How did 10KSB help you?
10KSB program came at a time when I was growing myself right out of business. The Program gave me the tools to gain better control of my business and develop as a leader. I was able to see how I could delegate more and grow my team, not just in numbers, but also develop the team I already had. I was able to better leverage my personnel and our systems to streamline processes and take on more business. The Program also helped me grasp the necessary metrics and data needed to be profitable.
Tell us about a challenge you’ve faced in your business.
Residential remodeling and construction is a challenging industry in that no two jobs are truly alike. Every job essentially [needs] its own individual business plan. I’m not selling a service or product that is exactly repeatable. The challenge has been to find a way to boil down the data and metrics so I can assess each past job to see which have been profitable and which have not, and then use that information to obtain the right kind of future jobs that showcase our strengths and maximize profitability. Learning to turn down the jobs that are not profitable and are time consuming has been extremely difficult.
What do you enjoy about being a small business owner?
I’ll be honest—I’ve chosen a very difficult industry in which to start a small business. Looking back over the years, what I enjoy are the people. I look at my team, some of whom have been with me for quite a few years, and see our growth and our potential. I’m so proud of them and me for working and growing together. It’s amazing to see the progress in their own lives and how it reflects on our business. I also love the relationships we have built with our clients. I’m so proud of my team and how we build long-lasting relationships with our customers.
Since graduating from the 10KSB Program, is there an accomplishment or goal you’re particularly proud of achieving?
I graduated from the Program at the end of my best year ever in terms of gross sales. I was in partnership with my sister, who is a designer, and I now had the tools for both of us to succeed. [Armed with these] new tools, we were able to hit the ground running that very next year. Our total gross sales and amount of ground-breaking new work hit it out of the park. It was exhausting, but the growth was absolutely worth it for the learning process and for continuing to make a name for ourselves. We nearly hit the $1M mark in 2015. I was certain we would shatter that record in 2016. However, at the end of 2015, a family tragedy occurred that would take my sister and I out of our businesses for much of 2016. Halfway through the year, she announced she was quitting altogether. My sales dropped by 30% in 2016, and I very nearly lost my own business. I stopped looking at any metric that year and struggled to place one foot in front of the other every day. In 2017, I took a hard look at the fact that I needed to back up and solidify the foundation of my business. I went back to the Vision Statement and goals I made for myself during the Program. In 2018, I pursued and hired a new designer/drafter for my team and realized I was a designer by my own right. We also doubled the number of employees and launched my new team and business structure as a fully-fledged Design-Build firm. Just days before we were about to take time off for the holidays, we hit $1M in gross sales. 2018 was also the year that the business reached its 10th birthday. We will start 2019 with a fresh and updated look and DBA name, PCI Builders. There is yet a lot of work ahead of us, but we have the tools and the goals in mind to tackle the work with clarity of vision. After all, the top line number is just a number. It’s the bottom line that matters and how we get there as a team.