BiggerPockets Business Podcast

BiggerPockets Business Podcast 55: Moving Your Competition Out of the Way While Spending Nothing on Marketing with Ryan Welch

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Are you looking for ways to increase your profitability while spending less on marketing and customer acquisition? Are you running a business where differentiating yourself from the competition is downright difficult? Do you feel like the only way to build your brand and business is to spend ridiculous sums of money on marketing and advertising?

If so, this episode is for you!

Ryan Welch—of Breezy Moving—is not a professional marketer or advertising guru. But he has used his expertise in creating relationships and focusing on his customers’ needs (and their customers’ needs) to generate more business than he can handle in the ultra-competitive moving industry. And he’s done it all without spending a penny on marketing or advertising!

Ryan shares his business secrets—including a deep dive into the financials and tips to become more competitive without spending a fortune on marketing. He tells us how he researches competitors and prices his services for maximum profit.

He goes on to explain that no matter what your business is, expanding and fostering relationships is going to be one of the best ways to lower your customer acquisition costs, expand your customer reach, and grow your margins and bottom line.

And make sure you listen to Ryan’s thoughts on how to hire and manage employees in an industry where there is a lot of turnover, as well as where first impressions matter most.

Check him out, and subscribe to the BiggerPockets Business Podcast so you won’t miss our next show!

Click here to listen on Apple Podcast.

Listen to the Podcast Here

Read the Transcript Here

J:
Welcome to the BiggerPockets Business Podcast show number 55.

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Ryan:
Yes, it’s all relationship based. I mean, you could spend a lot of money and you can get a lot of business, but I think that there’s a law of diminishing returns when it comes to that. We just don’t see a lot of results from it. It’s the pounding the pavement and the elbow grease of it all of just getting out and pressing flesh is what my dad talks about it.

J:
Welcome to a real world MBA from the school of hard knocks where entrepreneurs reveal what it really takes to make it. Whether you’re already in business or you’re on your way there, this show is for you. This is BiggerPockets Business.

J:
How is it going everybody? I am Jay Scott. I’m your cohost for the BiggerPockets Business Podcast here again this week with my lovely wife and cohost Mrs. Carol Scott. How’s it going today, Carol?

Carol:
Doing really well. Seriously, crazy fun and exciting times despite what’s going on in the world around us. I guess when you think about it, it’s almost because of what’s going on in the world around us. So if any of you follow Jay on social media, you might know that we just put a small business under a contract to purchase. And Nigel Geisinger are amazing, like seriously absolutely awesome guests from episode 51 a few weeks back, has inspired lots of people just like us to do the same thing. In that episode he talks all about looking around your community to find other small businesses that might be struggling. And this might be a really good time to save those small businesses by getting creative with a purchase.

Carol:
So, if you haven’t already listened to Nigel’s episode, just go and listen. It was one of our best ever. You’re really going to love it. A really interesting thing about this small business that we’re purchasing is that in our geographic area alone there are hundreds, and I mean literally hundreds of nearly identical businesses right around us. So one of our biggest challenges is going to be really figuring out what in the world are we going to do to differentiate ourselves from the competition?

J:
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Nigel talked all about buying these small businesses, great opportunity. But we didn’t really talk about how you take those small businesses and you really grow and expand them. And so today’s guest, his name is Ryan Welch. He is the founder and operator owner of Breezy Moving. Let me tell you something, Breezy Moving or moving companies in general are kind of the epitome of what we refer to as commodity businesses. Those businesses where kind of anybody can jump into the space. All it takes for a moving company, you need a couple of people, you need a truck and suddenly you have a moving company. And it can be really hard for a business like that to differentiate itself from all of its competition.

J:
And we’re in the process of buying a business, not a moving business, but another business that’s highly commoditized, one that there’s a lot of competition. It’s hard to differentiate yourself. And on this episode, Ryan walks us through the strategies that he’s used to really scale and grow and expand his moving company and kind of get a leg up over his competition. Now, a lot of people think, “Yeah, sure. You can spend a ton of money. You can put money into advertising and put money into marketing to do that.”

J:
But Ryan has done it in a better way. He’s done it in a way that has required essentially $0 out of his pocket to grow and expand his business. And the key for him has been personal relationships and building and leveraging those relationships to get word of mouth business expand his business. Basically he has a great personal relationship, not just with his customers but with his customers’ customers. And he’ll talk all about how that works. But this episode is fantastic for anybody out there that is looking to grow a business where you have a lot of competition and you don’t want to spend a whole lot of money on marketing. You don’t want to spend a whole lot of money on advertising, but you still want to be able to take your business and grow it despite all the competition you might have.

J:
Awesome episode with Ryan here. I learned a ton that I know Carol and I are going to use to really kind of supercharge the business that we’re in the process of buying and I hope if you have a similar business, you can do the same. If you want to learn anything more about Ryan, about Breezy Moving or about anything else we talk about on this episode, please check out our show notes at biggerpockets.com/bizshow55. Again, that’s biggerpockets.com/bizshow55. Now, before we jump into our discussion with Ryan, let’s hear a quick word from our awesome sponsor.

J:
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J:
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J:
Thanks so much to our sponsor. Okay. Now without any further ado, let’s jump into our discussion with Ryan Welch from Breezy Moving.

Carol:
Welcome Ryan. Thank you so much for being here with us today.

Ryan:
I appreciate you having me. Thank you.

J:
Hey, how’s it going, Ryan?

Ryan:
I think it’s going well so far.

J:
Excellent.

Ryan:
But how are you guys today?

J:
We’re hanging in there. We’re hanging in there.

Carol:
Yeah, crazy days but we’re doing the best we can do.

J:
Okay, so we’re going to go back and we’re going to dig into your entrepreneurial journey, but first just to give our listeners some context, some overview, can you tell us a little bit about what is your current business, where are you located, any metrics you might be comfortable sharing, things like how many moves you’ve done this year or your revenue, trucks, number of employees. Basically just an overview of your business as it stands today.

Ryan:
Okay. Well the name of the company is Breezy Moving. That’s the outward facing name of our company. We actually are structured with several different LLCs for tax purposes and due to memberships and how we plan to expand. We started this company in 2017, about three years ago actually, under a different name with a different partner that is no longer a part of this. Threw it into Springfield where it was a viable business. Wanted to expand. The logistics and the nature of the geography in Springfield don’t really allow for expansion without having to move anyway. So we kind of looked around the map.

Ryan:
My dad, who is involved in the company which we can get into in a little bit on some level, decided he wanted to semi retire to Florida because it’s warm and lots of golfing year round. And we realized that the demographics in Sarasota County, Florida, were really beneficial for us. A lot of retirees who are incapable of physically moving themselves as well as having disposable income to pay for movers. So it was a really efficient place for us to bring our company. We brought it here about 20 months ago and we’ve done, just off the top of my head, we actually were virtually equal in both Springfield and here.

Ryan:
Very different markets but we did roughly 300 moves in both places over the course of our first full year in business in both companies last year. This year, well, more than likely, I mean our projections are showing us to be probably half again bigger than we were last year. So there’s some natural growth that goes along with it as well as in Florida in particular, a lot of territorial growth. It’s a lot easier to expand from Venice, which is a fairly small town in Sarasota County, up to Sarasota itself, Bradenton, North port. There’s a lot of population here that allow us to grow. So we fully expect Florida to surpass Springfield significantly within this year and next year.

