July '20

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JULY 2020 THE SHOP 29 a key to the success and growth of Rick's Pro-Truck, which is operated by 70 to 75 people. "I have really good people that run my stores for me, or I'd be gray-headed as all get-out," he jokes. "We've been really blessed. We've made some really good hires. When we open a store in a new area, we usually get the right person to run it and they bring in some business." Close relationships are vital, he says, whether it's with employees, auto deal- erships (RPT works with dozens in the Jackson area and beyond), or vendors. In fact, a positive relationship with Ultimate Linings helped jumpstart Pro Coat, RPT's spray-on bedliner company, helping the Estels become the first in the area to offer custom coating services. "We had a distribution mindset going into everything we did and had a really good relationship with the people we bought the bedlining chemicals from years ago," he notes. FAR FROM FINISHED RBT Commercial, a business focused on outfitting fleet vehicles with flat beds and other service bodies, is the company's latest venture. What's next? Estel has his sights set on more stores. "There are a couple spots for new stores I'm looking at to grow into," he says. "I think a couple of my kids are going to Mis- sissippi State, so I'd like to open a small store up there, possibly." As evidenced by the company's many past successes, an additional store near the university is likely just a small part of what's to come from Rick's Pro-Truck. Close relationships with employees, auto dealerships and vendors have helped the company thrive. BY WESTIN

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