Jeffrey Rudd

Sarasota, Florida

ZipKord Solutions
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Learn about Florida Entrepreneur Jeffrey Rudd:

CMO America, DBA ZipKord Solutions (ZipKord), is an 18-year-old, rapidly growing manufacturer and distributor of consumer goods based in Sarasota, Florida. ZipKord constantly develops new and unique products with a focus on quality, execution and client-focused delivery.

Meet ZipKord Solutions
Was there an ah-ha moment that led to the idea of your company?

CMO stands for Chance Meets Opportunity – that is our definition of Luck. And when you dig deeper, you realize that luck favors the prepared, and that is why we have succeeded for 19 years, and why we will continue to succeed. The company started while walking the Wireless Telephone convention floor and we saw a unique retractable headset that solved the tangled-cord issue for mobile phones. We worked with the Korean inventor and brought the creative idea to the USA market, and grew the business from there, expanding in many directions with innovative and need-type technology accessories for the ever-changing technology product market.

Describe some major challenges you’ve found in growing your business. How did you overcome or solve them?

In 2017 we lost one of our biggest clients – one of the largest Verizon resellers. We had to pivot and decide what the future of ZipKord would look like. Part of this was downsizing as we re-evaluated the market and our future impact as a company. We decided to focus on niche markets in the hospitality and travel industries, along with private label licenses, eventually signing an agreement with Hearst media and their Popular Mechanics brand, which is now our primary focus

The biggest challenge we’ll face down the road is how consumers will get back to normal life post-COVID. Where will they shop? What will they need? How have they adjusted and how must we in turn pivot to serve their needs to continue to succeed for our employees and our customers.

Explain the culture of your organization. What’s it like working at your company?

Our three main core values are Integrity, Team, and Client-Focused Delivery. What we strive to do is create an open environment and enable everyone to have the space to do their part and have an impact on the business. We like to say during the hiring process that we want this to be your last job, and we look to hire people whose core values already match those of the company. We work hard to allow those who want it to grow and succeed.

What’s your company’s competitive edge over other companies in your market?

Our competitive edge is our focus on partnering with our customers and together putting products into the market that consumers want to buy or need to buy. Our team has an over and above mentality, always trying to underpromise and over-deliver. We have found that it makes friends out of our customers and they work hard to help us succeed together.

What does it mean to you to be selected as a GrowFL Florida Companies to Watch Honoree?

There are a lot of very good people and companies operating in the state, and we are honored to have been a finalist and then selected to the group this year. After 19 years, we threw our name into the ring because the team has worked very hard to get to where we are. We are proud to be living in Florida and wanted to let the state know that Zipkord Solutions is based here in Sarasota and that we are working hard to bring new ideas to the market with hopes of making Florida proud.

Is there anyone you’d like to thank?

Thank you to the entire GrowFL team for selecting us and for your support through this process. An additional thank you to our customers, our partners, and the ZipKord team that shows up every day to make our company successful.

What is your advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Learn everything you can. Meet everyone you can and get to learn their story. There is a lesson in what they will tell you, and you won’t know it until you need it. Every business is a people business. Make your team your friend. Make your vendors your friend, and make your customers your friend. Help them succeed, and they in turn will want to help you succeed.


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