The Uncommonwealth Podcast – Jerry Webb with P&J Furniture and ABC Mini Storage

CroppedDad

Here is the transcript from The Uncommonwealth of Kentucky Podcast with Jerry Webb.

 

Chad Webb:

On today’s episode I have with us Jerry Webb. He is a local businessman. He’s retired, but for the last 20 or 30 years he ran a furniture store as well as a mini self-storage business. He’s an overall good guy and he’s also my dad, so I enjoyed getting to talk with him today as well as hear some stories. Hope you guys enjoy it as well. Thanks.

 

Chad Webb:

I’ve got here with me Jerry Webb. He’s owned a couple of businesses in Bowling Green, Kentucky, a furniture store called P&J Furniture as well as a mini storage business called ABC Self-Storage. I asked him today to just talk about how he started those businesses, how he grew those businesses, and the decisions to switch from the furniture store to maybe the mini storage. He also was able to sell that mini storage business, and I know a lot of people are interested how do you sell something and the process of getting out of something. I think he’s going to start with just … Well, I’ll ask you. How do you want to start today?

 

Jerry Webb:

I’ll start as a youth and then work up, if that’s okay.

 

Chad Webb:

Sure, that sounds good. I know you grew up in Auburn, Kentucky.

 

Jerry Webb:

Yes, I did.

 

Chad Webb:

Okay, so-

 

Jerry Webb:

It was a great place to grow up in. I started out delivering The Courier Journal in the mornings before daylight. I picked strawberries. I did a lot of mowing yards, painted houses. Did a lot of things to make a little bit extra money. When I was a senior, a couple of my friends were going to Florida for a few weeks and so I painted the school inside, along with the janitor, to make a little bit of extra money to go on that trip. When I first started work, I was working for Potter and Brumfield in Franklin and I was with them about five-and-a-half years.

 

Chad Webb:

What did Potter and Brumfield, what did they do?

 

Jerry Webb:

They made electric relays.

 

Chad Webb:

What is that? Is that [crosstalk 00:02:16]?

 

Jerry Webb:

Well, at the time, we were selling NCR, hundreds of thousands, and also we were selling pinball companies the bigger relay that made the lights flash and all that on a pinball machine. I worked as one of the final inspectors. I did that for three-and-a-half years and then I was a setup man in a [inaudible 00:02:44] department. That was the way I started.

 

Jerry Webb:

Then I went to work for Cousin Jack’s and we only had one store then. I worked for them for 13 years.

 

Chad Webb:

What is Cousin Jack’s, for those who may not know?

 

Jerry Webb:

Cousin Jack’s was a discount company and when I left them, we had four, and I was the supervisor over the four and running the Bowling Green store. It was a lot of hard hours, a lot of hard work, but as I look back, I learned a lot, too. I just decided I really was putting in too many hours. Some weeks, some days, I had 80 hours in, and I went three years without a day off, and we was open on Sundays, too.

 

Chad Webb:

When you say it’s a discount company, do you mean it was a company that sold things similar to like a Dollar General or a Walmart, or something different like a hardware store?

 

Jerry Webb:

It was smaller than Walmart, bigger than Dollar General, and very similar. We sold anything from fishing lures, hardware to shirts and dresses, and things like that.

 

Chad Webb:

Okay.

 

Jerry Webb:

We bought mostly close outs, and then turned around and sold them.

 

Chad Webb:

Like if some other company was closing their doors, you guys would buy it and then make [crosstalk 00:04:18]?

 

Jerry Webb:

Actually, we went to the factories and bought. Most factories, if they got 100 to 200 people working, and it’s at 2:00 and they close at 4:00, they don’t change their makes over during that time. Wicks Lumber, again, I was an outside salesman and I enjoyed that job. There was pressure, like there was in the discount store, lots of pressure.

 

Chad Webb:

You were outside sales meaning where were you going? You were having to go out and try to sell lumber?

 

Jerry Webb:

I had to make contacts with the owners of the building a house or a bank, or whatever, and then I would go and try to work with them and sell them lumber and building supplies. I made a commission off of it. The reason I quit that was that we had a supervisor come in and he wanted me to go to Lexington. I had just married and my wife was from Canada, and I was spending a lot of time then at work. I just felt like I didn’t need to be moving to Tennessee and so that’s how come I left.

