NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — At a Small Business Breakfast on Long Island recently, one business owner took the crowd by storm – showing the endless ways entrepreneurs see openings and business opportunities where others do not.

Jeff Garnett operates Clean Slate Laser Tattoo Removal – a professional tattoo removal service provider.

Garnett, 44, said has been getting tattoos himself since he was 18. He said he came up with the idea to go into the tattoo removal business after a bad experience of his own.

“I was unhappy with some of my older work. I started getting cover-ups, very exactly what a lot of my customers go through. One day my wife, who was working for a dermatologist, said, ‘Why don’t you get it lasered?’ So I started researching it and studying it, and I went to a place in Manhattan, and I got lasered. This was about nine years ago, and it was miserable. I had a horrible experience,” Garnett said.

Garnett said at that point, he decided if someone could figure out how to handle tattoo removal right, it would be “huge.” So he and his wife studied the process and wrote up a business plan, and they opened their first location five and a half years ago.

Since then, Clean Slate Laser Tattoo Removal has also opened locations in Manhattan; Staten Island; and Wayne, New Jersey; and a new shop in Huntington, Long Island.

Garnett said most of his clients come thanks to Google AdWords, which he said was his biggest business expense – with up to $12 per click in a highly competitive area. But he gets a substantial return on his investment.

The challenge, Garnett said, lies in converting clicks to consultations and clients.

All in all, Garnett said the tattoo removal process, and the marketing behind it, can be great fun.

“I absolutely love it, and I do have fun with it. I get to be creative, come up with ideas, and you know, we have fun,” Garnett said. “We do some stuff that’s borderline edgy and stuff. We always do a Valentine’s promotion for the month of February where we get rid of your ex’s name for 50 bucks.”

To see more Small Business Spotlight segments, click here.

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