Matt Bracken was working at Pedro’s NA at the time and knew they had a great product with good and loyal customers, even though some customer relationships were deteriorating due to delivery problems caused by poor inventory control and Pedro’s cash flow problems. Matt approached Jim Hale and Jay Seiter, then current employees at Pedro’s, and the 3 of them decided to make the plunge and buy the business so Matt, Jim and Jay bought Pedro’s in 2011. This was done with financial help from Pedro’s Taiwanese accessory and tool manufacturer and supplier. The picture is of the Pedro’s executive team Matt Braken, Jim Hale, and Jay Seiter.
Matt, Jay and Jim completely changed the business model. The office and warehouse were closed, and Pedro’s began to drop ship products to their customers. These actions reduced the headcount to just the 3 owners and they work from their homes to reduce costs. Jay worked from his home in Boston, Jim lived in Maine and Matt lived in Chestnut Hill MA. Financial performance began to improve immediately, but Pedro’s had to improve product delivery and response times to restore the faith of their customers; this was accomplished within the first year or 2. Matt, Jay, and Jim communicate regularly and meet face-to-face once a month to review sales and marketing plans as well as analyze financial performance.
The first 2 years as owners were hectic because the firm had to concentrate on product flow and customer relationships to restore customer’s confidence in the firm.. As such the owners paid little attention to the “paperwork and details” although they knew this could be improved with some help.. Matt eventually called upon SCORE as he had heard that SCORE helps existing businesses as well as start-ups.
SCORE mentors Allen Nixon and Dennis Noel were a tremendous help in assisting Matt to analyze Pedro’s P&L variances from budget and from year to year, and examine the balance sheet and cash flow. They also reviewed the LLC contract and partnership agreement for the company and 3 co-owners, resulting in many good suggestions for improvement. More recently Dennis helped Matt when a large customer asked for unique pricing and terms on some long-term contracts.
Matt sums it up: “Being a small business owner can often be a lonely and stressful job, but knowing that SCORE is there for ‘The life of my business’ is very reassuring and I know Dennis and Al will be there for me when I need them; they are only a phone call away.”