If CNBC calls you, return it.
Just ask Louis Bruno, who recently made an appearance on the TV network's “Blue Collar Millionaires” show. The video profile told viewers how Bruno built his Bonita Springs-based air-conditioning business to $25 million in annual revenues in a few years.
It's the kind of positive publicity any business would gladly welcome. “We're in the national spotlight for how we're performing as a company,” Bruno says.
Bruno, a winner of the Business Observer's Entrepreneur of the Year award this year, says he initially thought the call was from a telemarketing company. “I called them back and it sounded interesting, but I kept waiting for the catch,” he says. He turned them down three times before he agreed to do the show.
Turns out there was no catch: CNBC sent a film crew to video Bruno and his team for three days a few months ago. Bruno didn't see the clip until it aired July 29. “I was a little nervous at the start,” Bruno acknowledges.
During the filming, Bruno's strategy was to run his business as he would ordinarily. “We didn't doctor anything,” he says.
Bruno admits the publicity is a big marketing coup and morale boost for his employees. But he's not letting it interfere with his ambitious growth plans or customer service efforts. “It doesn't mean anything if we don't perform,” he says.