Kindly give our readers an introduction – to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/ cities.
- Hello, AlaskaFamilyMotorhomes.com (AFMH) Motorhome and Campervan rental business started out almost twenty years ago with one motorhome and was a part time business to supplement our growing family with another income source. Since then we have transitioned to offer our many local, national and international customers a fleet of over 20 rental vehicles to choose from. Our rental business is based in Anchorage Alaska offering services such as free airport/hotel pickup and drop off. We have multiple customer convenience options such as pickup and drop off in Whittier, Seward and Fairbanks Alaska.
- We are always improving our quality and quantity of our fleet and currently have added 6 more economical campervans this season.
Kindly give us a brief description about yourself ;
My background is very diverse to include things like a college degree in Avionics (Aircraft electronics repair), ASE certified mechanic, ASQ certified Quality control professional Manager OE, Private Pilot, to mention a few. I have been self employed in multiple business ventures, to include Solar energy, Avionics, Auto and truck mechanics, and marketing Agency ventures.
What inspired you to start this new business venture? How did the idea for your business come about?
I started the motorhome business with my Class A motorhome sitting in the yard 98% of the time. I then started and add in the newspaper (before internet) and found a way to rent this asset out to earn some money. I kept expanding and fine tuning the results to expand to my current business platform. Recently I doubled my camper van fleet to fill a need for smaller, sleek, fun and economical rentals.
Do your homework and make sure you have good accounting advice and do more homework.
Persistence, adaptability, and the ability to work long hours and overcome obstacles in unique and clever ways.
In the Rental business as an off-site manager, I average 30 hours per week spread out over 7 days. When I first started full time, it was 10-14 hours a day for 6-7 days a week in the summer.
Flexibility to look for new sources of income.
My existing website www.alaskafamilymotorhomes.com has been the best form of marketing and brings in most of my business. The remainder come from working with other RV rental platforms which bring in a smaller percentage. Another source is making sure our most recent customers are happy with the rental and then make corrections if we made mistakes. A happy customer will tell ten of his friends.
For the most part I am self funded except during the pandemic we also applied for an economic industry disaster loan which allowed me to expand our fleet and sell some older/troublesome units.
Live within your means. Make sure you have a financial cushion for the lean times. Work hard to make sure you treat your customers with respect. Continually improve your service and product offerings. Be willing to change your marketing tactics to meet the changing needs, be willing to educate yourself to better understand more aspects of your business.
I see this million dollar business expand five to ten fold with newer and better rental vehicles and sales.
When I look at a business, I look at Great Alaskan Holidays. They maintain a fleet of hundreds of new rentals and they manage their rental business with integrity.
Recommended Questions –
How important have good employees been to your success?
How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?
What motivates you?
What are your ideals?
- Offering a good product at a reasonable price
- Integrity, honesty and sticking to your ideals
How do you generate new ideas?
- Listen to others and then try to see if they will work for us.
- Going to visit trade shows.
- Looking at competitors’ products to see what they are doing.
- Then determine if it is a good fit for our company.
How do you define success? How do you build a successful customer base?
What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
- Being able to look at the results and thinking we did that.
- Looking at the financial rewards with cash in the bank.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
What kind of culture exists in your organization? How did you establish this tone and why did you institute this particular type of culture?
- We will get the job done. We will work hard to make sure that the customer gets what they paid for. We will go the extra mile to keep the customer happy and to come back for more.
- In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.