The Tribune: Making It, Even in a Cold Economy

Oct 01, 2003

The Tribune
by Jessica Yadegaran
October 2003

Evan and Aaron Steed were still in High school when they decided to plant roots in San Luis Obispo. The athletic brothers launched Meathead Movers five years ago as a way to stay in shape and hang out with their weight-lifting buddies.

“We didn’t have our driver’s licenses yet,” recalled Evan, the company’s operations manager. “Our customers would pick us up and afterwards we would ask them how much they thought our help was worth.”

Today, the Steed brothers – Evan is 21, Aaron is 23 – run the county’s largest locally based moving company. Furthermore, they are prospering locally when most people in their demographic group are struggling to make ends meet or moving to bigger cities for better opportunities.

With skyrocketing home prices and limited job prospects, San Luis Obispo County is not a welcoming place for 20-and 30-year-olds hoping to establish a foothold in the business world. But the Steeds and other young entrepreneurs have defied the odds and become successful.

How did they do it?
Learn from the experiences of these four young business owners.

Meathead Movers
The Steed brothers started as teenagers. By 1998, they had enough business experience that Evan, then a sophomore at San Luis Obispo High School, was drawing up invoices and receipts for their customers. Later, he took a few accounting courses at Cal Poly.

“There wasn’t an opening in the market that we stepped into,” said Evan, adding that North American and United, both national moving companies, didn’t leave much room for competition. “We kind of carved out our own.”

The Steeds hired personable athletes and frequently traveled with clients during long-distance moves.

Friends told friends, and by last summer, the company had 104 employees doing 200 moves a month, as far away as Colorado.

They have two offices in San Luis Obispo and next month will open a third in Santa Maria.

Thus far, they have continually reinvested profits back into the business and into the sports community, where they frequently sponsor local teams. In addition, Evan Steed said he hopes to buy his first house in the near future.

“I was born at General Hospital, and I love it here,” Evan said. “I’ve seen a lot of other cities with all the moving jobs and I haven’t found a place in the world yet that compares.”

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