Author: Mackenzie Coogan, BSU student
With your business name being so unique and somewhat self-explanatory, what was your inspiration to start your business?
I learned how to cook from my grandma. When I was younger, I would get dropped off at grandma’s house and every time she taught me more about cooking. She taught me the art of cooking and helped me see the joy and passion of it. It turned into me always being around cooking. Simply, I love cooking meals for my family. I wanted to bring gourmet food to other families. While there are many places you can turn to for deli platters and to-go foods, my business will customize a gourmet menu to a customer’s liking and we deliver to his/her home.
You said you customize your menus, how exactly to do customize to your customer’s needs?
I provide customized menus based on other meals that a specific customer has expressed interest in. I upload pictures and menus to my website. I also provide as much or as little as a customer wants. I will hire employees to help me stay and serve, or I can drop off a customer’s order to his/her home, which the customer prefers.
You said you wanted to spread your love of cooking to other families, but your business is self- run and not family oriented. What inspired you to self-run your business?
With Catered Too being an owner operated business, it brings a personal touch to the customer's table. I use my own fresh grown vegetables, herbs, and flowers to enhance the flavor and provide beautiful garnishes. I create and use my own recipes, as all my cooking is from scratch. I find an art in my cooking, something I flourish in. I do all the menu planning, shopping, and cooking.
That seems to be a bit of work, but beautifully done and well put. To refer back to something you said earlier. Although your business is owner operated, you do hire employees for certain catering events. How do you hire employees to help you in those larger caterings?
If I need help, I hire service personnel for the day of the event. All employees, I know from my personal life. All of my servers need to be detail oriented, personable, reliable, and food oriented.
That a great list of requirements for an employee pertaining to your business. When you need to hire a server, you said it's for a larger cater event. What events do you typically cater for? Who is your target audience?
I cater to all customer needs, and that is my target audience. I understand that is a large range for a business, but that is the exact reason I started my business, I wanted to cater to all. If a customer has a busy schedule and would like a homemade meal, I can provide homemade to go meals for a customer, or a customer’s family, to reheat and serve for dinner. Whether it’s catering for a few friends or a large group, Catered Too is the perfect choice. I cater to all occasions, such as Holiday Parties, Family Gatherings, Graduations, Bridal Showers, Baby Showers, Anniversary Parties, and Birthday Celebrations.
If you have such a large range for the audience, customers must have a large range of requests. What is the flexibility within your cooking? What do you cook? What is your favorite style? What is the most popular?
Again, I cater to all. I cook breakfast, brunch, hot/cold hors d’oeuvres, homemade to go meals, sandwiches, salads, entrees, side dishes, and desserts. Almost anything under the sun. My favorite one to cook and serve is passed hot/cold hors d’oeuvres. All it takes is one bit and it needs to be perfectly balanced with sweet, salty, and creamy, and I get to be creative. One thing that I seem to be making quite frequently for customers is my Ohana chicken wings, simple, salty, and has a crunch!
Author: Vance Young, BSU student
Redzone Landscaping is a fully insured and professional commercial and residential landscape company that finds pleasure in maintaining and beautifying the appearance of customers’ properties. A satisfied customer is always the end goal, this is why Jake Young, owner of Redzone always tries to approach his work as if it would be done on his own property. Redzone is a growing locally owned business located in Weymouth and serves all of the South Shore. I got the chance to sit down and ask the Jake some questions about his business and here’s what I was able to gather:
Q: What is your line of business, and how did you choose to pursue this field?
“My line of business is landscaping & snow removal, I chose to pursue this because I have always had a love for nature and desire to work outside.”
Q: When did you start your business?
“Although I had begun much like other neighborhood children knocking door to door snow shoveling and raking leaves for a few bucks, I had not officially started my business until November 2014.”
Q: What was it that made you want to start this business?
“Aside from a love of outdoors, I wanted to start landscaping as I had a passion for altering landscapes and being in close contact with wildlife. Something I enjoy about being outside so often is that it has improved my awareness off various landscape issues a homeowner could run into.”
Q: What was an issue that came up upon opening your business, and what helped motivate you to not give up?