Ryan:
But that’s kind of where we started. Very simple. We’re a local moving company. We don’t do out of state moves. We do mostly locals. There’s a big vacuum for that type of business. Most other moving companies do out-of-state stuff and kind of would rather do that business because it’s bigger money. For us we’d rather get three or four small moves in a day and go that direction. It’s a lot less liability and the trust of our employees is lower whenever it’s simply day jobs.

Carol:
Excellent. Thank you for painting that picture. That’s great. And I want to dig into a lot of different aspects of the things that you talked about already. A lot of strategic decisions, it sounds like, every step of the way in a short amount of time. Let’s talk about, a little bit more before we do that, what’s your backstory? What were you doing before Breezy Moving that ultimately led you to say, “Hey, there’s a need for this and this is what I’m going to do?”

Ryan:
Well, I didn’t go to college. I started my family early enough that I had to go to work. I come from a family that basically nobody has, even still other than my sister, gone to college. We were in the car business, my dad and I were, and a lot of sales… I was a salesman for a short period of time, went into management, we did some wholesale stuff on the side. What we realized in that business is that you make a lot of money for owners and you can’t blame them for keeping that themselves. But there’s a lot of transition. You go from one dealership to another, there’s a lot of turnover even in the management levels in those companies. And no matter what you do for them, the month always starts over on the first and you’re back to zero. There’s a level in which you just don’t have a lot of freedom that way. So the car business led to that.

Ryan:
When I decided I didn’t want to be in the car business any longer, I sold advertising for a little bit. I was really interested in marketing, writing. I wrote some commercials that were on the air in Springfield, not a lot. And I only did it for a little bit of time. There were some problems I had fundamentally with advertising and how much it costs businesses to advertise, that sort of thing. And then I got into taxes. We still in our group of companies have a tax business called Tax Break in Springfield that brought in a couple of people to our… two, in fact. One is my current partner and one is… or one of my current partners and one was the original partner that we had. We started just analyzing the numbers and the profit numbers that you can get from a moving company.

Ryan:
Virtually all the costs are cost of goods so actually you don’t have to spend it until you actually bring money in. So it was a business that we could start up with a fairly small amount of startup capital, which is rare. And then because I dealt with people in the car business for all that time, just the talking to people, the dealing with customers and just the service that you can provide, because car business has a bad reputation just like moving does. And so if you can overcome that with people, then you capture them for a long period of time and you can continue to sell them and their family cars and those types of things.

Ryan:
Moving is very similar. Whenever you do a good job, in our case for realtors especially, they continue to refer you to more and more clients. So, that’s my background was mostly sales and dealing with people on a regular basis. I had not been in trucking, which is why my partner in Springfield, Jeff Allen, who had been in the moving business for a long time, was very integral in us understanding some of the hows and whats in all that sort of thing to do with moving trucks and dollies and all that kind of stuff. Some of the nuts and bolts of it. And my partner here had also done some moving prior to being involved and had been in and out of people’s houses with a consignment furniture business. So we have a lot of hands-on experience whenever it comes to that. I’d kind of taken the lead on the marketing and sales side and those guys have really been more the operational and dealing with customers on a regular basis side. And so, that’s really where our group of guys have come from.

Carol:
Okay. I think you have some really good pro tips in there. I think it’s really very much worth pointing out that you realized pretty quickly that this was a business that you had a friend who could potentially be a partner who did have some knowledge about the industry and you could combine that with your strengths, right? So I think that is one really solid tip, taking something that you have at least a little bit of knowledge so you can figure out logistics and operations.

Carol:
And secondly, I think it’s worth noting that you realized really quickly there was a small amount of capital necessary for this startup, right? You didn’t need to make a huge investment right off the bat. And I think that’s one thing that really kind of scares potential entrepreneurs. Like, where am I going to get this money? Where am I going to get this expertise? And it sounds like you were able to overcome that by partnering up with somebody who had part of that and then realizing this was a business where you didn’t need those things. This was 2017, you said, that you partnered up with Jeff to start the company?

Ryan:
Yes, that’s correct. Well, Jeff actually came on at the end of 2017. The other partner, who I’m going to leave his name out of it, it wasn’t the best of times the way we ended there. He wanted to do something different. We just moved in different directions. But Jeff came on at the end of 2017 and that’s when Breezy was born.

Carol:
Excellent. And how did you fund that company from the beginning to do… I know it wasn’t a ton of startup capital but I would assume to get on, it’s a very minimum for a moving company, you probably need a truck, you probably need some pads, the basic type of stuff. So even though there’s not a lot of capital, where did the capital come from?

Ryan:
I talked about my dad and his business partner actually who own the tax business and a couple of car businesses in Springfield wholesale car businesses. They had a lot of working capital that was left over from the profits from their car business and they were looking for a place to invest. Whenever we saw the numbers on the P&L statements how the moving company was, so much of it was cost of goods and the expenses were, oh gosh, for that matter most of the time less than 10% of your fixed expenses in this business. They went ahead and bought a couple of trucks. We had a real advantage at the time to… and U-Haul, who doesn’t sell their trucks, the bigger trucks, they’re doing something else with them at the time. We could go buy repurposed U-Hauls and then put our logo and things on the side of them. They don’t do that anymore. So that’s kind of put a monkey wrench on where we find trucks and just made it harder. But that’s okay.

Ryan:
At the time we went out and bought, I think our initial purchase was two. We may have bought three, I can’t remember. But two of them in one city and then one in Springfield where I started first what became Breezy Moving, and we could buy them inexpensively. But my dad and his business partner provided the insurance and the trucks. Basically the logistics for us to get started and the legwork of going and getting clients. Just so you know, clients are what we call the realtors that give us referrals because they give them to us all the time. That’s where 70% of our business comes from at this point. And then customers are the people that we’re actually doing moves for. So we went out and got clients and built those relationships both in Springfield and in Florida, and the name and all of that is owned by us. But the trucks themselves are still owned by my dad and his partner’s company. And they want to expand greatly because for that they get a certain percentage of our business going forward and in perpetuity as long as they provide the trucks and insurance.

J:
Let’s talk about the fact that your business is kind of broken down into realtor business. So real estate agents that are bringing you business, presumably they have buyers and sellers who need to move when they buy and sell their properties. And then you have more clients that are not coming from realtors. Is that something that’s typical in this business or is that something that you’ve kind of done that’s kind of differentiated yourself from the competitors?

Ryan:
Well, it seemed so logical to us in the very beginning when we first started the business like, well, how do we get business? Well, you could do radio advertising, but then again how many people are at any given time moving? So how inefficient is that. I mean, newspapers were dead. You could do some online advertising through Facebook, but even then you’re relatively inefficient. What we have found though is the best way of us getting business is a realtor referral. When a realtor who has been working side by side with a person who’s moving very long recommends us, all we have to do is not mess it up oftentimes. Where we walk in and we give an honest estimate, we do the best service we possibly can. When things do go wrong, we take care of them to the satisfaction of the customer, which allows those realtors to give us more of that business.

