Central Penn Business Journal

Eye on Small Business

“Not Like Oil and Water”Two businesses and three children keep a Camp Hill husband-and-wife team busy. Italian sweet wine vinegar and shiny hardwood floors do not have much in common – unless you visit the home of Jacqueline and Anthony Magaro. The couple operates two diverse businesses out of their home in Camp Hill.

For self-employed Anthony Magaro, time management presents a challenge. “It can be chaotic around here with the two businesses and raising our family, three girls, ages 3, 8, and 15, but our work ethic transcends everything,” he said.

AFM Refinishing, a.k.a. Mr. Sandman , a wood-floor refinishing company that caters to the residential industry, has been in business for 17 years. AFM specializes in set up and finishing of occupied and unoccupied residences; lifetime warranties, dust and odor control, mark-free sanding and environmentally safe finishes.

The couple shares office space, as well as business plans.

“We bounce ideas back and forth. It’s nice to have another business mind around,” said Jacqueline Magaro, who created a radio promo for her husband.

Anthony Magaro, who is the only employee of AFM, said gross sales were $75,000 in 1999 and $150,000 in 2000. Currently sales are up 30 percent over last year’s and by the end of 2002, they are expected to reach $250,000.

“It is important to be recognizes as a leader in floor refinishing and expand into other areas where the demographics will support ,” said Magaro, who services more than 600 local clients. One of Magaro’s largest competitors, who preferred to remain anonymous, agreed that Magaro is a leader in the industry.

Kathleen Rodgers of Mechanicsburg recently hired Magaro to refinish her floors. “He did an excellent job,” she said. “It was probably the best work we’ve had done on the house.”

THe next step for Mr. Sandman is a venture into franchising. Magaro believes the demographics will support his move. “A franchise will enable me to apply the skills and techniques I’ve refined as a one-man business and take it to the next level,” he said.

Confidence and risk-taking are both challenges and keys to success, Anthony Magaro said. “It is vital to network within the industries, to keep up with technologies, and get advice from professionals,” he said. “Engage those resources to guide you.”

– Jena Laske