Steven Vanroboys is a seasoned entrepreneur and the driving force behind several successful ventures in Thamesville, Ontario. As the President and CEO of Vanroboys Trucking Ltd., and the founder of multiple other businesses including a greenhouse operation and a property management firm, Steven has a diverse business portfolio. His ventures primarily focus on agriculture, transportation, and real estate, demonstrating his ability to identify and cultivate opportunities across different sectors. A dedicated community advocate, Steven actively contributes to local initiatives, sponsors youth sports teams, and supports educational programs. His commitment to sustainability is evident in his push to integrate green technologies within his trucking operations. Steven’s entrepreneurial spirit and community involvement exemplify his dedication to not only achieving business success but also enhancing the quality of life in his hometown.

How did you get started in this business?

I grew up in Thamesville, Ontario, and was always drawn to entrepreneurship. My journey into the trucking and agricultural business was inspired by a combination of familial influences and my personal interest in these industries. I started Vanroboys Trucking Ltd to meet the local need for reliable transportation solutions, and it grew from there as I identified more opportunities to diversify into related businesses like farming and property management.

How do you make money?

My companies generate revenue through several streams. Vanroboys Trucking Ltd makes money by providing transportation services for goods across North America. My agricultural ventures, including the greenhouse operations and cash crop farming, earn profits by selling produce and grains. Additionally, my property management company earns income through rental and lease agreements.

How long did it take for you to become profitable?

It took about three to four years to turn a stable profit with the trucking business initially. The agricultural operations took a bit longer due to the initial high costs of setting up greenhouses and acquiring farmland. However, strategic investments and efficient management eventually led to sustainable profitability across all businesses.

When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work?

Certainly, there were moments of doubt, especially during the early days when cash flow was tight and the market was unpredictable. But I believed strongly in the fundamentals of my business plans and the needs they fulfilled in the market.

How did you get your first customer?

My first trucking customer came through local business networking. I reached out to local manufacturers who needed reliable transport services. Offering competitive rates and emphasizing personalized service helped seal the deal.

What is one marketing strategy that works well to generate new business?

Networking has been crucial. Building relationships within the local business community and attending industry events have opened many doors. Additionally, word-of-mouth recommendations have been incredibly powerful, especially in tight-knit business environments.

What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?

Recently, I had to decide whether to expand the trucking fleet amidst economic uncertainties. It involved evaluating financial risks against the potential for increased demand. After thorough analysis, we decided to go ahead cautiously, prioritizing flexibility in our operations.

What do you think makes you successful?

Persistence and a willingness to adapt have been key. Understanding the industries I operate in, staying committed through challenging times, and always looking for ways to innovate and improve have helped me build and sustain success.

What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

One of the most satisfying moments was seeing our community projects come to fruition, like sponsoring local sports teams and seeing them thrive. These efforts reinforce the value of our business beyond profits, highlighting our role in supporting and enhancing the community.

What does the future hold for your business?

The future looks promising with a focus on sustainability and technology. I plan to integrate more green technologies in the trucking business and expand our agricultural operations using advanced farming techniques to meet changing market demands.

What business books have inspired you?

“Good to Great” by Jim Collins has been particularly inspirational. It provides insights into what differentiates merely good companies from truly great ones. Its lessons on leadership and business management have been influential in my approach to running my businesses.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I would advise my younger self to worry less about taking risks and more about seizing opportunities. I’d emphasize the importance of patience, resilience, and maintaining a clear focus on long-term goals rather than getting sidetracked by short-term setbacks.

Are you willing to be a mentor?

Absolutely. I believe in giving back and sharing the knowledge I’ve accumulated over the years. Mentoring emerging entrepreneurs not only helps them but also provides me with fresh perspectives and the satisfaction of contributing to someone else’s success.

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