Monday, June 6, 2011


It is amazing, in nine years I have rarely been asked our competition is. However, in the past month I have been asked it numerous times. From friends, attorneys, our bank, our finance company, and so on… So it really got me thinking. My answer, while it may sound cocky, was simple. We don't have competition. Let me follow that up by saying it was the furthest thing from a cocky comment. It is just how we have managed to build the UNCS culture. We have built UNCS on relationships. Be it with our vendors, customers, banks, trucking companies and anyone else we come in contact with. Each and every person in our company strives (at least they appear to) to show the people we come in contact with the UNCS difference, which is the value of a relationship. I was not insinuating that there aren’t other companies out there that do what we do, and some do it even better than we do. However, they are not competition. They are potential suppliers, vendors, teachers, etc. All with something we can learn from.

If you can take your competition and turn them into allies you will be way ahead of the game. If there is a supplier you buy from, perhaps you can also offer them product. If there is a customer you sell a lot of goods or services to, perhaps they could sell you merchandise. Even more important than the all might sale is the connection you make. If you build your business focusing all your attention on the deal, and lose sight of the big picture, you are doing yourself a great disservice. As a deal will only get you through the day, a relationship has the ability to last a lifetime.

Short and sweet this week. Moral of the story, be the kid on the playground that gets along with everyone! As he is the one who always ends up on top!

Until next time……

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The advice of others….. when asked for or not!

Growing up in a large ethnic family we were always given the opinions of those around us. Be it solicited or not, I got it! As I grew up, it seemed to happen more often, this time from EVERYONE! Friends, family, co-workers, the guy at 7-11 who I see everyday - advice was free flowing like a hose. However, I noticed something as I got older, mom was not always wrong. My sisters two cents was sometimes pretty valuable…. You get the point, right? 

I have gotten to the point where I seek the opinion of others numerous times throughout the course of the day for many different things. The internet is an amazing thing, but those around you are an amazing resource on just about anything. Utilize them! I often get asked by people starting a business for advice. It is an easy question, the best advice is ask for advice. When you meet someone and they have an opinion to offer, stop and listen to it. People around you have experienced things you have no idea they did. Use the things they have learned along their journey to help you steer yours.

This doesn't mean that everyone is right all the time. Although I am sure you know a few people who will beg to differ. But listen closely to what people have to say. While it a lot of the time it may not have anything directly to do with the situation at hand, you can be pleasantly surprised at the value of the knowledge they have to offer! Remember, just because you didn’t do what someone suggested, or took the advice directly, you will always learn something from it!

Until next time….

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What gets you going in the morning?

Motivation is an amazing thing! Some are motivated by money (although I truly feel it is a short term motivator), others get fuel from the thrill of closing the deal, maybe juniors college education is your motivation, a new car, a bigger house, and a plethora of reasons. What is it that motivates you? Personally, I think I find a different reason almost daily. Not always intentional but something's just appear (mentally that is J). I am in the middle of redoing my house from the roof to the floor and everything in between. Amazing how a contractors bill can become a motivating factor for a day or two. But as I dig deeper I find my motivation to be something of bigger meaning. Now don’t get me wrong, like most, I want to better myself and my family. There aren’t many people who will tell you they don’t like the smell of a new car or be able to buy themselves things they want, but how much fuel does that really give you? At what point do you have all you want and material things no longer get you going in the morning? I had 2 very close friends, one was extremely wealthy and the titan of his industry (who we will call Tony), the other was a music teacher and made a modest wage (who we will call Seth). Tony was always depressed and truly unhappy with everything in life while Seth loved life and truly enjoyed going to work in the morning. As a young kid just starting off in life I could not fathom why Tony, who had big houses, fast cars and a large boat could not be happy. How could someone with so much be so unhappy. Then I realized he truly didn’t have what I thought he did. Seth, who didn’t have as many material possessions as Tony, had things of even greater value. A family that loved him, friends that mattered and a job that he loved. All these things were Seth's fuel.

