SCORE counselor Dave Lebowitz and Jian Chu, founder and owner of East-Terra Hardware Supply LLC have never met in person.
Still, Dave has guided Jian through a complex series of business issues that have helped get East-Terra off the ground and positioned for growth. East-Terra is a U.S. based company that imports decorative and useful hardware products from Mainland China. Their primary product at start up was a line of electronically controlled, “hands free” wastebaskets and their target market was the medical field.
Although Jian had some prior experience in sales, he came to depend on Dave for almost all aspects of his business. Dave assisted him, among other things, in establishing sales and personnel policies, sales management techniques, improving the sales presentation to and business relationship with customers, and resolving problems in connection with shipping from China and distribution within EastTerra’s marketing area. Later, Dave and Jian examined how to improve the competitive situation in the company’s product lines and how to set up invoice and order formats in relation to the marketing of the products.
All of the above activity was done through email. Lebowitz is one of about 2,000 National SCORE email counselors who rarely actually meet their clients, but work with them through discussions carried on over the Internet. Because the SCORE Cyber Counseling program allows clients to view the skills, education and business background of counselors they locate by entering keywords into SCORE’s counselor search database, Jian was able to select Dave from a number of potential counselors who met his needs.
Today East-Terra is a growing business, thanks in large part to Dave’s advice and assistance. EastTerra has a website, www.east-terra.com which you might want to visit.