Paul ’86 and Kurtis Magargee ’14 of Light Pole Systems (photo courtesy of Mihaylo College)
Paul Magargee ’86 and Kurtis Magargee ’14 (entrepreneurship) launched Light Pole Systems a few years back to help put a stop to copper wire theft in parking lots, parks, and any other place with light poles. Since then they have diversified into more product lines, inspection services, and consulting. A post about their business was recently published in the Mihaylo Blog under the title Lighting the Way: Mihaylo Grads Launch Manufacturing Startup.
One aspect of the story that I would like to draw your attention to is that the Magargee’s became clients of the CSUF Consulting (Small Business Institute) program when they started their business and credit that experience with helping to light the way for their marketing efforts.
When Light Pole Systems was in its first year, they engaged a Mihaylo team of marketing students in fall 2014 in planning their startup through the Small Business Institute.
“The largest benefit we saw from working with the team was an outside perspective that brought in ideas that we may not have seen,” he says. “One of the best ideas was an industry-specific blog outlining many of the lessons specific to light poles and copper theft to establish ourselves as a reputable knowledge base in our field. The team also researched and outlined a number of potential trade organizations and industry events for us to attend and connect with a customer base. The team also researched potential customers whom we had not yet targeted, such as local electrical contractors and wholesale houses.”
Light Pole Systems has also recently manufactured custom adapter plates for installation on parking lot light poles on the CSUF campus.
The different perspective is the part that really stuck out for me. No matter who you are, there is sometimes a tendency to tunnel in on what you are doing and you do not have or take the time to look around and see what opportunities are passing you by or threats that are coming right at you. Our students, professors, and mentors in the CSUF Consulting program provide that kind of outside the box thinking by drawing on their experiences from class, their own businesses, from their careers, and from life in general.
Specifically, in this case the team made recommendations about the need to build up an online presence, which, as Kurtis points out, is their major driver of new customers. And for the projects we do it’s not enough to simply say “You should have a website”, our teams will create a detailed marketing plan that covers what kind of content you should create to reach the right customers and how you should do it.
And that is just one simple example of what our CSUF Consulting teams bring to the table in consulting engagements. Other teams have helped a hotel save money by going green, created an integrating marketing plan for a small business that blended traditional and digital marketing techniques, and helped a company determine which companies should be targeted for acquisition.
For information on how a CSUF Consulting team can craft a custom consulting report for your company, please contact our Client Project Specialist, Ms. Charlesetta Medina, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (657) 278-8243.