Artura Taylor, TDG Scientific.

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Artura Taylor is the Founder and CEO of TDG Scientific.

What was your inspiration for starting the business?

I never fathomed the economic downturn being so severe in 2008 that I’d be thrust back into the workforce, but from the insight of a trusted friend, I made the fateful decision to start Taylor Distribution Group, LLC (TDG) in 2009, with the vision to sell commodities to the government. 

In 2011, after creating over 100+ direct relationship agreements with manufacturers, TDG was awarded our first-ever contract, which was $1.1M of a $1.3M, three-year contract to supply Cardio & Injectable Drugs to the Dallas Fire & Rescue Department. And, subsequently, in 2012, our second awarded contract which was $3.4M of a $4.6M, three-year contract to supply the City of Dallas Water & Wastewater Department ‘s seven labs with Laboratory Equipment, Supplies, Chemicals and Instruments.  

Since then we have expanded greatly to become a true Tier 1 Diverse Value-Added Provider with approximately $14 million in government and private sector contracts, TDG offers 11 Tier 1 credits for every $1 diverse spend, and 10 in the State of Texas.

Share how business has been impacted by the founder’s participation in the accelerator?

The market positioning that Founder’s First has been able to help us achieve has been truly phenomenal and has catapulted our name in front of some of our dream customers in the pharmaceutical space. We, for the first time, have also been able to hire 5 strategic hires to rapidly expand our bid department so that we can secure several large, multi-year, multi-million-dollar contracts in the foreseeable future. We are currently working with the wonderful Kim Folsom to establish an Advisory Board that will be influential in helping us to continue to scale to our goal of $3.5M in revenue by year’s end.

Most important lesson learned from their time with Founders First?

Founder’s First was such an instrumental experience in my growth as a business owner, CEO, and leader. The most important lesson I learned in this process was the power of having a strong value proposition. That is something that I struggled with for years, to determine the best way to position TDG Scientific so that our value was immediately recognized. 

By crafting the parts of the pitch and receiving amazing one-on-one coaching from Brandon I was able to hone in on our value prop in a way that not only helped me to win the Pitch Competition, but it has also been well received when we have pitched potential customers and done company intros at matchmaker events.

Fondest memory from Founders First? 

My fondest memory would be working with my group on the business simulation. That was an in-depth experience that really opened my eyes to how to run complex business scenarios, what external factors to consider, what new business strategies to help increase revenue and decrease costs, etc.

How much has your revenue grown since the program?

Our revenue has increased by 35% since we completed the program in March 2021 (in a little under a year). In addition, we have been able to finalize some amazing business opportunities with companies that we have been hoping to work with for years – putting in excess of another $2-3M in our sales pipeline for 2022. 

Did you have to pivot your business model during COVID?

COVID was challenging for us, as it has been for so many small businesses.

We experienced massive supply chain disruptions, which made it extremely difficult for us to source many of the PPE items that our large customers were requesting to keep their labs open. In an effort to meet the escalating need, we established new strategic partnerships with vendors who were able to leverage their domestic and international relationships to find and source the in-demand COVID supplies and products that our customers needed.

With the fast-paced nature of ordering during COVID we also rolled out ordering automation so our customers could place their orders in real-time, helping them to get the products they need for their essential work. Since the pandemic has started to ease, in 2022, we’ve brought onboard several strategic hires to help us increase our business partnerships, create new streams of income, and better serve our customers.

What was it about Founder’s First’s accelerators that interested you?

The idea of having like-minded entrepreneurs together has always been something that speaks to me. As a Baby Boomer, I am always looking for ways to network with other CEOs to learn from them and get insights into new strategies, new tools, new business models, new ways of marketing or generally doing business. The level of mentorship that this program provided is world class – unlike any other accelerator I’ve ever done or heard of. I pride myself on always focusing on personal and professional development and Founder’s First had the perfect blend of both, giving us the opportunity to dive deeper into areas of our business where we needed more support and also providing a safe container for us to advance our leadership skills in the process.

 Advice for other entrepreneurs?

The most important piece of advice I can lend a fellow entrepreneur is to always take advantage of mentorship and leadership training opportunities. We have had the honor and privilege to, of course, participate in Founder’s First as well as the Zebra Leadership Program. In addition, we have had phenomenal mentors from American Airlines, Toyota, Novartis, and Pfizer who have been instrumental in helping us to refine our marketing strategies and establish new pipelines of business.

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