Pender Industrial



Pender Industrial is a manufacturer's representative and industrial equipment distributor based in Monroe, La. Founded by a husband and wife team in 2004, the company has grown to over $3.6 million in sales.

When a husband has extensive industrial sales experience and the wife has marketing and business experience, it can be tempting to start their own business when they see the opportunity. That is exactly what happened in 2004 when John and Renee Pender founded Pender Industrial.

Based in Monroe, La., Pender Industrial is a manufacturer's representative and distributor for instrumentation valves and parts for chemical plants, energy plants and paper mills. Pender services clients in Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Alabama.

When Renee Pender and her husband started thinking about forming a business in 2003, Renee went straight to her alma mater for help. She consulted with the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at the University of Louisiana Monroe to begin working on a brief business plan and feasibility study to determine if starting the business would be the right move. They had a foot in the industry and the sales skills to go with it but they had to crunch numbers to see if it was right for them.

"They really helped with the numbers. At the time, we didn't know how much we'd have to borrow and we fine-tuned the business and marketing plan to see if it was even feasible," said Pender.

They started the business in their home and kept inventory in a small shop but things grew quickly. Within a couple of years they moved into a 4,300-square-foot warehouse and now have seven employees including herself and her husband. Pender said they have always gone back to the center for advice when considering adding more staff. They run a cost/benefit analysis to find out how much the new employee will have to sell to break even and how they need to price salary and commission.

So far things have gone well. Pender had a $700,000 sale within six months of opening their doors and in 2010, they had $3.6 million in sales. Pender said they are also exploring the opportunity of branding their own product line of valves.


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