George Baer knows the roads that connect most areas of the United States like the back of his hand. That’s because he has worked as an over-the-road truck driver for the past four decades. Baer has driven in cold climates for many years, and he realized that he could offer a handy device to truckers who travel in ice and snow to help make their road trips a little easier.
Baer and his wife, Pamela, proudly run their own small business called Baer Enterprises, LLC out of their home office in Gillette, Wyoming. The couple officially established the startup venture in March 2015.
Through Baer Enterprises, George Baer designed a heating device that can attach to the external rearview mirrors of trucks.
“When truckers go through cold weather, the mirrors on their trucks will often ice up and become hard to see out of,” Baer explains. “Using a heated mirror, it will defrost despite the cold weather, and it will improve visibility on the road.”
His wife, Pamela, assists with the backend of the small business. He feels their main selling point for the product will be to improve the entire trucking experience – and to keep drivers safe.
“It’s an important safety feature for drivers,” he says. “This can be used by anyone who drives 18-wheelers and even smaller vehicles up north.”
Baer, who is a Navy veteran, travels all over the country to transport Hazmat loads, tankers, flatbeds, and oil rigs. Thanks to his experience behind the wheel, he knows there is a big need for the type of device he has invented. Because of this, he does not feel like he’ll face much competition when getting the item on the market. He plans to approach several trucking companies in hopes that they will offer it as an accessory for their trucks.
In terms of small business marketing, Baer plans to launch a website for the company. He also hopes to simply get his name out there, which he thinks shouldn’t be too challenging considering how long he’s been part of the transportation industry.
To ultimately achieve startup success, the Baers have been up against a variety of challenges.
“Our number-one challenge has revolved around the financial aspect of starting a business like this,” he admits. “We’ve personally funded it so far, but we’ll likely explore a small business loan in the future. Also, getting the knowledge needed for business ownership has been a challenge since we’ve never experienced anything like this. It’s definitely a learning process for both Pamela and myself.”
In terms of tips for entrepreneurs, George Baer says it’s all about surrounding yourself with the right people – and watching out for scams. He also offers some advice for entrepreneurs who have an interest in exploring trucking as a career.
“The first step is to get with a good instructor who is experienced. Then get all the endorsements you can hold as a truck driver to increase your value in the industry.”
The Baers are both clients of 1-800Accountant and speak highly of how the nationwide small business accounting firm has been able to help them navigate the IRS tax code on their path toward startup success.
“We’ve absolutely been satisfied with our services from 1-800Accountant,” George Baer says. “You guys have given us outstanding knowledge and assistance on everything.”
Photo credit: The photograph included in this blog post is used with permission via the Flickr Creative Commons license.