Northwestern Features Bird-X
Bird-X, Inc has been featured in Northwestern University’s Medill Reports. The recession has had a huge impact on our country, but Bird-X has maintained substantial growth with quality products, great service, and continued customer support.
The article in full :
Optimistic local business finds success during the recession
BY JENIECE PETTITT
OCT 01, 2009
“We have chosen not to participate in the recession,” said Dennis Tilles, president of Bird-X Inc., on Chicago’s West Side.
While many business owners are not as boldly optimistic, they have become less wary about the economic outlook, according to September’s Economic Outlook published by PNC Financial Services Group Inc., of Pittsburgh.
Of the 1,451 U.S. business owners and decision-makers polled in August, only 50 percent said they were still pessimistic about the economy’s recovery in the upcoming six months. When PNC conducted a similar poll in the spring, a record-high 71 percent said they were pessimistic.
But throughout the recession, Tilles has been on the optimistic end of the spectrum.
Bird-X, a small manufacturing firm with 30 employees that specializes in bird and pest control, energy efficient space heaters and dental lab products, has seen its profits soar in the past year. Tilles partly attributes it to an increase in demand for bird control products after a US Airways plane flew though a flock of geese and landed on the Hudson River in January.
Tilles also is aggressive in promoting his products. Bird-X increased its sales and marketing staff in the past year and plans to continue growing it in the next six months. “Everyone has to be cost effective, but I think at the same time, there are opportunities,” he said. “The normal tendency is to pull back and we’ve done the exact opposite.”
According to the PNC Economic Outlook survey, six out of 10 U.S. small business owners are considering trimming their labor forces in the next six months.
Robert Dye, senior economist for PNC Financial Services Group, said some companies are better positioned to expand their work force as the economy experiences a “U-shaped recovery.”
“I expect to see a mix,” Dye said. “Some businesses will feel aggressive, some will still feel the need to cut back and many established mid-sized companies are first going to utilize their existing employees before they start hiring again.”
The results also showed that eight out of 10 have yet to experience any benefit from the federal stimulus program.
“At this point I can’t see that we have [benefited], but I think we will,” Tilles said. “It won’t be a direct benefit but the growth opportunities and fiscal stimulus will have some trickle-down effect for us.”