 

Chad Webb:

How long were you at Wicks?

 

Jerry Webb:

I was with Wicks for 13 years.

 

Chad Webb:

Okay, and you were with Cousin Jack’s before that, you said four years?

 

Jerry Webb:

13 years.

 

Chad Webb:

13 years Cousin Jack’s, 13 years at Wicks?

 

Jerry Webb:

Uh-huh (affirmative).

 

Chad Webb:

Okay.

 

Jerry Webb:

I tried to improve myself every time I moved up. The supervisor came in and he wanted me to go to run another store at another place, and at that time, the store in Bowling Green was going to be closed and we were going to be moving out close to Lowe’s. I knew that we couldn’t really compete because they had an idea of an end cap, 50 cases of caulk. That wasn’t my idea of an end cap. It’s just, how many would want to buy the caulk? I decided then that I would go work for myself. That supervisor, when he came in, too-

 

Chad Webb:

What year was this?

 

Jerry Webb:

Oh gosh. I don’t know. It was about, I honestly don’t know, but when he came in, he told me, he was telling everybody, how much retirement they had, and I’d been there for a long time, and my retirement was going to be about $150.

 

Chad Webb:

A week, a month?

 

Jerry Webb:

A month.

 

Chad Webb:

$150 a month.

 

Jerry Webb:

I just felt like, real quick, that probably wouldn’t buy me much gas or bread when I retire. I said, “Okay, I’m through.” I went to work for myself.

 

Chad Webb:

That was probably because you had two kids at that time, right?

 

Jerry Webb:

Right.

 

Chad Webb:

Yeah, so it was probably in the ’90s, right?

 

Jerry Webb:

Right.

 

Chad Webb:

It was probably early ’90s?

 

Jerry Webb:

Yeah. I talked over with my wife about going to work for myself and I knew that going to work for yourself, you have to put a lot of hours in. She was okay with that. I started P&J, and the P was Paul and the J was me. We did pretty well on that.

 

Chad Webb:

That was a furniture store, right?

 

Jerry Webb:

It grew every year. That was a store and we specialized in baby stuff mostly, but everything just about was new. We had all new stuff, and that was on Russel Road. At the same time, years later, after about eight years doing that, I decided to open an ABC Storage. I was told by several older people that had been in that I was getting into it at the wrong time. I didn’t think so because there was only, at that time, about eight storage units in Bowling Green. Today, there’s about 28. That took a lot of time and I tried to hire retired men. I had worked for other people for years, and I was always told by a boss lots of different things, and I never let me people call me the boss. I always told them that we work together, whatever it was, we worked together.

 

Jerry Webb:

My wife and I, my wife died in 2000, and then I remarried and her husband had died three years earlier than that at 49 with colon cancer, and wife was killed in a car wreck. She was a teacher coming from Chandlers, her and two other teachers were killed. I decided that I could run both places, and for about four years, I ran the P&J Furniture and the ABC Storage. I had a builder who gave me a price on building the first three, and everything, and I thought he was high. I hired out everything myself and I did it for $85,000 less. When the time came that I should be home, I thought, with my wife, and we were traveling, wanted to travel, I had three men employees then and I told them I was going to sell the business and I paid them for the rest of the year so that I just wasn’t dumping them out on the street.

 

Jerry Webb:

When I was traveling, I got to worrying about being there on the King Charles Avenue, the only place open on Saturday, how dangerous it may have been for them by their self to be there. I decided I would sell the business and I was tired. You and your sister, both, were growing up really without me as much as I’d like to be. Y’all were going to games and stuff and I just couldn’t be there. I found about a company who was out of Ohio who sold businesses, and so I hired this fellow at 10% of what it sold for. He advertised in all kinds of commercial papers and things about the business for sale. I actually wound up selling it to a guy from Owensboro that already had two other ones, so this was his third one. That’s virtually how I got out of business, and I haven’t looked back a day in my life thinking I did the wrong thing. I know I did the right thing.

 

Jerry Webb:

As I worked, even with Potter and Brumfield or Cousin Jack’s, or I forgot to say I did sell insurance for two-and-a-half years, and that was the worst thing I ever did in my life, but I learned from everything, and I try to keep in mind what they did right and also what they did wrong. That’s the way I’ve always run my business. We had people coming in and we had all kinds of people.

