A Florida SBDC Success Story: Packaged Success at Pak-n-Ship of SW Florida
Emma and Manny Tianga graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University with their Bachelors in Business Management. They were both presented with several prospects upon graduation, but were unsure of the direction they wanted to take in their careers and began to explore ownership of a Pak-n-Ship. In 2010, shortly after graduating, Emma and Manny discovered the no cost, confidential consulting services offered by the Florida SBDC. The Tiangas met on several occasions with Julio Estremera, a consultant for the Florida SBDC. Julio assisted the Tiangas in migrating through the purchasing of the stores, everything A-Z in business ownership, and eventually they located two Pak-N-Ship locations in Fort Myers and purchased them.
When they first started the packaging and shipping business in the first two locations, they offered basic services such as mailing and delivering packages. The Tiangas realized there was room for potential growth and improvement in the locations and set out to procure additional stores and add services. The entire mail box rental was an element they needed to incorporate and they began to introduce mailboxes at the locations among other services. The expansion of stores and services included the addition of gifts, gift cards, novelty items, and copy services.
They now own and operate five locations and have eight full-time and two part-time employees. They say their employees are hard-working and dependable. They truly appreciate their employees and are looking to add more incentive programs and events for their employees in the future, including a Christmas party. When asked what the best part of being an entrepreneur was for them, they said, “the freedom that comes along with it.” They enjoy being in control without deadlines or restrictions put into place except their own and that of the mail service providers and carriers.
Some of the issues that were faced over their time owning the locations ranged from finding the right accountant to weather to set up the business as a Corporation or an LLC. They give accolades to the services provided by the Florida SBDC. “They helped with many of the issues we were having and helped to not only answer our questions but give us a list of questions to ask to get the answers we looking for when we were hiring employees and seeking an accountant,” says Emma. Emma and Manny recommend the Florida SBDC to everyone, saying “Use it as much as you can and put the advice the SBDC gives into practice as much as possible”.