Author: Manie Navarro, BSU student
An interview with Geleisa Belgrave about her photography business, OhriJahnal.
So, let’s start with are you from this local area?
Yes, born and raised in Brockton, MA.
Tell me about your business. Why did you choose this line of business?
I’ve always had a thing for art of all forms, but photography was one thing that truly made me happy especially knowing I am making others happy capturing memories that’ll last a lifetime.
When did it start? What Year?
2012 is when I started my actual business. My wife always pushed me to do things that truly made me happy and continues to do so.
What was it that made you want to start this business?
I started it mainly because everyone loved the pics I would take of my son & myself. They would always compliment how well it was edited and how it was always a different style than regular pics.
What was the toughest thing you went through when opening? What inspired you to keep going as you were getting the business off the ground?
The toughest thing was getting to be known and it’s still hard, but you can’t give up, you have to keep pushing regardless. Not everyone is going to like you and you can’t make everyone happy. My wife and kids keep me going because they see the effort and dedication I put into an event or just a regular shoot.
If you had to start over from day 1 what would you have done differently? Or what was your most difficult challenge?
If I was to start over, I would first find a set place for my photography studio, because not having a studio is one of my biggest challenges right now.
What is the toughest part about having a business in 2020?
Definitely COVID, because people have to meet you face to face. A lot of babies were born and proposals were made, and people were scared to have people they haven’t had around. I understand that, but it did put a slight dent in my business.
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?
I’ve had this happen before and people always tend to choose myself because of my vibe and quality of pictures. One thing I don’t go for is money. I do it to make people happy not to just get paid. A lot of people do it because it’s easy money.
What is the number 1 way you currently bring in new customers?
Word of mouth or social media.
Has internet technology (website, online ads, social media, etc) played a big part in your growth and making your company more successful?
Yea, definitely, because without shares and posts [on social media] people wouldn’t know about different companies.
Do you feel that internet technology could play a bigger role in your business if you had the
Absolutely, it would make anyone’s business boost.
If you had to look 6 months to a year into the future where would you like to see your business be?
I would love to see it relocated honestly. Certain states and cities are better for photography; other places really are a hit or miss. I want to be around people who know what they want and appreciate quality.
Author: Andrew Kuhn, BSU student
Erin Slayton of Hanson, MA, is the founder and creative mind behind Pocket of Sunshine. Weekdays, Slayton can be found teaching high school English, but outside of the classroom she dedicates herself to creating unique, handmade pieces for her company, Pocket of Sunshine.
The motivation for Pocket of Sunshine began when Slayton started to casually craft jewelry for herself, customizing it to her outfits and style. With some encouragement, she began to take custom requests and began selling her jewelry and art with the aid of Instagram. Over the next three years, her online presence generated over 3,000 followers.
Since the inception of Pocket of Sunshine as a jewelry shop, Slayton has slowly started to incorporate different pieces of art into her catalogue, and has focused on developing and expanding upon her talents.
Recently, Slayton has incorporated epoxy resin pieces in her catalogue. With the unexpected passing of a close friend, Slayton wanted to preserve the flowers from the funeral. With this skill set, she is able to create not only beautiful pieces, but truly personalize her products towards her clients and create sentimental pieces to celebrate various moments and lives.
Pocket of Sunshine is a one-woman operation, which gives Slayton the artistic freedom of what she creates and control over how the company is presented. While being an independent business owner may have its struggles, Slayton remains true to her original intentions she began Pocket of Sunshine “to engage in creative work as a way of filling [me] up, a way of healing the soul.”
Pocket of Sunshine encouragers shopping locally and sustainability. Slayton emphasized the importance of shopping local, as you feel at ease knowing an individual will be reaping the direct benefits of your purchase. By shopping locally, you are supporting individuals rather than corporations, who may unequally distribute those profits to their employees. Through Pocket of Sunshine, Slayton establishes a sense of community and uses her platform to promote other brands and creators as well.