Ryan:
It’s funny, it seems so logical and obvious to us. I don’t really know how many people are going out about it. I know whenever I go to marketing groups, I don’t see a lot of other moving companies out there. And I think that’s a major difference between them and us is background. I come from a sales background, I come from a relationship building background dealing with customers and people. And I think most moving companies come from a trucking background or a transportation background. So while logistically they can do things, I mean, they don’t have the same relationship building as we do. While I hate to give them any secrets, again, it’s so obvious that it’s not as if I’m giving away a secret sauce there. But it really does have to do with the relationships we build with realtors. And incidentally realtors like to move, I think more than regular people. I’d say, regular people.

Ryan:
But they’re often showing houses and looking at houses and they get into house buying fever and transfer all the time. What’s really interesting is when we start new places, we actually move a lot of realtors before we get to the general public, which is even better because once you’ve moved a realtor themselves, of course if we do a good job for them, then they are going to be very comfortable referring us to other people. So we love doing that. Realtors, we’ll go over and above for… We do that for all of our customers. I don’t want to make it sound like we give special treatment, but we kind of do. We’ll do anything we can to give someone who’s going to give us extra business as much attention as possible.

Carol:
Certainly because they’re going to be your marketers, right?

Ryan:
That’s right.

Carol:
You’re investing that time and effort and energy to take great care of them upfront. And then next thing you know, you’ve got a whole crew of people who are out marching, “Breezy Moving, Breezy Moving.” That’s what you’ve got to do.

Ryan:
That’s the plan.

Carol:
So that’s absolutely the right choice. I want to step back for just a quick second. You mentioned that in the beginning that you are, and it sounds like they still do. Your dad’s company owns your trucks. They did own and they still own your trucks. So, how involved is your dad in the day-to-day business? I’m asking because I think that’s another interesting point that’s worth exploring. At least at some level this is truly a family business. So I would love to talk more about the dynamics of how that works.

Ryan:
Well, I think all of the people that are involved in the company, Jeff has a wife and kids and his boys are not quite old enough to work in the company. Jordan and his wife are… I mean, whenever we talk about these things, it's not just Jeff, Jordan and I and my dad and Rocky involved. It's the family members involved. My dad's wife is a real estate agent, so she has been an invaluable marketer. In fact, she works at Coldwell Banker office here in Venice where we've gotten more business from that office, I think, than any other place. My current girlfriend also works in that same office. So there's a lot of personal stuff that gets involved whenever we're dealing with this personally.

Ryan:
Dad and Rocky, his business partner are involved in the sense that Rocky is a CPA, well, he’s not a CPA. He has a master’s degree in accounting and does all of our taxes and accounting work. That’s part of it that’s handled for us through the same agreement that we have. So in that regard, he’s very involved. They’re really more involved on the bigger picture. On a day-to-day basis, they rarely know what moves are happening or what customers we’re dealing with. They don’t concern themselves with the quality of work that we’re doing. That’s kind of left up to us.

Ryan:
But in the big picture planning as to where we want to go, I have no real interest in running for a long time, at least, a local moving company. My goal was at the beginning I found out how many Two Men and a Truck locations there were because that's the biggest name in local moving, I'm not giving that away. They have a great name. It's just like Kleenex [inaudible 00:20:40]truck. For us, when I found out they had more than 150 locations, I thought, "Okay, well that's a good goal. Let's see if we can get to that point." Whether we get there or not, I don't know.

Ryan:
In the involvement of planning on how we’re going to expand the company and where we’re going to go as a big picture, they are very involved. On the day-to-day basis of what we do on a regular basis, they don’t. I mean, we call them and brag if we get a good deal or something like that. But outside of that, they really don’t have anything to do with the day-to-day moving. They’re more investment and expansion minded.

J:
Okay. Let’s talk a little bit about marketing. You talked about the fact that you rely on real estate agents to market. But you also have other customers that aren’t coming through the real estate agents and the real estate transactions. So when you first got in, you had to find that first client, you had to find that first customer. For the first 10 customers, the first hundred customers, what was your strategy then and how has that changed since 2017 when you started? How has that changed over the last couple of years?

Ryan:
Well, it evolves because once… I mean, the goal is to have every realtor know who we are. Our first few moves on both sides were actually either realtor referrals or realtors themselves. So in that regard it really hasn’t changed much at all. I remember when we didn’t have many moves happening, we would both in Springfield and here walk around downtown Venice or in Springfield and just walk in and just say hi, we exist. Hopefully someone there needed us at that point in time because we didn’t have any mental footprint with any of them. So, it was really more a matter of what they needed right now.

Ryan:
Now, I think the best things are happening whereas when a realtor will send an email out, this has happened a couple of times where they’ll send an email out to their realtors in their office because they don’t know we exist. I mean, it’s difficult to get into some of them because there’s a lot of gatekeepers, a lot of people sitting at the front desk that won’t let us in. But when they send out an email and they ask everyone in their office if they know a good mover, the best referral is from us, from a realtor to another realtor actually, because then that’s more people that know that we exist and that we do good work.

Ryan:
So we’ve changed a little bit in the sense that we are still involved in trying to go get that many. But it actually starts multiplying itself. Once you get involved with some realtors, then realtors kind of tend to talk to each other about us. So we’re not going in and doing as many cold calls as we did in the very beginning, but our focus is still trying to make sure realtors know that we exist. One of the things that I do is I go on Facebook because unfortunately for us we can’t do a lot of referring back to a realtor. Once we’re involved, it’s all over with. What we can do is, I’ll try and share their posts online. Like if they have a listing, I’ll try and put that online.

Ryan:
Because I’m friends on Facebook with, I don’t know, thousand realtors probably at this point. I break Facebook’s rules by just friending people I don’t know as long as they’re realtors. But we get on and we share their posts and just show that we do care about their business, we hope that they’re doing well. And then whenever we do go and we’ve been referred, we try to give them the added value of being the hero that referred a company that did a good job for someone. So really at this point we’re under kind of what I would call a phase two of it, which is just making sure that we’re taking care of the customers for the real estate agents so then they’re happy to give us more and more referrals.

Carol:
Awesome. So it sounds to me, and correct me if I’m wrong, but it sounds like back in the early days literally you were cold calling. You’re walking into brokerages, getting past the gatekeepers, flashing a smile, doing whatever you need to do to just get them to listen and know that you’re here. Fast forward these few years and it sounds like it’s evolved, but it sounds like with having all this referral-based business, you’re literally just friending realtors online and then you’re getting business that way. So is it fair to say that you have not spent a whole lot of money on marketing? Have you had a large marketing budget that I am not hearing about or is this just literally hitting the pavement and doing what you need to do to get business?

Ryan:
Yes, it’s all relationship based. I mean, I think that there’s probably a way to do this, but it’s going to, I don’t know that spending money on advertising for our business would be very efficient. I think you can spend a lot of money on it, and I do think that there… look, you can spend a lot of money and you can get a lot of business, but I think that there’s a law of diminishing returns when it comes to that. We’ve spent some money, very small amounts, specifically targeting certain people on Facebook in particular. But as far as any kind of multimedia advertising, every time we’ve even tried magazine ads or any of the ads that go into any of these local places, we just don’t see a lot of results from them.

