In honor of the Florida Governor’s Proclamation commemorating October as Florida Small Business Month, the Florida Small Business Development Center Network is proud to Shine the Light on one of Florida’s outstanding small businesses. The featured business is representative of the thousands of clients and diverse industries the FSBDCN serves statewide. Designated as Florida’s Principal Provider of Small Business Assistance by state statute, the FSBDCN is statewide with 35 locations from Pensacola to the Keys. The Network’s integrated infrastructure has the professionals and partners needed to successfully serve the Florida business community. No matter the need(s) of the business, Florida SBDCs have the experience, expertise and connectivity to help small businesses succeed.
Test Equipment Connection Sees the Fruit of Their Labor in GSA Schedule Contract Award
Over $130,000 in 3 months; that is the amount of business that Test Equipment Connection Corporation (TEC) received during the first quarter of 2009 after they were awarded their first U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) contract. TEC is a single source test and measurement equipment company that offers new, used, and refurbished test equipment products. These products include high quality spectrum analyzers, oscilloscopes, network analyzers, service monitors, OTDR, and multi-meters that are offered at great savings to over 200,000 customers worldwide. Products are also available for rent or lease. TEC also has a trade-in program that allows customers to trade-in underutilized products for cash or credit towards the purchase of other test equipment.
In May of 2007, Tony Colatruglio, operations manager of TEC, attended two three-hour seminars given by the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) program of the Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (SBDC at UCF); the seminars covered the GSA schedule process and bids & proposals respectively. Shortly thereafter Tony Colatruglio met with Tony Espinosa, procurement specialist at the SBDC at UCF’s PTAC to discuss and review their response to a GSA schedule proposal. PTAC provided guidance and assistance with several aspects of preparing a response which included identifying Special Item Number (SIN) sub-categories, price list identification and preparation, and commitment letters. “The information and assistance I received from the SBDC/PTAC during the application process was instrumental in our success,” remarks Tony Colatruglio.
By February 2008 the proposal was ready for a final review. Preparation of a GSA schedule is not to be taken lightly as it involves a lot of research, reading, information gathering, and multiple review. It was evident that TEC put forth a great effort to complete this process on their own. On June 1, 2008, TEC saw the fruit of their labor in the resulting award of a GSA schedule contract. Between the third quarter of 2008 and the end of the first quarter 2009 TEC received a total of $153,238 in orders from their GSA contract. “The SBDC and Tony Espinosa were able to break down the process into easily understandable and attainable segments. Tony was available for one-on-one consultation, phone calls or emails to accommodate my schedule,” comments Tony Colatruglio.
The GSA schedule program is just one of the tools available to established companies that simplify the process of selling their product or service to Federal government agencies. TEC is one of the many companies that have taken full advantage of such an opportunity. (www.floridasbdc.com)
The Florida SBDC Network, a statewide service network of 35 centers, is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, hosted by the University of West Florida and accredited through the national Association of SBDCs. For over 30 years, the FSBDCN has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development organizations dedicated to providing emerging and established business owners with assistance, enabling overall growth and increased profitability for the businesses, and economic prosperity for the state. To learn more about the FSBDCN or to find an SBDC near you, visit www.FloridaSBDC.org or call 1-866-737-7232
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