Despite his relaxed appearance of blue jeans, sneakers and a T-shirt, Mike Smart is all business.
As vice president and managing partner of Greenline, Smart’s business is helping other businesses to thrive by providing sales, consulting, distribution and logistics services to technology-related start-up companies, he said on Monday in his Lodi office.
“If you have a new idea and you want to take it to market, you would come to us and we would help you,” Smart said.
Smart helped found Greenline — named after a subway line in his hometown of Boston — in 2002, he said, during the first internet bust.
“A lot of start-up companies needed warehouses, or needed logistics help or advice,” Smart said.
Although his office used to be located in Stockton, Smart recently moved his business to North Church Street in Lodi not only for the proximity to the city’s many craft breweries and coffee shops, but also because he wanted to be closer to Lodi’s developing small business scene.
“Ultimately, we love helping small businesses,” Smart said.
After learning about an entrepreneur and their product, Smart and his team work with their clients to market the products, he said, often hiring influencers — people with large numbers of followers on social media platforms such as Instagram who are paid to promote products.
In addition to helping smaller businesses sell their products through Apple stores, Amazon, Dillard’s and more, Smart said Greenline also works with larger businesses such as Fujifilm and L’oreal Paris, and even helps companies put their logos on Apple products to give as gifts to clients, Smart said.
“We’re also seeing things like employers giving Apple Watches to their employees as incentives to stay healthy,” Smart said.
Greenline also started its own brand, Function101, which Smart said developed the Bento Stack, a product modeled after traditional Japanese lunch boxes of the same name used to organize Apple products and accessories.
Now in his 17th year of running his company, Smart said patience and persistence are the keys to building a successful business from the ground up.
“You have to make the most of every day, get used to ‘no’ and just keep charging forward,” Smart said.
Greenline is located at 125 N. Church St., Suite 3, Lodi. For more information visit www.gotogreenline.com.