In 1984 the three original principals of Valley Petroleum Equipment took it upon themselves to start a business based on the belief that if we treated our customers with integrity, worked hard, and believed in ourselves that we would succeed in being,if not financially successful,at least have some control in our own destiny. We knew our customers by name and we knew they were not satisfied with their limited options for service. In time tested fashion, we saw a need and we provided a solution. The majority of our customers were blue collar business owners who asked only for good products, reliable service, at fair prices. We provided all three.
We were very fortunate in that on the day we opened our doors, we had the support of many of the customers that we retain to this day. They gave us an opportunity and we worked hard to maintain their trust. In doing so we believe we have earned the most valuable asset a business can claim, a reputation for integrity. We did so by standing behind our workmanship and with the willingness to listen to our customers when they had questions. We base our core business standards on the fact that most customers don't believe in nor do they expect perfection. All they ask is that when problems occur we are willing to work with them and do our utmost to leave them with the belief that their satisfaction is our prime goal.
As one would expect, over the span of 32-years,we have had to face adversities interspersed among our successes. We have learned that sweat equity is not sole sourced to one's laborious efforts on a hot day. It can be rooted in countless and unpredictable ways. While I am sure to miss many, I can recall our first line of
credit loan that kept me awake at night, our first bad check from a very jovial if not completely honest customer, a serious lawsuit that opened my eyes to the world of legal jargon and more sleepless nights than I care to remember. I have to believe any business with longevity could share similar stories.
Our industry has evolved with the advent of technology that touches every segment of our society. Our customers look to us as a source for information and the skillset to walk them through the maze of government regulations affecting their business due to the nature of their product, as well as the advanced technology needed for them to stay competitive in their business environment. With the PCI requirements set forth by the credit card industry and new government regulations taking effect, along with inevitable replacement of aging infrastructure, our business is poised for continuous and profitable projects in the years to come.
In 2009 we expanded into Fargo, ND with a branch office. This is a highly competitive market. While not without its struggles, this location is now a vital ingredient in the success of our organization and has the potential for continuous growth.
One of the most important ingredients for a successful business has to be a succession plan. We had the good fortune of working with a lawyer with the foresight to incorporate a succession plan with our input. It has
been implemented twice as two of the original owners left the business. It is being implemented once again as the last of the original principals is retiring and three employees are purchasing his shares. No ownership transition is without its quirks, I believe our transitions have been as smooth as could be hoped for.
While Valley Petroleum Equipment may be the exception to the rule, it is worth noting a business can succeed when it is based on the reality of what can happen on any given day and be ready for the challenges that are certain to come. While success has many definitions, I can only describe it as nearing the finish line with the knowledge that I've accomplished my dream while being able to share it with the people I've been fortunate enough to have met along the way and content in the knowledge that the company is capable of outliving me.