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Thought Bubbles

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Managing Editor Tim Branfalt Jr. talks about everything from his thoughts on everything from social media to the public policy's role in small business operations.

Upstate New York business

September 24, 2013
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Being relatively new to this industry I haven't had the opportunities to meet many of the people I write and read about. I had only been on one reader visit, during my second week on the job, which was jam packed. I didn't really have the opportunity to sit down and discuss the business at length.

That being said...

Yesterday I had the chance to sit down with Ron Slone, president of Hoffman Development. Having lived in and out of upstate New York for much of my life I am very familiar with the Hoffman name so I was quite interested in learning more about the business I had frequented so often over the last decade. However, I wasn't there to discuss the Hoffman carwashes. Instead I sat down and discussed the newest venture of Hoffman - the J.D. Byrider used car franchise.

That whole story will be written in a couple of days.

In the meantime...

Talking with Slone gave me a bit of insight into how Hoffman operates and the type of people they hire. Slone was gracious, smart, well-spoken and maybe because he knew he was speaking to someone from upstate New York, candid. The first reason he gave me for wanting to expand the Hoffman business from carwashes and quick lubes was to give current employees better opportunities.

He also readily admitted he had never sold a used car in his life. These, to me, are the traits of a good businessman. Put people first and be honest. Sometimes that is what it takes to be successful in a sometimes cutthroat industry. Instead of trying to find ways to cut corners to make more money, which is what unscrupulous business people do, it seems that Hoffman has, and still is, putting people first.

So, in closing, I want to congratulate Hoffman and Slone on their whole company on their new business. I certainly hope they continue to treat their people well and serve the people of upstate New York.