Ron Novel has never been daunted by challenges. In 1996, he started his tool and mold business in an 800-square-foot building that he and his business partner had to heat with kerosene. Their office was a construction site trailer. Four years later, they had purchased and expanded into a 10,000-square-foot building with limited electricity, subpar floors and other maintenance issues. When an opportunity arose to start a molding company to support one of his biggest clients, he jumped at the chance.
Unfortunately, two years later, business from this anchor client dried up. Faced with increased competition from overseas, Novel and his partner were forced into bankruptcy – but Novel remained determined to succeed. He bought out his partner, sold the molding business, and began to reorganize. His persistence yielded a new customer base and a sustainable business.
Novel has now moved into a 25,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility in an industrial park, and plans to add 22,000 square feet because he has reached capacity. His business uses some of the best machinery available and employs over 50 talented people. His $10 million business is still growing by more than 10 percent each year.
Novel attributes much of this success to the mentorship he received from Mike Vereb and Tony Ciampa at SCORE. Vereb trained Novel in using a measurement-oriented approach for his business and assisted him with implementation. Ciampa helped him better understand how to read the fluctuating market and respond accordingly. “The selling techniques I learned from Tony and the measurement methods from Mike had a great impact on my success that I enjoy today,” says Novel.
Novel advises other small business owners to seek out help when they need it: “Don’t be embarrassed! Every great company had struggles at one point time and those struggles made them better and stronger.”