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Economic Development is . . . (increasing the flow) of capital through the community and reducing its leakage.

2011 EDIES Story 6 of 24: This Dysart Business Took an Expansion Opportunity Seriously

Sometimes it’s good enough to be a strong company with a great credit rating in an industry with a bright long term outlook. But it is the mark of a remarkable company to leverage your success to use some of your core strengths to add even more value. That is exactly what Barton & Dawn Jensen did when they expanded their trucking company and diversified into waste management with a local government contract in the city of Dysart.  Remind me – what are the EDIES.

How we did it:
The mission of Serious Sanitation is to maintain and provide dependable sanitary services to the community of Dysart with a personal connection.

How we got the idea:
The opportunity arose to take over the sanitation duties when Dysart announced they would be terminating the garbage services. We liked the idea of taking on new responsibilities beyond our trucking business and keeping the service local.

Our greatest challenge:
Our greatest challenge so far has been the initial bid proposal; estimating the start up and operating costs. This business has additional insurance which can be expensive as well as other overhead costs to consider. Also, learning the route was a challenge at first. It was important to us to maintain the regular route, and the former city employees were a great help in helping use achieve this goal.

How we overcame it:
We consulted with our banker, insurance carrier, and others with expertise in the business to prepare a viable business plan and bid proposal to the city. We adapted our business plan to meet the needs of our community as well as to sustain the operation.

Advice to others:
Don’t be afraid to try something new. We had never anticipated that we would be owners of a garbage service when the opportunity arose. We knew we had the skills to run a successful business but lacked some knowledge. Use every resource available to you to gather information. We started with Tama County Economic Development and relied on friends and other contacts in the business community to develop a plan and critique our ideas. Regardless of the outcome of the bid proposal to the City of Dysart, we gained a lot of valuable information and experience in our efforts to obtain this business.

What is next:
We are looking to expand into a rural route as well as in other communities. We already have started providing service to some rural customers. We feel one benefit to our rural customers is the availability of dumpster rentals. We would also like to look into education and expansion of the curb side recycling program.

For more information on Serious Sanitation, listen to their radio interview on Z95.5 FM on January 13, 2012, at 8:45 a.m.

Photo by Randy Aiken [left to right: John Fowler, Gary Keidel, Russel Hegarty, Matt Bawden]

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