Friday, February 24, 2006

Work

I am finally updating again. I have just gotten off track with life - and the contest at ScrapAddict.
But I feel like I have something that I want to record so I thought this was the perfect place. I know that the few people that read are mostly scrapbookers and this had absolutely nothing to do with that. It is all about our family business and dirty old trailers, so feel free to skim or skip over this entry because it may not be too exciting to anyone but me. LOL!

In Oct. of 2000 we bought out the other partners of Mobile Mini Warehousing. It is a company that my dad started thirty years ago. It is his life's love. And we have the opportunity to make it our family's work and our love. Ok, maybe not really love - I mean it is 1000 trailers and 200 storage bins. I guess that is a bit hard to love but the thing to love is our family bonding together and going for it. Everyone, and I mean everyone said you won't make it a year before you all hate each other and the business is gone. But we knew that we could do it. Although looking back my parents had to be pretty confident about the three kids they raised and the hubby I picked. They literally traded out his ownership in all of his other businesses to get this one thing for us! They risked their whole retirement on us! And by Feb. 2001 Jock and I were here and by June of that year Greg was on board. Here we were four "kids" only one of which who had any idea about the transportation business jumping in to run this million dollar a year business. And it was ok for a while...

And then 9/11 hit! It was hard! The transportation industry was hit hard. But we were not going to give up! Our business was cut by 40% and businesses, many our customers, were going out of business, declaring bankruptcy, and being moved oversees at an alarming rate. We had to cut from our expenses everything that was not essential. And we had to figure out ways to bring more customers in. We were creative and we worked together to make it. Finally last year it really started to feel like it was turning around. Before 9/11 we had 900 to 1,000 units on rent every month. In the lowest of the low months we had barely 600 on rent. But it started climbing: 700 units, then 800, then 900 and it is working!! And that was exciting enough.

But, and this is what I really wanted to write about, we have had an epithany!! Our business is flexible if we just think of it that way and keep the doors open for new opportunities. Our business is unique - that is what we try to convince the bank of anyway. Many of the trailers that we own are twenty or thirty years old. And they are pretty much at the end of price fluxuations. We can consistently sell them for $2,500 or 3,000 for a decent trailer. Which is great and is what we have been doing slowly when the occasion arrises. But we have discovered something amazing. Just out of curiosity and trying to find new ways to make money we looked into scrapping the trailers. And since aluminum is at an all time high price right now we can get fifty cents a pound for the trailers. And that works out to be about $2,000 for a trailer and they guy is letting us keep the wheels and tires. Amazing! It does have Jock and Todd thinking in a whole different way! LOL! Jock just bought this old wrecked trailer the other day because he knew that we could turn around and scrap it and get like $4,000!! LOL! They are turning into junk collectors, but as long as we can turn around and make money I am all for that. And what an amazing thing this is going to be. We are going to scrap about 100 of our oldest and roughest trailers and then turn around and buy a 40' bin trailer and some 40' bins and some newer cartage trailers, thus allowing us to expand our business into a whole different realm and hopefully make more poney - the point of it all right?

The other exciting development concerns land. The land that we have our business on is owned by our company and three others. Two of the others are ready to get out of the deal. And since we have lived here we have met some really amazing people. Shaun is a landscaper but man, does he have an innate business sense. Joe and Howard own a car hauling business and they are great friends and astute business men who work so hard. So, tonight, we all met and discusses the possibility of putting together our own group of people and buying out the other partners in that business. It is exciting to be forming these relationships and moving forward with the goals that "the kids" have for the business. And mom and dad couldn't be happier and more excited.

We'll see where this all goes and what we end up doing in the future - how these thoughts and ideas work out. But I wanted to get this down because I think we all have the feeling that this is a HUGE turning point - for good or bad here we gooooooo!

3 comments:

Anita said...

What a terrific find in the scrapping! I sure hope it is just what your business needs. Sometimes the answer comes from the most unexpected places. Best of luck, you sound really excited. :)

Carolyn F said...

It sounds like you really have a plan -- best of luck!

Julie said...

hi! haven't checked your blog for awhile - sorry! hope all is well and great luck with everythign!