Taking it Global from the Woods of New Hampshire
Pictured left to right, Earl Dodge, Vice President of Operations, and Andrew White, President/Owner stand in front of the door of Comptus, Thornton, NH
If a company exported from the woods in New Hampshire and no one was around to see it, did it really happen?
You bet! Meeting Andrew White, President of Comptus, out in the woods of NH proves that there is a lot going on. Comptus is a leading producer of wind and environmental sensors, transmitters, and controls. The instruments are designed for commercial and industrial applications where accuracy, durability and reliability are crucial to compete in the market.When starting out, Andrew secured an SBA Loan from TD Bank to purchase the business. Since that time, he has participated in other SBA Programs enhancing his ability to be innovative and to grow and thrive. When Andrew decided to buy this existing business, he had no idea that Comptus would grow to export over 60% of their products to countries such as China, Canada, Mexico, Finland, Argentina, Greece, Jordan, South Korea, and India. The primary markets that Comptus sells to include wind energy, environmental research, building automation, and crane and fountain controls.
Comptus has applied for and been awarded SBA State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) Grants over the past few years, which is managed by the NH Office of International Commerce. The STEP Grant funding has helped Andrew to grow his business and have significant success in exporting. The STEP program in New Hampshire is structured to help businesses work through some of the critical aspects of exporting. Some of this help has allowed Andrew to travel to attend trade events and meet clients in countries like Jordan, Israel, The Netherlands, China, Turkey, Egypt, and most recently India. In addition, STEP Funding has helped with internationalizing his website, producing foreign language data sheets and attending a NH Trade mission to Turkey. Most importantly, it has directly helped with increasing his international sales from 7% in 2012 to 64% in 2019.
Andrew attended the SBA Emerging Leaders program in 2016 where he gained the knowledge and network he needed to create and implement a three-year strategic growth plan. By having the opportunity to work with experienced mentors, coaches and peers he refined his business planning and management skills. He continues to maintain his connections to this day, which helps continue both his business and personal growth.Comptus has faced adversity, like losing their largest customer, getting hit by a Malware attack and dealing with litigation proceedings. Andrew relied on the resources and network he has gained through the SBA to pull him through. Comptus also reduced contract labor and added direct labor, developed new products, increased space in the existing facility, and increased foreign markets from three to fourteen countries currently.
In conversation with Andrew, he reiterated that, “Without the SBA programs, Comptus would absolutely not be where it is today.” He encourages every small business owner to reach out and learn about programs that are available. “One of the benefits of having a small business in New Hampshire, is that program directors from every agency know each other and can direct you to resources you may not have heard about.” For example, Andrew just recently learned that Comptus may be eligible and will apply for the SBA HUBZone certification. This Federal program gives certified small businesses a mandated first position with government contracting agencies. This is opening a whole new market opportunity for Comptus.
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