1. 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.
Ans : Smart Recycling, Inc. was established in 1978 by Salvatore J. Russo under the name of Russo Metal Company. In 1995 Russo Metal Company became a California corporation known as Smart Recycling, Inc. Our corporation offers a wide variety of services including various containers for the purpose of collecting scrap metal and recyclables. Smart Recycling, Inc. provides services throughout Southern California. We are located in Wilmington, California.
2. Kindly give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).
Ans : Sal Russo graduated high school in 1973. He then went on to serve in the Marines for 4 years. Sal Russo has owned Smart Recycling, Inc since 1978. He started the company when he was 23 years old. He began the company on his own, driving around in a small pick up truck looking for scrap metal. He slowly grew the company and first opened a recycling center in 1982.
3. 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?
Ans : Sal started the business because he wanted to work for himself. He saw there was a lot of money that could be made in the scrap metal industry.
4. What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Ans : Take risks, Network with lots of businesses and people, and try to learn something new everyday.
5. What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Ans : Ability to take risks, ability to form relationships with customers, know how to manage money
6. How many hours do you work a day on average?
Ans : 10 hours
7. To what do you most attribute your success?
Ans : Drive to never give up and lots of hard work
8. How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
Ans : Networking, sending emails with our scrap pricing, publishing a website, seeing customers face to face, passing out business cards.
9. Where did your organizations funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?
Ans : Bank Loan
10. What is the best way to achieve long-term success?
Ans : Try to stay relevant and learn knew methods of conducting business.
11. Where you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?
Ans : I plan on retiring. My children will take over the business.
12. Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
Ans : I admire anyone who started with nothing and worked their way up.
13. How important have good employees been to your success?
Ans : You can not underestimate how important a great employee is. It has been critical to set our standards high and in doing so, we’ve created a culture of unmatched customer service. Our team understands our mission and each of us has the wherewithal to make sure that mission is front and center when interacting with our clients.
14. What motivates you?
Ans : Being the best. It’s as simple as that. Smart Recycling is in competition with some of the giants in the industry. Especially in the greater Los Angeles area. It’s up to us to make sure each customer is treated fairly and with great care. If we stick to those simple principles, we’re sure to hold on as the go to team in Southern Cal.
15. How do you define success?
Ans : Success is simple to me. If I can look in the mirror every evening and answer “Yes” to the question, “Did you do your absolute best today?”, then I’m successful. Things don’t always go as planned but if I do everything I can to make our clients happy, I’m happy.
16. What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Ans : Freedom. I’m sure that sounds cliché but ask most any business person and that’s what they’ll say. Freedom. Simple as that.