Eager to Go, Ready to Work: How an Apex Startup Trucking Company Celebrated One Successful Year in Business
Being Your Own Boss Pays Off for Don and Stephanie Gumfory of Burleson, Texas-based Gumfory Holdings LLC
Gumfory Holdings LLC Celebrates Successful First Year
It’s a sunny, late July Saturday afternoon in Burleson, Texas. That means it’s warm. Very warm. But the Lone Star state summer heat doesn’t swelter the spirit at the one-year anniversary party for Gumfory Holdings LLC.
At Gumfory Holdings LLC headquarters in Burleson, trucking company owner Don Gumfory and his wife Stephanie, who co-owns the company, have set up a small feast – two long tables packed with burgers, hot dogs, chicken, potato salad, baked beans, coleslaw, chips and queso, chocolate chip cookies, and ice cold drinks.
Ask Don how he feels about making it to year one and his answer is immediate and elated: “It feels just awesome, man,” he said. “We just cannot be any happier. We are blessed.”
From Apex Startup to Seasoned Milk Hauler
Don and Stephanie are Apex factoring clients, and they also set up Gumfory Holdings LLC with the help of the Apex Startup Program. Their one-truck operation enjoyed a steady first year with dedicated hauling, even. But Don and Stephanie were also savvy enough to expand as the market demanded.
“The main thing we haul is milk,” he said. “It’s kind of seasonal. During the summertime the market changes a little bit, so we have to change a little bit. We’re kind of learning. We’ve adapted to finding different kinds of loads throughout the summertime – a little steel, a little cotton. Whatever pays the bills and whatever my wife tells me to do.”
Time to Be Your Own Boss
Don wanted to be his own boss. So much so that he walked away from the family’s longtime hamburger business. He also left a comfortable position as a company driver. That’s when the idea of starting his own trucking company looked like an attractive opportunity.
“We talked about it early in 2017,” he said. “I’ve had my commercial driver’s license since 2008, worked for a company for a long time, all the good benefits, company credit card, and 401K. We gave that up and decided to start our business. We’re not looking back a bit.”
Apex Startup Program Helps Make His Dream a Reality
That’s when Don turned to the Apex Startup Program. There he found an ally in Catherine Van Dyke, Apex’s Business Start-Up Sales Consultant. Catherine walked Don through the process of starting his own trucking company. She quickly realized that Don was determined to succeed.
“It was a true pleasure working with Don from the beginning,” she says. “Like any startup client, he’s very eager to go, ready to put in the hard work. It was a real typical process, nothing crazy happened. And obviously he’s been taken care of pretty well here at Apex because he got to one year.”
Don has just as much praise for the Apex Startup Program: “Oh, it was a pleasure,” he says. “It was so, so easy. One of the big reasons we chose Apex is we like local companies. We chose them because they are based in Fort Worth, that’s very close. Since my wife is a veteran, they waived all their fees. So basically, it cost us very, very little to get started. That was a blessing and we thank God for her service again.”
“Since my wife is a veteran, they waived all their fees. So basically, it cost us very, very little to get started. That was a blessing and we thank God for her service again.”
Working with Account Executive Hannah Jones
Over here at Apex we are so happy that Don chose to continue working with us after Gumfory Holdings LLC was formed. Since he and Stephanie are Apex factoring clients, they work regularly with Apex Account Executive Hannah Jones. At Apex, all our clients have dedicated account executives that help manage their accounts, develop a relationship with the client, offer advice as needed, and troubleshoot challenges or potential risks.
“It’s honestly been such a pleasure working with Don,” says Hannah. “A year ago, we started building our relationship and not only have we gotten to know each other on a business level but on a personal level as well. That just goes to show it’s a lot more than just a business transaction, it’s building our relationship. Every time Don calls in, he’s joking around, we’re positive. Even in the tough times, because in the trucking industry there is good and bad, Don remains positive. He has persevered through it. That just shows how ambitious he is, and it’s been a pleasure being a part of it. I look forward to many more celebrations together.”
Don, who is a casual and welcoming guy, enjoys the personal connection he’s made with Hannah and Apex. “What I like about it is we can joke on the phone, but then we can also be serious,” he says. “She has a sense of humor, but when it’s time to get to business I’m not client #123. I can call her and say, ‘Hey, what’s up?’ It is so personal, it’s awesome. If I have an issue, it’s resolved very quickly.”
“That just goes to show it’s a lot more than just a business transaction, it’s building our relationship.”
Why Would Anybody Not Use the Apex TCS Fuel Card?
Don loves the Apex TCS Fuel Card. Really. Without being asked, he will immediately start talking about the card’s savings on diesel fuel (an average of 35 cents per gallon), the handy Fuel Finder, and the convenience of using it at large and small in-network locations. When we asked him for his thoughts on the Apex TCS Fuel Card, Don didn’t hesitate.
“I don’t know why anybody else would go with a different fuel card,” he says. “You guys do not pay me to talk about it, but I save so much money. On a bad day, I would save 22 cents a gallon. And I’ve saved as much as 58 cents a gallon. I use my app every day and I can use the Fuel Finder. It doesn’t necessarily just show you big truck stops, like the TA and the Petro locations, it will show you some of the mom-and-pop smaller operations. You might not get that great 50 cents a gallon there. But if I’m saving 20, I’m happy.”
Be Practical, Take Your Time, Do It Right
Now that Gumfory Holdings LLC has reached the successful first year mark, with a party to prove it, Don has real-world experience to offer anybody out there wanting to start their own trucking company. Here’s his practical words of wisdom:
“Take your time,” he says. “Don’t get in a rush. Make sure your personal finances are in order. Do not buy just the first truck you find. The payments might seem a little scary, $1,800 to $2,500 a month. That scared me. But paying that little bit extra, it is so worth it. You get yourself a newer model truck. It might have a few miles on it, not brand new, whatever you can afford. That’s the advice I have.”