I started researching business opportunities in the service sector that centered around peoples need for healthcare, shelter, and transportation/energy. I have over 25 years of experience in the healthcare industry already so I found myself exploring the other two sectors in more detail since my grasp in healthcare is already well grounded. My initial research into transportation/energy opportunities were mostly pointed to the auto industry which I believe is in a major transition in the next 10 years due to the demands on oil and energy conservation. I believe that this sector will be re-inventing itself creating many new opportunities, but making a traditional service business very risky unless you can change quickly to stay competitive in this market. Since I do not have an engineering background and innovation seems to be key in this sector, I decided to focus on the real estate sector.
I have bought and sold several properties and began to invest in single family rentals with the intent of expanding into the triplex/fourplex market but with the run-a-way price escalations over the past 5 years, the risk to ROI just does not make much sense today. I started to look into storage opportunities after making several moves in southern California and experiencing the hassles of storage/moving facilities in the area. My research showed that this is a $14B annual industry with 80% of the market consisting of independently owned/operated companies. I also discovered that mobile storage is the fastest growing emerging market in this sector. At just over 10 years new, it has grown to somewhere over 250,000 units to date and is taking the nation by storm. Another great indicator for opportunity is that there is very little competition in this segment (PODS being the clear front runner) allowing for newcomers to quickly seed themselves into the market.
I did research PODS and Mobile Mini before hitting on the American Portable web-site in my area of interest (Las Vegas). PODS already had two locations running about 750 units for Las Vegas and Mobile Mini is corporate direct only. In researching APMS, I quickly realized that the software was as good or better then PODS and that their was a Authorized Agent opportunity in the area. I responded for more information and had a conversation with Jeff Burton within 24 hours.
I learned that APMS is 4 years new, that they were in their first year of expansion and their Authorized Agent opportunity costs were were minimal. As our subsequent conversations ensued and I completed my due diligence of American Portable, I began to realize that this young company had a tremendous formula for success (best in class software, structure and delivery system) making for an easy decision for venturing into this company.
My background in healthcare from healthcare administration to industry sales and management have offered me many opportunities in developing and bringing to market emerging technologies. With each new venture, I enjoyed the pursuit of developing the market segment. I am equally excited about the portable storage market segment. It has all the elements for success (timing, price, customer acceptance).
APMS-LV celebrated its grand opening June 30, 2007 (approximately six months after initial inquiry) with plans to expand into a second location in Orange County in September of this year. I look forward to us adding many new agents across the country over the next several years to help establish us as the number 2 leader in portable storage.