Anyone who’s been around kids for any amount of time knows that babies can get themselves into a heap of trouble in a flash. One minute they’re watching a Barney DVD and the next they’ve wedged themselves between the couch and the wall, screaming for help in that unintelligible babytongue.
This is exactly why we need professionals like Tom Treanor, who started his baby proofing company All-Star Baby Safety out of a desire to keep kids safe around the home. All-Star Baby Safety runs the gamut of baby proofing needs, including baby barriers, cabinet locks, window guards, and even pool safety fences.
We sat down with Treanor, who solidified the idea to start his company through meditation and admits that his professional baby proofing ambitions reach as far as the small screen.
What is the backstory behind All-Star Baby Safety?
I was looking for something to do that hadn’t been done before. I had always thought about opening up a florist or a locksmith, but when I looked in the phone book I saw that there were literally 300 locksmiths in the New York area.
I wasn’t much for competition and I’d heard about home baby proofing from a friend of mine that had his own business. I talked to him about it and saw what he did. I looked in the phonebook to see if I could find a baby proofer and there were only two in there so it was more about the odds being in my favor.
It sounds very new age and spiritual, but the one thing I did in preparation of starting this company was meditate a lot. I don’t know how that’s going to go over in the business world, but I opened my mind to what was moral and something that I could feel good about when I put my head to my pillow at night. Medical school is quite a few years and quite a few dollars, so saving kids from accidents in the home was one of the next best things.
I opened up that venue and asked for guidance and it was then that this idea cemented itself in my mind and once it did I just moved forward with it and never accepted failure and never accepted that it wouldn’t work.
What are some of the most overlooked baby proofing methods around the home?
The most overlooked and the most dangerous is furniture tipping. It’s not something that people often realize. People will look at a tall open bookshelf and say, “Let me secure that to the wall.” It’s not as common for them to look at a shorter dresser or a changing table in the same way.
When did you know that you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
To be quite honest I always thought I would do something different. I always thought I would fall into something. Becoming an entrepreneur was never in my game plan. When did I know I was going to be an entrepreneur? When I couldn’t find a job anywhere else, I started my own business.
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
Numbers. I’m not a numbers person. I have a hard time getting organized. I’m not good with record keeping and numbers and paperwork. I enjoy and love, as probably many entrepreneurs do, performing the work in the field and, to some extent, the customers as well. Having satisfied customers is an amazing feeling, but keeping records is my biggest downfall.
What advice would you give to any beginning entrepreneurs out there?
Speak to people who are out there doing it and try to get information and work for somebody who’s doing it. Make sure that it’s feasible, that someone’s been making a living doing what you’re intending to do. People will be happy to talk to you and tell you about their business.
We’re a very tight-knit group in New York, because there are only three or four baby proofers in the area. I don’t think one of us would want to train someone to open a business nearby, but I’d be happy to talk to someone from out of state. I would gladly help somebody looking to start a business outside of my service area.
What’s next for All-Star Baby Safety?
We’ve been slowly expanding. There are hopes and dreams. There’s the online market store. Maybe another employee or two, another vehicle, and many more customers. Down the road I think there’s TV. With the reality TV shows that I’ve been seeing on TV I’m sure there’s a market for us. We’ve worked with a couple of different production companies over the past couple of years and I think we could entertain quite a few people with a reality show about our business.
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