Family-owned Groundwater Supply Company of Sterling, MA asked in 2006 for SCORE Worcester's advice how to break out of the often haphazard way small businesses are run. Since 1992 Groundwater had sold a wide variety of drilling equipment for use in water well drilling, geotechnical drilling for core samples from deep within the earth, and environmental drilling.
SCORE volunteer Burt Siegal helped Groundwater make improvements to its inventory system, its accounting system, and its job descriptions. He also showed the Ericksons how to communicate more effectively with each other, helping the company vastly widen the number of products it sells. SCORE also hooked Groundwater up with Commonwealth National Bank, which provided $800,000 in financing for the company's recent onslaught of improvements.
His next step with Groundwater will be to help increase their marketing efforts. The company already has half-page color advertisements in big, national drilling trade magazines.
Now that the Groundwater Supply Co. Inc. of Sterling has been working with SCORE Worcester mentors for over four years, the Erickson family has seen their annual sales climb from under $400,000 to $5 million. The Ericksons recently opened their new, 6,000-square-foot office and next-door warehouse, full of the wholesaler's products.
But moving to new digs isn't the only change Groundwater has made. The old, familiar, informal way of running the family business has been replaced by an efficient and effective business plan.Check out their website, http://www.groundwatersupply.net/.