This blog will be short and sweet. In the end, whatever your motivation is, find it. Make sure it has meaning to you and be sure you are motivated for the right reasons.

Until next time……

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Blurry Lines

My apologies for my lack of blogging! (would it be narcasistic to think anyone noticed other than my mom?!) Life gets away from us all sometimes, doesn't it? Amazing how the minutes fly by. It appears the busier we get the shorter the days. Juggling life and work is a difficult task for anyone. But for a CEO, or anyone who loves what they do, the lines become blurred. Where does one start and the other stop? To some the line is clear. Work at 8:30AM and home at 5:30PM. I suspect most who read this, much like myself, don’t have such a clear line. Is that a bad thing? Depends who you ask. I had the privilege of going to Rome last year. As we were taking a tour of the Vatican I snuck outside and started to check my Blackberry. Unbeknown to me, Jerry snapped a picture in front of St. Peters with me sending an email. Some look at the picture and think I am nuts and other look at the picture and pat me on the back.

The day you start your own company or become passionate about the company you work for you erase that line. There is no “leave it at the office”. The balance is how to manage that without stressing yourself out and effecting those around you. Personally, I don’t think there is anything wrong with catching up on some work, reading the occasional (very vague word J) email while on vacation, etc etc etc. I am fortunate enough to be with someone who understands what it is like to be with an Entrepreneur. The guy who rolls over at 3AM and checks his email, which puts me at ease. I think I would be more stressed if I was unable to read that email or take that phone call.

How do you balance life and work? Are you able to deprogram every now and then?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Who you callin' Bill Gates!?

We recently purchased a cordless vacuum for UNCS. With 5,000 sq feet of Limestone, the place is like a dust bunny – hence the vacuum. I am constantly roaming the halls, as for the first time in 8 years, my office is in a place where I am isolated from everyone else (which I am sure no one would complain about). By walking around, I get the benefit of all the “madness” that goes on around here and how it motivates everyone(but I also see the dust). So from time to time I grab the vacuum and start cleaning. A feat that would make my mother very proud! As I was doing my daily “house work” on Friday, I asked our CFO if he thought Bill Gates does this. A rhetorical question at that, but he answered me by saying, “I bet he would”. That started my mind going……

While I don’t know Bill Gates on a personal level, I found myself thinking about him a lot over the next few days. Does he do mundane everyday tasks at his office? Or was he so isolated in his last years at Microsoft that he sat in a Golden Palace corner office with a leather couch and the coolest new gadgets while his team did all the real work? I would venture to say NOT A CHANCE! As the CEO of a small but growing company, Bill is someone that I aspire to be like. Then again, I am sure most CEOs, and most people for that matter, would aspire to be like Bill. But I am not talking about Bill, the guy with private jets, servants and big houses….. although a Net Jet membership would be really cool! I am talking about Bill the builder, Bill the philanthropist and Bill the human being. Starting a company from nothing is no easy task. Regardless of what college you attended or how innovative the idea, it is difficult when you don’t have a ton of cash to get you started. But I truly believe that when you build it from nothing, the taste of success is that much sweeter, and as it seems in Bill’s case, keeps you all the more grounded. As I reflect on the last 8 years and how greatly we have changed as a company, and myself as a leader, I wonder what Bill thinks about. But any entrepreneur I have ever met, regardless of their age, financial status, or level of success, seems to share the same thought process- Here is where we are, that is where we started, and how do I use the knowledge of yesterday and the light from today to pave the road for a successful future?!.

I would be lying if I told you that I didn’t aspire for UNCS to be like Microsoft one day. Reality- not likely! Let’s face it- Microsoft is a behemoth that is a rarity. However, that doesn’t stop me from dreaming! I still keep my eye on the prize and set plateaus of success that I want to achieve, not only as a company, but as a human being. These days you hear more about Bill in the context of his charitable foundation versus “the Man behind Microsoft”. Personally, I think his generous contributions to society represent his biggest success of all (as I type this on Microsoft XP J). What an amazing thing to “grow up” and become a philanthropist! How many people can do that? EVERYONE! While I am not going to turn this blog into a soap box forum to tell all business owners to give away half their fortune, I do think as leaders, whether the company has 1 employee or 100,000, we have a social responsibility to lead our team to greatness- Greatness in the boardroom, greatness in our respective marketplace and greatness in social awareness. Sorry, I’m digressing. My point is that we are all operate our own version of Microsoft and each one of us is Bill Gates. Our companies may not have billions in revenues or a fleet of planes, but we have the same wants, desires, concerns, and victories when we hit our goals.

