Despite the troubled economy, Green Bay-based fabricator Folkman Inc. has experienced significant growth over the last several years. As a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business, Folkman Inc. was able to capitalize on government contracts and has grown annually. The Folkmans tapped into local resource the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at UW-Green Bay to guide this father-and-son-owned business in the right direction for success.
Folkman began in 2005 with just the two co-owners, Alan Folkman and his son Justin Folkman, who was injured in the Iraq war. The business specializes in custom and production metal fabrications, such as steel stairs, custom handrails and building structures. It offers research and design on fabrications along with design assist on architectural planning.
“Our original shop was only 2,400 square feet,” says the younger Folkman “We have acquired more customers all around the United States, along with much larger contracts.”
Folkman’s pursuit of government contracts is the primary contributor to its growth. “The biggest thing that helped us was bidding projects throughout the U.S.; bidding at the right price and making sure that the customer gets a quality project,” explains Justin.
The Folkman team contacted the SBDC when they first started to bid on government projects. “The SBDC helped us start a small business plan and helped us pick the direction to go. They gave us some websites and people to contact for advice in dealing with the government and where to register.”
As Folkman’s success continues, Alan and Justin are thankful for the support they received from the SBDC. “Chuck Brys has been just as excited for us to succeed as we were,” adds Justin. “That excitement helped drive us to the position that we are in today.”