Nicholas Swanson began his career working in the oil fields of North Dakota. However, it wasn’t long until he transitioned into the business landscape. In 2015, Nicholas took ownership of Dave’s Towing – an independently run towing business operating out of Sioux City, Iowa. As someone who is fully committed to striving for excellence, Nicholas is always happy to help out his local community members.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
I have always been an active member of my local community, so when the opportunity to take over this towing business came to light, I decided to take a chance. My family had mentioned that it was for sale so I immediately made some calls.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My normal day starts at approximately 6 a.m. That’s when the phone calls start. The rest of my day is a combination of answering calls, talking to customers, and towing vehicles.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Hard Work! Customer service is key, it helps with knowing certain people. My wife and I work together and as members of a community we aim to provide the best service possible.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I am really fascinated by the innovation when it comes to newer vehicles. Companies are making huge strides in respect to speed, power, and environmental concerns. One of my hobbies is definitely exotic cars.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Customer Service! Keep them informed such as when we drop off the vehicles, we also take the keys and the customer info into the shop for them as well as lock the doors. This is how I would like the service to be done so we do it.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t get discouraged. Keep up the good service. It can be really easy to doubt yourself, especially if you are new to the business world, but consistency is fundamental to success. Initially coming from working in oil fields, I definitely doubted myself early on. However, experience provides you with a sense of confidence and it becomes easier over time.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
That you can’t become successful on your own. Everyone needs a support system to help them navigate professional challenges.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Spend your money wisely. Open a savings account, set aside some money that you can afford each month, and watch it grow. I don’t think enough people think about the future, but investing is one of the best ways to generate a second income.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Put yourself in your customers shoes. What would make it easier for your customer, such as a ride home or a photo of their car at the drop location. Basically, helping the customer feel more at ease that their vehicle is being taken care of. Excellent customer service ultimately leads to return customers and word-of-mouth referrals.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I blew a motor in one of the trucks for lack of maintenance and spark plugs were worn out. I now have regularly scheduled maintenance for all of my trucks. Being a business owner is all about trial and error. What’s most important is that you learn from your mistakes and are always looking to do better.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
If you can, get yourself into multi car long hauling and heavy equipment. Purchase a 35-foot trailer and you can make some good money doing long hauls.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The best item I purchased was a trailer for hauling exotic vehicles, such as BMW’s. It opened up a new market for high end clients.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Google, Facebook, social media. I post pictures of the trucks, pictures of some of the exotic cars that I have hauled, types of services that we offer, our hours of operation, contact number.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I don’t normally read books, instead, I like to listen to classical music. I find that taking the time to de-stress at the end of the day can prevent burnout.
What is your favorite quote?
Do unto others as you want them to do unto you.
I always do my best to treat others with respect. I think that my business has grown because of our stellar customer service.
- Customer service is fundamental to long-term success.
- Put yourself in your customer’s shoes, and try to always understand where they are coming from.
- Never get discouraged when you are first starting out, find a support system to rely on.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.