Guild Associates began in 2001 with a focus primarily on management consulting. However in 2006 the owners saw the potential to expand its client base and grow the business by providing environment and construction management services. This is where the Denver Metro SBDC’s assistance was sought.
In September of 2006, LaVelle Knight, general manager and vice president contacted the Denver Metro SBDC for assistance with his government procurement marketing strategy. He was assigned to work with business consultant Caroline Hanna. When LaVelle initially began working with Caroline in 2006, Guild Associates had zero contracts, however through Caroline’s guidance and encouragement, Guild has now obtained nearly $400,000 in commercial and government contracts with another $315,000 pending. The company also has the potential to win another $3,000,000 in contracts in 2008.
LaVelle describes the experience of working with Caroline as “exceptional and very enlightening”. “Caroline is very informative and knowledgeable. She helps us with excellent marketing strategies and ideas, as well she is willing to listen to our ideas so as to integrate them into a sound marketing plan.”
Securing government and large commercial contracts takes time and perseverance. At one point while working with Caroline, LaVelle became discouraged and frustrated by the time it took to secure a contract. However through Caroline’s encouragement, LaVelle remained committed and they were able to develop a database of contacts and a strategy for regular sales and marketing which has led to multiple bid awards for the company. It took nearly 7 months of diligently working on this marketing strategy to obtain their first contract.
The growth that the company has experienced has allowed them to bring on subcontractors to help perform the work that has resulted from awarded bids and they have hired a full-time marketing specialist. The company is also building up its working capital, which in the end, will allow them to have the resources to hire additional staff and use fewer subcontractors. LaVelle anticipates growing the staff to 6 full-time employees in the near future.
LaVelle continues to work with Caroline, who has provided more than 76 hours of consulting to Guild Associates.