Albert Boufarah is the Founder and CEO of SAMR Inc. Albert is a thought leader, influencer, visionary, and successful entrepreneur. Albert provides the leadership and energy that has inspired the creation of SAMR.
Albert Boufarah joins other leading Bestselling Authors, International Speakers & Entrepreneur, CEOs and Founders taking part in our Leader Roundtable Interview Series. The DotCom Magazine editorial team is delighted to have Albert join us for our Leader Roundtable Interview.
Born in Freehold, New Jersey, Albert Boufarah continues to be a leading business owner in his home state. From 1993 to 1998, Al ran a tree removal and waste management company in the Ocean County area, giving him an early start on his entrepreneurial journey. Later on, Albert Boufarah began to dismantle old computers and hardware so that he could make a profit off of the gold in them. After working within the waste and disposal industry, he learned how much precious metals and other useful materials are incorporated within common technology. Upon the realization that very few companies were taking full advantage of this knowledge, accompanied by a passion for electronic recycling and corporate responsibility, he began his company SAMR Inc. in 1998. Since its conception, Boufarah has perfected an effective methodology to gather and recycle technology from across the nation.
Today, Al Boufarah is still very much involved in his company and takes pride in working alongside his employees. When he’s not in the warehouse, Boufarah enjoys spending quality time with his children.
Now operating out of Lakewood, New Jersey, SAMR Inc. is a leading company in the technology removal industry. Starting out with only a handful of employees, the company has ballooned in size and now boast an impressive fleet of trucks and trailers to gather goods from across the United States of America. In addition to the collection and recycling of electronic goods, the company also specializes in data deletion and destruction so that customer information can remain private. SAMR Inc. services towns, schools, government bodies, and individual companies. With the rise in technology use, SAMR accepts recycling in the forms of computers, televisions, monitors, cell phones, or essentially any other goods that have a plug.
Let us start by telling us about your business.
SAMR Inc. is a computer and electronics recycling company that was founded at the turn of the century and has quickly become a leader in electronic recycling. We are located in Lakewood, New Jersey, but we provide our services nationwide. We assist an array of organizations such as towns, schools, hospitals, and private businesses with their technology recycling efforts. We are also one of the few companies that are licenced to pick up, take apart, and recycle computer components while adhering to safety regulations. I have personally ensured that we are providing top notch service to our customers by having over 150 trucks and trailers to service the entire country. We also are ensuring that all data stored on the electronics collected is wiped clean or physically destroyed to guarantee cyber security.
Q: Please tell us how you make sure your customers will become raving fans of your company?
We get a lot of praise for being easy to use and access- just drop off your goods in the bin and we will handle it from there. We are very streamlined in our recycling process which makes us an easy company to love. We also provide a wide variety of services, so we act as that one-stop-shop for all your electronic recycling needs. We can recycle almost all electronic goods from batteries to computers, and you are free to either drop goods off in our secure containers or drop them off at our business office directly. Thus, customers just adore us for being so easy to work with.
Q: Please tell us the one thing that separates your business from the competition.
SAMR Inc. separates ourselves from the competition by taking the guesswork out of recycling sometimes data sensitive materials. We are a single source recycling company, so once your technology lands in one of our bins, it will be with us all the way through until it is broken down into its most basic elements. Clients will never have to guess or worry about where their electronics will end up in a series of interconnected organizations. We ensure that all electronics we gather are wiped clean and recycled properly.
Q: And to finish this section, please tell us what the one major key to your company’s success is?
I feel like our success primarily comes from ensuring data protection and our wide service area. Data protection is such an important part of today’s society with hackers and data collectors out and about. Having a recycling company that guarantees that your personal information that’s stored on your computer or mobile is destroyed is an absolute necessity. No one wants to find out later down the road that someone can still gain access to your information after you entrusted it to a recycling company. Which brings me to my second success factor of having recycling containers all over the country. Providing a service to all really benefits your company’s reputation and profits.
Q: For our readers just starting to build a company, what advice can you give entrepreneurs just starting out with a new venture?
Learn to roll with the punches. You’ll never be able to completely avoid pitfalls in any industry. Having failures is part of the entrepreneurial process- it’s how we gain a lot of valuable information on what works and what doesn’t. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t do your research before starting any new business or venture- you should always look into things like ‘who your market is’ and ‘how other similar ventures are operating’. What I’m getting at is that it’s ok to get knocked down on occasion, what’s important is that you bounce back with new knowledge.
Q: For entrepreneurs seeking to build a business as successful as yours, what big piece of advice can you give them when times get a little challenging?
