We’ve all heard the expression, “to do the job, you need the right tools.” But what if you have the right tools, but can’t find the job? In a sense, that was the problem facing Jessie Ellis, the owner of PinnaCal, a Missoula-based corporation. PinnaCal provides tool calibration and repair services to multiple industries, including the aviation, manufacturing and automotive sectors. Meeting rigid quality management and assurance standards, the business trains and requires their staff to become ASQ-certified calibration technicians.
PinnaCal has grown steadily since its inception in 2012. Encouraged by the company’s success in the commercial market, Ellis decided to pursue government contracting. She knew the path could be challenging and complex, so she contacted the Missoula PTAC for guidance. Government Contracting Advisor Patty Cox worked with Ellis, initially assisting her with the required registrations, then with market research and strategies. From PTAC, Ellis learned that targeting just a few agencies and pursuing opportunities for small contracts was a good path for young businesses to follow. But that path had obstacles as well.
Small opportunities can be difficult to locate and finding the right contact person within an agency is often challenging as well. Once again, the Missoula PTAC was able to point Ellis in the right direction. Following through on information provided by PTAC, Ellis was able to locate potential opportunities and contact the appropriate buyer. In correspondence to the government contracting advisor, Ellis wrote:
Patty, thank you so much for the information! I really appreciate the work you have put into this – it is such a great help to find our way in!