combines custom innovation and targeted advertising strategies to generate sales. By Sigrid Tornquist “That’s always the challenge—keeping the phones ringing and customers coming in the door,” says Ken Jacobs, owner of Raymond Brothers Ltd. in London, Ontario, Canada. “We get re…
Change your approach to promotional strategies

April 1, 2010  |  Features, Marketing

Promotional ideas that actually work. By Ron Rosenberg These are difficult times in the specialty fabrics industry, as in most industries. Customers are becoming more demanding; revenues are down; and promotional strategies that worked in the past aren’t as effective as they used to be. The go…