 

Chad Webb:

At which one? At the-

 

Jerry Webb:

At the storage.

 

Chad Webb:

Storage, ABC.

 

Jerry Webb:

We’d sit down with them and pray with them, and talk about their problems, and that was a good chance to witness. When I was in the furniture store, I had people, because I was on a rougher road, who I’d run into who wanted some money for food. There was a man and woman especially one time who was really upset with the churches and everything else, and I was going over to the bank and I met them and they touched my heart. I called my pastor, I was just starting the business then, and I didn’t have a lot of money, and so I called him and asked if the church could buy these, they were going to St. Louis, if we could buy those people a bus ticket. I told him if he did, I’d pay him back later, and so he came by with the money and we went up the road and caught the people, put them in the car, took them back down to the bus station and bought their ticket to St. Louis.

 

Jerry Webb:

It was a man and his adult daughter and she was, kind of, afflicted, and that was the right thing to do. I’d just like to say here that God has been good to me all my life. I’ve got three of the most wonderful kids a man could possibly want to have, and they’ve never been a problem to me, and I really appreciated that. That’s about it.

 

Chad Webb:

I think, would you say one of those kids is better than the others?

 

Jerry Webb:

No.

 

Chad Webb:

What? Well, I wanted to ask you about P&J because I remember you working at Wicks. I just remember, kind of, the location more than anything, but I do remember P&J because once that got put on Russel Road, when Ashley and I, we went to Ward Elementary and then we went to Moss and then we went to Central, and while we were riding the bus, I know that we were able to get off there, so we spent a lot of time at P&J through grade school and middle school. Not so much high school, but really grade school and middle school where we were riding the bus quite a bit. When you started P&J, what was the main idea? I know that you didn’t start it necessarily, though, as a baby store, it evolved into that because you did have mattresses and sofas and all that stuff. Did you plan on it starting as a baby store, or did you start it mainly as just a general furniture?

 

Jerry Webb:

Okay. The day I started P&J Furniture, I left home going down to Gallatin to a company down there that builds hamburger places and trucks them up and puts them on your lot. I had thought about a mall up here that at the time had a Hawkins in it and things, and I was thinking that maybe I could get that hamburger joint and put it up there on a lot. The first thing I did with my wife, we prayed that whatever we did, that God would bless us in it. This is strange, but it is the truth. I was going through Portland and I passed a huge building, and from being in the discount stores, again, it’s one of those things I learned, it was after the season for lawn furniture. I thought, “Well, I’m going to turn around and go back.”, so I turned around in Portland and went back up to that factory. I went in, and I told the girl who I was and she said, “It will cost you about, we’ll give you 35% off.”, and I said, “No, you’re going to have to do better than that.” She said, “Well, I have to talk to my boss.”

 

Jerry Webb:

In calling her up there on the speaker, they said her name and “Mr. Webb is down here to see you.” Well, I was sitting there and a guy I worked with over at Potter and Brumfield for about five years come in and he said, “I’ve got to see what Webb that is.” He was the plant manager and he told the girl, “Give him 50% off.”

 

Chad Webb:

You didn’t know that he worked there?

 

Jerry Webb:

Oh, I didn’t know he worked there. It was just one of those divine things, you know?

 

Chad Webb:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Jerry Webb:

Like he said, he was the head man.

 

Chad Webb:

Then you said they sold, the place you went in Portland, sold lawn furniture?

 

Jerry Webb:

Yes, they sold lawn furniture for Samsonite and other. It was a huge place. I’m talking about bays for 35-40 trucks. I come to Bowling Green and I had already bought that stuff, and I bought truckloads of it, and I had no place to put it. I went to a friend of mine who was a hired fisher, who owned a waterbed store there, and he didn’t have anything in the back part of it, the warehouse of it. I asked him could I use it for a while. He said, “Well, sure.” A neighbor across the street, we rented a U-haul, a big U-haul, he started hauling that stuff up here. I told Howard, I said, “Howard, if you ever leave this location, I’d love to have it.” He said, “Well, I’ll tell you what. You’ve got a big trailer, why don’t you try selling some of it out there on the green spot in front of the building?” I said, “Okay.” I sat out there three or four weeks.

