As co-owners of Hems Truck and Auto in Bristol Borough, Megan and Roland Hems have seen a lot of ups and downs in their business the last 10 years. Trying to find themselves and what their business offers is the hardest part of their journey. Roland is the mechanic and Megan runs the office. They are busy, but their challenge is figuring out a budget and where all their money goes. Together, they are finding a new way to do business and building a better life for themselves and their daughter. The Hems name goes back generations in Bristol and they want to continue to bring honor to their name and their business. Their episode is the first business featured in Small Business Revolution Season 2.
Season 2Meet the Characters
Megan and Roland Hems
Owners, Hems Truck and Auto
- What does living and working in Bristol Borough mean to you?
It means everything. We are proud to be able to trace our roots back to the 1700s. Hems’ come from a long line of entrepreneurs and we were delighted to tell Grandpa that we were continuing the Hemsy tradition of business ownership in the Borough.
- How did you feel when Bristol Borough won Small Business Revolution?
In the end of January, we were actually at the Center for Arts when Amanda and the SBR team were surveying the town. I immediately understood the magnitude of what winning could mean for the Borough. We took our toddler to the announcement at the theater and burst into tears when Amanda came onto the stage. A wave of “FINALLY” rushed over.
- What was one big struggle you were facing before Amanda and Robert came to Bristol Borough?
Being a small business owner is a daily struggle of which fire should we put out first. One being our appearance – it is an inherently dirty industry which makes it hard to portray a level of professionalism with both the look and feel of the building and our clothing.
- What was your favorite part of the Small Business Revolution experience?
It’s hard to choose one favorite moment. The entire process was amazing but if we had to choose, it’d be our trip to Deluxe HQ. We were blown away by the size of the team – 30 people working and caring about our business as much as we do was incredible! We especially loved when we met our web designer and he said “oh my goodness, it’s really you!”
- What was the hardest part of the Small Business Revolution experience for you?
The hardest part was adapting to the changes and not falling back into old habits.
- What have you learned about yourself in this process? What have you learned about your business?
We’ve learned that we’re stronger than we thought. As small business owners, we get stuck with our blinders on and can’t see that we really are making great strides, stronger and smarter than the year before. We realized that we’ve always had what it takes, but this experience helped us take the blinders off and literally and figuratively step outside the building and get a different perspective of our business.
- What is the one thing you hope viewers take away from this season in Bristol Borough?
Hopefully viewers will see that all small business owners aren’t filthy rich and “out to get you.” We want viewers to see themselves in us – we have the same victories and failures.
- One word you would use to describe your experience?
- Would you do this again?
Yes, in a heartbeat!
- What services provided by Deluxe did you find to be the most helpful to you and your business?
The marketing advice as well as the social media advice was very helpful. The product that is getting the most feedback is our gorgeous website!
- What was one piece of advice Robert or Amanda gave that will stick with you well beyond SBR?
When we were in Minnesota, sitting down with Robert, I (Megan) kept defaulting to the fact that I only have a Psych degree. Robert said that yes I had a degree in something unrelated, but that shouldn’t stop me from “owning” my business.
- What would you say to other small businesses or people in small towns thinking of nominating their town?
We would say the Small Business Revolution isn’t the cure to all your town’s woes – it’s the kick starter to the next level. SBR gives you the tools and direction and it is up to you and your town to develop it.