Jerome Boykin Jr., 27
When Black Enterprise last caught up with Jerome Boykin Jr., he was at the helm of a nine-employee commercial parking lot maintenance company in southern Louisiana. Launching the company in January 2006 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Boykin frankly explained during the photo shoot how he â€śsaw the opportunity, saw a need, and filled it.â€ť But while many of Boykin’s friends scoffed at the idea of cleaning parking lots, the young businessman followed his fatherâ€™s advice and did it anyway, grossing $850,000 in revenue in 2008. With major local contracts from large retailers — Wal-Mart and Lowe’s — Boykin found his competitive advantage: customer service.
â€śWe purposely set the bar high for ourselves,â€ť Boykin says. â€śOf course, there are a few people whoâ€™ve tried to underbid me, but I have good relationships with my clients and offer such quality work that theyâ€™re not even entertaining the idea of taking a chance on them.â€ť