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BAILEY — Don Perry has spent the past few years thinking about his next act.
An entrepreneur in the bottled water business for more than 25 years, he wanted to start a business that allowed him to interact with the community he and his wife, Wendy, call home while being less labor-intensive.
“I delivered water to some other storage units, and talking to them, it seemed like something I could gradually move into later on,” Perry said. “I enjoy just being around people and talking to people.”
Six weeks ago, after what Perry says was much research and due diligence, he opened Bailey’s newest storage facility. Located just outside of town, 581 South Storage offers four sizes of storage units to fit a variety of needs.
Even as a small, new business, 581 South Storage is preparing for growth. The facility is equipped with digital surveillance and its website allows customers to pay their bills online.
“We’re small, but we’ve still got everything the big guys got — the technology and all. You can pay online, and you can reserve a unit online,” Perry said. “We really want to push customer service. That kind of gets left behind when you deal with bigger companies.”
The facility already has seen a steady stream of business. In addition to the 70 units currently in place, a concrete slab has been poured and land behind the current facility purchased in anticipation of holding still more units.
“We’re off to a good start,” Perry said. “In five years, I hope to be at 250 units. Once we get 70 percent full, we’ll start building another.”
Perry says when people decide to start businesses in places like Bailey, it has a positive impact on the whole town.
“With a small business, you’re keeping the money in the community,” Perry said. “Bailey is like a lot of other small towns that are struggling. But, just like with us, if somebody comes here, a lot of times they’ll go to Bailey to fill up with gas or go to eat while they’re here.”
581 South Storage is open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week. For more information, contact Don Perry at 252-235-7015 or visit www.581southstorage.com.