MARTINS FERRY - Eric Young had been operating his business out of his home for a few years by the time C&L Window Tinting vacated its address at 422 N. Zane Highway, relocating to a larger building.
It afforded Young an opportunity to move his initial business, B.E.E.T.E.M. Car Audio sales into an official building.
Young offers bumper-to-bumper car customizations - everything from stereo systems, security and remote starters to rims and lift kits.
OWNER?ERIC?Young shows off just a small sampling of the customization options available at B.E.E.T.E.M. Car Audio in Martins Ferry.
He stands by his quality of work, as well as his prices. And while like every other business, Young's aim is to make money, it's far from his only target.
You won't find the general 100 percent or more mark-up from wholesaler cost at B.E.E.T.E.M. that is often found at other establishments. Young's prices are far more reasonable.
It's a fact that he admits has his distributors scratching their heads. But to Young, it's just sound business sense.
''I gear toward more of how the economy is doing,'' Young said. ''It's not doing well out there right now, so I'm not going to break people's banks over their hobby.
''If I can get you good prices, you will get good prices. Basically, if a competitor has a 100-percent markup and I have 25 percent, I only have to outsell them 4-1 and I'll make just as much money. In the long run, it adds up."
Both for Young and for his customers. And that's the premise of the B.E.E.T.E.M. name, an acronym that stands for Because Everyone's Entitled to Economical Merchandise.
Young not only watches the local competition in monitoring his prices, but also the Web. He knows that the Internet and its readily available supply of goods at great prices are just as much his competition as any local store.
''Our prices aren't cheap because we do cheap work,'' Young said.
''We want to provide the best work at the best price and that's just what I do. I bend over backwards for my customers.''
A native of Millville, N.J., Young has lived both in Mansfield, Ohio and Martins Ferry before choosing to settle in the Purple City. B.E.E.T.E.M. Car Audio is his first business locally. But he's longterm plans have it far from his last.
His current location offers an installation bay and a small amount of office/display space to the side. He's looking to open shop geared primarily toward customization and rims with the floor space to display his product properly. That would leave his current location to focus mainly on the electrical side of custom work.
He also is looking to branch out into a hair and nail salon, a tatoo parlor and a clothing store, all operating under the B.E.E.T.E.M. name and embracing its business philosophy.
''If you go to the big cities, the cost of living is higher but the cost of products from these industries is cheaper because of competition,'' Young said. ''The competitive advantage isn't as good up there. Here you have a lot of market power. I want to bring the more urban-area stuff to a community that may not have it.''
And just like with the car customizations, he wants to make it affordable.
Young noted that he also wishes to become more involved in the community and has already began the process of doing so.
''I want to sponsor things in the community and be known as being supportive,'' Young said. ''There is a program we started that, every month, we give away a free system to someone who is needy. We'd like to be able to buy a new bike a month for a deserving kid in the neighborhood. We want to have events for the community sponsored by B.E.E.T.E.M."
Those are his longterm goals. Young knows every successful company has to start somewhere and for him; that place is 422 N. Zane Highway.
B.E.E.T.E.M. Car Audio sales is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. and Sunday by appointment. Young may be reached at 740-633-8845 or 740-633-8846 by fax. Visit the company's Web site at www.beetemcaraudio.com
Hughes may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org