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BUSINESS PULSE : SMALL BUSINESS IN ORANGE COUNTY : Small-Business Snapshot

May 19, 1989

DUNN MOVING AND STORAGE INC.

Address: 2910 W. Garry Ave.

Santa Ana

Owners: Ramon Dunn, chairman, Marie Dunn, president

Business: Local and long-distance movers

Employees: 25, including contract drivers

Sales: $1.3 million

Start-up costs: $150,000 (includes purchase of company)

When profitable? In fifth year.

History: I bought a moving company in Costa Mesa in 1978. At that time, we only had three or four employees in a small warehouse facility. We started with two drivers, primarily doing local moves. Now we're doing about $300,000 in local moves and more than $1 million in long-distance accounts. Our office and warehouse space now stands at 26,000 square feet, and we employ five salesmen, a bookkeeper, an office manager and a relocation coordinator.

Motivation: I was going to college on the GI Bill, and I needed something to do part time to make some money. I bought a truck, drove it myself and started my business. Even after the business grew, I still drove the trucks. I just enjoyed the driving and felt I could do a good job for the customer. That was a good feeling--to give someone a good, solid move.

Smartest move: Selling our moving business in Kansas and buying here--the relocation market is so much better here!

Biggest mistake: Moving here from Kansas. My grand-kids are back in Kansas! I've made so many mistakes. A big one was probably not buying more real estate. If I'd bought when I first moved here, and was buying now instead of leasing our commercial space, I'd be a lot better off. At the time we concentrated our capital on equipment, but a land purchase would have made this a far more profitable company. Now, I think it's probably too late. Prices are so astronomical.

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