The Beginning of George’s Venture
The year 2004 was a leap year, and the world watched a NASA spacecraft landing on Mars and the launch of Facebook to Harvard students. That same year, George Roeske graduated from Southern Oregon University with a newly developed business plan for an idea he hoped would become a reality. Students at the SOU School of Business attend a capstone course to develop business plans as a graduation requirement. Some plans are fictitious, and others fulfill goals and aspirations. The plan’s development teaches students how to use research and data for informed decision-making instead of using unreliable intuition or hunches
George had a good plan, passed the capstone course, and was ready to begin his journey. Journeys through life often take the scenic route, and George was no exception. While working for various companies, he shelved the business plan and excelled at satisfying customers with complex requirements. The project was revised often and reconsidered over the next 14 years, but the timing still didn’t seem quite right.
From Dream to Reality
The year 2018 was not a leap year, the world watched the maiden flight of the SpaceX rocket Falcon Heavy and women in Saudi Arabia were allowed to drive. George decided it was finally time to use the business plan or shelve it permanently. He had completed the research, crunched the numbers, revised the project over the years, and still had a green light. The plan presented a business model that primarily acquires old wheels from vendors. The parts are cleaned and sold to customers through eBay Motors. And so began the epic launch of Rubicon Automotive Group LLC….. in his garage.
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Don’t be fooled by the modest beginnings. George did not have a good plan; he had a great plan. For example, a new truck owner does not like the stock wheels and decides to install a stylish set. The vendor makes the swap, and Rubicon acquires the slightly used stock wheels typically sent to landfills. The wheels are cleaned and sold to customers through eBay Motors. The plan goes further and gets better. A customer may not want four wheels and needs to replace one damaged wheel. No problem. A customer experiencing an accident relies on insurance for the repairs. Insurance companies often require a quote from a supplier other than the original manufacturer to consider needed parts. Rubicon can provide the same wheel as the manufacturer but at a significantly lower price. That saves money for insurance companies, helps keep premiums down, generates income for Rubicon, and reduces landfill.
Indeed, it seems like a great business plan, but how great? Rubicon was launched in 2018 out of George’s garage. Within about two months, the company moved into a 5,000 square ft. warehouse in Grants Pass, Oregon. Two years later, the warehouse size was doubled by acquiring the space next door. The company now generates over $1.4 million. It is looking at a new location three times the size of its current one. The business coverage area has expanded to service customers in nearly three-quarters of the contiguous United States. George and his staff continue to ensure that all of Rubicon’s customers are satisfied. The warehouse reflects that with organized and efficient work spaces.
Keeping in Good Company
George smiles as he reflects on his Senior year and the development of the business plan. He expressed his gratitude for the support given by his wife, Dawn Roeske (formerly Schroeder). She also attended SOU and earned her Bachelor’s in Business Communication and MAT (Master of Arts in Teaching) degrees at SOU. He gets excited when he talks about Rubicon, and one cannot help but get caught up in his enthusiasm and passion for the business. At the current expansion rate, Rubicon Automotive Group demonstrates that good planning, customer service, and dedication contribute to a successful enterprise.
NASA Landed on Mars when George developed his original plan, and SpaceX tested a giant rocket when he launched Rubicon in 2018. It seems like Rubicon Automotive Group is undoubtedly in “good company.”