From the Memphis Business Journal -
Christopher Moore, president of National Drayage Services, founded the company in 2008, in the middle of the recession. It was a risk that has paid off.
Company name: National Drayage Services LLC
What it does: Transportaion of international containerized freight
Background: B.S. in economics/finance from Christian Brothers University
Company Website: www.ndsv.com
Most admired entrepeneurs: Anita Roddick, Henry Ford, Sarah Breedlove Mcwilliams Walker, Michael Dell, Mark George
How’s business?: Feels like organized chaos, but no complaints. Things are going extremely well.
Biggest Challenge at the moment?: Managing our growth and expansions, while also tending to the normal daily business matters
What will change in the next year?: Our size due to growth, and hopefully the price of diesel fuel
How do you measure success?: Not like most people. The bottom line on financial reports is imprtant to measure so yu know where you stand. But I want to go home and rest each day knowing I gave everything I had to make NDS better.
Reason for starting business: We saw a major opportunity. The market had a need for a unique service provider like we knew NDS would be. And the plan appears to be working out.
Most difficult part of decision: Preparing and executing the formal business plan
Biggest business strength: Reputation and relationships
Biggest Business weakness: Age. We’re still a very young company
Biggest risk: Starting a trucking company (which is already traditionally a tight margined business), but starting in the middle of the worst economic conditions in many decades
Biggest mistake: In some ways the timing of NDS couldn’t have been more perfect. But looking back, I would have loved to have seen us start this company two to three years earlier.
Smartest move: Investing much of our effords toward safety and compliance. It would be easy to solely focus on sales and growth. But dedicating efforts toward safety in the early stages has helped give us a firm foundation that we can grow on and it has reaped benefits on several fronts
Biggest Worry: I don’t worry about the external issues we can’t control. My biggest worries are th things we can control such as preventing mistakes and errors.
Turning Point: When we added the third and fourth location in the past year or two. It seems like the point in time was when the rubber met the road and we took off.
What do you wish you had known from Day 1?: There is so much I’ve learned that I wish I had known then. Most notably that it’s OK to say “no” and that it’s OK to take things slow sometimes.
Most challenging task: We’re in a service industry. The msot challenging thing we face is handling everyone’s needs at the speed they desire and the high-service level that we desire.
Favorite task: Making clients smile by resolving problems
Least favorite task: Telling a client or driver “no” or giving bad news.
Source of suuport in a business crisis: Psalm 121:1-2. If you get into any kind of crisis- be it business, family or financial- you bettter have more support than just something tangible or earthly.
Key goal to achieve: Having a truck count of 500 nationwide before our five-year anniversary and prior to my 40th birthday.
What’s in the short-term future?: We need to finish substantiating the “National” in our company name by opening a couple of locations on the West Coast. Internally I refer to it as our own West Coast offense.
Five-year plan: Continue to rapidly grow and regularly refire our core proccesses and procedures to ensure our foundation is firmi
First Choice for a new career: Maybe politics some day. But for now I love exactly what I’m doing and can’t even imagine doing anything else.