An Interview with The Owner of The Brodeur Machine Company, Inc.

by | Oct 12, 2022 | Metal Fabricator

  • Kindly give our readers an introduction to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/ cities.

We are a small, family owned, 4th generation machine shop. We’ve built our reputation for taking on difficult jobs and finding creative solutions to complex problems. We have a fully integrated fabrication and thermal spray coating shop, along with inhouse grinding, small – large precision machining and regional trucking. We service accounts nationwide and internationally from our single, 53,000 square foot location in New Bedford, MA.

  • Kindly give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).

I am the 4th generation here at Brodeur Machine Co. My father, Mark, is the president and sole owner. He has been a salaried employee at the shop for 51 years and knows the business in and out, as he’ll say, “by learning the hard way.” Much of what we do relies on his expertise, along with our staff, which averages 25 years in their respective trades. My background is in retail and sales. I have a BS from Springfield College and prior to Brodeur Machine I worked for a large corporation doing both inside and outside sales, along with store management. In the interim I took 3 years off to stay home with my newborn twins. I was presented the opportunity to join the shop as the 4th generation and almost a decade later, it’s the best decision I’ve made career wise. I’ve learned so much from my Father and also the team, which are truly the best of the best. We’re really blessed to have such a diverse and deep bench of talent.

  • What inspired you to (start a new business venture) or (to make significant changes in an existing business)? How did the idea for your business come about?

We celebrated our 100th anniversary this year, hardly a new business, however we’ve had to pivot repeatedly over the last century to remain at the forefront of our industry. We’ve dedicated a lot of resources to upgrading our facility with the newest equipment, training and maintaining our work force on new software and techniques, we’ve added Wire EDM capabilities which provides a lights out aspect to our offering and we’ve begun to concentrate resources to our online presence.

  • What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?

Three important lessons that I’ve learned from watching my Dad are:

  • You’re only as good as your weakest link, so don’t get ahead of yourself. You need to appreciate that it takes all skill levels to end up where you want to be.
  • Knowing our value as a brand and a shop. We can’t cheapen our reputation just to compete with shops on jobs many places can do. What makes us unique is that we have a variety of equipment and talent that provides us the opportunity to do things others can’t.
  • Under promise and over deliver. Doing what we say we’re going to do and being accountable and responsive, owning any mistakes and learning, that’s what has kept us around for a century and successful.
  • What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?

Being willing to put it all on the line. Truly believing what you’re investing your time and money in. Understanding what your hunting.

  • How many hours do you work a day on average?

10 depending. Always available and always checking emails!

  • To what do you most attribute your success?

Being a little stubborn. Not willing to fail. Reinvesting in the company and the employees rather than rewarding myself for their hard work. Being accountable to my team and my customers. Learning from mistakes and making sure my management team understands my thought process when I make a decision. I feel in order for them to learn what I’ve lived, they need to understand why I sometimes make decisions that seem, counter to what most people would.

  • How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?

We’ve just recently begun concentrating our efforts on our web presence, focusing on making sure that the right type of opportunities can find us. Previously cold calling, print media were our main means of marketing. The most successful form, by far, has been customer referrals. We have a solid core of long-time customers that are truly the best marketing available.

  • Where did your organizations funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?

Doesn’t really apply to us. We’ve been around for 100 years, and we started, literally, by one man working and saving money to come to the US to start a blacksmithing operation that quickly morphed into a machine shop to do repairs and anything necessary to get work in the door! We are privately owned and have never had investors.

  • What is the best way to achieve long-term success?

Know your worth. Take care of your people. Build a business they are proud to work at. Don’t ask them to do things you wouldn’t be willing to do. Know that you need reinvest in your own success – you need to “dress” for the job you want and be willing to do what it takes to make that the reality.

  • Where do you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?

My Dad will likely be retired or in the process. I will still be at Brodeur Machine, god willing, and working with the team we’ve been building the last 6 years, to collectively carry on the reputation we’ve earned for quality and service, luckily having a good resource to call on if necessary!

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