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.
Author: Faith Reynolds, BSU student
Stoughton/Easton native and Bridgewater State University Graduate, Mr. Chuck Hurley, was a high school math teacher – until he was more. Those around him knew he could fix anything, and one day that was put to the test with the fixing of a scoreboard. Not to the surprise of anyone, he completed the task. Scoreboard companies are few and far between, and he had the talent. Sort of falling into the business, Mr. Hurley created Scoreboard Enterprises of Mansfield, Massachusetts and has now installed scoreboards in every town of the South Shore and across New England.
From 1973 to 1981, installing and repairing scoreboards was part-time for Mr. Hurley. He continued teaching, and with having the summers off, was able to get ahead of the curve and complete the jobs before the school year. In 1980, Mr. Hurley received a call from Boston Garden requesting his service. Of course, Mr. Hurley said yes, but not without adding “I just have to cover detention first.” At that point, it was clear this business was sought after and was going to be more than a part-time job. Not seeing opportunity to rise from teacher to administrator, he decided to take Scoreboard Enterprises to the next level and make it his full-time work.
When opening, the toughest task Mr. Hurley endured was dealing with insurance for the business and all it entails. He was starting a company without having any prior knowledge of how to start a business, or of scoreboard work in general. Having mouths to feed and a mortgage, Mr. Hurley was motivated to get his business off and running. He thinks back to his Italian ancestors who worked hard and didn’t make excuses – this is what fuels Mr. Hurley’s strong work ethic.
When commenting on what is the most trying part of having a business in 2020, Mr. Hurley answered “employees”, noting Coronavirus’ impact. Having conscientious employees is extremely important to Mr. Hurley, and he is proud of the ones he has. When asked why customers should use Scoreboard Enterprises, the answer is their reputation. There is very little competition in the scoreboard world, but Mr. Hurley approaches it as if there is. What is important to their customers is important to him, which shines a great light on the morals of the company. They have serviced customers small and big, but each one is equally important. A small school needing assistance for a little league game is just as significant as a Boston Garden game. It is known Scoreboard Enterprises will be there, get the job done, and leave the customers happy.
The internet plays an immense role in business today, and Mr. Hurley feels as though it is a blessing. Most of his customers come via the internet or word-of-mouth, as the athletic directors he puts boards up for recommend him to other schools. There was an instance where a school was going with a manufacturer scoreboard installation and their athletic director fought incredibly hard for Scoreboard Enterprises instead. This goes back to having a strong reputation and being able to rely on customers for word-of-mouth. Technology wise, they are constantly trying to keep up with the everchanging world and investing in the best to keep themselves at the top of the heap. They can troubleshoot scoreboards from their office, which is impressive.
Having grown from a small part-time business to installing around the state and more, Mr. Chuck Hurley and Scoreboard Enterprises have flourished. As the years go on, Mr. Hurley passes the baton to his son, Mark. Mr. Hurley sees himself as the Maestro in an orchestra. He now sits back, twirls the baton, listens to the music, and feels confident in the direction of the company. Scoreboard Enterprises hopes to continue to grow and keep their customers happy. 2020 is not a typical year, but Mr. Hurley knows that come spring, there will be a surge of scoreboard needs, and they will only continue to grow.
Need Time Sensitive Delivery of Goods and Materials, Call American Veterans Trucking in Plymouth, MA
Author: Kevin Joly, BSU student
If you are a large or small company looking for services in the transportation industry, American Veterans Trucking is who you are looking for. This transportation company focuses on the timely transportation of raw material and goods throughout Eastern Massachusetts. Based out of Plymouth, Massachusetts, this disabled veteran owned company has been in business since 2016. It has built a reputation that consists of great customer service, timely delivery of goods and employee job satisfaction.
The owner of American Veterans Trucking, Thomas Latham, is a disabled veteran who decided that he wouldn’t let his disability get in the way of his dream of becoming self-employed. Thomas is self-driven and expects the best of himself, his employees and his equipment. I had a moment to sit down with Tom to ask him what makes his company stand out amongst others like his.
Q. Why did you choose this line of business?
A. While attending college, following my injury in the US Army, I was familiar with heavy equipment from jobs I held previously. I decided to take what I leaned from college and purse a career in what I knew best (trucking).
