LOUISVILLE, KY (WDRB) -- The secret to success of a small business, or any business for that matter, is meeting its customers needs.
There is an owner of a small Louisville pickup and delivery shoe shine business who has successfully been meeting his clients' needs for more than a quarter century.
Derrick Carr is the owner of The Executive Shoe Shine. On any given workday you will find Derrick quickly moving through the halls of downtown office towers and suburban office parks collecting shoes. He will move quickly but silently into an empty office and polish shoes as fast as possible.
"I have attorneys and executives, and I need to get the shoes back to them so they can continue to conduct business," says Carr.
Financial advisor Matt Petty is one of Derrick's customers. "My kids gave me a shoe shine kit last Christmas and it is still sitting in the closet untouched," says Petty.
A busy executive, Petty doesn't always have the time nor the inclination to keep his shoes spotlessly shined. "Typically I try to get these touched up every week, it works well when I know Derrick is coming," says Petty.
Derrick started his business more than 25 years ago after being laid off from his job as a railroad engineer. He has used his entrepreneurial skills over the years to create a steady business with loyal customers who depend on his services.
Adds Petty, "He makes us look good, you know when you are seeing clients one of the things they check out is your shoes."
Derrick gets great satisfaction from his job. He says, "Some of these attorneys and investment brokers, they look at their shoes after you have finished working on them, and they are bragging about them, and that's what I like."
Derrick says he polishes about 25 to 30 pairs of shoes a day. "Some people look at this as being a demeaning jobs that is beneath them," says Carr, "I have no shame, I enjoy it, people like it, it is a great service for people who are too busy."
While business is good Derrick is always looking for more customers. He charges between six to ten dollars to polish a pair of shoes.
You can learn more about his business at his web site, www.theexecutiveshoeshine.com.