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From Mid-Level Manager to Highly Successful Business Owner
JACKSONVILLE, FL. - Harold Boyett, owner of Blue Streak Couriers, began his career in the delivery business at UPS when he was 18 years old. He worked his way up through many positions to a mid-level management position. While employed at UPS, he learned of Blue Streak Couriers, a same-day courier service that was an agent for UPS Sonic Air in Jacksonville, Florida. After much consideration and evaluation, Mr. Boyett took ownership of Blue Streak in 2005. Since his acquisition of the company, he has steadily created jobs and grown revenue approximately 500% over 8 years.
When Mr. Boyett purchased the business, he knew he would have some challenges ahead in terms of changing the business model. In October 2004, regulation was passed that allowed banks and credit unions to electronically process checks, whereas prior to that, courier services were heavily used to transport paper checks. Mr. Boyett quickly diversified the business to focus on transporting tangible products, including clinical lab work and supply distribution in the office products and healthcare industries. He also rapidly expanded the business from northeast Florida to all major markets in Florida by 2007.
In addition to rapidly growing the geographic territory of the business, Mr. Boyett also aggressively increased the number of jobs created in the community. Mr. Boyett has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as an “SBA 100” business. This distinction was given to 100 business owners across the country that created over 100 jobs in their industries. Blue Streak Couriers currently employs 43 full-time employees and contracts with over 200 microbusinesses to provide courier services.
Mr. Boyett began his transition from mid-level manager to successful business owner by working with SBA resource partner, the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), in 2004, when he was first considering the purchase of Blue Streak. Since that time, he continues to work with Cathy Hagan, a Business Analyst at the SBDC, to evaluate opportunities for growth of the company and to manage this growth. The Small Business Development Center at the University of North Florida provides management assistance to current and prospective small business owners. For more information, visit the SBDC at UNF’s website at www.sbdc.unf.edu.
Mr. Boyett initially received a 7(a) loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to fund the acquisition of Blue Streak and a subsequent SBA 504 loan to help finance the acquisition of two business condominiums to house the administrative operations of the company. The 7(a) Loan Program is SBA’s primary program to help start-up and existing small businesses to obtain financing when they might not be eligible for business loans through normal lending channels. For more information on 7(a) loans, visit http://www.sba.gov/financialassistance, and for a list of SBA lenders in North Florida, please visit www.sba.gov/fl/north.
The SBA 504 loan program provides long-term, fixed-rate financing to acquire fixed assets (such as real estate or equipment) for expansion or modernization. It is designed for small businesses requiring “brick and mortar” financing, and is delivered by Certified Development Companies (CDCs, private, non-profit corporations set up to contribute to the economic development of their communities). For more information, visit http://www.sba.gov/financialassistance.
Blue Streak Couriers has been recognized by the Jacksonville Business Journal as one of the 50 fastest growing businesses in the area for three of the past four years. Mr. Boyett has also received recognition from industry-specific publications such as Courier Magazine.
In his spare time, Mr. Boyett supports the courier industry through his active participation in several organizations including the Florida State Messenger’s Association, the Customized Delivery and Logistics Association, and the Express Carriers Association. He also informally mentors other small business owners that have started their own local courier service. Lastly, he donates his time and expertise by speaking to the entrepreneurship class each semester at the University of North Florida where he shares his knowledge regarding his experience as an entrepreneur.
While his company’s growth is often attributed to the use of innovative technology to produce results for customers, Mr. Boyett insists that the key to his success is his focus on customer service and a sense of loyalty from those customers in return.
In addition to contributing his time to help other small business owners, Mr. Boyett also actively contributes to several local charities including Dreams Come True of Jacksonville and the Pulse Youth Center.
For more information on Blue Streak Couriers, please visit www.bluestreakcouriers.com.
For more information on SBA’s Programs and Services, please visit www.sba.gov.