Carroll International

Tabor City, NC

First in Service

Everything Byron Carroll has built is in service to active and veteran military members. His multiple businesses are certified service-disabled veteran-owned, and 80% of his employees are veterans. “My true passion,” Carroll says, “lies in . . . trying to use the resources and my talent and those like me to get the very best tools in the hands of the warfighter.” He has leveraged his family’s land as an RV park and an event venue while building up his tech company to supply the military with advanced communications systems, information security solutions, and tactical equipment.

A Fighting Advantage

Located in Tabor City, a rural area not far from the coast, Carroll discovered that the local “workforce [was not] used to working for the federal government.” Faced with the need to develop skilled workers while also identifying funding opportunities to allow for his company’s expansion, Carroll contacted the SBTDC.

Cracking Government Contracts

Carroll requested assistance from the SBTDC to leverage their Veteran and HUBZone certifications to move into government contracting. The SBTDC helped Carroll establish a Mentor/Protégé relationship with General Dynamics, allowing them to develop an all-important past performance portfolio. An SBTDC government contracting counselor also helped the business enhance their capability statement, explained the “deep details” of federal contracts, and reviewed proposals. As a result, Carroll was awarded contracts as both the prime and subcontractor.

“I really believe that the SBTDC has some of the best people and we have gotten the very best advice that we possibly can get”

Expanding to International Markets

With the SBTDC’s help, Carroll was awarded a STEP grant, enabling him to travel abroad for trade shows and to translate his website into Spanish and Arabic to encourage international customer growth. He utilized masters-level interns through the SBTDC to help write his international compliance manual. “I learned a ton by going through that process,” Carroll said.

A Powerful Ally

“It can be a challenge to get the right people on your side at the table and get the right consultation.” But with the SBTDC on their side, Carroll International has seen record growth, even through the pandemic. Since 2016, the company has improved revenues from $2 million annually to a projected $10 million. The PPP loan the SBTDC helped them apply for, “really got us over a tough time,” Carroll said.

A Handshake Abroad

With the expansion of the business into international markets, Carroll’s company recently rebranded to Carroll International. Along the way, they have won several awards, including the Nunn-Perry Award for Excellence in the DoD Mentor-Protege program as well as the Department of Commerce Export Achievement Award. Carroll also gives back by serving on the Board of Directors for the NC World Trade Organization, a connection that sprang from an SBTDC course. His advice for others? Leverage your perceived weaknesses into advantages. He rebranded his RV park’s distance from the coast as a retreat with added peace and quiet. 

But what Carroll loves most about running his business is the impact it has on service members’ lives and their role in the American legacy abroad. “To travel internationally and to define what a handshake means from an American. To set the expectation from other folks around the world, here’s what you can expect out of an American business. That’s an honor.”

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