H&H Farm Machinery | Monroe, NC
Q: Describe your business:
H&H is a sprayer manufacturer. Every crop and every piece of land is unique, so they all require specific needs in spraying—whether for water, fertilizer or herbicide. That’s what we do. We take their needs and produce an effective sprayer. Customizing is pretty unique, most sprayers are just a one size fits all so this is appealing to a lot of farmers.
Q: What’s your story?
I grew up working on farms. I know what it takes to run one and anything that makes a job easier is really important. H&H started out selling farming equipment when a gentleman requested a custom sprayer to apply herbicide and it just kind of took off from there. H&H had been around; I bought sprayers from them. So, when I heard the owner was looking to retire, I knew it was a good opportunity. I worked for H&H for an entire year learning the industry, the market and the business before taking it over in 2004.
Q: How has the SBTDC helped?
I knew the industry and the sprayers, but there were still things about running the business that I needed help with. I reached out first to the county agriculture extension agency who referred me to the SBTDC. They helped me analyze the financial side and develop a budget. The collaboration has really been an education. I look at numbers completely different. Now I know how to find the numbers I need and understand what they mean. Now I can assess the health of the business, see where problems are developing and fix those areas to stay on track.
We’ve also been working on management skills through the SBTDC’s Strategy and Growth Services and that has made an impact on how fast we turn a product. Recently, I started talking to Mary Romano about expanding into the international market and she’s helping me with the paperwork.
Q: What impact have you seen on the business?
H&H has grown significantly with doubled revenue growth and the addition of 10 new employees to make a total of 18. We have expanded our customer base into Tennessee, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama ,and we have plans for other expansion both locally and internationally. We’ve also moved into a new building which has streamlined the manufacturing process and is large enough to accommodate future growth. We’re ready to continue expanding but we’re working with the SBTDC on planning that growth to make sure it is controlled growth.
Q: What advice do you have for other new business owners?
Contact the SBTDC and keep utilizing their available resources. They are great to work with. It’s free of charge and provides understandable business advice from professional people that is worthwhile.
Story originally featured in the SBTDC’s 2013-2014 Annual Report.
More Success Stories
The SBIR grant assistance is the most valuable thing the SBTDC has provided. Receiving the SBIR funding is what allowed us to move forward and we’ve actually been able to win three grants, although we had to turn one down. They have provided much needed advice on business development and we have also paired up with several student interns for marketing analysis.
I have taken advice from the SBTDC counselors at every major decision point through the last couple of year and my business has benefited greatly from the sound advice and research provided by the SBTDC.