National Entrepreneur's Day
Escanaba, MI - November 17th was National Entrepreneur's Day. We sat down with the entrepreneur behind our business, Brian Boucher, to ask him a little about his entrepreneurial journey with TEAM Wireless, Verizon Authorized Retailer. TEAM Wireless was Brian's 2nd business as an entrepreneur after his first, Beaver's Landscaping. Now Brian Boucher's Enterprise Company, Gee Papa Enterprises, encompasses TEAM Wireless, Beaver's Land Management, and BLM Ranch. All three entities are based out of Escanaba, MI, Brian's hometown. Gee Papa Enterprises is named after Brian's Dad, Jerry Boucher (Papa), and his Mom, Sandy Boucher (Gee).
Brian's answers are in bold
Q: How did your entrepreneur journey start?
A: I had the drive to create my own future from a young age. I started cutting grass when I was in grade school which eventually lead to my first large scale landscaping business
Q:What's the best advice you'd give an aspiring entrepreneur?
A: If you have a dream make a plan. Be patient, stay focused and don’t get discouraged by the bumps in the road.
Q: What attracted you to become a business owner / operator at such a young age?
A: My drive for success. I like to win. Knowing there would be challenges of owning a business and navigating through those for a favorable outcome was enticing.
Q: If you could give your younger self advice regarding entrepreneurship, what would it be?
A: Have patience and surround yourself with good people.
Q: Did you ever imagine your business would be the size it is today when you first started out? Why is that?
A: At that time I did not. But as the industry evolved I could see the potential and I built a TEAM around me that would help me reach that vision.
Q: What's your favorite thing about owning a local business?
A: The people. Our guests and our employees. Making an impact on their lives.
Q: What makes the Upper Peninsula a great place to start a business?
A: There is a lot of opportunity in the UP. Our success has been driven by the people. There is no harder working group of people than Yoopers and I’m proud of that!
Q: Where do you see retail businesses in 20 years? Why is that?
A: In this age of digital and instant gratification, I actually don’t think that brick and mortar will ever fully go away. Remember that lonely feeling you had while quarantining at the beginning of the pandemic? We need human interaction.
Q: What are some other national or local businesses you admire and why?
A: National business are great and they serve a purpose, but I get more impressed with our small businesses of America and their ability to adapt and overcome the challenges we are presented.
Q: If someone is looking to create a business plan, where would you recommend they start?
A: Have an idea you truly believe in and are passionate about. Know how you want to be successful. Then start putting it in writing. Don’t be afraid to be wrong, be willing to change.
Q: Why do you think some businesses fail and others succeed?
A: There are so many factors to both scenarios it’s hard to pinpoint. But if I had to say, one major factor is the people. I would not have enjoyed success without good people around me that believed in my vision.
Q: What was the greatest surprise you ever had as a business owner and why?
A: There are so many surprises, successes, and failures. One thing that continues to impress and surprise me is people’s dedication to the mission and vision of TEAM Wireless.
Q: Running a business can be extremely challenging. Was there ever a difficult time your business had that you'd be willing to share?
A: At the beginning of the recent pandemic. We not only had to worry about how our business was going to survive but we mostly focused on how we were going to take care or our people. I’ll tell you I had a lot of sleepless nights. We made it through the worst of it, I believe, and we will be stronger because of that.
Q: Personally, what goes into your decision making process when considering a new addition to your business whether it's a revenue stream or a new department?
A: I answer the following questions: Is this necessary? Do I believe it can/will be successful? How will this affect the people working for me?
Q: Do you have any business mentors?
A: I have learned bits and pieces from many people over the years. I’ve kept my ears and mind open and just listened. Whether I agreed or not it has helped shape my approach to owning a business.
Q: Anything else you'd like to share with aspiring entrepreneurs?
A: I think we’ve covered quite a lot. Thank you for the opportunity to share some of my story. I hope it inspires more entrepreneurs!
Thank you Brian!