A Chat with October’s Profile, Bill Boatman, Founder and Owner of Bill Boatman and Company
CS: What about the business appeals to you?
BB: Early on the appeal was as a sales tool. I found it to be more profitable than taking out space ads in the magazine journals. Now I enjoy the customers. A cross section of our mailing lists would be very interesting. We have doctors, lawyers, as well as everyday people like farmers, mechanics. They all know one another. Hunting dog people form a loose, strategic alliance, with one central point in common — they were all born in a rural area. The rural audience has been good to us even through the economic downturns.
CS: How do you keep things fun at the company?
BB: Interaction with my staff. We have semi-monthly to monthly dinners, a Christmas party. We also go out bird hunting together. We even have a 25-year old female that works for us that goes out hunting with the rest of us. Most of us are just plain country folks. I also have to give credit to my wife, Caroline. She takes care of most of the day-to-day operations, supervision. I couldn’t do it without her.
CS: Have you had any mentors? Have you mentored anyone?
BB: David Ogilvy, Max Sacheim, Vic Schwab — all of these people were influential in helping me start the publication. I don’t mentor competitors. No, I shouldn’t say that, it’s not nice. I’ve mentored friends in the business as allies and tried to help people. But it was more a strategic alliance. I was learning as much from them as much as they were learning from me. Some people I kept in contact with were Jim Roy of McFeeley’s and Ruth Boyce of Cats, Cats and More Cats.
CS: What are your hobbies?
BB: Well hunting of course! I just enjoy country living. I cut my own firewood here at the house. We live about 30 miles from the airport and we have as much noise and traffic from the planes as we do with cars on the street. We’ve just come to enjoy the simple things in life.