In the junk business, your trucks are your brand. Of course, there’s more to it than that, but as our primary asset and a key element to our company’s image, there are few things that have as much impact as our trucks, in terms of how the community and our clients view us.
It’s your trucks that are displayed front and center on your marketing collateral. It’s your trucks that daily commuters are forced to stare at during their painful Northern Virginia rush hour commutes. It’s your trucks that are sitting on your client’s driveway, sometimes for hours at a time, while you rid them of their household junk. Trucks are important in the junk hauling business!
A few years ago, we decided to sell off our entire fleet (at the time 4 trucks), only to replace them with an entire new fleet. From an accounting perspective, this was financial suicide! Two of our trucks had been paid off completely and the remaining payments totaled less than $850/month. Of all four trucks, only one of them exceeded 45K miles. The oldest one was a 2008. They were all new!
To make matters worse, they had depreciated so drastically that we were underwater on both of the trucks we still owed on. The purchase prices we had been offered for the other two were insulting. If that wasn’t enough to consider, the new trucks we were looking to purchase were 3 times as expensive as each of the original 4 trucks.
We introduced the idea of a new fleet to our accountant and he advised that the only reason to sell off an asset that has been paid for is because you have cash flow problems, or because you no longer have a need for the asset. Cash was good and we needed the trucks more than ever! He suggested we run our current fleet until the wheels fall off and to consider purchasing the newer trucks from this point forward.
We left the meeting deflated, but we knew if we wanted to scale, we had to get trucks that would really pop…Trucks that were so good looking, that no other junk company could hold a candle to us…Trucks that we could build our brand around…Trucks that would make people proud to work for 123JUNK… Trucks that were larger than those of our competitors… And trucks that were all completely uniform, so that you couldn’t tell one from the next.
So we opted for the largest, shiniest, most visually stimulating trucks that could be created. We customized our specs, signed some paperwork and just like that, we were in debt.
And since that fateful day, we’ve never once looked back. Sure there were a lot of sleepless nights in the beginning. Our profit margins tanked initially and our stress levels sky rocketed, but the size of the trucks allowed us to get more done in less time and with less trips. Before long, something started happening that had never happened before; we were setting service appointments with people who had seen us while driving or walking their dog. They liked our trucks, so they jotted down our phone number. Our trucks were generating us business!
Today, our trucks are synonymous with our brand. People tell us how often they see our trucks. Every time I see one of our trucks a mile away on I-495 or The Dulles Toll Rd, I can’t help but to smile.
Remember to send us a picture if you see one of our trucks so we can post it on a social media site and then we’ll send you a chipotle gift card.
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