Dan Goff calls March 13, 2020, the day the music stopped. One customer alone canceled 256 trips that day. But the 40-year transportation veteran remained optimistic and opportunistic during the past year.
“We filled out every grant application and every government form. We signed up for military bus contracts and got started on the General Services Administration (GSA) contract,” he shared during a recent United Motorcoach Association Town Hall.
Between contracts, grants and favorable loan terms, his business has not only stayed afloat, it has expanded. He made deals to acquire operations in South Point, Ohio, and Lynchburg, Virginia, which during some weeks have boosted his revenues by 30%.
The company also began providing transportation for military contractors, warehouse workers, tugboat and train crews, inmates, psychiatric patients, and people taking part in drug trials.
“We’re still doing seven figures. My overhead costs have been squeezed down as tight as they’ve ever been,” Goff said, adding that he still has enough staff to handle the work.
‘A new perspective’
Goff is also behind Facebook groups for bus sales and bus parts, and one devoted to conversations about the industry’s recovery.
“I know that passenger transportation can feed my family because it has, and I don’t have to learn anything new. I know who the customers are that are profitable. We just needed more volume,” Goff said.
He says he decided to look at his business with a new perspective, and look for new opportunities.
“There is a massive near-term backlog of customers queuing up to buy our product. It’s like Black Friday, they’re outside the door but they can’t get in yet because of COVID.”