When looking at these issues it is hard to look past social justice and how a local business may play a role in change for the future through advocacy and education. As a biracial woman, Slayton expresses herself and her experiences through her creations and her company. She encourages her customers to know who they are purchasing from, and she makes sure to use her platform to focus on key issues and give back directly to the community. In June 2020, after the murder of George Floyd, Slayton fundraised through her platform, shaving her head on Instagram live, where viewers could donate to help raise money for arts and education for local youth minority’s. In less than two weeks, Pocket of Sunshine raised $12,564, which was donated directly to OrigiNation of Boston and the Boys & Girls Club of Metro South, Brockton Clubhouse.
To learn more about Pocket of Sunshine and owner Erin Slayton, visit her website at: www.pocketofsunshine7.com.
You can also contact her via:
All of these are wonderful ways to learn more about Slayton and the community she has built around Pocket of Sunshine, as well as purchase her beautiful handcrafted creations!
Author: Elizabeth Perkins, BSU student
Looking for a good oil company to provide excellent service and keep you warm all winter? Niccoli Oil and Energy in Brockton has been around since 1947 and provides exceptional service along with an ability to help with any and all home heating related needs.
Mike Niccoli is President and one of the owners of this locally well-known heating oil delivery and service company. At Niccoli Oil & Energy, the number one priority is to provide the best service possible to ensure their customers are well-taken care of. The Company hoped to build long-term business relationships with its customers by providing great service and an overall exceptional experience.
Mike came from a strong background in business, with his undergrad done at UMASS Lowell with a double major in Music Business and Business and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Suffolk University, he has a lot to bring to this 74 year old family generational business. He is very well traveled and has lived in several different areas, collecting knowledge and skills in life and business along the way. Mike recognized Niccoli Oil and Energy as a household name in the community, and wanted to proceed as the third generation to carry on the family legacy.
When you make a phone call to Niccoli Oil and Energy, you are always able to talk to a Niccoli family member right away, or one of their friendly office staff. Their unparalleled customer service will definitely give you the best experience possible, along with their competitive pricing and full service. They are available 24/7 for any emergency service needs and always put their customers first. Mike and the company as a whole take pride in how much they care about each and every customer that calls for an oil delivery or service, everyone is always treated like family.
As a prominent heating company in the area Mike understands that Niccoli has a large responsibility to their community each winter, as well as throughout the year. This drives Mike and the rest of the business as a whole to push through busy winters, and keep it going while providing top of the line service. Since they have been in the industry for so long, he emphasized the importance of the relationships that you make over time, it becomes not so much about business at points and more about nurturing those relationships and helping others. Even throughout the pandemic, Niccoli has taken all of the proper precautions to keep their customers, drivers, and office staff safe since the beginning. Being an essential business, they knew it would not just hurt them, but the community if they had to shut down for any reason throughout these times, which added to the reasons for making the safety of everyone a top priority. They adapted to the changing times in stride, and did not miss a beat in providing for the community.
To keep up with the ever-changing times, Niccoli offers many different ways to keep track of your account and delivery needs. They have price protection for the season and budget payments to make a warm home accessible to everyone. They have their own app in the app store which makes keeping your account organized simple and easy, along with their own website, and of course the option to call during office hours and speak directly to someone who can help you get the assistance you need.
Author: Luke Botsolis, BSU student
Managing your finances is important. That is why having a bank that understands your financial needs, while also being located locally is also important. South Shore Bank was founded over 180 years ago in 1833 as Weymouth Savings Bank. In the years since, South Shore Bank has grown to 14 locations throughout the South Shore and is headquartered in Weymouth, Massachusetts.
Part of what makes a business successful is who is leading the business, their visions, and their expertise. South Shore Bank is led by James Dunphy, C.P.A., C.M.A. Jim, as he is known around the bank, is a South Shore native, born in Quincy, raised in Abington, and currently residing in North Quincy. Jim graduated from Bridgewater State University with a B.S. in Accounting, started his career in public accounting, and was ultimately recruited into finance by one of his clients. He quickly learned about the importance and advantages of community banking. Jim had the opportunity to be the founding CEO of a de novo bank in New Hampshire prior to his position at South Shore Bank. When the position for CEO at South Shore Bank was open, Jim stated, “I could not pass on the opportunity to lead South Shore Bank, a great institution that has been serving the South Shore community for more than 180 years. It is great to help people in the same communities where I grew up”.
