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TapeGuys: 50 years of friendship is the foundation of this adhesive company's success

Built on decades of experience in the home performance and disaster recovery industries, specialists Geary Morris and Jerry Lawrence opened a vocational school in Arizona for home performance professionals in 2006. Just a few years in, though, they noticed a pattern: many of their customers kept asking for special tape for their heating, cooling, and construction jobs.

So the duo quickly shifted focus to researching and designing the perfect tape for these projects. In 2018, they began the process of shutting down their school and focusing full time on tape. That same year, they adopted a very apt new business name: TapeGuys Innovative Tape Products, or just TapeGuys.

The business sells non-toxic, water-based adhesives for a variety of purposes such as air sealing, pressure testing, paint jobs, mold remediation, sanding, asbestos removal, and more. TapeGuys products also work in various climates and across industries. Specialized tape is crucial in the home performance industry, which focuses on the safety, comfort, health and efficiency of home.

But the most innovative products won’t sell without great customer service. Morris believes TapeGuys has this in spades.

“Ninety percent of our business is repeat business,” he said. “I have a customer here who’s bought from us over 300 times. They buy our products, they use our products, and then they buy more and they do it over and over and over again. So when you have repeat business it is critical that you have exemplary customer service. They’re part of your family, and you want to take care of them.”

What they’re doing is clearly working: TapeGuys serves about 3,000 customers and brings in $2 million in gross sales annually.

Another key to TapeGuys’s success is Morris’s and Lawrence’s friendship.

Geary Morris (center) and Jerry Lawrence (right)

“It’s made all the difference, because he and I have known each other and been friends since we were in high school and have worked together on lots of different projects and businesses over the years,” Morris said. “We have unique skill sets. We work very well together in that regard, and we’re always on the same page. It’s a great feeling. I know I’m very lucky, because it doesn’t always work that way.”

Another facet of their customer service approach is the duo is always looking for the next best thing to improve the shopper’s experience. Part of their research led them to Fast, a one-click login and checkout service that allows users to complete orders in a matter of seconds. Fast does this by securely saving buyers’ payment information so that they don’t have to pull out a payment card or type out a shipping address for every single purchase.

“When it was released, we were early adopters, because I really felt like that was going to help our customers,” he said. “The vast majority of our customers are repeat customers, so when they come to our shopping cart, they're not browsing. They already know what they want to buy. They just want to repeat their last order, or they want to get it done as quickly as possible. They may be driving in their truck to another job site and they need to place an order. And so making that process as easy as possible is where Fast comes in.”

Today, about 15-20% of TapeGuys’s sales are processed through Fast.

“We're trying to encourage more of our customers to use it, simply because it makes it easier for them, especially our many repeat customers,” Morris said.