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Moving On and Moving Up: Seller & Buyer of Sioux City's Premier Mover

In early 2017, Don Claeys had an interesting lunch. There wasn’t anything particularly remarkable about the food or the location, but the company he kept would help shape the latter half of his year. You see, Claeys met with the sellers of a successful IT company, who told him what to expect when he put his moving, shredding, and data storage company up for sale. They walked him through their own experience, which had taken a grand total of nine months. So, when Claeys approached The Firm in August 2017 to sell Action Moving of Sioux City, he expected it would take the better part of 2018 to close the deal.

It took only three months.

“The listing was posted on Tuesday, on Wednesday The Firm said there were interested buyers, and on Saturday two parties came to tour the facilities,” says Claeys. Roughly one week later an offer had been made.

At 60 years old, Claeys was beginning to think of retirement. He’d built Action Moving from the ground up, and had diversified his operations by starting Absolute Mobile Shredding and Assured Record Management Services, putting all three companies under the same umbrella. It’s a vibrant company with solid staff and thriving numbers, which was what drew buyer Casey Schaaf to the listing.

An insurance agent by trade in Atkinson, Nebraska, Schaaf and his wife were already business owners when they began to search for a second investment. They found a company they liked in Kearney, but the seller decided he needed more time, so Schaaf started looking again and decided upon Action Moving. “I liked the business,” says Schaaf. “I wanted a company we could grow with and keep busy, and there are a lot more opportunities in Sioux City.” Action Moving had everything he wanted, and Schaaf had everything Claeys wanted in a buyer. “Casey is a family man, and family comes first for him. Action Moving is a family-oriented company, so Casey was a good fit,” says Claeys.

Oddly, Schaaf and Claeys are like two peas in a business-minded pod. “We think along the same terms and on the same level,” says Claeys. “The other day a problem came up, and Casey came up with a solution that was exactly what I had thought.” The fact that they think so similarly is not a requirement in transitioning a business, but it helps make evaerything easier and smoother.

Thanks to a great group of employees, the turnover from Claeys to Schaaf has been nearly seamless. “We had a school to move that was going to take five or six days to complete. The job was done in less than three,” says Schaaf. While Schaaf lives in Atkinson, he’s in Sioux City two or three days each week, focusing on learning each part of the business and putting out any fires. “A business is going to be a business,” says Schaff, but the true measure of success is how the business is run. Schaaf is aiming to maintain what Claeys has built, relying on his years of experience in entrepreneurship to act as a beacon. And Claeys, who will remain in Sioux City at least until his wife retires from the Sioux City Police Force, says, “it’s going to be interesting to see what Casey does with Action Moving. He has things to learn about the business, but he’ll be successful in it.” THE FIRM

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