Alexander Perry, Inc.

Alexander Perry, Inc. is a certified woman-owned minority business enterprise specializing in providing interior architecture and space planning to corporations, educational institutions, and private residences.

The company's clients include the Philadelphia School District, Citizens Bank, Westrum Development, Wills Eye Hospital, Tishman Construction, the Philadelphia Convention Center and the Academy of Natural Sciences among others. Owner Pat Sanford started the company in 1985 using about $5,000 from her personal savings and a grant from the Women's Enterprise Center in Philadelphia.

Sanford first met with the Wharton Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in 2003 to revitalize her company's strategic plan. “As a business owner you are responsible for everything,” she said. “It's a challenge to stay focused on your core business and to continue to develop new strategies that will allow the business to grow.”

Sanford worked with the Wharton SBDC consultants to identify promising customer groups and to develop a strategy for marketing and sales. The team researched criteria by which key potential customers made architecture and interior design selections. Their research prompted Sanford to gain minority certification and to focus on developers as some of her first target customers and to develop a strong commitment to working with the community and government projects, such as the Philadelphia Schools.

Sanford has found that her business' certification and participation in programs of the Bureau of Minority and Women Business Opportunities, Department of General Services, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, has resulted in her winning important contracts for the work with large businesses serving the Commonwealth.

With time, Alexander Perry, Inc. saw over $1 million in sales and over $700 million in construction management contracts, and had 10 full-time employees.

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Interior design by Alexander Perry, Inc. The company benefited from Wharton SBDC research on marketing and sales strategies.