Q. If you had to start over from day one, what would you have done differently? What was your most difficult challenge?
A. I would have reminded myself to start off a bit slower. I found that I would never refuse jobs which led me to grow the business at a rate that I became uncomfortable with. With the support from my wife, I was able to keep the pace of growth at a manageable level. “Things are good now.”
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 pride myself on great customer service! I instill in my employees that they represent the business and hold a stake in our success. With a great team and a good work ethic, my business has built a great reputation for safe and timely service which is critical in our industry.
Q. What is the number one way you currently bring in new customers?
A. Reputation. Mainly, we work with trucking brokers that provide the specifications of the job. This determines where my trucks are needed and for how long. We also cater to the smaller trucking jobs that are local to this area. I have smaller trucks to support these jobs.
Q. Has internet technology (website, online ads, social media, etc.) played a big part in your growth and making your company more successful?
A. We have very limited exposure on social media. Most of our work comes from business to business (cross talk). Again, our reputation sells itself. Companies that do business with us know that we are reliable and we price our work fairly.
Q. If you had to look six months to a year into the future where would you like to see your business be?
A. I’m in the process of completing the necessary documentation to do work for the US Government. As a disabled veteran owned company, the government gives priority of awarding contracts to veteran owned companies.
Q. As a veteran and former Non-Commissioned Officer in the US Army, how would you explain your leadership qualities?
A. The Army gave me the ability to multitask and lead people. College gave me the ability to understand the financial aspects of running a business. I’m a very hands-on owner, my employees see me every day. I will jump in a truck and do whatever they are doing. I will put a suit on and give a presentation to a potential client. My way of looking at things is that you must know all aspects of the company in order for it to be successful.
American Veterans Trucking, Inc. is located at:
198 South Meadow Road, Units 5 & 6 in Plymouth, MA.
Contact them via:
Author: William Watts, BSU student
I’ve seen what it takes to run a business up close and personal for about my whole life. My father, Robert Watts, has owned a gym floor refinishing business, Gymnasium floors Inc., since 2001. I remember going to work with him when I was younger but never understood what it really took until I started to get older and eventually end up working for him. I was lucky enough to sit down and ask him questions about the business and what is needed to be successful. He first explained how he ended up owning the business and the story behind it, “…I was in sales at the time when my uncle called me. He asked me what I wanted to do, and I explained that I wanted to own a business. And my uncle was telling me that his friend was selling a business. He got us in touch and a few months later I ended up purchasing the business.” Being a new business owner, my dad had to overcome difficulties, “It was a gymnasium floor business…I didn’t have any knowledge or expertise in the field, but my background was in sales, and I knew I could sell. But now I had to learn how to run a business.” He explained the new challenges that came along, “…I had to manage the business, there’s vans, employees, payroll. And I found that to be difficult.”
I then asked my dad what he would have done differently when he first started out, “I don’t know if I’d do anything differently, I look back on it and I think I’ve made a lot of good decisions. And that’s part of it, almost everyday you have to make a decision that’s going to impact the business.” When my dad said that it brought me back to the times, he would remind me about making decisions. This point is true with business and with life. After we talked about the difficulties he had starting out, I asked about the difficulties now in 2020. “because the economy is doing so well, everyone’s employed. And its hard to find employees. Also, everything is changing, there is a lot of rules and regulations to follow because you want to do everything right.”
When I started to work for my dad when I was 18, I’d spend every summer refinishing gym floors. I usually call him before I start working on every gym floor just to go over everything so there is no mistakes, my dad talks about what makes this company different than its competitors, “the previous owner was doing about 75-80 gyms a year, and now we are up to 300 if not more every year, my job is to sell and to prove to my customers that we are different. What makes us great is that we treat our customers like our friends. Before we start the gym floor process we go in and teach the customer about the job that is going to take place. Then we go in and do the job, we make sure it is done right. Then after, I go in and teach them how to clean the floor and maintain. We are full circle.”
One of the reasons why the company is so successful is because of the employees. I’ve become friends with almost all the employees and enjoy working with them. I have never been around a more hard-working group of people before and it pushes me to become a better worker. My dad also explains how him, and the employees interact about the floors, “I always tell my guys, I just want the floor to be perfect. But it is very difficult to make everything perfect. When I say perfect, I think they know what I mean. And that means doing the very best you can and strive for perfection. So, when I say make it perfect, we know that we are trying to make it as perfect as we can.”