As any business owner/operator knows, challenges always arise, and it takes knowledgeable leaders to navigate the challenges and implement effective resolutions. Jim recognizes that one of the main challenges of leading South Shore Bank is balancing the culture of accountability while also empathizing with the specific circumstances and skillsets of each employee. Noting that the employees of the bank are the most valuable key to the success of the bank, Jim has encouraged a strong culture of coaching, mentoring, and training to ensure employees are as knowledgeable and helpful as possible.
South Shore Bank stands out amongst its competitors in a number of ways. One such way is that South Shore Bank is chartered as a mutual bank, meaning that the bank does not have shareholders, and is completely vested in its clients. South Shore Bank prides itself on delivering a unique and personal experience for its clients. Recently, South Shore Bank underwent a rebranding and unveiled its new brand of ‘Sharing Success’. Jim explains:
“The South Shore Bank brand of Sharing Success means that we believe the most valuable success is success that is shared with those around us. Our experienced team of professionals want to help our clients and communities make informed decisions, whether it be starting a new business, buying a first home, applying for a new grant, investing their money and making sound financial decisions. As we are successful, we share that success back in our community. For example, we created a Community Fund that provided $500,000 to assist clients who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 with making monthly rent or mortgage payments.”
In the digital era, South Shore Bank keeps the personal touch many other businesses have foregone. Personal relationships and connections remain of the utmost importance when welcoming new clients to the bank. Jim wants clients to think of the bank as a trusted and essential partner, he also wants the clients to know that not only does the bank care about its own success, but the financial success of its clients as well. As Jim puts it, “Technology makes it easier for clients to bank, but it can never replace personal connections with a client”.
However, South Shore Bank is also committed to investing in the latest technologies in order to make banking easier and convenient for its clients. South Shore Bank has been on the forefront of implementing new banking technology, as evidenced by their use of Face2Face virtual tellers. Clients of the bank can use this service by going to a South Shore Bank ATM, and interact with a live teller through the ATM, allowing staff to assist clients without them having to go directly into a branch.
In the near future, with the vaccine rollout underway, Jim hopes to return to running operations without limitations. Branches could be opened without lobby closures and staff can return to working on site. Having a Work from Home workforce has allowed for added flexibility; however, it has impacted the culture of communication and interpersonal relationships at the bank. Jim adds that “…the interpersonal communication of holding in-person meetings, collaborating on projects in person, etc., has an added value that is immeasurable”. In the long term, Jim expects the traditional branch model to look differently with technology being a significant driver in how the bank serves its clients.
South Shore Bank is a leader not only in banking, but in technology, customer service, and in the communities it serves. Under the leadership of James Dunphy, South Shore Bank will continue to be a valued asset to the community while Sharing Success with its clients and employees.
If you have questions, or would like to have your banking needs serviced by South Shore Bank, stop by one of their 14 branches or get in touch via one of the methods below.
Website: South Shore Bank
Facebook: South Shore Bank - Home | Facebook
Author: T.J. Morrison, BSU student
SignDesign is a Brockton company, which like easily discernible in their name, provides the service and installation, as well as design of signage, whether that be traditional, or a new-tech type of sign. I spoke with Ron Ferrigno of SignDesign, a founder, part owner, and General Manager of SignDesign. Mr. Ferrigno and I had a candid and genuine conversation about his business, the direction he would like to take the business, and the challenges the last year has produced for the business.
When talking to Mr. Ferrigno, he revealed that he is a Brockton native, “City of Champions” as he called it, and that he loves the city. Mr. Ferrigno, in our short time together, was a professional, yet relatable type of guy. He said that SignDesign originally was a business called “Sign Stop”, owned by his father in the late 80s. After his graduation from Providence College, Mr. Ferrigno began working for the company. He eventually purchased Sign Stop, along with his wife, from his father. At the time of taking over, the company had just four employees.
Today, in a Pre-COVID world, SignDesign was operating with about 80 full time employees. The business model evolved from large printing services with Sign Stop, into a multifaceted, diverse product line of sign/advertisement products. The company produces sign merchandise from bathroom signs to massive digital printings.