 

Chad Webb:

You had already quit Cousin Jack’s at that point?

 

Jerry Webb:

Oh, yeah.

 

Chad Webb:

Or Wicks, I’m sorry? You had quit Wicks, or you were doing this while you still worked at Wicks?

 

Jerry Webb:

No, I had done quit.

 

Chad Webb:

You had done quit, okay.

 

Jerry Webb:

I’d done quit. In four weeks, I sold enough of that stuff to get my thousands of dollars already back. One time in the furniture store, I went to a store down in Murray, I believe it was, and this company was selling children’s clothes and they were going out of business. It’s nationally. I went down there and they were selling stuff a dime on the dollar, and I told the fellow I would buy everything because I knew a dime on the dollar wasn’t bad. My dad said, “What in the world are you going to do with all this stuff?” My dad had gone down there, he rode down there with me. I said, “Well, I’m going to sell part of it, I’m going to write it off my taxes, and I’m going to give it away.”

 

Jerry Webb:

I went to the manager and I said, “I’ll buy everything.” He said, “Well, we got hundreds of people in here. We just can’t do that.” He said, “When I close, I’ll ring it all up.” I said, “You don’t have to ring it up, you just tell me how much it is.” “Oh no. I’ve got to ring it up.” “Okay.” He took three days and rung it up after he closed. I had bought $85,000 worth of kids clothes for $8500. Since I was already selling children’s beds and stuff, and actually that’s more or less where I started, was selling the baby beds and baby furniture and then I thought, “Well, kids clothes is a good match with that.” I sold some of it there, I gave a lot of it away, and I donated a lot of it for different groups that were going anywhere and everywhere.

 

Jerry Webb:

I even gave a bunch of stuff to a motorcycle group that was going to, I think it was Montana or somewhere like that, and they were going to take stuff to kids, and I said, “Here, take some of this stuff.” It was already boxed up and if it was $5.99, I bought it for 59 cents.

 

Chad Webb:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Jerry Webb:

That’s how I got started in business really.

 

Chad Webb:

What I remember is you had just a couple of items that were your best sellers that you seemed to do pretty well on. If I recall, and I might be wrong, but I think you did well on, I think the margin on mattresses was good, but I think more you did well on… Did you do well on rocking chairs?

 

Jerry Webb:

I had a lot of rocking chairs and I did pretty well on rocking chairs. Again, I bought them from the factory and I hauled them. I went and got them and hauled them. Then they say I had to quit because they started to Cracker Barrel more and more all the time, and Cracker Barrel would buy them in semi truck loads.

 

Chad Webb:

Sure.

 

Jerry Webb:

I couldn’t afford to do that, and they couldn’t afford for me to do it either. They couldn’t afford for me to sell it and Cracker Barrel. What Cracker Barrel is selling today for $179-

 

Chad Webb:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Jerry Webb:

I sold them for $89.

 

Chad Webb:

Yeah, and how much were you buying them for?

 

Jerry Webb:

About $59.

 

Chad Webb:

$59, mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Jerry Webb:

I’ve been very fortunate. Like I said before, I just-

Chad Webb:

What about the bean bags? You did that with something that [crosstalk 00:23:09].

 

Jerry Webb:

The bean bags, it’s funny you’d say that, you remember, I would buy bean bags about 100 at a time.

 

Chad Webb:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Jerry Webb:

Sometimes I didn’t have enough room to even store them.

 

Chad Webb:

Well, it seems like you were like one of the first places that had those.

 

Jerry Webb:

Yeah, well, the national stores were selling them, too, and they were getting them the same place I was. We were making about $7 apiece on there. The ones that had the logos on it, like UK and things, cost me 50 cents more because they were paying a right to put that on there.

 

Chad Webb:

A royalty, yeah.

 

Jerry Webb:

Your sister and you helped me one time with bean bags. We got them off the truck and just stacked them outside. Well, I couldn’t leave them outside, and so you and your sister helped me put them in my truck and I had a closeup truck then. With that, and what we put in the warehouse, I had a warehouse at the time, too, up the street that Howard had also had and when he left, I got it, too. I was very fortunate, like I said. When I started the storage business, I have to say now I didn’t know much about what I was doing, but I knew that I could build them cheaper than what the builder wanted for them. I just went from… I went to a guy who had bid against me and he still had three lots.