I also asked if technology could play a bigger roll in the business. He answered, “of course, we have a great website, but we could definitely improve in that aspect. We are looking into doing YouTube videos and starting up an Instagram account. We should, we could, and we will in the upcoming future.” We always talk about incorporating social media and hopefully I will be able to help in that category.
I wrapped up the interview by asking how the company brings in new customers, “…right now its word of mouth, not advertising. We have a very good reputation. Everyone loves our guys and loves doing business with us. It sells itself.”
The company is looking forward to another successful summer and always trying to improve after every year and leaving the customer happy.
Gymnasium Floors Inc. is located at 187 Page St #5 in Stoughton, MA.
Contact them via:
Phone: 617-293-3452 or 800-870-3577
Author: Luke Botsolis, BSU student
Everyone needs clean clothes. In a fast-paced, business-oriented world, there is a need for professionally cleaned and tailored clothes, yet many professionals lack the time to run back and forth to a dry-cleaner multiple times a week. This is where Tom Fay and his business The Cleanist bridge the divide.
Tom has over 30 years in the dry-cleaning business, which started with Danny’s Cleaners in Braintree and Quincy. Tom helped run these stores as a family business with his father and his brother. Currently, both Danny’s Cleaners and The Cleanist are operated by Tom Fay.
The Cleanist got its start as a tailor shop in 1925 in Plymouth founded by Amedeo Ceccarelli. Soon after, Amedeo’s son also joined in the business and they added in full dry-cleaning service. As this clearly began as a family business, it was taken over by Amedeo’s grandson, Paul, who began a Uniform Rental Service and moved the business to its current location in the Old North Plymouth Theatre building. Between 1982 and 2006 the business expanded to five locations in Plymouth, Kingston, and Duxbury. In 2013 entrepreneur Thomas Fay purchased The Cleanist from Paul Ceccarelli. The uniform rental business was sold separately in 1994 to Aramark. Under Tom’s ownership the business has prospered and remained successful.
It has been almost 100 years since The Cleanist was founded, and seven years since Tom acquired the business. Running a business in the 21st century comes with distinct benefits and drawbacks, which Tom has managed successfully.
The two most significant challenges in operating The Cleanist are staffing costs and expenses. As the business grows it is important to balance rising costs and customer retention while keeping a watchful eye on profit margin. Two of the reasons The Cleanist remains successful and should be considered superior to its competitors are because of their superior quality and excellent customer service. A huge part of the reason The Cleanist remains superior is that they offer home pickup and delivery of dry-cleaned clothes, free of any additional charge. This solves the major issue of professionals who want to look their best but may be too busy to take time out of their day to go back and forth to a dry cleaner.
Although successful, The Cleanist is always searching for ways to attract new customers and increase their business. The Cleanist takes advantage of two major marketing tools in order to reach a broad audience. The Cleanist regularly mails out advertisements and fliers that contain offers and information about their services. This allows The Cleanist to reach out to almost every household in the area that they serve. Another interesting tool is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO allows The Cleanist to appear as a top search result on internet search engines when someone searches for dry cleaners. This is a massive benefit to any business as it draws more hits to websites and an increase in the customer base. The internet and technology are extremely important to anyone operating a business in the 21st century, and Tom has taken full advantage of the tools available to him.
In the short term, Tom would like to see a 10% increase in sales through The Cleanist. For the business to remain successful and increase its success, it will require Tom’s personal attention. Tom is a very hands-on owner and it is common to see him at any one of the store’s several locations speaking with staff and customers. As mentioned previously, Tom started in the dry-cleaning business with his family, and that tradition carries on today as his wife and children also help out in various ways in his stores. For now, Tom will stay involved in the decision making and everyday operations of his company. When and if the time comes for Tom to take a step back, he will have planned an exit strategy that will leave the business running smoothly.
For customers seeking professional and reliable dry-cleaning services, The Cleanist offers competitive prices and superior quality, along with dry cleaning pick-up at no additional charge. Visit The Cleanist at one of the following locations:
Author: Yacoub Melhem, BSU student
TNT Automotive located at 1150 N Main St. in Randolph, MA has been a staple for customers’ automotive repair needs since he opened up in 1985. Owner and operator Elias Touma has only known the automotive business. Although located and been there for numerous years, Touma currently resides in Roslindale, MA. Which is a fairly decent commute for him in the morning. Before residing to Roslindale, Touma was born in raised in Lebanon before moving to the United States. In Lebanon is where he was introduced to the automotive industry. Ever since, it’s all he’s known and the only thing he sees himself ever doing. Growing up in Lebanon working around and on cars all day is what began this passion. His passion also leads to a dream of one day owning his own business. Becoming his own boss one day was something he was always wanting to accomplish.