“One of my toughest challenges was finding a good reliable client base. My main inspirations that have always kept me going are my end goals, keeping them in sight has always helped me focus on what I need to get done.”
Q: If you had to start over from day 1 what would you have done differently?
“If I had to start over from day one, I would have increased my pricing, I had started this business when I was younger the pressure of clients not liking my pricing was very stressful, and I should have never lowered my price, as I didn’t make profit occasionally. “
Q: If a customer was to choose between your business and 3 others just like it why would you suggest they at least give you a try ﬁrst? What makes you stand out?
My business takes pride in our work, and guarantee customer satisfaction. I always aim to recommend the best and most affordable options for your property.”
Q: What is the number 1 way you currently bring in new customers?
“Facebook advertising has been very successful for me. Many people who are new to owning homes see our ads, I feel this is a great way to build a future client base.”
Q: Has internet technology (website, online ads, social media, etc) played a big part in your growth and making your company more successful?
“Yes, Facebook ads and google ads have made my business much easier to find when searching for landscaping companies.”
Q: Do you feel that internet technology could play a bigger role in your business if you had the
“I feel that internet marketing takes a decent amount of time, having correct marketing tools for the internet would definitely help speed up the process.”
Q: Looking into the future, where would you like to see your business?
“I would like to see my business preforming and profiting well. I hope to also have my business “running itself” with little need for my intervention.”
Q: Increase or decrease, step away and be more a manager, passive owner etc? Why?
“I’d like to passively manage my business as much as I can, that way I can focus on other life and business ventures, being a passive owner is great, it wouldn’t take my attention away from the business, but it would help me focus better on more important areas.”
Author: Deyse Pires, BSU student
If you’re in the market for a good truck mechanic with years of experience VE Truck Service is the place to go. Ellioney De Sousa Founder of VE Truck Service began his career at the young age by his parents’ incentive. At the age of 13 he started taking different workshops. During that time he fell in love with mechanics. He decided to continue diving deeper and develop his knowledge of how a car works. Not long after completing his courses, he sought opportunities to gain experience by working for others. Hoping to one day fulfill his dreams of owning his own shop.
Mr. De Sousa was born and raised in the state of Goias, Brazil. This was where his passion began. With the knowledge he acquired from his various course in mechanics, he started to think of how he could expand his passion in this line of work and exceed to success. He started dreaming of the possibility of one day becoming a business owner himself. Though he was a young boy he understood that in order to succeed there were still many things he needed to accomplish. He knew he needed to build a stronger foundation for his future business. The beginning process of his dream was followed with a lot of hard work and dedication. He gave the best of himself serving his cliental and also his employers. With that he begun to gain more knowledge in the field and started to build his own cliental. This allowed him to save up for his dream. With years of hard work and determination he was able to open up his own business.
After years of maintaining a successful business, Mr. De Sousa now with a wife and two kids, received the opportunity of a life time. Mr. De Sousa was given the chance to move to the U.S. and be able to give his wife and kids a better life and education. He did not hesitate; in 2009 he arrived in the U.S. and began his life once again from scratch. Referred by family friends who recognized his work in Brazil Mr. De Sousa continued his career in the same line of work. It was not easy, though the work was not foreign to him, he still faced many challenges such as the language barrier which effected customer communication. He was also expected to learn new techniques and how to use new machines that he had not yet been exposed to in Brazil. Yet with all these challenges he was able to see it as an opportunity to grow and gain more knowledge.
Within two years living in the U.S. and working as an employee Mr. De Sousa had learned enough to open his own company once more. In 2011 he opened VE Truck Services, but this time he did not do it alone. Now with his two children by his side to help him. They first began their company in Randolph where they stayed for two years. Later they transferred their shop to Whitman there they resided for another two years. Then they moved to Bridgewater where he currently resides.
Unlike before Mr. De Sousa mindset had changed. He no longer wanted to simply open up a business. He now wanted to create something more permanent. He wanted to be able to leave a legacy behind. One in which his children would be able to continue.
