Case Study: A Story of Nails, Plastics and Seizing Opportunities

The Motivation

In the early 80’s, Frank was in his middle 30’s and broke, out of work and trying to support his young family. Every day he would scour the classifieds looking for work that would help him put food on the table.

The Opportunity

One day Frank noticed that an insurance company was running an ad selling nails. These nails had been onboard a railcar that derailed and were purchased by the insurance company as part of the claim.

The Materials

Nails: On a hunch, Frank called the insurance company and offered to sell the nails for them for a 10% profit…and the insurance company agreed. For the next six hours, Frank called everyone he could think of that might want a deal on nails including every construction company in the Twin Cities area. By the end of the day he sold the nails, generated a $2000 profit and had enough money to buy groceries for his family.

Plastics: With no other job prospects in sight, Frank continued to offer to sell damaged goods, excess inventory and scrap materials from manufacturing companies as a way to financially survive. He began to focus on scrap – specifically plastic scrap from manufacturing companies. He made enough money to buy a used van and began picking up scrap for a fee and disposing of it.

Then he had an idea. What if he rented a warehouse and used that space to pulverize plastic scrap into pellets, bag it and sell it back to the manufacturing companies to reuse?

That is exactly what he did and within a few years he was making a good living as the owner/operator of a plastics recycling company.

Giving Back

When things were at their best, Frank decided to sell his business and that’s where OIB entered the picture. We sold the business for a substantial profit to two corporate refugees. I asked Frank at closing why he decided to sell when he did. He said that he was still young, business was booming and he would never forget the desperation he felt before things turned around for him. Once he got to the point where he had enough money to live on, he wanted to dedicate his life to helping people who were less fortunate.

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Bob Griesgraber

About Bob Griesgraber

Co-founder-President-Opportunities in Business. Established in 1981. Graduate-University of Minnesota, B. A. Graduate University of Missouri, M. S. Graduate University of Pennsylvania-Wharton School, Strategic Management. Member: International Business Brokers Association, Institute of Business Appraisers, Institute of Certified Business Counselors,Society of Business Analysts. Licensed-State of Minnesota

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