Founder Sean O’Donnell Looks Back to the Beginning of Laser Locators

Laser Locators about-box3  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.

Joey Colarulo Reflects on 15 Years of Laser Locators

Laser Locators Joey-Web-2019  Eight years ago, I made a significant life change and left a large public company to join my friend Sean O’Donnell’s small business, Laser Locators. At the time, joining Laser Locators as a Sales Professional was an exciting but jarring change. The transition from the environment of a large office with over 200 coworkers to a small business like Laser Locators, where I was one of only four people in the office, was a significant change for me. Now eight years later, we have 16 employees, and I hold the title of Vice President and Managing Partner. A lot has changed in both the industry and with Laser Locators since 2011. Since I first joined the company, I have been proud to see Laser Locators grow to be a leading provider of new and refurbished ophthalmic lasers.

Although several strategic decisions have contributed to our success, I believe that it’s our relentless focus on caring for our customers that has led us to be the industry leader. We understand that our clients are mostly ophthalmologists who own and operate small businesses like ours. Our clients count on us to provide the latest knowledge about the equipment we offer as well as the latest equipment offered by the manufacturer. By approaching our customers with a partnership mentality, we can offer a genuinely consultative sales practice. As we approach each sale by understanding the needs of our customer, we can build trust and form a lasting relationship.

One decision I believe has contributed to our success was the decision to expand the products and services that we offer. At the time I joined the company, refurbished refractive lasers were in very high demand, there were not as many new options as there are now, and there were not many available in the used market. Although this had been the primary focus of Laser Locators since our inception and continues to be an essential part of our business, we realized that our customers would have additional needs such as smaller lasers and diagnostic equipment. By adding other equipment, as well as providing parts and service, we not only were able to increase the volume and frequency of sales, but we were able to improve the way we served our customers.

Our firm also made a conscious decision to partner only with companies that shared our values. From marketing to service to manufacturing, we only work with partners who share our work ethic and customer-first approach to business. By being values-driven, we ensure that our customers receive the best quality of service across all aspects of our business.

Since our clients are located all over the world in over 100 countries, we knew support would be a concern. Knowing this, we have cultivated a variety of distributors, service centers, and strategic partners all around the globe that exclusively works with Laser Locators. These partners have been carefully selected using our years of industry knowledge and expertise to ensure our customers are treated properly.

Over time, we determined that our U.S. based customers would benefit if we brought some strategic services in-house. One notable example is freight delivery. In 2018 we made a significant investment by building our logistics department, the Laser Locators White Glove Logistics Department.

The Laser Locators White Glove Logistics Department now consists of two Sprinter cargo vans, two pickup trucks and one 28-foot Freightliner commercial truck with a custom lift explicitly designed for lasers. All of our vehicles are equipped with a variety of tools and spare parts to solve unexpected problems that may arise during the transportation and installation process. We offer white glove service exclusively operated by our well-trained staff who are fully insured.

Although the industry has changed a lot in the past 15 years, by continuing to stand by our values and focus on serving our customers, I am confident Laser Locators will continue to flourish. Although we look back at our companies past with pride, I know that the future will be even brighter.