Lior Rachmany first arrived in New York from Israel in 1998, with the hopes and dreams of making it in the music industry. He began serving as a moving man for one of his current competitors during the day, while rehearsing his music at night. After eight years, Rachmany recognized the rapid growth of the luxury real estate properties in Williamsburg and other surrounding neighborhoods and launched Dumbo Moving + Storage in January 2007. Since its founding, the company has become the fastest-growing moving company in NYC.
Tell me about your early career.
I was a musician. I played the guitar and I was a mover on the side. The music scene was dying so I decided to go the moving route and opened my own moving company.
How did the concept for Dumbo Moving + Storage come about?
Dumbo is the connecting area of Brooklyn to Manhattan. That was really important to the company, symbolically. Dumbo is also has a vibrant art scene and we wanted to be in the area.
How was the first year in business?
Slow and steady, but it went well. We kept on trucking along and growing.
What was your marketing strategy?
During the first few years, our marketing strategy was just to be a great moving company, and let word of mouth take its course.
How fast did the company grow during the first few years?
Pretty fast, in the first five years. Our company went from one moving truck to twenty, and we had a storage space of 30,000 square feet.
How do you define success?
Success isn’t a permanent thing. It is something that is year by year. If you are growing, you are succeeding. If you are stagnant, you are failing.
What is the key to success?
Hire good employees. You need good boots on the ground, and you need people to expand your ideas and help build the company.
What is the greatest lesson you’ve ever learned?
Things eventually straighten themselves out, if you keep going forward. If there is a will, there is a way.
What are some of your favorite books?
I like to read non-fiction. My favorite book is Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem.
Tell me about one of the toughest days you’ve had as an entrepreneur.
Starting out was tough, but I had to put in the hours. It is hard to build the brand starting out with just one truck. We had to take any job we could get.
When faced with adversity, what pushes you to keep moving forward?
My family. I make money so I know they can have a better life.
What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs?
Spark doesn’t last very long. You have to replace it with drive. It takes 10% creativity and 90% hard work.
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This interview was conducted for research purposes by author Jason Navallo for his upcoming book, Underdog.
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