Even though he was once a business owner in Brazil he still faced many challenges. As he established his business in the U.S. He had to learn and determine which computer applications would better suit his business and increase productivity. He had to learn how to work on different machines that he had not seen in Brazil. Even with many challenges Mr. De Sousa was not discouraged but more than ever determined and excited to learn and grow.
When looking back on what he could had done differently Mr. De Sousa with full certainty states “nothing.” Even though with the challenges and sacrifices that he faced it created a strong foundation for his business. It made him who he is today. With all of that he is extremely grateful for all the lessons that he has learned over the past years!
VE Truck Service is located at 841 North Bedford St. in East Bridgewater, MA.
Author: Curtis Blake, BSU student
Are you from the South Shore?
Yes, I grew up in Whitman, Massachusetts.
Why did you choose fitness as your business?
This building was a previous business before and later became his partner in the business. Then split the partnership and that is how Hanover Fitness was born. Kept the current building that is now Hanover Fitness.
How did you come up with the name Hanover Fitness?
I thought long and hard about it but, it kind of just was just we are in Hanover we are promoting fitness, bang. Hanover Fitness.
What year did you first open Hanover Fitness?
September 2010 or September of 2011.
What was the toughest thing you went through when first starting Hanover Fitness?
Running the business end of the business, it is not my area of expertise, I like to train people, I like to get fit, I like to talk about nutrition. Sometimes the bills come into the bin and the light company comes calling and says that you haven't paid your bill, that wasn't that high on my priority, not that the money didn't exist but the actual function of running the business. I took a backseat in the beginning and then I realized that if I didn't do that, I would not have a business. All of a sudden I am on my own and I have to decide do I listen to Comcast or Fios or try to get my bill down or make sure I pay the bill on time or should I have water bottles or have a flow water bubbler. All of those business decisions I had never handled before. I was a trainer, so that was the difficult part of starting. Now that it has been 9 or 10 years it is pretty seamless. I got in under control.
What is the toughest part of having a business in 2020?
I think business, in general, is always the toughest part, bringing in new customers there is always going to be attrition. It has been proven over the years, my membership, not training, my membership has always remained almost constant, but I am willing to bet that from the beginning that 10% of the original people are even here. The revenue has remained the same because for every customer I add I get another customer that says I don't want to be a member here anymore. Keeping the membership and training is kind of a sales business where people come and go if you don't have someone to train or you don't have someone who comes to do a workout you are out of business. I have been very lucky with my personal training clients over the years they are very consistent. I haven't had to try and mine for new business. Occasionally, I will have a client refer them to me and that is how it has kind of always been. Looking for new people, in general, is what the biggest problem is.
What is the number 1 way you currently bring in new customers?
Referrals, very few people walk in off of the street. Many people are a friend of a friend or someone I train lost 40 pounds and ask what the heck have you been doing? I see Leo at Hanover Fitness, and they come in. The vast business of my business is referrals. Most of my new business is college-aged kids and they tell their friends they come to Hanover Fitness. We are the anti YMCA. We don't have a pool, or a spa, no babysitting no sauna, no steam. So, when people want to come to lift weights their friends say come to Hanover Fitness, we can press the code at any time and lift whenever we want.
Has a website or social media played a big part in your growth and making your company more successful?
The website didn't work out because I didn't maintain it. It would have an outdated Zumba schedule. I decided after I hit the 3-year domain to stop using the website. I have a personal Facebook page that I will put anything on there. There is a Hanover Fitness Facebook page, but it is run by another trainer, I rarely post on the Hanover Fitness Facebook page. I am kind of a dinosaur when it comes to social media. It would probably be very beneficial but in this business, if I had a bunch of memberships here, I have to keep a balance. Student membership is $25 a month and I want to strike a fine line between the number of memberships I give out versus the number of personal training clients I have. Depending on who the trainer is it ranges from $40-50 per hour. We have a couple of powerlifters here and I thinking of having a separate area for them so they can be able to use chalk and have their area to lift.
If you were to look 6 months to a year into the future where do you see your business?
Probably exactly where it has been for the last 9 years, this business is very cyclical because with personal training people have to physically be here. If you are collecting memberships on the 15th of each month. Planet Fitness' model lets sign them up for $10 a month and pray they never come. With personal training, if they don't come, we don't get paid. With school vacations and holidays, personal training drops off. It is a bell curve above the line and a bell curve below the line. Over the year, it gets to the line.