What keeps those going versus those who close their doors? I have no special secret for that. I have read every business book in print, and while every author claims to have the recipe to keep your company going, make you millions, motivate your sale force, etc. etc. etc. – no one truly knows the secret. If I had to try and pigeon hole an answer, it would be you! You the CEO, you the secretary, you the sales manager, you the person that cleans up at night. What ultimately made Bill Gates a success? People. The people you surround yourself with have the ability to make you happy or ruin your day. Make your company fail or make your company prosper beyond belief! So after 4 paragraphs of rant, the point of it all is to surround yourself with your success. Many of you have heard me say, repeatedly, that in no way is all this about the destination, but the journey we travel to get there. You start paving the path and with the right people around you, the bricks will keep laying themselves. It will veer at times with many bumps, and that’s ok, because don’t think for one minute that good ole Mr. Gates hasn’t hit some speed bumps, but he always seems to get back on the path didn’t he!?

UNCS made the Inc. Magazine list of 5,000 fastest growing privately held companies yesterday. A list that at one time Microsoft sat on. I am humbled and honored to be in such amazing company as our fellow 4,999 recipients of this year’s honorees and those that have been on the list in the past. #3,501, a number so ringing in my conversations this week that my mom has plaid it on Florida Lotto Pick 4! J The 16+ people that I am lucky enough to share these walls with 5 days a week are the sole reason that we made that list. People. In the end, that’s what it comes down to. People. We surpassed our goal of being number 5,000, so in the words of a good friend of mine, “Call me when you are #1”!

Last night I heard someone say something to the effect of “if we hit our goals, we have not succeeded, only when we surpass our goals can we enjoy success”. Regardless of what your goal is or how you define success, you absolutely possess the tools and innate ability to get there. Lay the path, start the journey, and most of all ENJOY THE RIDE!

Until next time……

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

UNCS makes the 2010 Inc. 5000 List! Ranked 3501!



FT. LAUDERDALE, FL — Aug. 24, 2010 – United National Consumer Suppliers (UNCS), a leading wholesale distributor specializing in manufacturer's closeouts, excess inventories and overstocks headquartered in South Florida, is pleased to announce it has been named to the 2010 Inc. 5000 list, a compilation of the most entrepreneurial and fastest growing companies in America. The publication honors emanate businesses that have amassed tremendous year-over-year financial growth. In its first year on the Inc. 5000 list, UNCS placed 3501 and is the only entrant in the wholesale distributor sector to join the ‘Business Products & Services’ industry ranking.
“It is a great honor to be recognized in such an esteemed publication. The successes that our company has achieved in the past few years are a clear reflection of our tremendous workforce, innovative technologies, a willingness to be different and loyal and supportive clients,” said Brett Rose, CEO and Founder of United National Consumer Suppliers.
In its eighth year, UNCS has grown from 2 to 16 employees and recently celebrated its first $1 million month in April 2010 then again in May & June, setting the company up to surpass its best year to date by 30 percent. What sets UNCS apart is true personalized customer service, a willingness to break up packages and repackage items to adapt to retailer’s requirements, ship to different places on request, and an unwavering eagerness to sell to any retailer regardless of size, from national chains to family-owned convenience stores. UNCS’s ability to store goods and ship from one of its 21 warehouses located throughout the United States and one in London and Toronto cuts down on freight costs and logistical nightmares.
“We had no choice but to build our business using different lenses. We didn’t as much reengineer our machine as much as build a new machine all together,” continued Mr. Rose. “This is an industry deeply embedded in traditional deployment of business organisms. In order for us to gain market share, we capitalized on proprietary technologies, supply chain advantages, tremendous connectivity with our clients and a company culture that is built on FUN, FUN, FUN,” concluded Mr. Rose.
About Inc. 5000
Now in its fourth year, the Inc. 5000 is the most comprehensive portrait of fast-growing private companies assembled anywhere. Each profile is researched and reported by one of the dozens of writers assigned to the projects and includes interviews with CEOs of almost all of the companies on the list. Many firms are innovators with little coverage elsewhere; many others are using their cutting-edge savvy to grow their market share in traditional products and services and are similarly underreported by the rest of the business media. The Inc. 5000 profiles are available on
About UNCS