 

Chad Webb:

He bid against you on the land?

 

Jerry Webb:

On the land, and I needed some more land.

 

Chad Webb:

For the storage units?

 

Jerry Webb:

For the storage units. I told him what I’d give. I wanted him to make something, but I didn’t want him to [inaudible 00:25:02] me and I knew what he give for them. Oh, he wasn’t going to sell them to me. I said, “Okay.” Called me back that day and asked me if I’d give it.” I said, “No, I done told you what I’d give for you.” “Well, you can have them.” I went out to his place. I said, “This afternoon when my wife gets home from school and she can stay here and watch the business for me for a few minutes, I’ll run out there and give you a check.” Well, I walked in and he was… If I hadn’t of come, he said, “I’ve got them sold for $9000 more than you’re going to buy them for.” I said, “Well, I’m here. There’s your money right there.” I’m sure he was happy to get them sold, but he wasn’t too happy that he had to sell them to me for $9000 less, you know?

 

Chad Webb:

Yeah.

 

Jerry Webb:

Then I bought another three lots on the other side and they were asking a tremendous price for them, the company that had them. Sanford, the girl’s basketball coach, he was in a group of men who bought stuff and they owned that. I knew what they had given for it, and so I wanted them to make a little bit of profit. A little bit. I told him what I’d give him for them. “Oh no. We won’t sell them for that.” I had just told the man, I was sitting in my office and I had told the man who worked with me, I said, “I will give $45,000 more dollars, but I’m not going to.” Lo and behold, the phone rings, and he said, “We’ll sell them to you for your price.”, so I bought them. I built, altogether, I built 10 buildings.

 

Jerry Webb:

I had that land on the side of me, and I gave it to you and you turned it around and sold it, and you made pretty good off of that, too, and that’s okay. I am always okay with other people doing well and I think that was always my philosophy. If I can make a good living, I don’t care what other people make.

 

Chad Webb:

There’s enough for everybody.

 

Jerry Webb:

Yes, there is.

 

Chad Webb:

Yeah, you can’t it all. With the storage business, I mean, I remember helping you with that. I remember that we would have to sometimes, you’d have 10 x 15’s, and you’d need an extra 5 x 10, so we’d get in there and we’d take a wall down and we’d move it and stuff like that, and I worked a lot there after school. In high school, that was my job is to go there. When I didn’t have swimming or something else, I’d go there and work with you there on the weekends and stuff. We used to, I remember that at that time, we had a computer, but you did everything, and I would help you with it sometimes, you did everything in Excel and you would print it all out and you’d have handwritten notes and each week you’d change that. That was, I think at the time, there wasn’t a lot of software available for that but today I can’t imagine that that would be something people would do, like that much handwritten work. It was lot of work for you to do it like that-

 

Jerry Webb:

Oh, yeah.

 

Chad Webb:

But I think it was [crosstalk 00:28:24].

 

Jerry Webb:

[crosstalk 00:28:25] probably very illiterate in computers, but I had my way, and that’s one good thing about owning your own business. Now, you and your sister helped me a whole lot when I had auctions to sell people stuff that they had left. Well legally, I could sell it within a month, but most, everybody, in fact, I’d wait about six months because I had other places to rent.

 

Chad Webb:

You didn’t like selling their stuff.

 

Jerry Webb:

And I didn’t. I did not like selling stuff. I wouldn’t like my stuff sold.

 

Chad Webb:

Okay.

 

Jerry Webb:

I had one [inaudible 00:29:05] who had a stroke who worked for me and he was really a nice guy, but he made some terrible mistakes and I lived with it. One mistake he made, I couldn’t live with it. I gave him responsibility of telling me which doors we was going to sell, and we had the sale and sold them. I happen to have a man to walk in about two weeks later and he said his lock was gone off his unit. Now this man had been with me for several years and had paid every month. The guy made a mistake and wrote down the wrong number and we sold the guy’s stuff. I didn’t know if he was behind or anything. I didn’t keep up with that. Well, what I did, I knew who bought it because I had to keep records of who bought stuff and all that, and this guy was a nice guy, and he lived up in Columbia, Kentucky.

