Although he is only 28 years old, Louis Vierstra, president of Murrieta Valley RV Services in Temecula, Calif., has earned the confidence of RV owners to the extent that they allow him to repair and maintain their vehicles.
As a result, Vierstra was successful enough that he recently was named the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Young Entrepreneur of the Year for 2003 for the Santa Ana (Calif.) District, according to the Press-Enterprise of Riverside, Calif.
Vierstra opened his RV repair business as a mobile operation three years ago. Now, he has three employees to help him keep tabs on the 22 motorhomes currently being repaired. He also has two other motorhomes available for rent.
“As long as you know your service like the back of your hand, it doesn’t matter how old you are,” he said. “Once I show them ‘This is what I know, I could trouble-shoot that problem with one shot,’ they will trust you with their business.”
“I got into RVs because I want to fix problems,” Vierstra added. “I got to work on $300,000 motorhomes. Not everyone gets to say that.”
Vierstra was nominated for the SBA award by Allen Jaszcar, a senior business consultant with the nonprofit Inland Empire Small Business Development Center.
“Louis has the tenacity and dedication to be successful,” Jaszcar said. “He’s a very mature person. He likes where he came from, likes where he’s at and likes where he’s going. Not everybody does.”
Vierstra, who attended a police academy out of high school, credits his father for teaching him.
“My father is quite an entrepreneur,” he said. “Luckily, I was able to watch him.
“He had mobilehome dealerships. He did real estate. He taught me sales techniques and how to build relationships with people.”