Business 1 on 1 with Tony Batts in Warner Robins

Tony Batts, owner, Battco Office Furniture, 233 N. Houston Road, Suite 242, Warner Robins; 922-5656

Hours: 9 a.m.-5:30 Monday-Saturday; 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday.

How long have you been in business?: Twenty-six years ago Batts was working at Blue Bird in Fort Valley and had a customer who was in the used office furniture business.

“He put the bug in my head because I had been an entrepreneur for years and had a number of side businesses.”

The company sells new and used commercial grade office furniture in a 30,000-square-foot facility adjacent to the former Houston Mall. Also, Batts has a table and chair rental division for weddings, meetings or parties. And in June, he opened a new venture in an 8,000-square-foot portion of the building: a home health care division for simple medical needs, such as walkers, wheelchairs and crutches.

“With today’s economy, you have to diversify.”

What do you like best about your job?: “Definitely the loyalty and the trust that we built up with our customer base, some of (whom) are still buying today. ... I enjoy the buying. I buy in bulk only and sometimes two or three semis at a time. I go all over the country to make these buys. ... I love what I do, even after 26 years.”

What is your specialty?: The company carries a large inventory, so customers usually don’t have to wait to get what they want. Customers pick up what they need or the business offers delivery within about a 50-mile radius.

What are your future plans?: “To grow and expand the home health care needs venture.”

-- Linda S. Morris