United National Consumer Suppliers (UNCS) is a leading wholesale distributor specializing in manufacturer's closeouts, excess inventories and overstocks. Headquartered in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., UNCS is a versatile wholesale company able to provide unparalleled customer service and support to retailers regardless of size, from national chains to family-owned convenience stores. For more information, please call 954.524.DEAL (3325) or visit

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

UNCS - an epic journey!

Where to begin…… I often say the hardest question I get asked is “what do you do for a living”. When I tell people I sell closeouts, they ask if I have any shirts in their size. After explaining the difference between closeouts and clothing, they have an “A HA” moment and immediately ask if I can get them good deal on a flat screen TV.

I think people often regret asking me to tell them about UNCS because I can go on for hours. So let me attempt to be brief (which is a task with in itself for those of you who know me). UNCS started 8 years ago after 1 too many cocktails on a boat ride with some friends. But in reality, in alternate forms, UNCS started when I was 8 years old. My dad would go to Costco every week and get me a case of lollipops. I started selling them at school, and after a month or so, I would sell the case. This took too long and required me to schlep around a back pack full of quarters! A recipe for a bad back at a young age! So when I got the 2nd case, I started to put 25 suckers in a bag and sell them for a discounted price. I sold the case in 4 days! Fast forward 4 years…. After hanging out in the basement with my best friend Matt Levine and his sister Sara, now our VP of Sales here at UNCS and the VP of Tattoos (respectively), listening to New Kids on the Block on Matt’s 8 Track player (ok, it was the late 80s, but for dramatic purposes, 8 Track sounds much better than CD & this story with in itself has been greatly embellished for dramatic purposes only) and trading NKOTB stickers and baseball cards, I had an idea! I snuck some hard earned cash from my Bar mitzvah fund and bought myself a case of New Kids Trading cards. By the end of the first week, I had sold more New Kids on the Block trading cards than Nena had red balloons in the sky! (80’s song reference). From NKOTB Cards in was on to phone cards in college….. and a few other chachkees along the way!

I still pinch myself on a daily basis when I walk through the doors at 2404 East Sunrise. I get the biggest kick when people make waves about the scanner being broken, the thermal printer being backed up, 1 of the 4 air conditioners not blowing very cold, or my favorite….the dishwasher is being too noisy. Really? I then tell stories of days gone by, when Sara and I were the only 2 here in the office. We took turns taking naps on the old couch in the warehouse that was a hand me down from my sister, shared a computer that my mom gave us, we wore jackets in the winter because we had no heat, and all but died in the summer because the air conditioning barely worked! But I would not have changed anything! I live for those stories and still have a picture on my desk of our first office. Which has recently been bulldozed and condemned!

I really could go on for hours about adventures and misadventures that happen daily on this crazy journey of building a company. I will attempt not to put you to sleep. Stay tuned next week as I come up with something equally as pointless as I discuss B.E.D. - business every day. Because regardless of what you sell, or if you sell anything for that matter, building a company is a challenge. Most factors, regardless of the business, are universal. Same issues, same excitements, same concerns. So perhaps in one of these useless rambles you can get something from it. As my mom always says ,"Find the good in every bad situation”. Not that I am comparing reading a passage from the Uncle Brett Factor as a bad situation, but I hope you can get something good from it, or add something good, so I can get something out of it!

Until next time…..same Bat-Time, same Bat-Channel!