ABERDEEN – Since going into business in 1996, John Finn has diversified. What started out as selling lawnmowers and weedeaters soon expanded to offering U-Haul and storage units rentals. September marked a milestone as he received his 20-year certificate from U-Haul.
“I’m very proud to have accomplished 20 years in business with them. I’m very fortunate that it’s one I can run by myself,” Finn said. “U-Haul has been a very vital service to the citizens of Aberdeen. We’re no way what U-Haul would consider a large dealership. We’re relatively small, but it’s a necessary business for a rural market, and it’s a service business.”
Citing age as the reason, Finn’s Outdoor Products, which offered brands like Echo, Dixon, Husqvarna and Dixie Chopper, discontinued its small equipment end of the business in 2014. Finn still has a few small parts and the availability to order others.
The moving and storage businesses, however, are enough to keep him busy.
“There was a demand for storage. I was fortunate when I started building the units. The first group [21 units], was at 85 percent occupancy in 45 days,” Finn said. “From there, at the time we had a program through the city for UDAG loans. You were able to borrow money to expand your business. I took advantage of it through the city board.”
Through the storage unit expansion, he reached a total of 60 buildings, which are now at 100 percent capacity.
As far as the U-Haul side of the business, Finn’s offers rental of 10-, 15-, 20- and 26-foot enclosed trucks; 4x6, 5x8 and 6x12 enclosed trailers; open trailers; automobile transporters; open ramp trailers; tow, utility and appliance dollies; packing blankets; and boxes.