• When I graduated from high school, I took a job in Nebraska working at a concrete plant doing small flat-work jobs. A few years later my wife and I moved to Colorado where I gained more experience constructing foundation walls. When I moved to Estes Park, I saw a lot of work going out of town and I knew I could handle that work locally. Twenty years ago, at the age of twenty-seven I started my own business.
  • I had to adjust with the changing growth and demands of our city. The first year in business I had 10 employees. When building slowed down, I cut back to four employees. Then I picked up a large job for Eagle Rock School and bumped up to 15 employees with two crews. We've been growing ever since and now have an average of 40 employees. We have a footing crew, a wall crew, and two flatwork crews. Annually our business is split between residential and commercial at a 40/60 ratio.
  • One of our smartest business strategies has been staying current with local market needs. We will take on almost any concrete job whether it is decorative stamping or building 300,000-gallon water tanks. We even purchased a curb machine to assist with city development needs. As the city was constructing new subdivisions, its need for curbs increased with changing city ordinances. We view the ever evolving changes in our city as great opportunities to meet the public's needs for concrete work.
  • We also do a lot of custom concrete work. We enjoy tackling the harder and more unusual jobs. There is often a greater profit margin with that type of work, and we enjoy the challenges of custom jobs. We won't shy away from any project.
  • My biggest obstacle has been finding and keeping good help. My long-time employees learn how to do things the way I want them and see to it that our jobs get done that way. Those long-term employees are such a great asset, and I work hard to keep those people. I have year-round work to offer my employees and only experience about a 20% cutback during the winter. My ability to offer steady work has helped me to maintain a more loyal staff. I realize that many of my employees live week to week, so I know getting a paycheck every week and making regular overtime is very important to them. I also provide benefits, including paid vacation, after the first year. In turn, as I plan work for them everyday, I expect that they will show up. If someone starts to call in a lot, I'm pretty hard about that.
  • We've hired a safety company to cover general safety practices and issues. It's good to remind everyone what needs to be done and to think proactively. The safety company comes four times a year. Additionally I have the workers rotate projects so they don't wear out their bodies with too much repetition.
  • After being in business this many years, we've never had a lawsuit. I attribute that to two factors: honesty and knowing the people I work for. Estes Park is a city of about 10,000 residents year-round. The population has nearly doubled since I started, but I still know my customers very well. I don't have as many actual contracts as a lot of contractors, and while that may seem risky in other areas, it works well here.
  • When it comes to our customers, we make every effort to meet their schedules. We keep the customer informed of any scheduling changes and put their ideals foremost in our plans. We try to do our best and do things right the first time, that's one of the main goals.
  • One of challenges we face in Colorado is all of the rocks and slopes. We're lucky to have fantastic local excavators who take care of quite a bit of that problem but we also have to take extra measures to ensure that our work is accurate and level.
  • If you're going to start out in this business, know all about the business first, then jump in with both feet.
  • I've never had two days the same since I started—every day brings something new to the table. But that's what I like about doing concrete construction in Estes Park.