Ryan:
It’s the pounding the pavement and the elbow grease of it all of just getting out. Pressing flesh is what my dad talks about. And it’s kind of an old way of doing things. The world has kind of gone away from personal interactions. We have zigged where everybody else is zagged, I think. We just want to do the personal interactions up to and including, whenever we go, we try to do… I’d say 97% or more of our customers have met us in an in-home estimate prior to the move. The only times we don’t are whenever it’s something that doesn’t make sense, like going to a storage unit. It’s silly for us to go look at a storage unit. But when people are moving from home to home, we go into everybody’s house. It’s a personal touch that I think sets us above.

Ryan:
I mean, with the virus that’s happening now, we’ve actually made the decision to not do this in people’s homes. But under most circumstances it is a rare day for us not to go to the people’s homes, have them meet us, have them feel comfortable with us, and for us to then give them an estimate. I don’t know what our closing percentage is. I probably should track that better, but we don’t miss a lot of business. When we go to people’s homes, we… I mean, it is a shock to us and we kind of get angry and figure out what did we do wrong about how we didn’t get a job. But it’s a rare thing for us not to. But it’s all the same thing with the realtors. It’s all personal touch.

Carol:
Very cool. And it sounds like one recurring theme of all these different things that you’re talking about is really just all this simple human connection, right? Your secret sauce, it sounds like, is truly just talking to people and being kind and providing good and personnel service, right? I mean it’s really, when it’s all boiled down to it at the end of the day, that’s what’s keeping you successful.

J:
It sounds like somebody else that I know.

Carol:
Look at that there.

J:
This is Carol too. She yells at me when I follow up with a potential client with an email or if I send a text or if I leave a voicemail. She’s like, “Don’t leave a voicemail. Call them five times until they answer and wait for them to call you back and talk to them in person.” And you guys, you’re both, you’re absolutely correct and I think this is what a lot of people, especially the younger generation who’s gotten so accustomed to moving away from phone calls and personal interaction. I’m not in that younger generation, but I’ve done it too where it’s just easier to text, it’s easier to send an email. And while it’s easier, it’s not as effective.

Ryan:
Well, I think in some businesses that there are some… in the real estate business, the internet and all of this electronic stuff is actually, while you’ve gone away from personal service in some level because of the ability to show virtual tours and pictures and those types of things where you didn’t have, you had to actually go lay eyes on them in the past. Our business, one of the reasons that drew me because I didn’t want to be involved in something that was going to die in five years. There are certain things that are just being either outsourced or turned digital or become very non-personal just for the nature of convenience.

Ryan:
Emma Jordan hates when I say this, so if he listens to this he’s going to be embarrassed. But until they invent teleportation machines, we’re not going to be able to be outsourced. I mean, at the end of the day, and even then, someone’s going to have to carry the couch through the teleportation machine whenever that happens in the near future or in the far future. So I think that for us, this is a business that really lends itself to personal touch because there’s no way of taking people’s items from a physical brick and mortar location to another physical brick and mortar location without having a personal touch. So lean into it all the way. Not only do it on the logistical side on it, but on the service side of it too. So it really made sense to me that way.

J:
Love it. Okay, so a question I often get asked, especially people who are getting ready to start a service business, it’s easier in a product business, I imagine. But in a service business one of the big decisions that needs to be made up front, and if you get it wrong you can impact your business for a long period of time potentially. How do you price your services? How, when you started, did you decide, this is what we’re going to charge for our moves?

Ryan:
Well, first of all we try to do a little bit of market research. We do that by, maybe it’s espionage, I don’t know. We just call people and pretend to be a customer and find out what they were charging. I also spent a lot of time… we’ve tinkered with all kinds of different ways of doing this. We try to do guaranteed pricing. That got a little wonky, meaning that we’d give them a price upfront and then… but there was a lot of different issues with that. Customer sometimes would sell things and take things away and it just became very weird. We just tried to find a way to be competitive in the marketplace.

Ryan:
It is absolutely not my goal, and this wasn’t in the car business and it will never be in any business I’m involved in to be the cheapest. That was never a concern of ours. I don’t try to undercut our competition. I feel like when I go into someone’s home or Jordan does and I’ve picked my partners and they’ve picked me, I think very carefully in the sense that we’re going to provide a value to someone that justifies our costs. Obviously we charge more on in Florida than we do in Missouri. There’s more expenses. We have to pay our employees more here. The gas prices are considerably higher here than they are in Missouri. But right now it’s like 70 cents. I was just there last week. So it’s a huge amount of difference in price of gas. So some of our expenses are different.

Ryan:
But I think we’ll have some competition that’ll give super low numbers, but then they’ll charge… we don’t piecemeal people either. We want to make it as simple and easy to think about as possible. We are very time-based. A lot of moving is weight-based and that’s probably important for long distance move. It’s not really important for local moving. But if we start at nine o’clock and we end at five o’clock, anybody with a calculator can do the math of our hourly rate times the amount of time. We don’t charge extra for TVs, we don’t charge extra for safes. We do charge a little bit extra for pianos because it requires a different way of moving. But in most cases it’s completely hourly based. That’s it and very simple to figure out.

Ryan:
So on top of us doing some market research and finding out what hourly rate other people were charging, we also just tried to see what annoyed customers. And the most annoying thing to them is not knowing that they are going to be charged $2,500 or believing they’re going to be charged a smaller amount and having a bait and switch at the end. We don’t generally have that problem because it’s again, really, really simple to do what we do as long as our guys are working on.

Ryan:
And that’s what I tell all of our customers. If at any point in time you don’t feel like my guys are there doing their job the right way, as quickly as they can safely do it, then you call me and I’ll crack the whip and I’ll adjust the price. Outside of that, it’s really simple and most of our customers are very understanding. Whenever we give them an estimate, we say it takes how long it takes, but this is our best guess to how long it will take. And there are so many factors that go into it that we don’t have control over, like how ready they are and all that.

J:
Awesome. Can you give us an idea of either in your business or the moving business in general, because I know there’s probably some industry-wide standards, what the margins look like, either gross margins or operating margins just to give an idea.

Ryan:
Yes, it’s real simple. Basically our cost of goods, which are our guys, our trucks, materials that we’re using, not counting tools or the trucks themselves, is roughly a third of our business. Our expenses are generally speaking less than our fixed expenses. It’s generally less than 10%. We do pay for the taxes or the insurance and all of that, and that again gets about 25%. So the ownership management level is actually left, this is why we were so excited about this business, with about a third or more depending on how we manage it, of the money that’s leftover. And those numbers have actually played out very consistently over all three of the years we’ve been involved in this in the Springfield market, which is a very different market than the Florida market.

Ryan:
The numbers have all, we’ve been able to manage it to where it works out to be the same either direction. The numbers were intoxicating honestly. There’s very few things that have this little of a startup cost and this little of expense costs monthly that leaves that much money leftover. There are challenges obviously, but that one made this business a no brainer. It’s the only reason I ever thought about moving. I was never involved in it before and those numbers made it very enticing for us to be involved in it.

