Bill Smith, owner of Universal Step, Inc., has been in business for over 50 years.
As a self-proclaimed "grunt," he says he is more of a builder/inventor than a business man. It is the inventor in him, as well as a need to transition his business to be less labor-intensive, that inspired Bill to create a new modular step product.
In addition to his new modular step, Bill is still the only producer of other popular concrete products in demand with the City of Syracuse and New York State (such as mini barriers, benches, wheel stops, and large planters). Bill continues to make wheel stops and chimney caps however, his modular step has caught on and is in demand with homeowners and contractors alike.
Bill obtained two patents which confirms the uniqueness of his new steps. A video of the easy installation process of his new product can be seen on Universal Step's website, along with the various sizes of steps available.
Bill has increased his workforce from 2 to 12 since introducing his modular steps. He has also received international acclaim. Bill was featured in BFT International, a trade journal for manufacturers read worldwide. Investing his time and effort into this project has proven to be successful judging by the attention, demand, and increasing sales.
When asked how he has benefited from working with the Onondaga SBDC, Bill credited his Business Advisor Mike Cartini with helping him through the process. Bill especially appreciated the use of Mike's network of resource partners who assisted him with design questions, web development, and interns.
As Bill heads into the next half-century with Universal Step Inc., it is a good bet that the 'grunt' will still be doing great business!
Onondaga Small Business Development Center. Partnership Program with the SBA, administered by the State University of New York. Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA. All SBA funded programs are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.