Seeing is believing: make sure your website and social media strategies are smart, engaging, informative, and visually appealing

December 1, 2018

Perhaps your company relies on good old-fashioned word-of-mouth publicity and steers clear of social media. Maybe your marketing efforts emphasize trade shows and real-world connections, quite successfully, rather than online communications. But you did just update your website … five years ago. Things have changed. Now your customers all have a phone in their hands, …

Fringe benefits benefit employers and employees

Whether it’s a result of a booming economy, tighter immigration laws or an educational system gone astray, finding qualified job applicants has become increasingly more difficult for those in the specialty fabrics industry. How can small businesses compete for badly needed, qualified workers? Thanks to our unique tax laws, every business can afford to offer …

Growth in the inflatables market is coming from safety and protection

Everybody knows about inflatables. They’re the bouncy houses rented for kids’ birthday parties, or the big blow-up gorilla that the local car dealership uses to attract customers. The real growth in the use of inflatable technology, however, is in much more serious (and practical) applications—even if they aren’t nearly as visible to most of us. …

A faster path to market through industry dialogue and profitable partnerships

If innovation is a key to growth and profitability because of the differentiation it can offer in our broadly commoditized industrial fabrics industry—one that for decades has been under strong pricing pressure from low-cost imports—then R&D is an essential component of a company’s toolbox for financial success. My experience, however, coincides with the observation of …

Strategies for how and when to grow your company

November 1, 2018

They’re called “growing pains” for a reason. You’ve put in the blood, sweat and tears (and a few bucks) necessary to make your business a success. You’ve made your customers happy, and they’ve told their friends. There’s never been enough time in the day, but now … it’s getting tough to manage it all. It’s …

To sew or to seal: expanding the toolbox

To sew or to seal is a question that some fabricators have answered by gearing their offerings toward products that utilize either the former or the latter, but not both. While this kind of specialization can be a viable and lucrative strategy, expanding the toolbox to incorporate both sewing and sealing can often prove even …

Safety Components puts its business acumen to work for charity

Following the events of 9/11, Joey Underwood, senior vice president of Safety Components in Greenville, S.C., witnessed several neighborhood efforts to raise money for families of the fallen firefighters in New York City. “I remember driving past a bake sale and thinking, ‘We’re in that business—we should do something, too,” he says. Safety Components develops …

Riding the pendulum of industry change: Awnings by Bigley and Hogshire

“We have to be diverse and knowledgeable about the various types of products people are making in the industry,” says Taylor Bigley, co-owner and president of Awnings by Bigley & Hogshire, Hampton Roads, Va. “What’s in demand changes—the pendulum swings each way—and we have to react to it.” The roots of Awnings by Bigley & …

Harold Warner and Dynamic Air Shelters develop larger and tougher inflatable structures

October 1, 2018

“I love the word resilience,” says Harold Warner, majority owner and president of Dynamic Air Shelters in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. “Whether you’re operating on a physical plane or a psychological plane, resilience enables you to deflect danger and harm. What our company has done is expand and elevate the state of inflatable resilience in response …