Manufacturing Extension Partnership of Louisiana
ASMC Member Providing Hands-On Help through the Manufacturing Extension Partnership of Louisiana
Superior Trolling Motors began operations in 1983 in Lafayette, Louisiana. In May 2004, Randall and Karen Brown purchased the business which specializes in the repair and installation of trolling motors and boats. They recently began selling their products internationally.
Superior Trolling Motors owners, Randall and Karen Brown, were looking for ways to market their products and services. They were very interested in doing a website featuring the company’s products and services. The Browns contacted the Manufacturing Extension Partnership of Louisiana (MEPoL), a NIST MEP network affiliate, for assistance.
MEPoL Project Director Merlin Bodin began by helping Superior Trolling Motors obtain some funding from the Louisiana Department of Economic Development’s Small and Emerging Business Development (SEBD) program. Once the company was approved, Merlin worked with them to obtain the domain name www.superiortrolling.com and built a basic website featuring the company’s products and services. MEPoL is also hosting the company’s website and submitting the keywords from their website to major search engines on a weekly basis to help increase market exposure. In March 2005, one retail sale was shipped to Australia, where the customer found out about Superior Trolling Motors through the Internet. That customer got excited over one product, the Kipawa Prop, an after market trolling motor propeller. He tested the prop on 24 different boats and contacted Kipawa Propellers directly. The customer turned out to be a large marine dealer in Australia, and he requested the whole continent of Australia as his territory for selling Kipawa Propellers. So far, he has placed over $5,000 in prop orders, where Superior Trolling Motors gets a residual off of every prop he orders directly from Kipawa products. The supplier has assured Superior Trolling Motors that this is only the tip of the iceberg.
- Saved $1,125 on the website service and development costs through SEBD assistance.
- Generated approximately $15,000 in retail sales as a result of their website.
- Achieved a more competitive and profitable position.
“Even though our website is basic with not too many bells and whistles, we have had so many compliments on our website. Mr. Merlin Bodin has been very accommodating, and has expertly guided us with his knowledge and expertise.”
Karen Brown, Vice President