Years of experience in the aerospace industry had taught Martha Everhart one thing – there was a tremendous need to provide difficult to find replacement aviation parts and provide them fast.
Everhart knew if she could provide the parts that were needed more quickly than others she would have an advantage over bigger competitors that didn’t have the flexibility to provide immediate attention to customers.
She knew the aerospace side of the business. She knew the customers. She knew their needs. What this Baby Boomer didn’t know was how to pull together all the pieces for a successful business.
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In August 2011, she attending “Meeting the 3Ms” – a two-hour seminar offered multiple times throughout the year at the Kansas SBDC at Wichita State University. Over the next several months she pulled together multiple pieces of her business then contacted Steve Nussbaum, a consultant at the Kansas SBDC at WSU, when she was ready.
Everhart needed funding as well as a solid working plan to grow funding as the business itself grew. “Creating the business plan helped to provide my business the structural frame work and organization I needed to succeed,” shared Everhart. “It changed my business helping me to avoid pitfalls and mistakes as I had built the business from scratch.”
In December of 2012 Phast Parts, LLC, was officially opened for business.
As Everhart continued to work with her Kansas SBDC consultant, she brought in Bob Raux. As an investor and former colleague who had since retired, Bob was another Baby Boomer that could contribute additional knowledge and capacity to grow the new business. The trio continued to work on growth and connecting with the right resources to grow the business.
Since Phast had identified exporting as a growth opportunity Nussbaum introduced the Phast team to A. J. Anderson at the Wichita U.S. Export Assistance Center as well as the team at the Kansas Global Trade Services and the Mexico International Trade Office of the Kansas Department of Commerce. This was a win-win-win for all parties.
Since starting at ground zero in 2012, Phast has grown the business at a substantial pace. Operations have moved from a home-based business to a large operation with the ability to warehouse certain parts. Service now includes not only consolidations for international shipments for clients, but also critical Spanish-language translation services focused on aerospace needs. Phast now employs three full-time and two-part time employees with significant revenue growth year-over-year.
Everhart will tell you that working with the Kansas SBDC was key to putting a solid framework together for business, as well as obtaining the start-up funding she needed to get the business off the ground. In addition the work with Nussbaum helped solidify for her the value of a strong network and a strong team. Everhart believes the underlying key to her business success is to “develop relationships with customers and to truly know their needs and the products to provide.” She and Raux continue developing these relationships as their business keeps on booming forward.
To learn more about Phast Parts, LLC visit www.PhastParts.aero or call (316) 252-1500.
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