SignDesign provides the services, as well as installation in 3 different sectors of business, as Mr. Ferrigno stated. The first is institutions, such as our very own Bridgewater State University, whom SignDesign has provided signage to since 1995. The second is retail and corporate, and the third is events and point of purchase areas. About a third of the business that SignDesign sees in a normal year is from the events sector, which makes up a large chunk of earnings. Events such as concerts, sporting games, etc. were a big part of the business for SignDesign, and COVID restrictions have caused some challenged for the business.
SignDesign has created some well-known products that many have seen for years and may have never known. The company did the bowl sign in Gillette for almost 20 years. SignDesign also provides service on signs in and around Bridgewater State University.
When asking Mr. Ferrigno about what separates his business and the competition, his biggest point of emphasis is that unlike other businesses in the industry, SignDesgin is truly a partnership between the customer and the company, not just a transaction. SignDesign excels because most players in the industry are specialty services, doing one or two of the three sectors, where SignDesign can provide creation and service in all three, simultaneously.
In the coming months, Mr. Ferrigno sees growth and a boom with a return to normalcy, and events, their biggest seller, coming back in full spring in a post-COVID world. Graduations in the spring, summer concerts, such as Hatch Shell, a Boston festival which SignDesign services, could also be making a return. Mr. Ferrigno sees a modest 1st quarter, a better 2nd quarter, and an unprecedented 3rd quarter due to pent up demand for product. Mr. Ferrigno hopes to expand his business into a more digital world as well, already on Facebook, as well as Instagram. The company is working on a more user-friendly website, which will allow online transactions as well as the traditional kind in the brick & mortar location.
The best way currently to connect with the team is through the website, where every team member lists their office number, cell number and Email. SignDesign is truly a family owned, family-oriented business, that wants to grow and thrive with its customers. I’d recommend anyone to do business with them, as their owner is a great representation of what it means to be a business owner. All in all, SignDesign is my recommendation for any and all signage needs in the Massachusetts area!
Author: Patrick McCarthy, BSU student
Good Brothers Dodge Ram is a full-service Dodge and Ram dealership located at 577 Columbian St., South Weymouth, MA. The dealership offers new Dodge and Ram vehicles as well as pre-owned cars, trucks, vans and SUV’s. In addition, Good Brothers offers a full-service station that does regular maintenance and warranty repairs for Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, and Ram vehicles. They also service other makes and handle any repairs needed. Good Brothers also offer parts for local mechanics and DIY projects.
The dealership is owned and operated by Tim and Gerry Good who proudly serve and live in the South Shore. The Good brothers are 3rd generation in the automobile business and 4th generation family members also work at the store. The Good family entered the auto business in 1924 and purchased the South Weymouth Dodge Ram store in October of 1995. They decided to purchase the South Weymouth Dodge Ram store because they were looking for an opportunity in the community that they live in, and to continue doing what they have done their entire lives, which is help people purchase and service their vehicles. The previous owners were looking to sell the business and the Goods knew that the store would be successful because of their customer first attitude that themselves and their employees hold. It was going to be a new experience with a new manufacturer and product as they had been a Ford store at that point for over 70 years, but it was a challenge they were eager and excited to take on.
Over the past 25 plus years the store has grown into one of the best performing Dodge/Ram stores in the Northeast. Tim Good attributes this to his employees and the large amount of repeat and referral business they receive. In fact, the number one way customers come to the dealership is from repeat or referral business. The customer first attitude is what sets Good Brothers Dodge and Ram apart from other dealerships. They really go the extra mile to ensure their customers don’t feel like just a number, as can be the case in some places when shopping for a vehicle. The staff takes the time to listen to the customers wants and needs and then recommends the best options based on those wants and needs. If an issue were to ever arise, the owners are always here and available to help fix any issues and address any concerns the customer may have.