When he first opened up his automotive shop, he states “everything was hard”. The long hours, and the work that goes in to keep making his business succeed was not easy. He states one the hardest things at first was to find employees who were motivated enough to make sure the business was always succeeding and continuing to impress customers with the work they were providing. When starting a business at first Touma had trouble at first finding employees who he could trust with his business. This was a passion of his for so long he didn’t want just anyone to work for him. He wanted someone who he could trust that was also an someone who was reliable as well. The reason being is that he knows the customer is the most important aspect of his business. Touma stated that was the same thing that was difficult for him since the day he opened and still holds true to this day. Retaining customers and finding new customers will always be the most crucial aspect of his business.
In order to make his business stand out, Touma knows he and his employees need to always put the customer first. Touma knows his work needs to stand out for his customers in order for them to continue to come back and trust him. “I always want to earn their trust”, he stated. By having that trust, and with his quality of work standing out, he hopes that will always set him above the competition. This trust has equated to him having Randolph police officers choosing to have automotive work done on their own cars at TNT Automotive.
Social media sites, such as Facebook, have been a huge advantage that Eli has taken advantage of. When first starting the business, he didn’t have this platform to advertise and wishes he had this as his disposal when starting the business. It is currently his number one way to advertise and get new customers into the business. Touma also states “word of mouth can help more than people think these days.” Facebook and other social media posts are helpful, but getting a satisfied customer to advertise for you is the best way to get your business out there and have customers that are very satisfied speak highly of you. It’s not lost on him that because he has this trust from his customers, that he is succeeded more than he ever thought.
Author: Sean Ellis, BSU student
Future innovators and technological developers need a strong force to navigate the sea of national and international markets. People all over the world are capable of unimaginably wonderful things when provided the proper resources, guidance and patents. However, securing the connections necessary to gain investment and development can be difficult. As well as the opposing position of finding a product, service, or development that is worth investing in. Once a product receives investment and a design is put forth, carefully constructed patents can surround and control the invention and design. Strong Force, first of its kind, was born from recognition of the opportunity to increase the impact of innovation and reward both investors and inventors by designing intellectual property portfolios that control valuable future categories of innovation. Interviewing with CEO and company founder, Charles Cella, I was able to delve deeper into what drives Strong Force.
The company Strong Force was established in 2015. One of the Managing Directors, Charles Cella of Pembroke, MA, envisioned a company that would organize a unique set of creative and business competencies, while aligning with his passions and experience. Originally from Kentucky, Charles earned his first degree in physics at Princeton University, studied quantitative economics at Edinburgh University in Scotland, and received a law degree from the University of Virginia. After an early career in technology legal work, he combined technology and business expertise in a number of successful innovation projects across different industries. Combining his background and expertise with a desire to advance innovation, Charles Cella spearheaded the formation of Strong Force with his fellow Managing Directors.
Technology is without a doubt a key factor of innovation in this modern era. “There is only one thing stronger than all the armies of the world: and that is an idea whose time has come.” -Victor Hugo. Strong Force intends to be there when an idea’s time has come, to catalyze innovation around the idea in the market, and to provide a degree of control over the idea for its creators with a well-designed patent portfolio.
What exactly is the purpose of a patent though? A patent is an official government-issued right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention. According to Strong Force, designing patents for leadership is a four-step process. Covering an invention with patents enables a sustained control of market category leadership. It unlocks creativity to capture key drivers of IP advantage, preserve optionality, guides prioritization, and optimizes resource allocation. Ultimately, it supports successful licensing programs and commands high values. This methodology constructed by Strong Force can be better visualized below.
I inquired about Strong Force’s involvement with technology and Mr. Cella’s response: “It’s the water we swim in. Technology is the primary driver of business growth today.” His company is the embodiment of a recognition that there is a need for a business to increase the impact of innovation as well as providing rewards to investors. Strong Force is modeled to allow people to remain in control of their job and to assist in gathering various forms of innovation and investments across multiple platforms. Then finalizing the process with a series of protective patents in order to maximize connectivity, profits, and growth. Just as the water we swim in is fluid, so is the usage of a product in most cases. As a product is used and handled, a previously unidentified use may be identified as an unintended benefit. Strong Force’s response to unintended benefits: As a category matures and prevailing use cases emerge, we can use a strategically positioned portfolio to drive participation, cooperation, and shared investment across the ecosystem while allowing owners to maintain the desired degree of control.