 

Jerry Webb:

I called him and I told him what happened. He said, “Well, just tell the guy to come up here and get whatever he wants.” I said, “No, no. I can’t do that. You bought it fair.” I said, “You tell me how much you want for it, and we’ll get it back.” Well, I really felt bad about it. What the man had paid me for three years, I gave him back every penny. Then he went up there and got what he wanted and I think he paid the other guy some, but nowhere like what I gave him back, hoping to keep him. He left. Anyway, I felt good about it. I did everything I should do and [crosstalk 00:30:58].

 

Chad Webb:

I mean, I’m sure that guy was upset, but how did he feel about the fact that you gave him back the money he had paid for three years? I’m sure he was upset still.

 

Jerry Webb:

Well, he was upset but, like I said, he had had a stroke and he was making some real bad mistakes, and [crosstalk 00:31:18].

 

Chad Webb:

No, no. You gave the guy who you sold his [crosstalk 00:31:24].

 

Jerry Webb:

Well he, he didn’t never say anything to me really.

 

Chad Webb:

You gave him the three-years payment and he didn’t really say anything? I mean, I understand. He was still upset, I’m sure.

 

Jerry Webb:

The guy who did it, I told him, I said, I’ll call his name, Bill, I said, “You know, you’ve got your wife that’s sick, and you’ve got three daughters, and you don’t spend much time with them, why don’t you just go home and spend the time with them?” As it turned out, it was a good deal because two of his daughters died within about three or four months, and they died within two weeks of each other, and then his wife died. Of course, he’s dead now. That was the right thing to do, and I paid him from August through December just like I did the other guys, their salaries.

 

Chad Webb:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Jerry Webb:

I did the right thing again. I mean, for me it was the right thing.

 

Chad Webb:

Sure. Right, and sometimes you have to make for employees, you have to make the right decision for them and for you when maybe they can’t make the decision to leave even though it’s what’s best for everyone.

 

Jerry Webb:

Yeah, yeah. I had a guy one time who liked riding his motorcycles. He was retired and I understood that, but everyday I had to [inaudible 00:32:54] him. He wanted off to go ride his motorcycle. I finally told him, I said, “I’ll tell you what. Just go ride your motorcycles and I’ll get somebody else.”, and that’s what I did. I don’t know how he felt about that. I hope he enjoyed riding his motorcycles.

 

Chad Webb:

Sure. Do you remember what year you sold the storage? Was it in [crosstalk 00:33:18]?

 

Jerry Webb:

Oh, yes. Your mother had died and I really lost interest in it real quick. She and I had planned on that being our retirement and all that. Then after she died, I could care less.

 

Chad Webb:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Jerry Webb:

I really got to a point that I… That was in 2007.

 

Chad Webb:

2007?

 

Jerry Webb:

Yeah. Again, [crosstalk 00:33:45] I got what I wanted out of it.

 

Chad Webb:

Sure, sure. Do you know how they, and you don’t have to go into this if you don’t want to, but it’s more about, I was wondering how did they value that business? Do they value it, because they have to value it based on the land because you’re giving them land and buildings, and so you’ve got a real estate aspect of it.

 

Jerry Webb:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Chad Webb:

Then did they look at your books of how many people you currently had renting and how long they had been with you-

 

Jerry Webb:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Chad Webb:

And they projected out-

 

Jerry Webb:

They did all of that.

 

Chad Webb:

Yeah.

 

Jerry Webb:

They did all of that, but since it was my buildings, my business, I give the guy a price.

 

Chad Webb:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Jerry Webb:

Again, I was told I was too high. That’s okay.

 

Chad Webb:

Were you basing that on your numbers or basing that more on like at my point in my life, this is kind of what I feel I need?

 

Jerry Webb:

What I was basing it on, what I had in the business and then half of that, too. I figured what it cost me to build the business and the buildings, and the land, and it had made a good living for me.

 

Chad Webb:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Jerry Webb:

A real good living. Then I took half of that again and that’s what I asked him for. Two weeks later, he bought it.

 

Chad Webb:

Yeah, at the asking price or a little off [crosstalk 00:35:11].