Author: Amaya Mack, BSU student
Brockton has been home to many up and coming entrepreneurs and artists such as Rui Alfonseca. Born in Praia, Cape Verde, Rui moved to Brockton, Massachusetts as a child with his family. Today, he is the owner and designer of the brand GAS, a clothing brand commonly known for their “Less Friends, More Bandz” T-shirts and sweatshirts. His brand is partnered with Banks and Brancos, which operates out of 828 Crescent Street in Brockton, Massachusetts. Rui started his business six years ago, in 2014, and has been working towards expanding his brand ever since.
Before starting GAS, Rui worked as a photographer for a variety of clothing lines, shooting for different advertisement campaigns. Some of these brands included Reebok, Bodega, and Play Clothes. When asked why he chose to start his own brand of clothing, Rui explained that after working as a photographer, he found inspiration from the style of clothing that he had been shooting. After much consideration he figured he could design his own clothing and fashion styles through a mix of street wear and designer brands such as Nike and Supreme. He felt the need to express his creativity through his work. Rui then took that inspiration and used it to work towards providing his supporters/customers with a closer bond to the products they would purchase. There seems to be more value in a product when consumers feel connected to the brands they are purchasing. All over Brockton young adults can be seen wearing local brands and feeling proud to be representing their city.
When asked what the most difficult thing about starting and keeping his business afloat was, Rui explained that he struggled most between getting the money to start-up and finding a healthy balance between making sales as well as designing new product. He kept focusing too much on one thing at a time and it took him a while to figure out how to juggle all of his responsibilities. Keeping up a healthy balance was necessary for profit to continue to grow for the business and his creativity to ensure stability for his company’s future. Even in 2020, while he may now have a better handle on balancing the sales point of his business and the creativeness of his product, money is still something that must be looked at closely. He has been gaining experience and learning more about business but even through these 6 years he says there is still a lot he needs to learn.
A large part of building GAS as brand was raising awareness through social media. Using platforms such as Instagram, and Facebook, Rui stated that social media is extremely important because it allows individuals a personal way to shop and gain access to any store that uses online shopping. Social media has allowed his business to spread throughout Brockton and surrounding cities. His customers have frequently posted photos and videos in which they are modeling his product and referencing his social media pages.
Despite all of his ups and downs while trying to get his business started and off the ground, he explains that there is not any one thing that he would change if he could go back and do it all again. In about a year Rui’s hopes for GAS is to see the company expand all the way to Los Angeles at the very least. His brand can be seen featured in various videos and being promoted by many social media influencers, in the South Shore area. As an individual from Brockton it is a powerful thing to know that as a consumer, a part of building up your home town can come from something as simple as purchasing products from small businesses. It’s not wrong to assume that many well-known brands started as small businesses and grew into large scale worldwide operations that started simply because of the people that believed it could be something great and that is the direction that GAS seems to be going in. This brand is detailed and Rui is very involved with the people he does business with, this alone makes the work worth the prices people pay for it. It’s not just a purchase to shop at Banks and Brancos, but an experience to be able to pick out your product and interact with the people directly involved in its creation.
GAS brand clothing is available at:
Banks & Brancos 828 Crescent St., Brockton, MA
Author: Emily Clark, BSU student
Kelsey Charland, manager and one of the owners of The Better Bean, speaks on behalf of herself and the other owner, Jason Hebert, on health, creativity, and providing a sense of community for the town of Bridgewater.
Q: Tell me about your business.
A: It began as a partnership with the original owners and a Permaculture company. They were going to schools and teaching children about the environment, in an effort to add eco-friendly ways of living to urban areas. They then saw this coffee shop and they were trying to sell under the last ownership. However, they were interested in buying it so all three of them within the partnership took over The Better Bean.
Q: When did it start?
A: The Better Bean used to be called The Daily Grind and it has been here for about eighteen years, however, it’s been The Better Bean for about twelve years.
Q: What was it that made you want to start this business?
