MAZO Capital Solutions is extremely proud to have a broad range of dealer partners in various industries. In this blog post, we will be putting the spotlight on Iron Exchange LLC – a recently established company that is making a splash in the heavy equipment space. Iron Exchange LLC is the tool that assists buyers in locating the equipment they need and helping sellers sell equipment. Be sure to check them out at https://ironexchangellc.com/.
Now let’s get to know the owner of Iron Exchange LLC, Jonathan, and his business!
Can you tell us about the history of Iron Exchange LLC?The idea for Iron Exchange came to us in late 2020. It was the most ridiculous year possible to have the idea to start a new business, and believe me, that wasn’t lost on us.
I started the company with my former boss, Kevin McCormick. Kevin hired me into the equipment rental business in 2015. Prior to that, I had been leasing construction trailers. And prior to that, I had been a history teacher in Philadelphia.
Kevin had 30+ years of experience in rentals. He was an incredible mentor and taught me everything he could.
I spent the first 5 years in rentals as a rep and my final year as a sales manager of two branches (ironically, Kevin’s old job). As a sales manager, I saw how critical it was to a branch’s health to get equipment sold. But unfortunately, rental reps were focused on rentals, and branch managers were too busy running operations to sell much themselves.
So, Kevin came to me with the idea that we could become brokers and help rental companies across the country get their equipment sold.
We started off slow (which was what I expected), but still probably better than I could have hoped for. And by the time we were half a year in, we were already off to the races, and things have just gotten better and better from there.
Kevin decided he was closer to retirement than he thought, so he is semi-retired now, but still selling for me. He allowed me to buy out his share of the company and I became the sole owner. It is great having him around because he still has so much knowledge to share with me.
I work from home, and my wife works for me part-time taking care of some marketing responsibilities. For me, it’s a great set up, because we homeschool our two boys, so I get to be here with them and see them grow up and be part of their education. I also do ministry part-time and am really thankful to be in a position where I have the time to do that.
Can you tell us some of the ways Iron Exchange LLC has continued to grow and differentiate themselves in times of uncertainty?
Well, we picked a heck of a time to start a business where the whole idea is to go out and search for used equipment.
It was right around the time that we were starting that the world seemed to realize what was going on – namely, that manufacturers were having a challenging time manufacturing new equipment, and people were starting to hold onto their old stuff because it would be years before they could get new.
So, I hear it all the time. “I don’t know how you’re going to find used equipment in this market.” And I'll admit some days it is tough. But the thing is, we are finding it. We sold nearly 100 pieces in our first year in business and are on pace to beat that number in our second year.
I just like to keep some perspective about the whole thing. I think people have been tilling the earth and building new buildings basically since the dawn of time. I do not think that is going to change because the market went up or down.
So as long as the world keeps turning, there are going to be people out there who have equipment to sell, and there’s going to be people out there who are looking to buy it. And I just need to be willing to work hard enough to find both of those people and marry them.
As the market trends continue to change in this industry what do you see for the future of Iron Exchange LLC? To me, I feel like we are just getting started. Year one was better than we could have expected, and year two has been better than year one.
We have had discussions about what the future of the company could look like, whether we should expand to offer new services – stuff like that. Maybe that is in the future, but we’re really not ready to entertain that yet.
We are trying to keep the main thing the main thing. We started this company to do one simple thing, which was broker equipment, and I’m just trying to get really good at doing that one thing first before worrying about anything else.
Over the first year and a half, we have fostered a lot of really strong relationships, which I think is key. More than relationships, they are friendships. I think that is a better word because it better describes what we’re actually trying to do for people. At the end of the day, we are asking companies to outsource some of their sales to us. You do not entrust such a task to just anyone. You entrust it to a friend.
We have built some incredible business friendships in our first year, and we are going to build on that foundation and build many more.
Can you tell us what you enjoy most about running such a successful company?
Every job has its stressful moments, but I have to say, overall, I am having a lot of fun. I wake up most days so grateful I get to do what I do. I am not very mechanical and could never have predicted myself to be in the construction equipment industry, let alone owning a construction equipment company of my own. Yet here I am, and we are doing well, and I am loving it. Life is crazy sometimes!
I said this up top. I’m really grateful for what this business means for me at home. God and family come first, and I have a career that allows me to keep my priorities in order. That’s huge for me. I think if you have your priorities right, it is amazing how everything else sort of just falls into place.
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