Paul’s Bus Service has always been a family business, with current owner Dennis Wurzelbacher’s father Paul and his brother Art founding the business in the Cincinnati area. When local schools were not able to meet all the needs of students’ bus service, Paul saw the need and filled it with a successful business. Cynthia, Dennis’ wife, actually rode on Paul’s Bus Service during high school. With the help of Dennis and his seven siblings, Paul managed to keep up the family farm of peach and apple trees in the summer while also growing his business.
The number of buses the company owns now sits at 42. This has led the company to employ over 70 mostly part-time people. The company also provides a shuttle service, devoting two buses to customers looking for that service. Along with Dennis and Cynthia, their son Andy also works at the company continuing the tradition of a family-based business
A significant portion of Paul’s customers are high school students who live within 2 miles of their school, because districts are not required to provide transportation for all of these students. Contracting with Paul’s, the parents of these children are able to ensure that they have safe and reliable transportation to school.
A key aspect to the company’s success has been keeping up on vehicle maintenance to make sure they are running as long as possible. This, along with scouring dealerships and auctions for quality used buses, has allowed Paul’s to stay profitable.
One of the aspects that attracted Dennis to NFIB was the workers’ compensation group rating program. Dennis is very active with NFIB, participating in the Area Action Council in Southwest Ohio. The Wurzelbachers appreciate what NFIB does to keep them informed as small business owners and say that NFIB is really the only organization fighting for small business.
Even business owners as proactive as the Wurzelbachers face challenges. A recent classification mix-up with the IRS led to an unwarranted fine being leveled against Paul’s Bus Service, although the fine was later rescinded, the fight took up a great deal of their time and added one more concern in the operation of their business. The company also has to deal with consistently rising insurance and fuel costs, increasing overhead and reducing profits.
In spite of these challenges, the Wurzelbachers still enjoy owning their own business. Serving over 700 students from schools such as Colerain, St. Xavier, and Oak Hill, Paul’s Bus Service is a known name in the Cincinnati area.
NFIB/Ohio VP & Executive Director Roger R. Geiger with Dennis Wurzelbacker at Paul's Bus Service on a recent member visit to the business.