Friday, November 07, 2008

Towing the Line

My Financial Post column this week looks at Godbout Towing, a remarkable towing/parts/accident recovery firm based in Kenora, Ont.

Nathan and Anna Godbout have revitalized a family business and turned it into a first-class service provider with 25 employees and more than 30 vehicles. I heard Anna speak at a conference in Dryden last month and decided I had to know more about her business.

The towing industry gets a lot of criticism in this country, and there are a lot of fly-by-night operators, but it's great to see two young people (both under 30) doing it right.

Here's an excerpt from my article:

Flexibility is key. If an accident closes the Trans-Canada Highway, there is no other route. With its new rotator, Godbout can pull an 18-wheeler out of the ditch from the side of the road, rather than block the whole road. That lets police reopen highways faster, making Godbout a preferred supplier.

Service is another critical factor. You have to be fast on the scene (Godbout is on call 24-7), and prepared for anything. "You're always dealing with the worst case scenario," Anna says. "The client is distraught, and the weather is never in your favour."

Find out how the best do their stuff. You can read the full story here.


Anonymous said...

I love stories like these. It seems like the hardest thing is for people to think outside of the box and take the risks to make it happen. What gives people the guts? Did these people see the idea in advance, or did they just sieze each opportunnity as it presented itself?

Rick Spence said...

Nathan grew up in the business, and rescue work is in his blood. But somewhere along the line, he and Anna figured out that what's worth doing is worth doing right.

And in their business, success has more than just a monetary payoff: they also get to buy bigger and bigger trucks!