Blair Johnson and BMJ Enterprises have been renovating homes since 2014 and recently expanded into property management and maintenance. Blair would like to provide more jobs locally and joined the Northwest Ohio Impact Program to help him develop a plan to scale his business.
What inspired you to create your business?
It started off with investing. My father and grandfather invested in real estate for income properties. At one point, my grandfather owned more than 100 properties in the Toledo area, and he serviced and maintained them all himself. As a child, I learned how to be a handyman from him. That’s where I got my first-hand experience.
My father was a licensed electrician, as well as an investor and a handyman. My uncle was a master plumber. My first toolset was metal, not plastic. I was born into it. I’m 29 years old now, so you might as well say I’ve got 29 years of experience. It’s just been tagging along the whole time. It’s just family-influenced.
What has been your biggest takeaway from the Northwest Ohio Impact Program?
One of the biggest takeaways is the education. I had the skillset when it comes to the business, but having a skill and knowing how to operate a business are two totally different things.
I’ve been learning a lot and there’s been a lot of resources available, so that’s actually helping to catch up my skill set with my business set. It’s bringing them neck and neck. That way, we can operate longer.
What is the most important thing the program offers?
I think a good push. It’s pushing you to think harder—to dive a little bit deeper into your business. That’s one of the things I’ve seen so far. There’s also a lot of genuineness, which is big. People really want to see you succeed. That’s cool because it seems like the way society is today, it’s always a competition. Here, everybody wants to see everybody win. That’s a big difference.
What advice would you offer other entrepreneurs who need help and are considering reaching out?
Do it. It’s worth a shot. One of the most valuable things any entrepreneur can get is help—assistance and resources. No matter what the business is, you always need advice from somebody who has experience, somebody who has knowledge—or if they don’t know, they can connect you to somebody who knows how to help you. That’s a big deal.
What are your future plans for your business?
I currently still have a full-time job in addition to my business and it’s very time-consuming. Hopefully, I can be fully self-employed in my company. I hope to have a handful of part-time and full-time employees on my staff and on my team. I would also like to have a bigger piece of the Northwest Ohio market and to have us doing a lot more work.
Learn more about BMJ Enterprises at bmjenterprisesllc.wixsite.com. Then, come watch Blair pitch his business live on September 17 for a chance to win up to $10,000 at the Northwest Ohio Entrepreneur Showcase.