1. Built to Last
Starting out in a garage worked out pretty well for Jeff Bezos and Steve Jobs. So far, so good, too for Collision Specialists Inc. owner Randy Miller, who started out in 1981 in a two-car garage—basketball hoop included. Forty years later, Miller’s Austin, Minnesota, business is celebrating 20 years in its permanent location. And Miller does mean permanent.
“The building is a pre-stressed concrete, top-of-the line building, a 100-year building,” says Miller. “It’s good for 100 years, you don’t have to worry about anything, you don’t have to paint it, you don’t have to do anything.”
It takes a tough building to survive not only the harsh Minnesota winter but also the other extreme of volatile summer weather. Miller says the building can withstand a direct hit from a tornado, as well as any disaster within the shop walls. A fire may destroy everything inside, but the shop isn’t going anywhere.
“The fire department’s really happy with us,” Miller says.