Making Overtures

Fast Track

Name: Joe Pickerelli

Company name and description: Mobile Guitar Repair is a one-man, one-van business. Pickerelli roams New York and New Jersey in a van, providing house calls to people with guitars, banjos, violins and other stringed instruments in need of repair.

Based: Landing, New Jersey

Founded: 1989

Strumming up business: After playing in bands for many years, Pickerelli knew all about guitars and how they break. In 1989, he quit his day job (he was a metallurgist) and set up a guitar repair shop. One day, as a mobile glass repairman was fixing a broken window on his truck, a thought flashed through Pickerelli's mind: "glass repair . . . guitar repair." Why not? He loaded $12,000 worth of repair gear in his van and hit the road with what he calls "the world's first mobile guitar repair service." A big plus: Pickerelli is ready to call on bands in bars, homes, studios or concert halls--wherever that night's gig is.

Web site: Check out the site--it's a low-budget but excellent case in point of what a small business can use the Web to do. Have an ailing guitar? Pickerelli gives free diagnoses of what might be wrong and how much a repair will cost.

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This article was originally published in the September 1998 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Making Overtures.

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