Tom Cannon – CEO and Co-founder of BungoBox

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The biggest mistakes have been not always being true to my dreams and fighting my nature to build businesses. My mistakes have always been when I choose to work for someone else. I have been successful in those situations, but never truly happy.

Tom Cannon is the CEO and Co-founder of BungoBox. The largest and fastest growing moving box rental franchise in North America. In just two years Tom and his team have grown from a single location in Orlando, Florida to seven locations. BungoBox has also launched international expansion with the first location to open in Canada by the end of July and a development plan to open at least 20 in Canada. BungoBox is on track to have over ten locations by the end of this year in the United States.

Tom has recently been nominated to the Orlando Business Journal 40 under 40. In November of last year, BungoBox won the 2010 BIG* Award for Business Innovation and Growth. Additional, Tom and BungoBox have been featured in multiple newspaper articles and blogs throughout the US and Canada. Over the past 20 years, Tom Cannon, 39, has served in the United States Navy during the First Gulf war, been instrumental in the launch of three successful companies, held executive-level positions in sales, marketing and management and today is the CEO and co-founder of BungoBox.

He is a graduate of the University of Florida, with a degree in advertising, and a graduate of the University of Central Florida, with a degree in history. Tom has traveled extensively but has always made his way back to his birthplace to be with his friends and family in Orlando, Fla.

When he’s not rethinking the way Americans move from one location to the next, he is soaking up the Central Florida lifestyle. And that means boating, fishing and enjoying the outdoors. He loves spending time with his wife Heather and three children, hanging out with his friends and, of course, being a part of the Gator Nation.

What are you working on right now?

Social commerce is the next big idea. It’s basically the meshing of e-commerce and mobile commerce with social networking. Dell and Amazon own e-commerce.  Apple is the leader in mobile commerce, but no one leads the next wave, social commerce.

With that said, BungoBox has ventured into this new frontier with both guns blazing. We have invested a considerable sum of money in order to provide the best customer experience possible. I wish i could share all the details, but we feel that this total package is so revolutionary for not only our business and industry, but a game changer overall. We are always working on ways to improve our business and be the leading innovator in our industry. We feel that this is the only way to stay in front of the competition.

What does your typical day look like?

I wear many hats. I can be on the phone with our Phoenix location and fifteen minutes later be on the phone with our Tampa location. I deal with PR, marketing, technology, product development, and strategic partnerships.  My day is extremely unpredictable and always subject to change.

I enjoy a great many things about my job. You see, I love business, I love creating something from nothing and I simply love that BungoBox is that spark in someone else’s life. We are changing lives by creating businesses all over the country and changing our customers’ moving experience at the same time.

Three trends that excite you?

I am a big geek when it comes to technology and the web. So, typically trends that excite me most are usually found there.

The mobilization of the web is phenomenal to me. I think that we have only scratched the surface here. I believe that most communication, if not all, will take place over some mobile device, smart phone or tablet within 10 years, maybe sooner. And all of these devices will be interconnected and act as one, no matter which you choose at a given moment.

Social media will dominate all media soon enough. I believe that social media will have more of an influence on how we all live our lives and perceive the world, just as radio and then TV once dominated. Social is next, clearly Facebook is in the lead here. However, there are some other players that have some interesting ideas. The only problem I see with Facebook is that it is becoming the establishment in social, and it is never cool to be the establishment.

I would be remiss if I did not say that shared use of resources and assets clearly excites me. This is the premise BungoBox has been built on. I believe that the rental model continues to thrive in many more markets. It is simply the most efficient and cost effective allocation of resources for items that people only need every so often. This will be very big for years to come.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Our entire team is encouraged to think of new and innovative ways to do business. No matter what it is that we do, we always think that we can do it better. I think that we are pretty lucky; we are still a fairly small organization. Therefore, change is always much easier and it is actually still fun when new things happen.

So, with that said, any idea that we feel drives us towards our vision is usually gone after in full force. We don’t worry about making mistakes, because we always learn something from them. The trick is identifying the bad ideas as quickly as possible and moving past them while learning at the same time. What we have found is, since we bring some many ideas to life and we try so many different things…we make less and less mistakes…it gets easier to identify the really good ideas from the bad ones.

What inspires you?

It’s ultimately my family who inspires me to work so hard. I want to have a long-lasting business that can be passed down from generation to generation. The emotion and adrenaline, which is a result of my efforts, is somewhat intoxicating and exhilarating at the same time. The rush of great failure and great success at every turn just makes me feel alive. I cannot imagine working in any other atmosphere; it would just be boring to me.

What is one mistake you’ve made, and what did you learn from it?

The biggest mistakes have been not always being true to my dreams and fighting my nature to build businesses. My mistakes have always been when I choose to work for someone else. I have been successful in those situations, but never truly happy.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

I think that there are a lot of really cool business ideas out there. Ideas are not usually what make a great business, however, it is the execution. But here is one for you: I think that if someone could truly figure out audio indexing, that it would be huge. Someone should build an engine that will crawl audio and video files and index the results when a search inquiry is made. I’m not talking about the file names or the tags, but the actual spoken word. Can you imagine the possibilities?

What do you read every day, and why?

I’m a huge fan of mashable.com. The stories are relevant, and I learn something every time I read a blog post on their site.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read, and why?

No Man’s Land by Doug Tatum. This book is a must read for any business owner. It will help you identify the phases of your business and how to manage them when they arrive.

What is your favorite gadget, app or piece of software that helps you every day?

Until recently it was always my iPhone, now it is my iPad.

Three people we should follow on Twitter, and why?

@DalaiLama : When your day is most hectic and stressful, his tweets will give you pause and perspective

@Bob_Cannon: He is my partner and cousin… Super Smart… (but let’s be honest he is Twitter “challenged” and could use the followers.)

@GaryVee: Gary Vaynerchuk just popped on my radar in the last few months. He has a cool refreshing message and is an expert in building a personal brand and leveraging that to further his business interests.

Who would you love to see interviewed on IdeaMensch?

I’d be interested in reading about Wayne Huizenga since he’s had such success when it comes to renting things, much like we have. It would be interesting to see how he got his start renting cars, movies and hotel suites.

When is the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it.

I laugh out loud all day long, actually. I work alongside of my cousin, Bob, who cracks me up left and right. We’ve both put our heart and soul into getting BungoBox up and running and that translates into some long hours. Glad he’s there to keep me motivated and smiling.

What is your vision for BungoBox?

To be the largest, most recognizable and best moving box rental company in North America, with well over 100 locations in the United State and over 30 Locations in Canada within five years.

On a personal level, what is the hardest thing about building a business?

The inability to keep balance at home while working so much and the fact that the decisions that we make everyday have a great affect on more and more lives, so it is important / imperative that we are careful with our choices.

Connect :

Twitter: @tommy_cannon and www.twitter.com/BungoBox
Website: www.bungobox.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/bungobox

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