By Brown, Carolyn M.
Black Enterprise , Vol. 26, No. 8
Wireless Inc. has adopted the Wal-Mart approach to doing business--it's a one-stop shop for companies and their employees looking to buy pagers, cellular phones and long-distance services. The firm also helps clients find ways to cut their monthly phone bills.
The concept of providing quality goods and support services has paid off; the 25-employee firm's 1995 sales totaled about $3.5 million, up from $2 million in 1994. Wireless expects to do $5 million in sales this year.
David Johnson, 30, founded Wireless six years ago. It was while he was an economics major at Boston College and part-time seller of mobile phone services that Johnson saw the cellular market's potential.
After graduating in 1989, Johnson started under the name Mobile One Cellular Services, and worked out of his apartment as an independent agent and consultant. In addition to offering cellular services, Johnson helped small and midsize companies analyze their long-distance and cellular telephone bills and showed them how to save money.
In 1991, he became a Nynex reseller and set up shop in a small office in Stoneham, Mass. Using about $5,000 in personal savings, he paid for equipment and three months rent up front. He then switched to Cellular One.
Throughout 1992 and 1993, Johnson's retail business generated sales revenues of around $450,000 and $750,000, respectively.
When competition started heating up and Johnson's sales margins began shrinking, he called on his younger brother, Daniel, a member of IBM's sales team in Cleveland. Twenty-six-year-old Dan took over as the company's sales manager. Dan brought along his mentor, Tony Wray, who had spent 25 years selling for Big Blue. Wray, 49, became vice president of sales and marketing.
In 1994 the company incorporated and moved to Medford, Mass., and its name was changed to Wireless Inc. The trio decided to diversify and expand the business by including paging services through two carriers, Mobile Media and Pagenet. The shrewd move boosted sales to $1. …