Syracuse, N.Y. — Michael Brady had a pretty successful business manufacturing labels for the pharmaceutical market, but he wanted to expand.
So in 2011, Brady jumped at the chance to take a 100-hour course in advanced management training from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Then he put what he learned into use.
“We developed a strategic growth action plan,” said Brady, a DeWitt native who started HP Mile Inc. in 2002 after a 10-year career on Wall Street.
Brady bought a digital label press that improved the ability of his Syracuse business to quickly produce labels and reduce waste. Then he bought two video inspection machines that compare printed labels to the PDF original while they are being printed, improving quality control and efficiency.
The result? Since 2011, HP Mile has almost doubled its annual production from 58 million labels to 104 million labels and has increased its workforce from 12 to 18 full-time employees.
In December, HP Mile acquired Geneva-based label converter Lauraville Packaging LLC, a move it said will strengthen its presence in regulated industries and expand its customer base in promotional areas.
The company makes labels for customers throughout the U.S., as well as in Canada and England. The labels go on medical devices, specimen sample kits and pharmaceutical products such as Advil, Robitussin and Dimetapp.
The SBA has 15 slots open for this year’s training classes, which start in April and are held every other week through early November at The Tech Garden, a business incubator center in downtown Syracuse.
To qualify for the training, a business owner must have been in business for three years, have from $400,000 to $10 million in annual revenue and have at least one employee other than the owner.
To apply for the program, business owners must submit a letter of interest form to the SBA. The form can be found on the SBA website.
The training is free and focuses on such things as how to develop a strategic growth plan, how to develop an export business and how to pursue government contracts.
“What you’re trying to do is grow that business and add employees,” said Bernard J. Paprocki, the SBA’s Syracuse district director.
John Liddy, the program’s instructor, said the training is particularly helpful to entrepreneurs who have found some success in business but have never taken the time to develop a strategic plan that would allow their businesses to move to the next level.
“It’s all growth oriented,” he said. “It gives them the confidence to go outside their normal comfort zone.”
The SBA launched the program eight years ago in large cities. In 2011, Syracuse became the first small city to get the program, which is now offered in 48 cities across the country.
Contact Rick Moriarty anytime: Email | Twitter | Facebook | 315-470-3148
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