 

Jerry Webb:

At asking price.

 

Chad Webb:

At asking price.

 

Jerry Webb:

Asking price. We were asking $100,000 more and I was trying to cover my deal with the-

 

Chad Webb:

The broker?

 

Jerry Webb:

Realtor, uh-huh (affirmative).

 

Chad Webb:

Yeah, the guy who got you him? The guy?

 

Jerry Webb:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Chad Webb:

When you did that deal with the broker, you said it was 10% of the sale price.

 

Jerry Webb:

Right.

 

Chad Webb:

Did he bring you more than one offer or was it the first offer?

 

Jerry Webb:

No, he brought me, I think that was the third offer.

 

Chad Webb:

Third offer, okay.

 

Jerry Webb:

You see, not everybody wants to go out and spend that kind of money. I tell you what I did, I bought the land for… I had all the land. I had bought that extra land and everything, and I wound up building 10 buildings on there and then I had that place I gave you was empty, and now then the guy who bought it from me has put more buildings on it.

 

Chad Webb:

He has? I haven’t even looked over there.

 

Jerry Webb:

Yeah. When I would go to the bank, I had a real nice lady, and she’s died now, but worked with me at the bank. When I would go to the bank, I carried my sheet and I had an upward curve-

 

Chad Webb:

You carried your sheet of projection or what it had done?

 

Jerry Webb:

What it had done-

 

Chad Webb:

Okay.

 

Jerry Webb:

And then she asked me my reaction, and I said, “We’ll do more next year.”, because I put in more buildings.

 

Chad Webb:

You needed more because you were trying to build more?

 

Jerry Webb:

I never had, in 10 years that I was there, I guess I was there about 10 years, I never had a year that I didn’t increase, and I never had a month I didn’t increase, and I had a steady upward style. She was just thrilled to death, but I kept in contact with her and I’d go down and just sit down in her office and talk with her every once in a while. She was my financier, and whenever I borrowed money, I already had paid back what I borrowed her before, then she’d loan me for the next thing, and I would pay her back. I borrowed about three different times from her maybe. You could look at the spreadsheet on there, I went from zero just straight up.

 

Chad Webb:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). I remember when we had talked about it in the past, you had told me like it always seemed when I was a kid, and it seems to me now, I always thought that was a significant amount of money, but you never seemed, at least you never showed me, you never were like worried about it because I think you said, “Well, they can’t, they’re not going-

 

Jerry Webb:

They’re not going to eat you.

 

Chad Webb:

Yeah, they’re not going to hurt you. It’s just like to do anything significant, you sometimes have to take a risk, and borrowing that money is a risk, but you never seemed terribly worried about it.

 

Jerry Webb:

Well, my dad worked for his brother at Webb Chevrolet, and Dad could do anything, but he was big support of me. He would always tell me, “You can do it.” When I talked to him about building the storage building, he said I could do it. He was great support, but he would never take a chance himself.

 

Chad Webb:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Jerry Webb:

I tried my best to get him and I into the building business one time because I knew he didn’t have no money to get into anything and I sure didn’t, but the thing of it was, we could have done it-

 

Chad Webb:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Jerry Webb:

Because he knew how to do it.

 

Chad Webb:

Right.

 

Jerry Webb:

I didn’t, but he did. In business, I personally think you have to start small, work up the ladder, don’t push, just your time comes. You can push sometimes and that’s not the best thing. Like I said, when I ran the discount stores, there was a lot of pressure, but I learned things that I used in the rest of my life that I wouldn’t have learned if that pressure wasn’t there.

 

Chad Webb:

What would you say, we’re probably wrapping up soon, what would you say is maybe the hardest lesson you learned at either P&J or ABC in business?

 

Jerry Webb:

Well, let’s put it this way, I have never dreamed, and I’ve had several businesses, I have never dreamed about any of my businesses, but I’ve had nightmares where I was working with the discount stores-

 

Chad Webb:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Jerry Webb:

Because I was the head up there, but I didn’t have any control.

 

Chad Webb:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Jerry Webb:

The discount business was the hardest. I had lots of pressures, a lot of hours.

 

Chad Webb:

You said that one time when you told you quit, is when he was complaining about you taking a vacation, right?

