BY JULIE LANDRY LAVIOLETTE
Special to the Miami Herald
In 1991, two weeks after Al Dexter moved his wife and four kids to South Florida, he was laid off from his job. So Dexter, then 49, started working with a man cleaning air ducts — not for pay, but to learn the business. A couple of months later, Dexter saw an opportunity: The man was moving back to New York. Dexter took out a loan to buy equipment and a cargo van with 400,000 miles on it, and started an air-duct cleaning business out of his garage.
Today, Air Quality Control Environmental in Coral Springs has 12 core employees, four service vehicles and a crew of part-time workers. Dexter, 73, has grown Air Quality into a family business, with son, Mike, and daughter, Kelly, as co-owners.
The addition of Mike and Kelly have re-energized the business: Sales climbed to $800,000 in 2013, and sales calls grew from one or two a day to six or more a day. But while Air Quality has seen sales growth, Al Dexter feels the company doesn’t have the operational infrastructure to accommodate it and enhance its growth potential. Air Quality asked the Miami Herald for a Small Business Makeover.
The Herald brought in Broward SCORE, a nonprofit with volunteer counselors from the business community that mentor small business owners. The SCORE tune-up team included David Harris, director of marketing, Greenway Golf Course Management, whose expertise is in operational management, fiscal controls and marketing; Michael Bauer, director of accounting, American Traveler, whose expertise is in strategic planning, budgeting and operations; and Chip Ellis, president of the International Association of U.S. Government Contractors, whose expertise is coaching small business owners how to succeed at selling products.
AL DIAZ / MIAMI HERALD STAFF: IN THE FAMILY: Al Dexter, at center, founded Air Quality Control Environmental Inc. nearly 25 years ago. Now he and two of his children, Mike Dexter and Kelly Dexter, are also co-owners of the business.
See article online at http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/04/06/4040722/small-business-makeover-air-quality.html
Score's D. Harris Score's C. Ellis Score's M. Bauer