J:
Yeah. And I imagine you don’t see a whole lot of businesses that have 30 to 35% operating margins. And when you do, typically it’s the types of businesses that aren’t low barrier to entry. They’re the types of businesses that you have to have some real competitive advantage. You have to have some real expertise or skill that you’ve spent decades building up because those are just huge margins and you’re generating, you’re in a business where it’s relatively low barrier to entry. Like you said, a couple movers, insurance and a truck and in theory you can be in business. But I guess that’s why you have so much competition and why building relationships and really standing out is so important.

Ryan:
Yeah. That is part of it. And the other thing is, our margins are I think better than some places because the first thing you do when you go into business, it’s almost business 101, is to have a marketing budget. Well, we don’t have that. Our marketing budget is our time. And I think a lot of companies, a lot of people want to shortcut that. And I don’t think they can because again, if you invest $5,000 into advertising, in our business to make that make sense, you have to get $100,000 or more back in sales. And I don’t really think that that’s a feasible thing from the very beginning. It’s never been efficiently feasible to us. That word of mouth is stronger and better and more efficient anyway.

Ryan:
It does, I think, take a little bit longer in the startup section of it. But after having done this in two different places, I’ve learned a few shortcuts with that too, that when we open another location, and I’m really interested in doing this to where I’m not physically involved in it every day because I’ve been involved in the opening of these two and continue to be management in some level or my partners. And I’m really interested in finding a person that’s willing to open one of these in another location for us to start out and use these principles and ideas and shortcuts that we have in yet another market. Because I think that those margins are a lot lower for other people because they spend so much money in advertising.

Carol:
Cool. Let's talk a little bit more about that expansion, right? We're talking about these different systems and processes and tools in ways of treating employees and all that, that it sounds that you got that all kind of set up in the Springfield, Missouri, office and then you opened your second location here in Venice, Sarasota, this whole county; and you're talking about there are some fundamental differences between the two locations. I'm curious, although there are some fundamental differences, have you found that the original processes, systems and so on and so forth that you established in your first location translated really well into this location or was it a hard transition or were you able to kind of like plug and play what you already did or did you have to tweak exponentially?

Ryan:
Well, I’ll answer both sides of that. First of all, the harder part was Venice because we were brand new. I knew no one. Jordan had lived here for a couple of years, but basically didn’t have any roots. In Springfield, I was able to draw off of 37 years of knowing people and having family members and things that could plug us into certain real estate offices and get us referrals that way. So in that regard, Springfield was easier. In another way, because people are so entrenched in the way they do things in a place that isn’t as transient as Florida, wedging your way into the business and creating a footprint in people’s minds was a little bit more difficult in a place where things don’t change as often.

Ryan:
In Florida, look, everywhere you look, especially in Venice but also in Sarasota. I mean, the average age in Venice is 69 years old, the average age in Sarasota is 45 years old. And whenever you’re dealing with an older clientele, I mean, they can’t pick up their couch and move it out the door. So, the marketing is tweaked from location to location. And if you have someone that’s, let’s say in Charleston, South Carolina, where we don’t have a location but where I think would be a good one, Drew has some roots there. We could take advantage of both sides. That’s a growing city with not an older population but certainly has some… it’s kind of a mix between the two locations that we’re talking about here and it’s a perfect place because it’s the right size that we would want.

Ryan:
But if someone had some roots there and knew some people, the differences in the locations are actually minimal. At the end of the day, picking up a couch and moving it out of doors is the same in, I would assume, Turkmenistan as it is in Moscow as it is in Berlin as it is here. There are some rules and laws. Each state has different, but the logistical work itself is the same no matter where you go. The marketing, when it all comes down to just personal services, it kind of the same; it’s just a matter of how you get the door open. That can vary from place to place. But as far as the rest of it, it’s fairly similar.

J:
So what are your thoughts on expanding? I know there are… we’ve talked to a lot of entrepreneurs on this show and people have done everything from licensing their name and their systems to franchising, to going the corporate-owned route where they just kind of keep control of everything. What are your thoughts? How are you thinking of expanding? What’s the plan there, or do you even have a plan yet?

Ryan:
Yeah. We have a little bit of a plan and we’re really flexible. If we were contacted by someone who wanted to start Breezy Moving in Kansas or in Colorado or in New York or wherever, we would probably go the franchise route, which we have some numbers and some plans that would help us do that. Now, we would have to finalize those plans before we were fully ready to do that. But that could be done fairly quickly. If we had someone that wanted to open a location, say in Fort Myers, Florida or Branson, Missouri, that’s close to Springfield and they had these ideas. It’s possible for us to be able to do a management where we’re still in charge, but there they are an employee with the ability to become a part owner of those locations.

Ryan:
So our expansion at this point in time, because we’re so young and flexible as a company, can go many different ways. I guess if anyone out there was interested in that, they should definitely contact me because we will look into all kinds of ways of taking Breezy Moving into all these other locations and doing what we can there. So, the answer to your question is, we do have a plan and an idea, but we really have a two-pronged plan depending on exactly the situation.

Carol:
Excellent. Excellent. And I love the fact that you’re able to remain flexible through all of this, right? Is that you’re realizing there are different opportunities that will come. You are realizing that there are processes and systems in place that will play well into different areas. It sounds like, which I think is another great pro tip, that you and your partners have already established criteria to evaluate the types of locations in which this service would work well, right? So, I think that’s something that’s really actionable for other entrepreneurs who are considering expanding. It’s not just, throw some stuff at a map and wherever anyone wants to put another location of your business. No, that’s not necessarily the way to do it. It sounds like you have to be really thoughtful and mindful about evaluating the criteria of the different demographics. Is that about right?

Ryan:
Yeah. The one benefit that Florida has that Missouri doesn’t have is there’s a true season in Missouri. So you’re going to have December, January, February that are really cold and potentially IC and people just aren’t outside looking at houses and so therefore you get less people moving. Whereas in Florida it’s almost there are better times, weather 24… so having an understanding that when you’re in a cold weather climate you’re going to have boom months and then you’re going to have really thin months makes a difference. So obviously anything in the South is great for us as for with any moving company. Again, some of this is just really logical stuff and I’m not sure people think about.

Ryan:
The other aspect of it is, without being negative about anything again, is the economy of each individual location. I mean, there are places where, using Sarasota County as an example, the efficiency level of us being in Venice where there is a fairly decent size and amount of money with the retirees and their age is higher, is a more efficient place than say North Port or Port Charlotte where a lot of the service workers that work in Sarasota and Venice live. They’re more likely to rent a U-Haul and have their friends over and pay for pizza and do it themselves.

Ryan:
It’s not to say that we can’t get business there, it’s just that the older, more financially stable places are better. So when we look at a city for potential to move to, that is a huge factor on us. Going to certain Southern cities unfortunately known for their poverty, probably not the best place for us to start. So that’s a big factor. All of it is a factor.

J:
Got it.

Carol:
Right. And you’ve taken all those factors into consideration. I would assume also, Ryan, just within the moving industry, there has got to be some challenges somewhere, right? It’s not all rainbows, sunshine and unicorns, right? So I would love to hear what are some of the biggest challenges that you’ve experienced along the way throughout the journey and how have you overcome them?

