date August 15
Josh Nickell of Nickell Rental, was selected by Rental Management Magazine as the Top 10 Under 40 to watch of Young rental professionals who are the future leaders of the equipment rental industry. You can read the full article here, but below are the highlights specific to Josh and Nickell Rental.
Josh Nickell, 33, co-owner, Nickell Equipment Rental & Sales, Senoia, Ga., grew up in the equipment rental industry, but was determined not to make it a career. “However, an internship while I was in college changed my mind. The owner of the business I was interning at said he didn’t care if his product was hot dogs or insurance. As long as it was a good product, he was happy. What he really enjoyed was running the business. The light bulb went on when he said that,” Nickell says.
“I had always operated under the assumption that I had to be a mechanic to run a rental company, but what you really need is to enjoy the complexities of running a small business,” he says.
Nickell and his father, Tom Nickell, own the business together, and through his father, Josh became involved in the ARA of Georgia. “My dad has always been a very active member and supporter of the state association. I learned very quickly that most rental store owners are very good at what they do and one of the best ways to improve was to network with people who were already successful in their companies. I walked away from every meeting with a golden nugget of information. Often, it was something another member shared, not necessarily information from the guest speaker. The exchange of ideas at the association meetings gives us new ideas and helps us avoid common pitfalls. We often bring members of our management team to the meetings because it helps them just as much as it does us,” he says.
Then, opportunity knocked. “When Jeff Lignugaris, the incoming state president, asked me to be vice president, I felt it was an opportunity to give back to the organization for the 10 years of training they had given me,” he says. Nickell also has served on the ARA Risk Management Committee.
The training has paid off, as business is going well. Nickell says the company’s main focus is customer service and going the distance. “Like most good businesses, we focus on creating a great customer experience and empowering our employees. Where we differ is our understanding of our strengths and weaknesses. Many businesses are distracted by the big dollar accounts and obvious markets. We understand what target businesses and markets we can serve better than anyone else and focus on them. Often, our most valued customers are found in markets that are overlooked, under-appreciated, or seem uninteresting to the competition. We also understand that our business is about much more than just renting equipment, it’s about helping our customers get their job done,” he says.
What he likes best is doing something different every day. “The rental business is very complex and fast paced which keeps things exciting. One day you might be planning for purchases to address niche rental markets and the next you are doing sales training with the counter staff. I enjoy being in a position where I have the ability to react quickly to changing conditions, keep my finger on the pulse of the business and think outside the box,” he says.