When asked about what challenges come with having a business in 2020, Tim felt keeping up with the constant change in the market and customer wants and needs related to COVID was the biggest challenge. The dealership’s first priority was to ensure the safety of their employees and customers by adhering to all CDC guidelines and protocols. In addition, Good Brothers offers different ways for customers to shop and get their vehicle serviced that requires less or no contact. The internet has been a great tool in bringing the customer into the showroom virtually using technology and the latest software to assist. Good Brothers Dodge/Ram is committed to making the car buying and service experiences enjoyable and hassle free. If you are ever in the market for a new or pre-owned Dodge or Ram, Good Brothers Dodge/Ram is a great choice.
Visit Good Brothers Dodge/Ram at 577 Columbian Street in Weymouth, MA.
Contact them via:
Author: Evan Murphy, BSU student
Growing up in Rockland, walking home from school through the center of town always had me passing the same buildings for years. Every once in a while, some of the places would go out of business or change hands, but many have been there for as long as I can remember. One of those businesses is Rockland Athletic Supplies (RAS). It has always been a fitting name, as it is deeply connected to the community. Doing various sports throughout my time in middle school and high school, both of which were right down the street from the RAS store, meant that I was constantly coming into contact with their products. After having such great experiences with them in the past, I was very happy to be able to get a chance to talk with the owner, Johnny Medlin.
Rockland Athletics was established more than 30 years ago, and focuses on printing, designing, and producing personal apparel. It is a family owned and operated business, and it was originally founded by Medlin’s father. Medlin was born and raised in the South Shore, having been born in Marshfield and is currently living in Pembroke with his family. Because of this background, Medlin has made it a point to focus on that family aspect. Medlin said that he prefers to be very involved with the company, because he wants it to be like a family. Making sure both employees and customers alike are happy and treated well is one of the major day to day goals that is emphasized.
The community has always been a big part of Rockland Athletic’s way of operating. They take pride in doing everything they can to maintain a positive relationship with the town of Rockland and the South Shore as whole, and are continuing to do everything possible to continue to grow the positive relationship. They treat every order and customer with the same amount of respect and care as possible, whether it's a simple personal order or a private order from another business. Attending and sponsoring events is something Medlin makes a point of doing. They strive to give their customers amazing service, making them so satisfied that they tell others about the great experience they had. Because of this, word of mouth is their best and preferred form of advertising. They take pride in their ability to meet the needs of their customers in a timely manner.
One of the biggest challenges Rockland Athletics has faced in recent times is that of COVID-19. Obviously, everyone is affected fairly heavily by it, but because RAS is so heavily focused on personal and welcoming in store interactions, they have felt it hard. They also had to close temporarily during the outset of the outbreak, further impacting them. While they are open now, their ability to welcome in customers is somewhat limited due to social distancing measures, and there are still many people who only go out to outdoor places or only shop for necessities. The pandemic has provided one opportunity, however, as they were able to print custom masks.
In the future, Medlin is looking forward to things returning to normal so he can get back to giving as many customers as possible the best possible treatment. Although the name Rockland Athletic Supplies might imply a focus on sporting goods, and indeed it is a big part of their history, it is only a portion of the business. The business has been branching out to focus on various clients from restaurants, small businesses, and corporate accounts throughout the South Shore. They continue to strive to serve more aspects of their customers’ needs.
Author: Kendall, Martignetti, BSU student
Malloy’s Automotive Service Incorporation & Weymouth Service Center are two towing companies that are family owned and operated out of Weymouth Massachusetts by the mother-daughter duo, Janice and Jaclyn Malloy. Malloy’s Automotive Service Incorporation & Weymouth Service Center provides the services of towing, transporting vehicles, trespass towing, a full-service garage and storage. Raising his family in Weymouth Kevin Malloy decided it was the perfect place to start his business. Back in 1989 Jaclyn’s dad, Kevin, cashed out his retirement and started his company out of his driveway after being laid off from his long-time employer Westminster Dodge. He then moved it into a mechanic garage and it quickly grew from there. After two years of operation the company they outgrew the single garage and relocated to a bigger building in Weymouth. Kevin’s first tow truck he bought unfortunately caught on fire, he then purchased a flat bed. Kevin sadly died in 2018 before he got to see the business grow into what it is today. Kevin would definitely be happy with what his girls have accomplished with the family business. In 2019 Janice bought the Weymouth Service Center company and building and merged the two businesses to one location. Jaclyn’s brother Tim would have been the sibling to take over Malloy’s, but he sadly passed away in 2010. Jaclyn said that one thing her father was very proud of was her accomplishment of graduating from college. Kevin’s goal was for her to work and grow outside of the family business, but Jaclyn wanted to keep her father and brother’s legacy going which led to her full-time involvement at the company. Jaclyn decided to really step in to help in 2019 when they bought Weymouth Service Center.