J:
Can I ask one specific challenge? Because I have a feeling you and I faced, I have a service-based business in an industry. It’s not moving, but it’s construction-related, low barrier to entry. And I’m guessing one of your challenges I’d love for you to address, I’m sorry to interrupt, is hiring employees. Because I know lots of us have that issue in general. But I imagine in your business you probably have a whole lot of issues around that. So how do you approach that and is that a challenge for you?

Ryan:
Well, to my way of thinking, look, everything’s a challenge. I mean, the marketing and everything else. I don’t want to say that that’s easier, that someone can just come in and do it. But those are simple problems and if you’re willing to put in the effort, you’re going to make those things happen. The only challenge, in my opinion, it’s the question that… let me just go back a little bit and say this. We have met a lot of people that have been in the moving business over the last three years. Invariably, all of them have grown their business to four or five, six trucks in their local area and not expanded outside of that because they get sick and tired of the hassles that come with manning in their jobs of sending people in that you can trust to not completely be careless, sending people in that aren’t going to offend your customers with their language or their hygiene.

Ryan:
Unfortunately there’s also the concern of theft and those types of things. Because at the end of the day we’re responsible for whatever happens to those people’s houses, whether we’re there or not. That is the key to the whole thing. And I think that up to this point we’ve had two major advantages that maybe a couple of other places haven’t. One, we are all willing to be on the truck. Jeff Allen in Springfield works on the truck often. He’s been in the moving business for a long time. He has no desire to work on the truck because it’s not fun work whenever it’s hot or cold or for that matter when it’s nice out to pick up people’s furniture and move it around.

Ryan:
Jordan and I, when someone doesn’t come into work, we have never called a job and not been able to go. Maybe once or twice we’d been late. But very, very rarely. In fact, we make a point of being 15 minutes early actually to every job. But every once in a while we’ll have to call someone and say, “Well, we had a guy call in sick and we’re going to get to you, but it’s going to take us a second.” And we’ve done it and we’ve made that work. The challenge will always be the people. I think that how you deal with those people is you have to… if you do 15 interviews in a day, which we’ve done 10 to 15 in a day before, we may find one or two that we’re willing to give a shot and of that one or two, statistically none of them work out.

Ryan:
But we are able to, when we go with new people, Jordan or myself have always gone with the new people on the first jobs or two. So that’s how we weed that out. Jeff is the same way in Springfield. And then beyond that, when we do get a person, we try our best to keep a hold of them. We’ve had the fortune of my 18-year-old son also being involved in this. He is strapping and young and doesn’t get tired the way the rest of us do and likes the money because the tips are good and the money is good and he has done very well. We’ve also got a couple of other guys, one guy that worked for us for a year and then went on to work with his family, which we couldn’t hold that against him. And then a couple of other guys that have just been really, I’ll just say their names; Nate Ballou, if he hears this, has been excellent in Springfield. And then Luke Manel here that is fairly new with us but has been great.

Ryan:
The challenge is 100% the people. At the end of the day, it’s not hard to move furniture. I mean, it’s backbreaking work but it’s really simple. It doesn’t take a rocket science and as you say, a low-barrier of entry. It’s unskilled labor whenever it comes to that. What we’ve learned is that we have to constantly be hiring, constantly be replacing the people before they leave and making sure that Jordan and I are available when something does go wrong, or Jeff in Springfield, to be able to jump on the truck and take care of our customers because that’s the thing that has to be first is our customers.

Carol:
Excellent. I think that’s a really good point because we talk so often about how massively important it is to be as far as business owners and growing and expanding your business. The whole concept of working on your business and not in your business, you’re realizing though in one of your components to being so successful is there are components, especially when it comes to having effective employees working in your business truly is a part of working on your business, right? So there are a lot more interconnected. It’s like it’s almost an absolute necessity to make sure that that quality in that product and that service offering that you bring to the table stays where it is, that truly is working on your business because of the nature of having to work with the employees to drive your business forward. Just for fun, I’m curious, do you have any fun moving stories you’re willing to share? Because everyone loves a good story.

Ryan:
I actually have a… I used to, I haven’t done it in a long time. I had this thing called, what did I call it? It’s a blog on my website that we have told several of these stories actually. Yeah, we’ve had all kinds of crazy things where, I mean, closings that have changed. I’ll tell you though, this isn’t so much fun. We moved a lady’s house and two days later it burnt down, that sort of thing. We’ve had, without getting too vulgar, the all kinds of fun stuff that we didn’t have anything to do with the burning down by the way. Although we were questioned by the fire department about it. I got several calls.

Carol:
No way.

Ryan:
Yeah, they just wanted to know what was going on. It was a problem that they had with their gas leak and a spark that had nothing to do with us. But also the fun thing is, people leave all kinds of things in their drawers or under their mattresses and you can do some thoughts on your own. This is a family friendly show I’m sure, but whatever you can think of, it’s been that bad and sometimes really awkward, especially when they’re still… it’s one thing when they’re not in the room, you just sort of put things away. But when they’re in the room and eye contact is made and everyone wants to crawl under a rock.

Carol:
That’s amazing.

Ryan:
So that kind of stuff can happen all the time. I mean, things happen. I mean, sometimes you just wouldn’t believe. Anytime you’re going into people’s houses, you just never know. I mean, we went into a lady’s house and she had birds that… I mean, I can’t believe I did this, but her birds, the two of them started squawking so loud that I involuntarily cursed right in front of her. Because I was like, “What?” Because it just was, I mean, it rattles your ears. It’s unbelievable. Going into people’s homes is always an adventure. People whose houses are perfect are like, “Oh, I’m so sorry. My house is a mess.” You’re like, “Gosh, I wish you could come with me for the rest of the day.”

Carol:
Just to see what I’ve got going on there.

Ryan:
I had one guy that had us there to move him to a different, actually just right across the border into Arkansas, and this was at the very beginning of this. We got there and he thought his house was going to be ready and it wasn’t. He was standing there barking orders at his maid and smoking a doobie and drinking whiskey at 9:30 in the morning telling her to hurry and pack. And we were like… So, super fun.

Carol:
Oh my gosh.

Ryan:
I men, he was really nice. Obviously he was…

Carol:
He was as happy as he could be.

Ryan:
He was feeling no pain that day. It was good for him. But I mean, that kind of thing.

Carol:
Oh, that is hilarious.

Ryan:
I try to keep people’s names out of it, but stories all the time. It’s always weird whenever you’re dealing with people’s stuff in people’s houses. Going back to a little bit of the… with our expansion, the reason why I believe expansion could happen, is kind of what we’ve talked about when we were picking the right person for that. I think the constant vigilance on keeping your employees in place, keeping the right people in place. So you have to be willing to take time every week or two, probably two, maybe three, to sit and do some interviews to get more and more people. You also have to be willing to work on the truck, which is not something I was willing to do in the very beginning. And I’ve had to learn that.

Ryan:
The guys that do work for you respect you a whole lot more if they know that you’re willing to pull the rope the same direction as them. And as far as most of these guys are concerned, they don’t believe that doing accounting or marketing is hard work. They don’t believe that the actual things that grow a business actually are worth anything. All they know is that they’re on the trucks sweating and picking things up. And if you’re not willing to do that, then you’re lazy. So for me, being able to learn that part of it, which is a lesson to me, and my partners were much better at it than I was in the very beginning. They were willing to get on and do anything that was necessary and I’ve had to become that way too.