 

Jerry Webb:

Yeah. I had been to Hawaii and I met your mother over there. She and some girls were there, and I met them, and she and I went for a walk, and people would say this don’t happen, but we talked about getting married the first night.

 

Chad Webb:

Mm-hmm (affirmative), so you were from Kentucky visiting Hawaii, Mom was from Canada-

 

Jerry Webb:

Canada.

 

Chad Webb:

Visiting Hawaii, and then you guys met and hung out.

 

Jerry Webb:

Well, she had a job up there, and so I went up in October and when I did, I went to my boss and I said, “I’m going to Canada for a week.” He said, “Jerry, you just got back from Hawaii.” It had been about a month. I said, “Yeah, I know, but I’m telling you I am going to Canada.” I said, “I’m not asking, I’m telling you I’m going to Canada.” He agreed, and didn’t want to let me go. He had worked all his life for people who pushed him and that’s the only way he knew to do things was push all the time.

 

Chad Webb:

It’s how he knew how to manage people.

 

Jerry Webb:

Yeah. I just have a different way of managing people, you work with them, not-

 

Chad Webb:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Jerry Webb:

They don’t work for you. I would never let my people call me the boss. They’d introduce me to somebody, “Well, this is my boss.” I said, “No, we work together.”

 

Chad Webb:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). That is interesting. The jobs where you worked for yourself, your mind was at ease there, but the jobs where, the nightmares you said you had were with the other things?

 

Jerry Webb:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Chad Webb:

What would you say, if that was your biggest, the hardest lesson or the most concerning thing, what would you say would be your biggest success in business?

 

Jerry Webb:

The storage business.

 

Chad Webb:

Right, just in general? Just-

 

Jerry Webb:

Mm-hmm (affirmative), right at the end, I got worried about the safety of the men-

 

Chad Webb:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Jerry Webb:

And after your mother died, I could care less.

 

Chad Webb:

Yeah.

 

Jerry Webb:

Up to then, it was very hard doing things I did, but I enjoyed it.

 

Chad Webb:

Yeah, that’s good. Is there anything you would change, anything in business that you would change, anything you would have if you had to do it again?

 

Jerry Webb:

Yeah, I wouldn’t sell insurance.

 

Chad Webb:

Yeah. You said that was before Cousin Jack’s, or between?

 

Jerry Webb:

That was the first job I had after losing, or not losing, but after leaving Potter and Blumfield. My brother was in the insurance business and he talked me into getting into it. It was a different thing than it is today in insurance. I’m not knocking insurance from a point of it being a bad thing, because I’m sure for a lot of people it’s a good thing, but I had a lot of dime insurance, and a dime insurance meant people paid a dime for policies back then. I’d have people that, “Oh, I can’t do it today, but see me Saturday.”

 

Chad Webb:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

 

Jerry Webb:

That means sometimes I’d have to go collect a dime insurance policy from somebody on Saturday.

 

Chad Webb:

Yeah, I think we’re out of time, is there anything else you want to say or anything [crosstalk 00:43:50].

 

Jerry Webb:

That’ll be it.

 

Chad Webb:

Okay.

 

Jerry Webb:

That’ll be it.

 

Chad Webb:

Well, thank you for your time.

 

Jerry Webb:

Okay.

 

Chad Webb:

I appreciate it, Dad.

 

Jerry Webb:

Thank you, Chad.

 

Chad Webb:

I love you.

 

Jerry Webb:

I love you.

IMG_5607

By Chad Webb

Chad Webb (who is 40) is one of CrowdSouth’s Partners and brings years (not quite 40) of experience managing multi-million dollar website projects to your business. He loves hoodies, puffy vests, jeans and flip flops.

Like & Follow

Share This

About CrowdSouth

We are a team of web developers, project manager, creatives, search engine nerds, and social media buffs… but combined we have a breadth of talent that can get the job done, and done well.

More from CrowdSouth

Blog

You’re a small business owner with zero time to stress about making sure there’s quality content launching across your social media profiles. We get it. Read More

Read More
Blog, Podcast

The Uncommonwealth of Kentucky, a CrowdSouth Podcast, with Shawn Perry.

Read More
Blog

Say what!? Increase my budget right now, you say? Yes!That’s the trend among larger and more aggressive companies.

Read More