Aerotec Engines: Scale-up success in the United States
Monday, December 10, 2018
Growing a company doesn't happen overnight. Success in business, whether at home or internationally, is often the result of years of persistence and hard work. For Aerotec Engines, their recent success in the US comes after many years of perfecting their craft at home; building, repairing and testing aircraft piston engines in Beaver Bank, Nova Scotia. Now, after dedicating time and resources towards business development in the US, the company is securing large contracts, finding new sales, and creating a reputation as a trustworthy, quality aircraft machine shop.
President Jason Crowell and Sales Director Phil Burchinshaw have taken a targeted, strategic approach to the American market. "We decided to focus on the New England area because there weren't a lot of shops there doing what we were doing. We took a very focused approach by targeting flight schools. They go through many engines a year, and we believe we have a unique value proposition for them.”
As a participant in the pilot year of Scale-up Hub, Aerotec Engines is working hard to build relationships with US customers, taking full advantage of Scale-up's on-the-ground consultant for local connections and expertise.
"We were just six months into Scale-up and already seeing great results. We increased our sales by $500,000, which is directly attributed to the support we've received through Scale-up. We're going into market, spending time with the companies, and validating our own research. For us, once we put the effort into meeting with new customers, all those cross-border issues went away. A direct approach and relationship building really work in our industry."
Aerotec Engines' ability to successfully export is also attributed to having the right knowledge and talent in-house, saying no to the wrong opportunities, and carefully choosing the right partners. For companies interested in exploring opportunities in the US, Phil and Jason advise taking risks while ensuring every decision is well researched.
"Once you break into the market, you're no longer an unknown name from Canada. Word-of-mouth is still so important, especially in niche industries. As you build a good reputation for your company, the contracts extend, referrals come in, and the work continues."
Through Scale-up, Aerotec Engines has formed real connections with businesses in the US, built their brand outside of Nova Scotia, and has even been approached by other, larger shops for new partnership opportunities.
"You often think these opportunities are out of reach, but with a little effort and a lot of support, you see how great the opportunities can be for a company, big or small."
Listen here for more from Jason and Phil on how the Scale-up Hub Program is helping companies succeed south of the border.