It is hard for me to believe that it has already been 15 years since I founded Laser Locators. From humble beginnings, we have grown into an industry leader. If I reflect on our origins, the ‘secrets’ of our success become apparent.
Before founding Laser Locators, I worked in the ophthalmic industry for ten years. Watching the changes in medical reimbursements fees as well as the consolidation within the industry, I realized there was a growing need for used and refurbished equipment. The timing seemed perfect to create a new company to serve those customers who needed additional sources of equipment. However, my years of experience in the industry taught me that providing equipment would not be enough. Customers needed a company that was also able to provide service that rivaled the best companies in the world. It was my vision to build a company that offered the best service in the industry, that would be spoken about with high regard and would have the best reputation in the industry.
In the beginning, I was driving 10 to 12 hours by myself to look at equipment to purchase and was working out of my living room with my patient wife, Jill. Today we have 16 employees and own a 12,000 square foot state of the art facility outfitted with state-of-the-art tools and equipment.
I knew that to pull this off; it would take great sacrifice and that I wouldn’t be able to do it alone. Fortunately, I was able to find Tayra Paul, CPA, who became our CFO, a position she still holds today. I credit Tayra for keeping the ship on course through the good and the bad. Tayra’s accomplishments have not gone unnoticed by the business community. She has been honored three times as a finalist for the CFO of the year by the Tampa Bay Business Journal.
At the beginning stages, we knew we needed in house support to refurbish and more importantly, to back up our product. We sought out engineers that could work at the board level. Our sales team needed assurance that the company would support any warranty that we committed to support. It is easy to offer a guarantee, but if you don’t have the financial backing and the personnel to follow through, it is worthless. Having such a reliable team of engineers and technicians has also allowed us to offer our customers service on all of their equipment. I think it is important to note how important we believe in staff synergy. We act much like a family, eating together, and supporting each other in all issues. This has helped develop our company culture. It is essential that we pick the best talent as well as the best personalities that think for themselves.
To be successful, I knew that I would need the right person to lead our sales team. Although I already knew that person was Joey Colarulo, the best and most responsive sales person I had ever met, it took three years of winning, dining and yes, even begging to get to come work for us. My pursuit paid off as Joey has now been here for eight years. Joey has cultivated and trained a fantastic consultative sales team that has helped us grow to where we are today, and I am proud to call him a partner.
I take great pride when I look back at where I started and where we are today. I have aligned myself with great people that have the same views, philosophy, and work ethic as I do. Our philosophy is always to do the right thing. By following that standard everything has fallen into place.