BY MICHAEL REISIG –
Most of the time when we view a successful business and their owners we see it all with a little respect and perhaps some envy, but rarely do we see the challenges and the hard work that went into that success. The Davis brothers (Rick and George) are a great example of this. Gifted with a good deal more entrepreneurial spirit than the average person, the Davis brothers have gone on to rip success out of the jaws of failure several times in their lives, and today they own a couple of highly successful companies.
In 1982, when Rick was a junior in high school and George was about to become a sophomore, they went to their father (George Sr.), with a concept for a video store. George Sr. gave them $5,000 in start up costs and wished them well. Within six months they had a second store, and by the end of the year they had a third, and by the time Rick graduated from high school they had five stores.
While the brothers went on to college their parents ran the operation, and in 1991 Rick and George returned to Mena to take over again. At that time they incorporated into ‘Really Great Corporation’ and opened Really Great Pizza. The industrious duo went on to own a dozen different “DBAs” (Doing Business As) under their main corporation. They have had pizza companies, rent-to-own electronics, video stores, and eventually an affiliate company with several highly successful satellite corporations.
“With the satellite business we were an immediate success because we already had six video/electronics stores in Arkansas,” Rick explained. “We realized we couldn’t beat the ‘satellite’ concept, so we joined them. But eventually the video business deteriorated so we sold all of our stores and focused one hundred percent on the satellite business. With this booming business we realized we needed a fleet of installation and maintenance vehicles, and we found it was cheaper to have a dealership for autos. So, we bought wholesale from dealers, sometimes salvaged vehicles, repaired them, and used them, and today we have a successful car sales company as well.”
Davis admits that they have seen significant ups and downs in their businesses, having gambled huge amounts of money on success and having found themselves at the doors of bankruptcy on occasion, but they refused to give up. They scratched and clawed their way past their troubles and grew into a company that presently is the number one retailer in their four-state region for Excede and Dish networks, and they are in the top five dealers for Direct TV.
“Now we can offer our customers high-speed Internet anywhere, anytime, any place,” Rick Davis said. “We also have great people working with us that have helped this company become what it is. In this I would have to mention John Kincaid, our nearly indispensible general manager, who has been with us for 15 years, and Carrie Spencer, our sales manager, who is another invaluable part of our company. In addition, and without question, our wives – Kim, my wife, and Adrianna, George’s wife – have been essential to our survival. Kim is a great detail person and she handles all our financing, and Adrianna takes care of payroll and our automobile sales business, which is another major part of our operation. We sold 300 cars last year alone.”
Rick said that even though his family came to Polk County from California in the early 1970s, they all feel like natives of this area.
“We love this place – the terrific people and the wonderful natural surroundings,” he added. “And I can say without question that we are successful today, because of the people in this area. We, as individuals and as a company have dealt with a number of challenges over the years. If it hadn’t been for the help from the folks here, our own determination, and at times an absolute divine intervention, we would not have survived – and we are grateful beyond belief.”