A: We just wanted there to be more of a sense of community.
Q: What was the toughest thing you went through when opening?
A: I think just keeping things interesting. We just took over another location in March of last year and one of the more difficult things is just understanding your customer base and their needs. The Bridgewater and the Lakeville locations are very different and have very different wants. The things that sell at one, even though only 15 minutes apart, sometimes have a very difficult time selling at the other.
Q: What is the toughest part of having a business in 2020?
A: The social media aspect, for sure. Keeping it interesting. Keeping it engaging. We are lucky, to have a lot of young people on staff that are very social media involved.
Q: If a customer was to choose between your business and three others just like it why would you suggest they at least give you a try ﬁrst? What makes you stand out?
A: I think that skill-wise, we do have an up on the competition. We put a lot more effort into learning the basics while also trying to be as modern as possible. We make it a priority to keep up to date on latte art because the quality of our products, is of high importance to us.
Q: What is the number one way you currently bring in new customers?
A: We now have a customer rewards program, where when someone comes in and purchases something ten times, they get a free item. We also try to give discount codes as often as we can, through social media.
Q: Has internet technology played a big part in your growth and making your company more successful?
A: Definitely for the younger population. Especially in a college town.
Q: If you had to look 6 months to a year into the future where would you like to see your business be?
A: The goals that we want to have achieved within the next year would be to create a younger vibe, as well as, to also get back to composting and seeing what else we can do to reduce our waste as a business.
Q: Was there something specific that made these areas stand out to you?
A: Jason worked at the college and was a customer before he bought the business, so I think that it just sparked an interest.
Q: Was being located in a college town a big selling point?
A: Definitely yes, it gives you that foot traffic that many places don’t have.
Q: From looking at the menu, I can see a variety of healthy options. Is healthy living of importance to you?
A: It absolutely is. We are actually bringing in a whole new menu with healthy options. Health, sanitation, and allergy awareness is something we are trying to move towards. We are also making it a goal to bring in more vegan and gluten-free options. We want to be as transparent as we possibly can be.
Author: Christina Antoine, BSU student
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing a business in my city, where I am somewhat of a regular. It is called Empower Nutrition and what this business does is pretty self-explanatory. It empowers its customers to take the necessary steps to a healthier, more nutritious life. They serve delicious teas and protein shakes and they are the first one in the city to offer these services. They also offer delicious protein donuts on Wednesdays and host community events like positive workshops and transformation challenges especially for the guests who want to transform their bodies and feel better about themselves. The goal is everyone leaving Empower Nutrition with smiles on their faces. Speaking for myself, it has worked.
Francois and Iraimi Diatta are the young Brockton couple who started this business back in late October 2019. Working as online fitness coaches and visiting nutrition clubs gave them the motivation to open the very first nutrition club in Brockton. After having a delicious Peach Ring sweet tea, I had the amazing opportunity to interview them after hours. Here’s a piece of our interview:
Q- So, let’s start with are you from this local area?
Q- Tell me about your business. Why did you choose this line of business? What made you want to start it?
A- We chose this business because first, it’s something that we’re passionate about. Because we really value health, fitness, and just being healthy. For 5 years, we’ve been health coaches online so running transformation challenges online and we used to visit smoothie shops like this and we just got inspired. We said “Hey, why not? Let’s do this in Brockton” because we noticed that people were really focused on getting healthy in Brockton but they didn’t have an option to healthy fast food. And this location, right here, it connects to a lot of different cities and a lot of people commute down this street.
Q- When did it start? What Year?
A- We started at the end of October of 2019 so October 26th.
Q- What was the toughest thing you went through when opening?
A- The toughest was dealing with the city and working with City Hall and Board of Health to get approval and get everything done for our business and getting established.
Q- What inspired you to keep going as you were getting the business off the ground?
A- I would say that as a young couple, we already sacrificed a lot, we already signed the lease, and whether the process was easy or not, we would have to stay here. At some point, yes, we wanted to quit mentally, but we were like “no” because anything worth having is not easy. At some point, something deep inside of us was like “You guys got this! Keep going! Keep going!” because we sacrificed a lot of things.
