Brian Baer simply wanted to help people. That’s how it all started. He developed a safe and effective product to help his neighbor protect his flowerbeds from being destroyed by a dog. Then he wanted to help protect people from insect-borne diseases. Zone No Holes and Zone Insect Repellents and Invisible Hunter were the first products produced.
Baer Enterprises opened in November of 2017 with one employee, founder and CEO, Brian Baer. A short two years later Brian left his day job and the Zone family of products took off. By January of 2020 the company employed six and currently employs 15 and is recruiting more. The first NARCOG Business Growth Fund loan in 2018 helped provide operating capital and was the boost the business needed to complete their EPA registration.
Brian was in conversation with a Taiwanese company about producing a hand sanitizer in late 2019. A phone conversation in January of 2020 had elevated the need due to the emerging Coronavirus pandemic. Brian began developing a project over a weekend and had a plan and product by the next Saturday. Remember, Brian simply wanted to help people. He initially thought he would just give the hand sanitizer away. In a matter of days he received an order for 100,000 bottles and then another for 200,000. He began making the Zone Defense hand sanitizer in totes and within the span of 10 weeks he had orders for 750,000 bottles.
Business owners can see the potential issues with such a huge demand over a short period of time and right at the beginning of a pandemic. They needed labor, raw materials and supplies like plastic bottles. At the height of demand, the company temporarily employed 43 people to produce, bottle and ship Zone Defense, a line of hand sanitizer and surface cleansing disinfectants. Obstacles became opportunities. When a supplier had trouble filling orders for the plastic bottles, Brian simply took family and some employees to work at the plastics plant in Missouri on weekends to meet the need. When raw materials were hard to find, he searched and tracked down suppliers and negotiated deals to meet the demand.
Over the last year the Zone Protects line has expanded and the company has grown from one small warehouse bay to 2 large bays for production and one dedicated for e-commerce and shipping. The company has added a 5,000 gallon tank, it’s own labeler and pallet wrapper to handle the increase in production.
The company mission is to help and protect people. Zone products have gone to hurricane sites in the U.S. and to other countries around the world. The company’s Global Outreach project was born out of a desire to help children and adults dying due to mosquito-borne diseases. Brian said, “we’re going to send it anywhere it is needed”. He is quick to point out that the success of the business isn’t because of what he has done. Brian gives God all the praise.
Brian Baer is pictured below explaining the difference between Zone Protects products and other products available. Brian is also pictured with Business Growth Fund Coordinator, Crystal Julien.