Strong Force, a leader of innovation, a driver of technological development, and a guardian of intellectual property. This company seeks to increase revenue for all parties by providing the proper protection and accelerating categorical development by inspiring ecosystem participation, cooperation, and investment. The Strong Force process is shaped by diverse competencies, creativity, and senior relationships. Diverse competencies enable Strong Force to understand and anticipate the evolution of an ecosystem, its participants. When navigating the various unruly seas of the open market, when a strong force fills your sails, your ship will travel far. The Strong Force methodology has created billions of dollars in value for clients across a wide array of sectors and helped hundreds of visionary inventors, market leaders, and capital allocators succeed.
Author: Brandon Vincent, BSU student
1) Are you from this local area?
Yes, I grew up in Acushnet, Massachusetts and have been in the New Bedford area all my life.
2) Why did you choose this line of business?
I own a marine welding business. I choose this line of work because I was taught the welding trade in vocational high school, and I enjoyed the welding trade very much.
3) When did it start? What Year?
The welding business started 18 years ago in the year 2002.
4) What was it that made you want to start this business?
In 2002 I had a family member who could not find work. I was in the welding trade when I was age 18 to 22 years old but then went to work at Titleist in the area, making golf balls, for a little more stable career. In efforts to show my family member that there was plenty of work available I called an ad I saw in the local newspaper for a welding job. I was awarded the job and started working for a gentleman that owned a marine welding business. He did not pay me as a regular employee but as a sub-contractor, basically meaning I was self-employed. This led me to expand my operation and create Saucier Welding and Fabricating, not by design, but by circumstance.
5) What was the toughest thing you went through when opening?
The toughest thing I went through when opening was finding qualified workers. As I was a welder as a young man, I assumed everyone had the skill level, not understanding that I was a little more qualified than the next guy. I went through many employees and never really found any decent employees at the beginning, which forced me to work long hours to get the projects done that I was hired to do.
) What inspired you to keep going as you were getting the business off the ground?
I was inspired to keep going because I saw that the progress I was making and the financial gains were well worth the time and energy I was putting into it.
7) If you had to start over from day 1 what would you have done differently? Or what was your most difficult challenge?
If I had to start over from day one, I would have put together a better business plan. I would have bought the proper insurance and withdrew proper taxes and social security from employees. One of the most difficult challenges was once the business was going was to modify employee’s pay to reflect the proper deductions I ultimately needed to take from employees checks, like worker’s comp, unemployment, and social security taxes.
8) What is the toughest part about having a business in 2020?
The toughest part of having a business in 2020 has not changed, for me, from the toughest part of having a business in 2002. Staffing… it is very difficult.
9) 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?
If a customer were to choose between my business and a competitor’s business, I would suggest that they try mine first because I am an owner/operator and I have experience on where to spend money and where to not spend money. I believe that is what makes my company stand out more than the next… as I can do the same job for less. In today’s competitive market, constant budget trimming, and competitive pricing is paramount in a successful business.
10) What is the number 1 way you currently bring in new customers?
The way I bring in new customers has not changed from what I have done in the past. Hard work and word of mouth has been the staple of my business for the past 18 years and has worked for me.
11) Has internet technology (website, online ads, social media, etc) played a big part in your growth and making your company more successful?
The internet has not played a part in my business as I am a smaller business and I am on the industrial waterfront of New Bedford, where word of mouth travels quicker than the power of the internet for the welding business.
12) Do you feel that internet technology could play a bigger role in your business if you had the right tools?
I feel like the internet could play a bigger role in my business if I had a solid website along with the proper marketing plan if I wanted to expand my business to other areas of Massachusetts.
13) If you had to look 6 months to a year into the future where would you like to see your business be?
I would like to increase gross receipts by 2% and lower operating costs by 2% in the next 6 months.
Saucier Welding and Fabricating is located at: Antonio Costa Ave, New Bedford, MA
Contact them via telephone: 609-276-5762
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: 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!