And we made a lifestyle change. We moved out of our apartment, we moved in with my parents, we were able to save and be even closer to the smoothie shop. We’re right up the street, 5 minutes away.
Q- What is the toughest part about having a business in 2020?
A- The toughest part, I would say, is trying to have something for everybody. We know that what we offer is not for everybody. There’s a specific customer that we’re going to be attracting but we also found that we’re attracting customers that we would never think would come and consume our smoothies and our teas and those are the ones that have been consistent since day 1, the ones we wouldn’t think. What I mean by appealing to everybody is that some people have certain allergies so yes, we can serve people with a gluten allergy because 90% of our products are gluten-free. Yes, we can help anybody with peanut allergies but some people have specific allergies like some people are allergic to biotin. People have certain taste buds and just want the fruits, and we, of course, recommend them to the juice mill and things like that. I would say that.
The other thing is that it’s kind of heartbreaking to run into other young couples who say “oh we had the same idea” but something is blocking them from going forward, and it’s kind of heartbreaking.
Q- If a customer was to choose between your business and 3 others just like it why would you suggest they at least give you a try ﬁrst? What makes you stand out?
A- What makes ours stand out is just how we treat and focus on our customers. We really love all of our customers. We try our best. Everyday, we wake up, we work on ourselves so we can pour into our customers and if they give us a chance, they will know that we gave them the best of the best and we gave them love. And we’re always focused to know more about our customers than we know about them because it’s all about them. So they’ll definitely feel at home when they come here.
We’re working to inspire. It’s non- negotiable. We need to keep going.
Q- What is the number 1 way you currently bring in new customers?
A- Our number 1 way, I would say, is our customer service. Word of mouth is powerful. Going back to us focusing on our customers and giving them love, one of the things we hear repeatedly is people saying “Yes your smoothies and your teas taste great but the things that people say about you is amazing.” So we know that because of the customer service, that’s what’s sparking word of mouth and getting people to tell a friend, tell a friend. And of course there’s social media. With our customer service, it shows on social media because of what customers are saying so that’s how we literally go viral.
I would add that her smile is very attractive *laughs* and I would add that we are genuine people, we are real. I am not going to fake and act like someone I am not.
Q- Has internet technology (website, online ads, social media, etc) played a big part in your growth and making your company more successful?
A- Yes! Oh my God, especially because consumers will buy what they see. What we noticed a lot is when we post our “Shake of the Day” or “Shake of the Week”, people will bring in their phone and say “I want this.” Even from the smoothies we made last year! I’m like “Oh that’s old! That’s Christmas cookie! We don’t make that anymore because that’s part of the Christmas menu!” It plays a big part of what we do. Our website is currently being built so we have our nutrition facts on our posts so people can know what’s in their food and so I feel like they’ll know everything about us through social media.
Q- Do you feel that internet technology could play a bigger role in your business if you had the
A- Yes, especially with ads. What I did on January 1st, was make our newspaper article an ad because it’s a new year and everyone is trying to get healthy. Everyone in Brockton should know that they have a nutrition smoothie shop and they can come here and they have to struggle to make shakes at home or drive 45 minutes to Planet Smoothie. So I placed an ad and it has reached 18,000 people and it has over 450 shares. Even organically, it does well. But I know with the right strategy like ads, it could reach more people because there’s still a lot of people who don't know about us and there’s over 90,000 people in Brockton. We get a lot of new people every day who never knew about us.
Q- If you had to look 6 months to a year into the future where would you like to see your business be?
A- With a second location. Because we cater to specific types of people here in this area but we know that other parts of Brockton, like for example, downtown, downtown is more of the working class people and I know we would be able to serve a lot of them. Especially since a lot of people come to Brockton to work. I know the impact that our smoothie shop already had on Brockton and everybody is getting healthy and it’s amazing.
With all that being said, what are you waiting for? Stop by Empower Nutrition and tell them Christina sent you there!
Visit Empower Nutrition at:
828 Crescent St, Brockton, MA.
You can reach them on social media:
Facebook page: EmpowerNutrition508
Their business hours are:
6 AM to 7 PM Monday thru Thursday,
Friday 6AM to 6 PM,
Saturday 8 AM to 5 PM and
Sunday 8 AM to 1 PM.
