NICOLET. The real estate flip phenomenon, which consists of buying a house and reselling it quickly after carrying out renovations in order to give it value, is now well known. But what about the “entrepreneurial flip”? It is on this principle that Alfred Rostomian and Adel Partovi acquired Eddy 91 in 2018, a Nicoletan company which was struggling, but which, visibly, was overflowing with potential.
The two Montreal entrepreneurs arrived in Nicolet with clear and ambitious goals. In five years, they doubled the number of employees of the Eddy Floor Tools company (including Eddy 91 and its American branch Eddy Floor Scraper, which is mainly used to distribute the goods in the United States) and tripled the turnover. Last February, the two entrepreneurs formalized the sale of their now successful business. “The time had come,” says Alfred Rostomian.
According to the two men, this is a relatively new business model usually reserved for investment and investment companies. “We liked this model for which we are looking for an already existing company, with good potential, and which we are taking to a higher level. You correct mistakes, you improve weak points and, if you do a good job, the company increases in value,” explains Rostomian.
This way of doing things is effectively comparable to real estate flips, with a few nuances. While a real estate flip will take three to six months, we are talking more about a time investment ranging from three to five years in the case of a business. “For a house, it’s very simple and you know what you’re getting into, even if some houses contain surprises! Whereas in a business there are a lot of unknowns. In five years, many variables can change. For example, in our original business plan, we didn’t plan for Covid-19, because we didn’t know it existed! We didn’t know that we had to plan for two years of a slowdown in our business,” says Mr. Rostomian.
La prise en charge d’Eddy Floor Tools
Upon their arrival, Messrs. Rostomian and Partovi were able to see that Eddy 91 was a small company that did not have the means to compete with the big international players. “The founder, even if he did a lot of things, did not have the international vision that Adel and I had, reveals Alfred Rostomian. We are very proud to say that the Eddy Floor Tools name is now recognized in North America, especially in the United States where our biggest customers are Home Depot and Lowe’s. We also started selling some of our products in Europe in 2019, particularly in France and Germany,” he adds.
Moreover, the Nicolétaine company was the winner of the MercadOr award as Star Exporter 2022 in the Diversification 5M$ and less category. 89% of its turnover comes from outside Quebec, and 56% outside Canada.
To do this, the two entrepreneurs have not been idle for the past five years. According to their estimate, more than 100 distinct elements have been improved over the years, whether it be sales and marketing, the layout of the production line and machinery, as well as packaging, design, ergonomics and product safety.
It’s all in the details! “Marketing was almost non-existent. It was just passive word of mouth. There was no strategy to approach the walk. You have to give arguments, you have to convince customers to buy your product! insists Alfred Rostomian.
More than $100,000 was also invested in the maintenance of the building and grounds located in the Nicolet industrial park. “No investment had been made for the maintenance of the building in the last two decades. The roof is brand new, we paved around the building and we cleared the back of the land,” list the contractors. If desired, the new owner will have the space to expand and construct a new building of the same size as the existing one, if desired.
Eddy’s Niche Market
Eddy Floor Tools designs and manufactures floor preparation tools with the goal of making jobs easy, safe and efficient. “We have a technology designed differently. Anyone can rent our tools and get the job done! “says Alfred Rostomian.
“Our tools are known for being compact and lightweight, and those are the two most important characteristics of our niche,” he says. Someone looking for something portable will love our machinery. »
At Eddy, there are floor scrapers, polishers, sanders and tile breakers. The former owners reveal that two new products have been developed in the past two years and are, with few details, ready to be launched on the market; much to the delight of the new owner who will soon take over the reins of the business. These are two tools that are a little beefier than what we already find at Eddy.
Adel Partovi is responsible for research and development. “I work to improve the quality of existing products in order to make the difference between our product and that of the competition. We listen to the customer, their suggestions and their expectations,” testifies Mr. Partovi. The sale is rather the strength of his colleague.
Pandemic and ingenuity
For Adel Partovi and Alfred Rostomian, pandemic does not rhyme with calm. Despite stopping production for a few weeks, the two entrepreneurs saw an opportunity in this global scourge.
Indeed, the two men aimed at a new market by creating the SANicolet entity. “It’s not just a project, because the entity is in its third year,” they say proudly.
These are battery-operated sprayers and misters designed for sanitary products that, once Covid-19 is over, can be used for watering plants at home or for mold treatment by cleaning and cleaning companies. decontamination.
“We’ve had a lot of success with that! We have also found a distributor in Europe who has started to develop its market with our products”, they conclude.