Take a step back and look at all possible solutions. It’s very easy to act on impulse when you face an obstacle, but the last thing you want to do is make a judgement out of panic. Take the time to cool off and perhaps even talk with your team. Your team, possibly your biggest asset- use them. Ask your employees what they see working as a solution or what they see as a possible cause. This will help you get a well rounded look at what you should do.
If you have yet to start a business and you are already facing obstacles, look at what is causing those issues. The market changes constantly, so sometimes you just need to reorganize the game plan and take it from there.
Q: In today’s fast changing business environment, how do you stay abreast of things?
This is an excellent point- the business world is constantly changing and adapting to rapid technology advancements. What I do to stay on top of the game is that I read the news and talk with just about everyone. The news will let you in on some valuable insights regarding new technology, new trends, new obstacles, but talking with others will let you gather information on what people actually want. I converse with coworkers, other business professionals, and clients to accumulate valuable information on what we are doing well and what we can improve on to keep us rolling over the competition.
Q: What is your “Why”? In one sentence, why do you get up in the morning?
I get out of the bed in the morning to create a better world for my two children. They are my motivation for practically everything in my life and I want them to grow up to raise their families on a healthy planet that I helped to clean up.
Q: In one sentence, what is the most important thing one has to do to be a great leader?
Commitment and passion are essential in making a great leader!
Without them you have a slim to no chance of motivating a team to work their best towards a goal. Leading by example is possibly the most effective way to motivate your team. If they see that you are giving it your all and that your company is something you live and breath for, your employees will be enticed to match your efforts. This also goes hand-in-hand with giving praise where it’s due. Giving your workers a thumbs up goes a long way, especially in building that team atmosphere at work. Having that tight knit circle at work does wonders for both productivity and employee retention.
Q: In one sentence, describe how important your customers are to your business?
Customers are extremely important, they are the reason we exist and operate.
Without them SAMR Inc. wouldn’t have any materials to recycle or anyone to solve a problem for. We rely on our clients to provide us with goods to even work with. No customers means no product which means no business.
Q: In one sentence, describe a positive way that technology can make the world a better place?
Technology has evolved so that we can connect with virtually anyone, anywhere at any time, and that is a very cool thing.
I can talk to another entrepreneur halfway around the world to obtain information on a possible new market or I can talk to friends in other countries. Technology is allowing us to stay connected even in trying times such as during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Q: In one sentence, tell us something positive to motivate our readers?
Changing times means more opportunities to do something no one else is doing or has even thought of doing.
Change is a good thing. As soon as you see something new, think to yourself, “what can I do with this to make it even better?”. A lot of great businesses are built on new technology that has come out. For example- self driving cars is an extension of artificial intelligence and advanced coding. Don’t let static ideas and fear of change prevent you from creating something unique that the world has yet to see.
Q: In one sentence, tell us how you start your day to get ready?
I start my day with a nice hot cup of coffee and a quick stretch.
It is always a good idea to start the day on a good note, so I try to take the time to enjoy that first sip and wake up my body with an easy stretch. I am a firm believer that mind and body need to work in unison for a smooth work day. No matter how much caffeine you drink, if your body is tired, your movements and will to be productive wont match. This in turn just leads to frustration.
Q: In one sentence, describe how you handle rejection and setback?
I accept that rejection is part of being an entrepreneur, I do my best to learn what leads to that outcome and focus on making decisions that will hopefully change the outcome next time.
I take rejection and setbacks as part of the job and try to learn from them. I’ve come to the realization that I will never completely avoid people saying ‘no’ to me or having a misstep. It has no reflection on who I am or how worthy my business is.
Q: In one sentence, describe what your hiring philosophy is?
A good employee is one that you will be able to trust to have your company’s best interest at heart, one that is excited to show up every morning.
Employees are a valuable asset to any company- so choose ones you can count on. There are lots of people who are qualified for a position in terms of education, but I always hire those who show interest in not just the position but the company’s mission as a whole.
Q: In one sentence, describe how you keep your sanity in a competitive business environment?
Jotting ideas down as they come to me instead of trying to remember good ideas once they’ve moved to the periphery.
I keep a small journal on me at all times. That way I can note down any ideas, issues, and solutions as they come to mind. I can also use it to note anything useful someone says to me during team meetings or conversations with my employees.
Albert Boufarah , thank you so much for participating in the DotCom Magazine Leader Roundtable Interview Series. We appreciate you participating in this important roundtable interview series, and helping our readers learn more about what it takes to build a great company and become a great leader. We wish you, your family, and of course SAMR, nothing but the best.