Small- and medium-sized businesses rarely have enough resources, whether it’s a shortage of people, capital, or even time. Obtaining and nurturing growth typically requires continuous, substantial support, however, so finding these necessary resources is an ongoing challenge for business owners. Such was the case for Tonya Oxford, owner and CEO, and her husband Tony Oxford, President of Global Technology Integrators, LLC (GTI), as they contemplated their company’s future. It is also why they sought assistance from the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF).
Global Technology Integrators is a Woman-Owned Small Business with over 3 decades of experience solving complex problems with simple cost-effective solutions. GTI designs and delivers instrumentation, atmospherics, targetry and special effects products, including environmentally and physically rugged equipment used by the military for training and ingenious and unexpected scents and smells used by the amusement and entertainment industries for special effects. “This company is really based on the customer and what the customer’s needs are,” explains Tony Oxford. “We always say that knowing our products can save one war fighter’s life or create more smiles on an amusement ride makes it all worthwhile.”
“We originally looked for help from the FSBDC when our company was going through a transition,” recalls Tonya Oxford. “We had been using the FSBDC for a wide variety of services. I’ve taken training classes with them; they ‘ve done market analyses for us; we have relied on their consulting services, as well – all things that would have been cost prohibitive for us to do on our own but was offered at no cost by the FSBDC. It’s all been worth its weight in gold.”
GTI soon found that it needed additional – and different – assistance, however. Led by FSBDC consultant Sharon Smith, GTI enrolled in the FSBDC’s award winning Advisory Board Council program which provides no-cost, customized boards of volunteer experts specially selected to address the specific needs of the FSBDC client by providing advice and counsel to help the business grow. Here were the additional resources GTI wanted. “We were lucky enough to start our Board just prior to COVID,” says Tonya Oxford, “and they helped us figure out how to make it in the new world.”
“The Advisory Board is so unique because of the different people that they put in place – for us, a marketing specialist, an attorney, a CFO, small business owners,” Tony Oxford remarks. “Taking and utilizing all of their expertise really helped us move forward. They allowed us to drill down into our marketing and sales, our finances, our HR. We now better understand the risks versus the rewards as we move through our business. It has been a tremendous help and allowed us to have growth in our business that is unheard of.”
“When we started with the FSBDC’s Advisory Board in 2020, we were doing just over $1 million in revenues,’ Tony Oxford states. “Now we have grown to over $4 million – a 282% increase! We have gone from being a small government sub-contractor to now winning our first prime contract. We have gained some patents and expanded into the entertainment industry, and won some big contracts there. That’s the direction we’re going and, with the FSBDC to help us, we know we can continue to grow at an even faster pace.”
For information about Global Technology Integrators, please visit https://www.gtintegrators.com/ .