After talking to Jaclyn, I learned that Kevin’s motivation to start his own business stemmed from his lay off. Kevin’s top priority in life was his children, starting the business gave him purpose as the sole financial provider. Kevin never wanted his income to be dictated by someone else when it could impact his family. When Kevin was opening his business the hardest thing, he went through was the financial overhead. The family went from having a weekly paycheck to making their own income. Janice was a stay at home mom and Kevin worked to provide for his family of six. Jaclyn was five when the company started and recalls another big struggle with starting the business was the long hours Kevin would be away from home, many family dinners took place at the shop just so Kevin had a reason to take a break. Janice and Jaclyn said that if Kevin was to start this all over again and do one thing differently, he would have saved more startup money to purchase a building of his own.
Obviously 2020 has been a year no one expected, but right now Malloy’s Automotive Service Incorporation & Weymouth Service Center is still very busy. Jaclyn said that right now they are very overworked because they are understaffed. The one thing that was hard about 2020 for them was the lack of snow we had at the beginning of the year which made it so there was less tows and plowing for the company. Another struggle from 2020 was making sure to be very safe when handling customers and cars with COVID going on. Despite the struggles of 2020 the company tried to spread joy to the community with doing several drive-bys for birthdays with all the trucks during COVID. One Sunday all the employees, including Jaclyn did touch-a-trucks through 34 different streets in Weymouth. The Malloy’s have followed CDC guidelines for keeping everything clean including having the staff and customers be safe during the pandemic. Jaclyn uses Facebook as advertising and uses her Google and Yelp reviews to better the company. Despite the negative connotation with police and trespass tows, this also helps to get their businesses name out there. The Malloy’s really are a fair mechanic shop that has a competitive labor rate, they are honest work and do not mislead their customers for inappropriate repairs. Jaclyn is excited for the business to expand with her employees and become more financially sound. The Malloy’s treat everyone like family when you walk in the door, make sure to keep the Malloy’s business in mind for any towing, mechanic or transporting needs.
Author: Alexi Goncalves, BSU student
OnTime Bookkeeping opened in July 2020 in Abington, Massachusetts. I interviewed the owner, Aileen Borders, to find out more about the business and how it got started. OnTime Bookkeeping is a virtual business that can be utilized by small businesses to help them manage their finances and give them time to focus on their business, instead of on accounting. The business also offers the option to clean up financial records and start new accounting systems. Aileen started this business a few months ago, but she has a background in accounting and has always wanted to work for a small business so it was a perfect fit. Aileen started her career in Maryland working in the corporate world doing the opposite of what she wanted to do. She always wanted to work for small businesses, so in 2018 she moved to the South Shore and started her business.
The toughest thing about starting this business is that since Aileen just started the business, during the Covid-19 pandemic, it has been very hard to gain new clients. Many new clients don't think they can afford her services right now, but Aileen hopes that when the economy settles, more companies will find her services helpful. Since Aileen just started the business she doesn't think she would do anything differently. A lot of her current challenges come from the current climate of physical distancing and not being able to meet with business owners in person. Since some of the ideal clients for Aileen are uncertain about their future due to Covid-19, they may not reach out right now but she hopes that in the future they will think of her. Since Aileen’s business is new, she thinks that some customers many not pick her company first. However, though her business is new her experience is not. Aileen’s 20+ years of corporate experience have allowed her to develop accounting and analytical skills. She can do normal bookkeeping, like record transactions and reconcile accounts, but also can help with budgeting and forecasting plans for the future. She is also able to help owners interpret data points that they've been able to gather.
