Author: Maxwell Kroll, BSU student
An Interview with Busy Bee Jumper Owner Sal Longo
Question: How did you get involved with this business? And why did you believe it was going to be successful?
Answer: When I was 18 years old, I met my current partner at a football game through the introduction from a mutual friend. Jim, who is my current partner, was just starting up Busy Bee Jumpers and needed help with deliveries. So, from when I was 18 to 24, I worked for him part time. When I graduated college, I invested my own capital into this business and became an owner. What made me believe this business would be successful is the need for our services in the market. Most of our competitors are smaller mom and pop type businesses who only service a small area. We believed that by establishing a trusted brand, due to top notch service, that we could establish a large geographic area to service. This allows us to have better margins which gives our customers the best service at very competitive prices.
Q: What was the toughest thing you went through when opening?
A: The toughest thing that we went through around 11 years ago was reaching the customers. At that time, we were listed in yellow pages and internet advertising wasn’t nearly as popular. I have lived in Bridgewater my whole life, so I have a strong connection with this community. We were able to reach local customers, but it was difficult to reach customers who lived far away. Once we began advertising through google and other internet avenues, our market expanded dramatically. We were able to reach customers over an hour away, north of Boston. Once we serviced these customers, we were able to expand our services to farther geographic locations. Our customer service is what makes us stand out, so when a neighbor recommends us and then people begin to hear our brand name, we become trusted in that community.
Q: How has technology effected your business? And do you think technology will continue to help your business grow?
A: Like I said before, google advertising has helped us grow tremendously. We use technology mainly in two ways. First is the advertising and marketing side, google has allowed us to reach customers that aren’t physically close to us. Secondly, technology has helped us with our operational process. We use a software that allows us to track our business, simply and accurately. This software gives us the ability to grow steadily, without having to worry as much about how we will process and organize our business activities.
Q: Which style of owner would you describe yourself as? Passive, hands on, or a mix of both?
A: I am just as much of a manager as I am an owner. My day to day revolves around ensuring the operations are running smoothly. I’m the first one in the building, briefing our staff of the day ahead. I like to have a presence in the warehouse for our staff to see. I’m probably a little too hands on as a manager but its working for us currently. As we grow, we may hire or promote other management positions that allow myself to step back a little as a manager. This would allow me to focus more on the big picture part of our operation.
Q: Where do you see this company a year from now?
A: We believe in steady attainable growth and we currently are achieving that pace. In about a year I would like our growth to continue into locations that we are not currently servicing. Our plan is to continue our growth so in order to do that we have to go into markets that we aren’t in yet. This always brings new challenges, but we believe that our plan for future expansion will continue at a steady rate.