Author: Anais Pena, BSU student
If you’re heading out of town and you’re not comfortable with leaving your pet “baby” just anywhere and will feel safer having someone care for them in the security of your home well then Erica Silva is the one to call. Owners can rely on Erica at a reasonable price starting at $35 and up depending on area, animal and service requested to make sure the wellbeing of your animal meet your requirement.
Erica opened her small business Erica’s Animal Service in June 2019 this is out of her home in Brockton MA. Erica and her husband have two children. Her love for animals started as a child growing up with animals of all kinds such as horses, turkeys, turtles, ducks, and chinchilla. In 2009 Erica began working in a kennel then became a Veterinarian technician for the past six years. When receiving many requests of her skill out of work she put her notice in and decided to begin her journey. With just the money in her account, the support of her husband, and local clients it was a start. Erica benefits the south shore area and other surrounding areas such as Whitman, Bridgewater, Hanson, Abington, Brockton, Easton, Mansfield, and Raynham. She offers pet sitting or overnight services for dogs, cats, and small animals this includes nail trim, ear cleaning, and dog walking. If you’re looking for someone to treat your animal as their own Erica Animal Service is what you’re looking for. You’ll always have the consistency of her or her husband who at times steps in to assist managing your pet. Erica believes this allows your animal the ability to build a relationship and trust with her including the customer. She offers service inside the comfort of your home so that the animal has the best experience while you’re away.
Erica found difficultly marketing her new business and trying to get her name out, but when she did meeting the people, animals, and helping owners feel secure that their pets are being cared for the way they would made it all worth it. If she had a chance to do it all over, she would have got her name out sooner, build clientele, and open a local shop instead of jumping in headfirst. She realized during the process organizing her schedule was essential she now books certain areas on specific days to make sure her clients receive quality service.
Word of mouth is an old marketing skill to bring in customers and its working for Erica. Her clientele is spreading her talent to locals, if you don’t hear of her you can find her on Facebook. The internet plays a huge part in the growth of her business posting, sharing an eventually looking to use ads to advertise and pop up while on social media.
Erica is managing her business on her own and its running smoothly. As she continues this journey six months to a year in the future, Erica is looking forward to seeing how her clientele expands or being booked to a point where she’ll have schedule months in advance. This leaving her to hire assistance because of the increase of service requested. It’s all exciting to her since it’ll show her that all the hard work paid off and jumping in headfirst was the best decision she had made.
Author: Michael Mathieu, BSU student
Q. Are you from this local area?
Been in Brockton since 5 years old.
Q. Why did you choose this line of business?
Fell into my lap, had a few friends that were in the hair industry and decided to put them all in one location to help save them some money and open up a business.
Q. When did it start and what year?
I started this venture about 15 years ago, with just a barbershop & then eventually came the clothing and the footwear.
Q. What made you want to start this business?
I was looking for something productive to do with myself and that happened to fall into my lap.
Q. What was the toughest thing you went through when opening?
Opening up the barbershop was relatively easy because it’s a talent-based business and the hardest part is finding the talent, but I already had the talent to start with since my friends were already in the hair industry. But in general, the hardest for a new barbershop is acquiring the barbers to start with. As far as the clothing industry, the hardest part is getting your foot in the door with new accounts.
Q. What inspired you to keep going?
Had to provide for my kids and family but eventually I come to love the business even though it fell into my lap at first.
Q. If you had to start over from day 1, what would you have done differently?
If I had to do something differently, I would’ve started the clothing with the barbershop when I opened instead of waiting until later to add that aspect to the business.
Q. What was your most difficult challenge?
The most difficult challenge was getting the footwear because a lot of these shoes are exclusive and hard to get your hands on. But even then, it’s still never enough or how I want it, so I just have to deal with it as it comes. (I have no power, I’m at the mercy of somebody else)
Q. If a customer had to pick between you and 3 other barbershops like yours, why would you tell them to come to you/What makes you stand out?
