By: Davies Hood, Induron President
As the president and owner of Induron Protective Coatings, I have been involved in expanding our sales and marketing efforts into international markets. In order to enlighten her students about real life international business development, Lenn Rainwater asked me to share my experiences with her class at Jacksonville State University’s School of Business and Industry.
At Induron, we believe it is extremely valuable to share what we do, how we do it, and why we do it, so of course I jumped at this opportunity. In my presentation, I emphasized the three key components of any business venture, including how to find customers, how to get paid, and how to market your “value proposition.”
Next, I stressed the importance of partnering with the right people. For any business to succeed, the right people not only need to be involved, but they also need to understand the mission and be equipped with the information, products and training to succeed. Whether you’re flying across an ocean or walking down the hall, having the right people is what it is really all about.
I have been blessed to partner with some very sharp individuals in other countries. I value the professional relationships that have grown over the years, and I also honestly consider Induron’s international partners close personal friends. These friendships are not necessarily required, but it sure does help to work with people that you not only trust and respect, but also genuinely enjoy being around.
I also had the opportunity to share Induron’s 74-year history of being a family-owned business as well as some “war stories” of my business trips to China, Peru and Australia. All in all, it was a humbling experience to share with these students.
“Davies spoke to my International Business class and was one of the best speakers. He integrated his experience with expanding globally and the challenges he had to overcome. He included many topics that we address, including finding customers, marketing to international customers, getting paid (and the challenges that can present), how currency fluctuations affect pricing, and most importantly, development of relationships and trust. He provided real examples that interested the students and prompted further questions that he was more than happy to answer.” -Lenn Rainwater (JSU Professor)
“I enjoyed the presentation. I honestly did not know that water tanks and electrical transmission towers required paint. I loved how although the business is expanding internationally, it is still operated by family. The way the company treats its peers and employees is astounding compared to huge corporations that do business internationally. My favorite part was speaking after class to talk about the culture in Mexico and how to prepare to do business in a risky environment.” -Carlos Gonzalez (JSU Student)
“As a college student, having guest speakers take their time to come speak to us is what we all look forward to! Many college students can agree that a book can only teach so much. However, a guest speaker with real experiences can teach us more valuable information than anything else we could hope for. Mr. Hood came into our classroom with a welcoming attitude and made each of my fellow classmates feel happy to be there! Induron is a legendary company when it comes to family business, and Mr. Hood showed us that perfectly with his presentation and recap video of Induron. Speakers like Mr. Hood give college students hope, determination, encouragement, and knowledge to continue our education, as well as look forward to the legacies we can make as successful business professionals! Thank you, Mr. Hood, for being a part of my college experience!” -Auburn McKee (JSU Student)
Based on the feedback I received following the presentation, I think they enjoyed it, too. Thanks for having me, JSU!