I had been looking for a new business and a new opportunity, when I met my current business partner Roger Hoskinson. He had great ideas for products in the construction industry, specifically for concrete-related construction. After reviewing ideas and designs for various types of products, we decided, as in building, to start with a foundation. That's how we became involved in the concrete industry.
One of the company's biggest challenges so far has been designing the prototypes and having them made in a timely fashion. Various delays in this phase of our business have put strains on our capital resources, but we are enthusiastic and optimistic that our idea will be successful.
Even though we are a women-owned company, we have always been treated like “one of the guys.”
As the company progresses, we hope that the benefits associated with being a women-owned company will help us land government contracts, secure economic development capital, and aid in the placement of new manufacturing and prototype facilities.
Our peers in the concrete industry have given us a variety of advice and direction that opened the door to numerous other opportunities that have led us to expand and improve our product line. As far as the manufacturing part of our industry, advice from our peers have allowed us to streamline our business model, improve speed to market, and improve the efficiency of our prototyping procedures.
In order for a small, startup company to succeed in the concrete industry, I feel that you must have the ability to look critically at your business and manufacturing processes in order to find the inefficiency. Eventually, deconstructing your company's procedures allows you to adopt new methods that are designed to help improve your company.
World of Concrete 2008 was a remarkable success for About Time LLC. We received a wide variety of responses from concrete contractors on our J-Klipz System that included: “This is a slick product,” “This is the only product of interest I have seen all week,” and “I use union labor on my projects. On the last government project I did this product would have saved me $100,000.” Overall, we were very happy with the responses that we got in not only our products, but our company.
We have plans to introduce four more products to enhance the J-Klipz System. Additionally, we have other patents that will be the basis for a new system of products designed specifically for the concrete construction industry.
Amber Carothers is Chief Executive Officer of About Time LLC in Phoenix, Ariz.