Glenn Williams, President of Bell Performance, has one of the most classic American business stories. His first job at Bell was the exhausting and dirty work of making the product in the warehouse. Now he leads the company at which he worked his way up from the bottom.
“I had done some part time work at both Bell and Disney while in college,” he said. “I wanted to go someplace where I could make a difference, and Disney was just too big for that. Bell said they would get me working at a position where I could make a difference. I started in the warehouse and didn’t know what difference I could make there. I came home every day dirty and exhausted, but I learned what goes into the production of our products. It’s very easy for salespeople to take for granted that when they sell something it’s just going to be available.”
What Bell Performance does is fix fuel. It develops fuel treatments to treat the problems that various fuels exhibit from gasoline to diesel to heavy fuel oil, whether it is removing unwanted water, adding lubricity or increasing power. Under Williams’ lead, the company sought assistance from GrowFL to launch a new service division.
“The insights that GrowFL and FloridaMakes has provided through the System for Integrated Growth and CEO Roundtables, and the work they’ve done to help our team, has made this venture successful,” Williams explained. “We’re adding more jobs and expanding the reach of the service division as we continue to work with GrowFL. It’s a difference of night and day. If we didn’t have GrowFL working alongside us, we wouldn’t be in nearly the good position we are right now. It would have taken a lot longer to figure out the pieces of this puzzle.”
Williams’ advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to focus on solving your customer’s problem first. “Don’t get caught up in what you’re selling,” he said. “You have to get connected to your customers and learn their story. You can have the best product or service, but if you can’t connect with customers and win them over by attentively listening to them and providing value, then you’ll spin your wheels. It all starts with the customer or end user.”