Picture an industrial park on a nondescript road. Now imagine a huge building next to that with trucks at every loading dock. Now imagine a gravel road behind that complex, which leads to a truck lot and in that lot is just one building with a door that you can’t really tell if it’s the front door but you go in. You make your way upstairs and are greeted by a receptionist. Congratulations, you’ve made it to San Antonio Broker Services, home to Michael Miqueli, NJ’s 2015 Small Business Person of the Year and funny dude.
Michael greeted us at the door, “I wasn’t sure if you guys were hipsters but I decided to do this interview anyway.”
During our conversation Michael walked us through how SABS became what it is today. In the 90s he started his own produce business, which went under so he had to take a loan out from “a friend” and later had to sell his house to repay the loan. With only a small box truck to his name Michael called everyone he knew asking for work.
He was able to piece together odd jobs delivering produce for most of a year before he hired someone to drive the truck. As he puts it, he was making a tiny bit of money but if anything broke he would’ve been screwed. He eventually made his first break — $10,000 — selling yams he’d been warehousing for his father-in-law. And with that he began developing the warehousing side of his trucking business.
After a few years of moderate growth he ran the numbers again and discovered that with increased competition his warehousing arm had gone from highly profitable to basically breakeven. He shut down that part of the businesses and ramped up his trucking efforts. Since then he’s taken on money to build the business and his growth has skyrocketed. As Michael puts it, “organic growth sucks.”
When we asked Michael for advice to new small business owners, he was blunt. He says that people shouldn’t follow their passion because oftentimes someone’s passion isn’t a good or even viable business. “My dad was a jeweler, I was an art student, and now I’m a trucker. Passion is profit.”
Thanks to Michael Miqueli, YouTube, and our sponsor MailChimp.
Thanks for reading! If you like this sort of thing you can subscribe to our newsletter where we write about each episode.