Small business owner talks about how to treat customers, employees.
In Joseph Oglesby’s family, entrepreneurship runs deep.
Oglesby is the fifth generation involved in Monroe Scrap Material, a metal recycling business in Monroeville. Monroe Scrap Material, which employs nine people, purchases and processes ferrous and nonferrous metals from the general public and businesses, and Oglesby’s family has been in the industry since the 1920s.
“Although I did not start this business, I chose to return home after graduating from Auburn University to continue to be a part of the business,” he says. “By seeing my parents own and operate a business, it gave me an entrepreneurial foundation.”
That foundation has carried over into other endeavors as well: Oglesby and his wife also own a local gift shop, and Oglesby and his father are in the process of opening a Guthrie’s Chicken.
At Monroe Scrap Material, innovation in technology and machinery has paved the way for business expansion. These technological advances have allowed the company to process and grade materials at a much faster rate, boosting the bottom line with improved efficiency. However, the recent economic downturn has presented challenges for the industry.
“With the United States’ and many other nations’ building and industrial sectors stalled, that equates to a limited need for new materials to be built from what we recycle,” Oglesby says. “Also, new and modified regulations placed on our industry by different governmental agencies have caused us to spend capital on things that add no value to our business.”
Despite these challenges, Oglesby says their biggest success is being a member of the local community in Monroeville for almost 50 years, which not many companies get the opportunity to do.
“We have learned that no matter what success we have and the mistakes we make, if we treat our customers and employees the way we want to be treated, we will be in this business for years to come,” he says.
For Oglesby, the best and most difficult part of being a small business owner is being the decision maker.
“It allows you to be able to manage things the way you see fit, but many decisions made are difficult,” he says. “Each decision you make can not only have an effect on the business, but on the families it helps to support.”
NFIB helps with part of this.
“We choose to be a member of NFIB in order to have someone advocating for us as a small business,” Oglesby says. “The resources available to us allow us to make better informed business decisions. If we need anything, NFIB is only a phone call away.”