Client Highlight - BOXAROO
Dave Wise has been an entrepreneur since before he can remember. As a child he was already starting and running his own businesses. He fondly remembers the time that he rounded up his brothers and sisters to sell wrapping paper door to door in their neighborhood and the time that he got in trouble for selling stuffed animals to other children on the school bus. Dave credits his father as his inspiration, "Entrepreneurship runs in my blood. My great-grandfather, my grandfather and my dad were all entrepreneurs. Every little kid wants to be like his father. For me that meant being a salesman or an entrepreneur. I wasn't the kid who wanted to be in the army or be a doctor or be a firefighter. I wanted to have my own business."
With that kind of spirit it is no surprise that he is starting a new business today. Despite already running two successful and growing 1-800-GOT-JUNK? franchises in Central and Northeast Pennsylvania and in Cleveland and Akron, Ohio, David is hungry for more. Building off of the synergy and infrastructure already in place, he has just launched Boxaroo, a company that rents plastic moving boxes to residential and commercial customers. It drops them off at the site their customer is moving from and once they have has moved it picks the boxes up at the new site. The boxes cost less money than cardboard, save time in assembly, and are more convenient than buying, salvaging, and storing cardboard boxes. They are also sturdier during the move and are a green alternative that saves paper waste. David sees a great deal of potential in the idea. In the next 18 to 24 months he hopes to have expanded to multiple offices and entered into the Philadelphia and Baltimore metropolitan areas and beyond. His five year goal is to reach a combined $10 million in annual revenue between his multiple businesses.
David says, "The biggest challenge in creating a brand new brand is that it is brand new. We have to create everything from scratch: from the website, to the business card, to the stationary, to how we are going to operate, to the employees, and to the trucks. Everything is created from scratch." In the past when he started businesses he already had systems in place as a foundation. Having SBDC staff and students to help him attack his problems and brainstorm solutions has been helpful with development. The SBDC has assisted David with marketing, expanding his initial financial projections and cash flows, and refining his vision of the company.
Coming into the SBDC's Jump Start Incubator program is David's second go- around with the SBDC. David was first exposed to the SBDC when his business partner at 1-800-GOT-JUNK? took part in the now-defunct Self Employment Assistance Program in Chester County. The program offered entrepreneurial training to the recently unemployed while allowing them to maintain their Unemployment Compensation Benefits. It worked out well for David and his partner, they made lots of contacts, and they credit the training in large part for a 20% increase in revenue in the first year after they took over the Harrisburg region of their 1-800-GOT-JUNK? franchise. Based on that experience David knew that the hands-on support provided by the KU SBDC staff and students at the Jump Start Incubator was the right place for him to build Boxaroo. "This incubator space was a great fit for us because we were looking at creating a world brand based right here out of Reading, and we think that Boxaroo can do that. When we actually came to the Jump Start Incubator we were pleasantly surprised not only by the quality of the offices, but also by the support that they offer each of the entrepreneurs that resides here."