Luckily Aileen’s services can be offered completely virtual and accessible to both clients and herself, which is especially good during a time like this with such uncertainty. The number one way that Aileen is working on getting new customers is by virtual networking. She has social networking accounts on Facebook and Linkedin and posts useful articles for small businesses. She hopes to gain new customers also through word-of-mouth. Since everything is virtual currently, Aileen has relied a lot on technology to grow her new business. Virtual networking in groups on social media has helped to spread the word about her company. In addition to marketing, all of the tools currently used for OnTime Bookkeeping can be accessed online such as accounting software, document management and communication tools.
In the future Aileen would like to have at least six more clients for routine services in addition to clean up projects. Her goal for her business overall is to sustain a way of life from the income received while helping others. She also hopes to work on her long-term retirement plan to have a small business and keep herself busy when she retires from full-time work.
The best way for customers to connect with Aileen and to take advantage of what her company has to offer is to reach her by email or phone. Her website also has a calendar to schedule a getting-to-know-you conversation or send messages. Aileen is also offering discounts throughout the end of 2020 of 15% off of a cleanup project or 10% off within the first three months of service.
Thank you Aileen for talking with me.
Author: Craig Cristani, BSU student
Lawrence (Larry) Johnson has owned Patriot Security and Patrol for 17 years. His company serves the South Shore for all of their security needs. Larry Johnson was intrigued with the security field after working as a part time police officer for the Plymouth Police Department. He worked their for three years with the goal of becoming a full time police officer, but decide against the career path for various personal reasons. Johnson then began his first business, a landscaping company. Given the lack of landscaping work in the northeast during the winter, Larry began working for a security company in the offseason. Larry quickly proved to his boss that he had what it takes to manage others and take on various responsibilities. Within 90 days, he was managing one account and after one year, he was managing three. Larry Johnson managed the entire company after seven years of employment and purchased it by his tenth year. Larry has since grown the company to provide services in Plymouth, Middleboro, and West Bridgewater. Larry Johnson and his eleven employees are knowledgeable and experienced in their work and always maintain proper knowledge and skills in order to accurately do their jobs. Johnson has continued offering services throughout the south shore since taking over the company because he was born and raised their. He thoroughly enjoys the area, especially Plymouth where he raised his children as well.
Larry Johnson has found that the largest difficulties come from staffing and learning the paperwork portion of the business. Finding quality employees who are responsible is challenging because employees cannot be watched all the time. This requires trusting employees to do their job accurately and throughly. Given the increase in minimum wage over the past decade, it has been increasingly difficult to retain employees. Larry Johnson tries to hire people of age 25 or older since they are most likely more mature and responsible than young adults. In terms of office difficulties, paperwork and payroll can be difficult giving the ever-changing laws surrounding the business. Other issues with staffing come from employees needing or wanting time off. The security field is an essential service and must have a set number of people at each account no matter the circumstances. Therefore, whenever a person calls in sick or has a family emergency, their position must be filled. With so few employees, it can be difficult finding coverage, often requiring the owner to cover the shift. Managing the accounts, all eleven employees, day to day operations, and working at the accounts can be overwhelming, but Johnson has been able to successfully overcome these obstacles for the past 27 years that he has been in the field.
2020 has made it challenging for all businesses given the current political climate, cultural unrest, and COVID-19. With security being essential, the Coronavirus has played a gigantic role in how Larry runs his business. Larry Johnson has had a few employees require testing, all which came back negative, but none the less has caused challenges with staffing. Those who are worried that they may have COVID must stay home, get tested, and then wait for their results to come back, before returning to work. This can make staffing of all accounts a rollercoaster depending on which employees are available, which accounts need positions filled, and who is trained to work at which account.
Given the challenges or running a small security business, Larry still would not trade it for the world. He enjoys offering safety and security to all of his accounts. Given the small size of the business, when compared to the competition, Larry finds that his accounts enjoy his involvement and eagerness to satisfy all parties. If any problems arise or information needs to be relayed, Larry Johnson will get back to a customer within 24 hours no matter whether he is on vacation or working vigorously. This is not something that you would find at any of the bigger security companies and gives him a competitive advantage in the industry.