Eric Snyder - President of Snyder Manufacturing Corporation

Snyder Mfg. Corp. is a family business specializing in custom chemical formulations of specialty products such as cleaning products, aromatic oils, and lubricants.  Founded in 1951 by Eric’s father & mother Ray & Jean Snyder, the business manufactured and sold automotive after-market chemicals.  Literally, at his father’s knee, Eric learned about the business as he traveled along with him during school breaks.

So, it was a natural progression to become involved full-time with the business in 1971 after a stint in the USAF and achieving a business degree with a certificate in small business management from Golden West College.  Eric’s natural interest in science helped him develop a grasp of the chemistry used in the manufacturing of commercial and consumer chemical products.

In 1977, Ray passed away and Eric became President of the corporation.  Under Eric’s leadership, the direction of the company began to drift away from the automotive after-market and towards private label R&D with an emphasis on “green” chemistry.  The very first “direct-release” marine cleaning products were developed, with the assistance of the U.S. EPA, bearing the coveted EPA’s Design for the Environment (DfE) logo. These products were initially marketed by West Marine Products and continue to be viable products used by both the recreational and the commercial boating industry.

Snyder Manufacturing Corporation continues to be an innovative and creative company helping start-up businesses engineer and produce specialty chemical products.  During this developmental process, it is the objective of the business to achieve strong relationships with its clients and eventually meet their production needs as these products gain market share.

Currently, Eric’s daughter Jessica is learning the intricacies of Snyder Manufacturing Corporation and is a director of the board.  The transition to the third generation is under way and appears to be successfully developing.

What do you do?

I am currently active in the day-to-day operation of the business in a general management and technical development capacity.

How long have you been doing it?

Since 1971.

What ignited the spark in you to start this business?

Family relationship.

How do you earn money?

By supporting clients who have a need for a “behind the scenes” manufacturer of their specialty chemical products.  And, by developing new products for marketers of specialty chemical products.

Who is your target client/customer?

An individual or business desiring to market, rather than manufacture, specialty chemical products.

What does a typical day look like?

Awake at 4-4:30 and prayerful preparation for the people and circumstances that may arise that day.  In the office between 6 & 7 catching up on emails, phone calls and correspondence.  A good portion of each day is spent learning about new regulatory standards for our industry and seeking how to comply with those standards and stay profitable.

Usually some time is spent each day on new product development or existing product refinement as new technology becomes available.  Administrative tasks take up the balance of the day until leaving the office between 4:30 & 5.  Of course, occasional travel is interspersed into this schedule.

How many people do you employ?

Currently employ 15 people.

What’s the one trait you look for in a new employee?

Engaging personality.

Is there a trend in your industry that particularly excites you right now?

Yes, as regulatory pressures come into our already heavily regulated industry, our competition becomes less & less customer oriented.  This provides the environment for great opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to serving our clients.

What has been your most successful form of marketing your business?

Relationships.

What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

Watching a new customer take a new product and successfully market that product.

What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?

Creativity.  Entrepreneurs are able to create without the corporate bureaucracy that stifles many employees desire to innovate and create.

What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?

To temporarily discontinue a project because of not being able to find the packaging components that wouldn’t fail.

If applicable, where did your organization’s funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it?

Capital funding comes from within, ie profits.

What is your greatest fear and how do you manage it?

Failure.  I try and trust God to open doors He wants me to go through and close those He doesn’t.

What’s the one thing you do that you feel makes you successful?

Respond to our client’s requests quickly and completely.

Tell us about one of your hobbies when you’re not working.

Reading.

What book has inspired you the most and why?

The Bible because it contains “truth” about relationships with both God and humans and sound business principles.

What is necessary for my product to gain market share?

It must perform, be competitively priced, be packaged according to the user’s needs and be readily available for distribution.

What is the purpose of life?

To glorify God and to dwell with Him forever.

Are you willing to be a mentor? If so, how would you like to be contacted?

Of course!  Please contact me by email.

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