Ryan:
And when we’re looking at expansion or franchising or people that are going to come on, they’re going to have to be willing to do those things too. If they’re not willing to hire every two or three weeks, there’s never going to be a point where you can get away from that. If you’re not willing to go do in-home estimates with people, if you’re not willing to work on the truck if there’s an emergency or if you just simply have a customer that’s really important and you know that that’s going to be one of those notches in your belt that’ll help you build your business. If you’re not willing to do that, moving isn’t really for you. Again, there’s no secret sauce, it’s just elbow grease and it’s being willing to do all the fundamentals every day, all the time. And if you’re not, do something different. And there are businesses that I think you can make work without the physical element of it.

J:
Ryan, this has been fantastic. I mean, it’s just amazing for somebody you’ve kind of jumped in and you’ve started this business, you’ve grown this business. It sounds like you’ve got everything together. I rarely meet or we really rarely meet small business owners that kind of sound like you don’t have too many problems. I mean, employees are your biggest problems. So there are a lot of our listeners out there who are probably thinking, I want to start a business, maybe not a moving business or maybe a moving business, but I want to start a business. I might want to start a service business, but I’m kind of scared to kind of take that next step or that first step. What advice do you have for them that they can kind of get to where you are, where they just jump in and they can kind of hit the ground running and be successful really quickly?

Ryan:
I was in a different business than this. I was in the car business for a long time and that’s what my family, my dad had been in that business my entire life. So, what I’ve found is that there’s really principally speaking not a lot of difference between one thing or the other. Obviously if you have a product versus a service, you’re selling the service versus the product. From accounting standpoint, there’s a big difference. From a do it yourself kind of work in the business thing, there’s really not a lot of difference. The principle that you learn, whether you’re selling real estate or houses or whatever else, can be applied anywhere you want to go. And I think what you said there I think is, I hope not to misinform.

Ryan:
There are a lot of problems. There are day-to-day problems. How we’re logistically going to get gas. We had a flat tire on a truck the other day. But these are problems that are just simply management problems. And no matter what business you do, you’re going to have to deal with those things. I don’t want to make it sound as if that the only thing that we are… I guess what I should say is the only unsolvable problem is the employees. And it’s really, to my point of view, unsolvable other than constant vigilance. The rest of it, you can plan. Now, if you’re going to… we had a flat tire the other day, so we ordered extra tires. So now the next time we have a flat tire, we have them in stock.

Ryan:
You’ll learn how to put dollies and blankets and rubber bands. These are all problems and every business is going to have its own. The one advice I would give to anybody, I don’t care what you’ve done, whether you’ve sold insurance, you’ve been in tech, you could have been an actor, you could have done anything. People and your customers are always the same. You have to give them a value that they believe is greater than the price that they’re paying if you want them to be happy with you. If you want them to be satisfied, make the value and the cost equal. But if you want them to be really, truly happy, you really want to get a good reputation. You have to provide them with a value that is higher than the cost in their mind that they’re paying. And in order to do that, I believe you have to be willing to do anything and everything possible.

Ryan:
Self-employment is awesome. There are Thursdays at two o’clock in the afternoon that I am sitting on the beach because it’s awesome. And then there are Sunday nights at nine o’clock then I’m dealing with problems that come across. I have a lot of freedom in my day-to-day life. I have a lot of say as to what goes on. But as an entrepreneur, as a person that owns a business, the clock never stops. It never ends. You always have those issues. And if you’re not willing to work past nine to five, then you’re not going to do this well. And that’s it. All the problems are answered with elbow grease, every single problem. It may be a little bit of intelligence, but for the most part it’s just if you’re willing to work hard and do what it takes to get things done and being willing, not only to delegate, which I love doing, but actually doing it themselves. That is the answer to any of those questions.

Ryan:
Again, whether you’re an employee at a car business or you want to do your own thing, is just being willing to solve whatever problems that come up to you as soon as you can. Don’t procrastinate, work hard, do everything you can to answer all the problems. And then you get to a point where the problems are just things that you have to deal with day-to-day and they don’t seem like problems because that’s just your job. If that’s not something that you can see yourself being, then I think entrepreneurship is… it’s not what everybody thinks. It’s not just being your own boss and doing those things. You are stuck with all kinds of problems that you didn’t want but you have to be willing to sacrifice in those cases in order to get the freedom that you really are looking for, which in my case I have and I’m happy about that.

J:
I love that. That is fantastic.

Carol:
Excellent.

J:
Okay. Now I want to jump into the final segment of the show. We call four more and this is where we ask you the same four questions we ask all of our guests and out of the four part, the more part is we’re going to at the very end talk about where we can get in touch with you, find out more about you and find out more about your business. Sound good?

Ryan:
Okay. Yes sir.

J:
Okay, let’s jump into question number one. I’ll take this one. What was your very first or your very worst, I’ll let you decide which one, job and what lessons did you take from it.

Ryan:
Okay. My very first job and kind of going with the theme was I worked for my grandpa. He owned a cabinet company, cabinet and bath supplies. It was called CBS in Nixa, Missouri. Still exists on some level and I was there in their warehouse just moving things around, doing things. I’ve always been a big proponent of family. We’ve kind of hit on it. I mean, obviously my dad’s involved in this business. Both of my sons, my 17-year-old son and my 18-year-old son, have worked with us on some level. My 18-year-old worked all the time with us.

Ryan:
It was just eye opening to go and have to work with a lot of his employees and those people and try to learn how to be the boss’s kid or grandkid, which I worked for my dad in the car business too. So I’ve had a lot of experience with that. But my very first job was moving things around in a warehouse and sometimes going and unloading cabinets and things at a job site and those types of things. And I was 15 years old. Just to see what my grandpa had built was the most… the longest lasting impression for me is that a business comes from nothing to something because him and his partner had built it. And that was very impactful for me, I think, looking back.

Carol:
So it sounds like you come from a long line of entrepreneurs and you’re passing that down to your sons and through the generations, which is really cool. I’m curious to know, what would you say was the defining moment when you, Ryan, realized that you had an entrepreneurial edge?

Ryan:
Well, the day that I realized that, we were… I mean, it was very simply the day that we had a move that was not going right and I had to make the decision to either let it go bad or go fix it myself. And so I went fix it myself and it was hard and it was three days. And that’s a crazy story. In fact, one of those blogs on our website actually talks about this particular story. And me realizing that no one else is going to care about it as much as I did. At that time I didn’t have a partner in the same way that I do now.

Ryan:
And I went and fixed the problem and realized that that was super rewarding. I mean, moving is not a real meaningful thing. It’s not like I’m saving the endangered species or helping old people survive longer or make them more comfortable. It’s just moving. However, to me it was really rewarding to help my guys to get a job done and have a satisfied customer even under a circumstance that was not at all fun. So to me, realizing that I had it in me to go over and above what I would have done had I been just an employee at that place really set at home for me that that’s what I wanted to do forever.

