It’s hard to believe that a business that refurbished and resold appliances has transformed into a residential and commercial moving, transport, and distribution company that serves the 48 contiguous U.S. states today. But that’s exactly what Deidre Batson-Griggs and her business partner and husband, Dante, did in 2018.
Now, Kiper Moving & Transportation Company, based in Buffalo, NY, is thriving. Read on to learn about how they’re evolving the company through a combination of entrepreneurial ingenuity, funding through a New York Forward loan, and assistance from Pursuit’s Consulting Corps.
A refurbished-equipment business leads to complete household moves
Deidre explains that Kiper Moving evolved from an earlier business that Dante started in 2015, when he was buying, refurbishing, and reselling appliances through Facebook Marketplace. “By delivering the appliances, we added a valuable service for our customers while increasing profitability on our end,” she says.
Deidre was still working full time when they initially launched the delivery business as Arnold Moving. It didn’t take long before they realized that they could grow by meeting the demand for high-quality residential and commercial moving services.
In 2018, they rebranded under the name Kiper Moving & Transportation and Deidre committed full time to growing their enterprise. From their office on Kensington Avenue in Buffalo, they grew largely through word-of-mouth, concentrating on clients in the Western New York region and offering services to move their households and goods anywhere in the continental U.S.
A need to improve the bottom line leads to a New York Forward loan through Pursuit
Before applying for a loan, Deidre had learned about Pursuit a couple of years earlier through The Exchange at Beverly Gray (originally, the Beverly Gray Center) in Buffalo. The Center serves as a business incubator for people of color and other underserved entrepreneurs who are launching and growing small businesses in the city.
Pursuit is a lending partner for the Center and, Deidre says, “I’d made a mental note that Pursuit was a small business lender and even before we needed a loan, I went into the office and introduced myself.” She says that she met Pursuit Vice President Sherri Falck and other team members, “And we began discussing funding options and the availability of consulting services that could be available, when we were ready to apply.”
What motivated Deidre to eventually seek funding for Kiper? She says that although business opportunities were out there, they didn’t have the right equipment or enough working capital to hire additional staff, so they weren’t able to leverage them.
“Early on, we rented trucks to make deliveries, but we realized that was killing our bottom line. To increase profitability, we needed to purchase a box truck and we needed to have additional cash on-hand so that we could hire someone to help with deliveries,” Deidre says. With Pursuit’s help, they applied for a loan through the New York Forward Loan Fund, a pandemic-related economic recovery program that provided New York State small businesses with working capital loans.
“Our Pursuit team helped us with the application process and getting our documentation together. It was relatively quick, too. We received funding in about a week.” With funding in hand, they were able to achieve their goals of purchasing a truck and hiring delivery help. The New York Forward loan is also helping Kiper Moving manage some of the pandemic-related challenges they’ve faced, such as rising insurance premiums and other increased costs.
“Now, we offer improved services to our clients and we’re expanding our delivery reach further throughout the Northeast,” says Deidre. “We’re also planning for future growth, including the addition of two more trucks to manage moving services and over-the-road deliveries. In 2022, we also plan to hire at least three additional employees.”
Deidre and the Kiper team are always looking for new revenue streams. They’ve recently expanded into wholesale automobile deliveries in Western New York, based on a need they identified through connections in the business community. Eventually, Deidre says, they’d be interested in getting into multicar transport, too.
Pursuit’s Consulting Corps offers additional benefits for Kiper Moving
As a New York Forward loan client, Kiper was also eligible to receive benefits through Pursuit’s Consulting Corps – a range of services that are available to eligible borrowers at no cost.
“The consulting services are a huge help. Right now, we’re working on organizing our financials to ensure that everything’s set up correctly and managed efficiently. Our consultant is helping us understand cash flow and how to improve our financial projections,” says Deidre.
“We’re learning how to create financial projections more accurately, not just for one year ahead but for five years out. And soon, we’ll be working with a marketing consultant to help us with digital marketing. In particular, we want to focus on commercial marketing strategies to build our business-to-business revenue lines.”
Pursuit helped Kiper Moving and can help you, too
“It’s clear that Pursuit is here to help small businesses,” Deidre says. “The funding is important, of course, but they also understand our challenges. They’re flexible and offer great terms to make the loan process easier.”
To sum it up, she says, “Pursuit’s a key partner for our business, helping us to move forward and grow. And when we need funding in the future, we won’t hesitate to go back to Pursuit. They really want businesses to succeed.”
To learn more about ways that Pursuit can help your business, take a look at more than 15 small business loan options that are available. Then, contact us to see how we can help you take your business to the next level.