First thing would be the talent, got to have the best talent which speaks for itself. But I also offer you eye candy like the clothes and sneakers, every other barbershop has been looking the same for 100 years. You want customers to be able to enjoy things with their eyes as well, so they never forget your business. (even has a “car” desk)
Q. What is the #1 way you bring in new customers?
Word of mouth is the #1 way, but of course social media plays a big part in that as well.
Q. Has internet technology played a big part in your growth and making your company more successful?
Yes, because I haven’t even got my online store up and running yet but business is still great off the few social media pages, I have but once that is up, things will be even better.
Q. Do you feel that internet technology could play a bigger role in your business if you had the right tools?
Yes, because an online store can bring in way more money than any brick and mortar store could so once my online store is up and running, I expect way more traffic/money coming in whether through the online store or the actual store.
Q. If you had to look 6 months to a year into the future, where would you like to see your business be?
We would like to expand into the tattoo industry and expand into another location so there is more than just one.
Author: Nicholas Campbell, BSU student
Precision Hydraulic, Inc. has been serving New England since 1986, specializing in the sales, diagnosis, repair, and testing of hydrostatic systems and components for the heavy equipment industry. We handle an extensive inventory of hydraulic, pneumatic and mechanical equipment, hard to find specialty tools, repair parts and accessories, and "hose assemblies made while you wait” to keep your equipment up and running. Here at Precision Hydraulic, Inc. we have a knowledgeable customer service staff available to serve your technical needs.
There are two owners of the business, Jeffery and Dennis Barca. For this Interview, one of the owners, Jeff, was kind enough to take time out of his day to allow me to interview him and gain knowledge about his business.
Q: Tell me about your business? How and why did you choose this line of work?
A: Our business does a little bit of everything for the equipment industry. Most of our jobs are diagnostic, sales, and repairing and testing of hydraulic parts in equipment. We have a specialized team that works in all of these areas to ensure that our customers receive the best possible service as well as a dependable product. My brother and I got in this line of work for two reasons. First was because we have been around equipment and machinery that has used hydraulics and we seemed to always run into issues with the parts. And second, is because when we were younger, we gained a lot of knowledge about hydraulics and thought we could fix and help the industry in our own ways.
Q: When did it start? What Year?
A: I would say that it was around 1984 that my brother and I started to put a lot of time and effort into creating the business. After a couple years of planning and getting things in order, we officially opened our doors in 1986.
Q: What was it that made you want to start this business?
A: Two things, financial security and freedom, and we thought we could make the industry better. My brother and I were sick of working under other people. We wanted to give ourselves financial freedom as well as the ability to not work under another boss again. Growing up, we also noticed that there were many problems when dealing with hydraulics so we knew there was a market for reliable parts and quick service.
Q: What was the toughest thing you went through when opening? What inspired you to keep going as you were getting this business off the ground?
A: We ran into many things when opening the business. There are so many small details that are tough to look over that you may not realize as really important. I would say the toughest thing was the inventory. Because we were a brand new business, we did not have a great idea on how much inventory we should have in stock, how much of each part, or even how many workers we would need or not need. We were lucky enough to have solid clients very early on that we worked with. The biggest thing that kept me inspired personally was seeing gradual improvement in the business. Even though in the beginning it was a lot slower than it is now, any progress was good progress to me.
Q: What is the toughest part about having a business in 2020?
A: Times for businesses have drastically changed since the time we opened in the mid 80’s. Other than new competition entering the market, I would say the toughest part would be the marketing style. A lot of companies I see depend on social media and internet presence. We have established an internet presence as well as a Facebook page, but don't feel the need to do anything more than that. At least for our clientele they don't find vendors to do business with over social media.
Q: If a customer had a choice between your business and three others, why would they choose you? What makes you stand out from your competitors?
A: This is something we come across a lot. Like I said before there is a lot of competition out there. To that customer I would say a couple things, First, our inventory is extensive, we have basically anything that you could think of ready to go at any point in time. We have exceptional customer service as well as an expertise of workers in our business. We do things quickly to get your stuff back to where you need it, and we do things right, so shortcuts.
Thank you, Jeff, and everyone at Precision Hydraulics for allowing me to interview and learn their business!