Sales Tip: Ambition drives success

Nov. 8, 2018
Find creative ways to operate your mobile tool business.

Boston-area independent tool dealer Justin McCarthy is a busy guy. He works a full-time job as a technician, and operates his tool business, Bad Larry Tools, with two tool trucks and a distribution van.

“We have two big trucks ... and both of them are wrapped by SK [Tools]," McCarthy says. "My buddy has a van that we’re incorporating into the business also, so there’s actually three vehicles.” 

While the brunt of the work falls on his shoulders, McCarthy has enlisted some help from family and friends.

“My oldest daughter, Amanda [McCarthy], helps me on the weekends," he says. "My niece helps me with inventory on the weekends [and] I have a nephew that’s going to start helping me keep things organized.”

Hank O'Brien, McCarthy's neighbor, helps out by making warehouse runs, and Frank Coryat helped with fabrication, displays and general rehab of both trucks.

He adds that another longtime friend, Luis Pagan, started driving one of the tool trucks about a year-and-a-half ago. Pagan also owns a business, Linmar Textiles, which sells items such as shop rags, microfibers, gloves, PPE ear protection and safety glasses. The two product lines go hand-in hand, Pagan says.

McCarthy keeps the Bad Larry Tools trucks on the road almost daily. His shift at his regular job is from 11 PM to 7 AM. When he finishes a shift, instead of going home he actually drives a tool route in one of the trucks. He notes that the only days he doesn't drive his route are Mondays and Sundays.

As if working full-time, driving one tool route and managing another didn’t keep him busy enough, McCarthy also maintains and repairs the trucks. Plus, he’s in the midst of digitizing his inventory.

“We just got all the inventory on the computer,” McCarthy says. “By October ... there will be no more hand-written receipts. To find time to do that while I’m doing what I’m doing, it’s like a giant bowl of scrambled eggs. But I love doing it.”

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