J:
Awesome. Love that. Okay. Question number three. If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself if you were starting over so you could avoid some of the mistakes that you’ve made?

Ryan:
Do this earlier? I wish I would have, instead of being 35, 36 years old whenever I kind of jumped out on my own, I wish I would have had the personal discipline and conviction to start a moving company because I could have done this whenever I was 24 or 5. I mean, maybe I wasn’t mature enough to handle employees that way, but I could have had a truck and started it then. I wish I had done it earlier. There’s no good time, there’s no perfect time. People always talk about, I’m waiting until the perfect time to have kids or to get married. Well, that doesn’t ever exist. There’s no such thing. Life will always be hard. Life will always give you challenges. I wish I would have given myself the freedom to not work for other people and be at the whim of somebody else much earlier in my life.

Carol:
That’s an excellent answer and I think a lot of us very much share that sentiment. I know Jay and I do for sure. Lots of other people do. Absolutely. Okay. Here is the fourth and one of my favorite questions. What is something that you have splurged on in your personal or work life that was totally worth it?

Ryan:
I don’t really have a lot of… I mean, I’m pretty simple in stuff. I think the biggest things I’ll do is a vacation for my kids or things like that, or going on traveling. I think traveling is amazing. I think going to see other experiences and things of that nature. But I mean, I’ll be honest, I really have never really splurged on much of anything. My tastes are very low key and pretty simple. I mean, I have always said I wish I was a billionaire so I can prove how much I didn’t care about that sort of thing; because that’s what everybody thinks, right? But what? I have a 900 square foot apartment that I live in and there are, from where I’m sitting at least six screens and there’s like three or four more on the other room. So I’ve got televisions and phones and all kinds of stuff. I love technology and connectivity and all that kind of thing. So I guess that would be the closest thing to saying I splurged on it.

Ryan:
But I have to say I don’t really have many of those types of things. I hope to spend a lot of money and time traveling and visiting everywhere in the whole world. That’s what I would love to do. That’s my dream is to build this business to the point where I can… a lot of my job even now can be done through the phone or on a computer or via Facebook or things of that nature. I don’t actually have to be in. And as this company grows to more and more locations, that’ll be even more and more obvious where my physical presence is less necessary. So that’s, I’m actually saving my splurge… I had a friend that used to say things. When you’d ask him if he had $10, he’d said, “No, all my money is tied up in future earnings.” I think all my splurges are tied up in future earnings too.

J:
I love that. I may have to steal that. I promise I’ll give you credit.

Ryan:
Nope. Give Larry Bates the credit, that guy.

J:
I give Larry Bates credit for that. Thank you. I love that. Awesome. Okay Ryan, we’re going to get to the more part of the four more. And this is where you can tell us anything else we need to know about Breezy Moving, about you, where we can connect with you, where we can find you either on social media or your website.

Ryan:
Well, you can contact me directly. I use Facebook a lot, mostly for work purposes. Ryan Welch. I live in Venice, Florida. Both of our companies, we have one in Springfield, Missouri and I guess I can give a phone number for it, (417) 429-4499; and then in Florida, which would be (941) 786-0936. We have a website, it’s breezymoving.com, that you can go look at. That’s the best way to get ahold of us that way.

Ryan:
What I’ll say specifically is we are always looking for the right people. Jeff Allen in Springfield, he went to the same high school I did. We knew each other in person when we were younger. But he just walked into our office and said, “I’d like to start a moving company,” by himself. This was completely random and we decided that through some conversations and talking that we were going to join forces as it were. And in Florida when my dad moved here, Jordan Filbrandt delivered some furniture from a consignment company here to my dad’s house and dad just loved the way he talked to him.

Ryan:
So he introduced Jordan and I, and both of them on top of being business partners of mine have become dear friends. And I think that that’s not necessary whenever you’re talking about being partners but I think it’s helpful if you can, because the personal animosities are not there. We all care about each other to the degree of growing everything. But that’s what we’re looking for. We’re looking for people who are willing to get on the back of the truck, who are willing to deal with frustrating mover employees, that are willing to walk into people’s homes and make them feel secure and good. And if they’re willing to do those things, then I am capable and willing and really excited about showing them how to build a Breezy Moving in their neck of the woods, wherever that may be.

J:
Awesome. Ryan, thank you so much. We really appreciate this. All the stuff you mentioned will be in the show notes, so go check out our show notes for more information. And Ryan, thank you again. We really appreciate this. This was awesome and you stay safe out there and we will talk to you very soon.

Ryan:
Thanks guys. I appreciate it.

J:
Thanks so much.

Carol:
Thank you Ryan.

Ryan:
Bye guys.

Carol:
See you soon.

J:
Love that episode. So much to think about. I loved Ryan’s point about, in a typical business, you have to spend $5,000 to make $100,000 in extra revenue if you really want that marketing money to pay off. And so for a lot of us, just throwing money at marketing and throwing money at advertising isn’t going to be the best way to expand our revenue, to expand sales, to build businesses. And so, I really appreciate Ryan coming on and I love the fact that he was willing to open up about his financials and all the numbers in his business so that as entrepreneurs, some of us as new business owners, we really understand how the numbers break down for a business like this.

Carol:
Yeah, it was super. And that transparency I think is one of those things that’s just so awesome about Ryan and his business, right? He talked all about how he’s just a regular guy just like you and me and he’s just like all of you listeners. He was just smart about it. He managed to grow a business that’s really a family business. He still works with his dad. He works with his son. I mean it’s three generations. He was just somebody who didn’t want to work for somebody else. It’s just a great reminder that we can get out there. And so, just be inspired by everything that he had to say. I just can’t say enough good things about the story. He’s expanded it to two locations. He’s made it a family business and he’s going to keep on growing. I just loved everything about it.

J:
Absolutely. Yeah. Great episode and loved Ryan. Everybody, thank you so much for tuning in again this week. I hope everybody is doing well, still staying safe and healthy, and we look forward to hearing from you or seeing you or whatever it is that you do on podcasts again next week. So, thanks again for tuning in. She’s Carol, I’m Jay.

Carol:
Now go build some awesome, long lasting, sustainable relationships today. Have an awesome week everybody. Take good care of yourself.

J:
Thanks everybody.

Carol:
Bye.

Watch the Podcast Here

 

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In This Episode We Cover:

  • How Breezy Moving was born
  • How they’ve managed to get Realtor referrals
  • How Ryan markets by building relationships
  • Why logistics and delivery services are not going away
  • How they price their services
  • Calling competitors as market research
  • How their margins are better because they don’t spend a lot on marketing
  • His thoughts on expanding
  • How he keeps good employees
  • Moving horror stories
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Tweetable Topics:

  • “The goal is to have every Realtor know who we are.” (Tweet This!)
  • “The best referrals are from Realtor to Realtor.” (Tweet This!)
  • “The challenge will always be the people.” (Tweet This!)
  • “There’s no perfect time. Life will always be hard and challenging.” (Tweet This!)
  • “We are always looking for the right people.” (Tweet This!)

Connect with Ryan

What does it take to start, scale, and sell your own business? Every Tuesday, J and Carol Scott ask this question to entrepreneurs of all stripes and delve into stories that go beyond the launch. F...
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