This series gives insight into why some of our customers choose to bank local by banking with us.
Michael Bamford didn’t wait to graduate from high school before starting his own business. It all started when his mom was at a thrift shop and needed help hauling home some of her finds. Michael had a truck and while he was loading up some of his mom’s purchases he chatted with the store owner. He figured if he could help out his mom, he might be able to help out some strangers (for a fee) and boost the business of the thrift shop as well.
He ran the business in high school with a friend in a 50/50 partnership, but then college beckoned for both of them. Michael had his sights set on the Naval Academy in Annapolis and the application process was going well until a shoulder surgery led to a medical disqualification. His friend went on to college but Michael decided to simply register his company, You’re the Boss, as an LLC and get started on the next chapter of his entrepreneurial journey.
At this point, in August 2016, Michael wasn’t just making deliveries from the thrift store. His attitude and customer service had led to more opportunities, and the company was also helping people move and haul junk away. The nature of the business had two particular challenges he had to overcome:
A place to park his large trucks - not every office space would allocate parking space that would allow them to do that.
A consistent work force - very often Michael’s employees worked seasonally or part-time - that meant that he always had to be on the lookout for great talent.
It was solving the first problem that led him to us. Michael had never tried to grow the business rapidly. He was playing the long game and as such was willing to grow more slowly, just using his retained earnings to expand. But that meant he hadn’t developed any credit. Hence, when the opportunity came to buy the warehouse which had been allowing him to park his trucks, the big banks wouldn’t give him the time of day.
He asked around and people suggested us. We have experience with real estate deals, of course, and knew that this owner was looking to sell the property soon. We put the paperwork in place and gave him a loan. That relationship continues to the present day. “I know the staff. They know me. I can call with a problem and they hop right on it. It makes my life easier and allows me to just focus on growing my business.”
While Michael is always looking for good team members, since he acquired the building and got even more stability for his business, he’s cultivated a couple key players that help keep things moving smoothly. His next big step forward will be finding an operations manager, so if you know of someone, don’t hesitate to reach out and pass on a name - that’s how he found us!
In 2018 he bought a 26’ truck that allowed him to take a bigger step into long distance moves (LDMs). The following year he added a 26’ enclosed trailer and Ram 3500 to facilitate those moves - the team is well on its way to its 100th LDM.
They’ve also innovated with their “House2Home” package, which includes hanging/mounting/assembly/installation - essentially all those things that make moving a chore. He and his team can do that for you in addition to packaging and moving your belongings.
Michael has a real passion for employing people locally, and that really came out last year. While his moves ground to a halt in the early part of 2020, as people sat around their homes, they realized they had junk that needed to be hauled off. Michael pioneered a contactless pickup system and this last summer there were nineteen team members handling all the requests. He also started taking on more specialty work, with fine arts, imported marble, and secure transports.
Michael continues to be excited about growth, particularly in long distance moves, as America reconfigures itself in a new remote work era. We are excited about his growth too, and plan to be there with him each step of the way.
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