Building Industry a Natural Fit
Wescott Johnson Custom Builders
Year founded: 2009
Number of employees: 15
Who started your company? I did.
When and how did you choose this career? This is all I have ever done; I have always worked with my hands. Out of high school I started working for myself. Being in the building industry has always seemed like a natural fit.
What is the best advice you’ve received in your career? Never accept anything but the best.
How has the remodeling profession changed since you’ve been involved? Projects cost a lot more than they used to. Many people have chosen to stay in homes vs. moving. This has allowed them to do much more extensive projects on their existing houses — to create their dream spaces.
What is your focus as a remodeler — more growth or steady revenue at greater profitability? There is always a desire to grow but our goal is to increase profit margins by doing less volume. There are so many decisions on each project that growing by volume has never seemed like a great option.
If you could have a 30-minute conversation with any business leader in the country, who would it be? Paul Mitchell because he seemed to create an empire with many different business ventures yet still lead a simplistic lifestyle.
Where do you go to look for solutions and ideas for your business? Networking with other business owners.
What does being part of NAHB mean to you? Being a part of the NAHB gives tons of credibility to our business. It is nice for future and existing clients to have the assurance of using a credible company.
Are you hiring this year and how are you going about finding the right people for your company? We are always hiring quality people. We make a huge effort to make sure we have projects year-round so retaining employees is never an issue. That is the key — retaining good, qualified, seasoned craftsmen.
What is the most unusual project your company has completed? Nothing seems unusual anymore. We build golf greens, swimming pools, high-end residential and commercial. We work with great designers and architects that create some very unusual and unique spaces.
What is your favorite item in your office? An old 1905 model Johnson boat motor; I have a pretty unique office.
What have you done to grow your business during the current economy? We have seen growth every year through what many have said is a shaky economy. I think the key is being flexible and open to doing new things.
What motivates you every day? My family.
Anything else you’d like to mention about career accomplishments? I work hard every day in part because I watched my mother do it as a single mom. I give her credit for helping to make me the person that I am.
Many remodelers are reporting increases in their average job size in 2015, are you seeing this as well? Yes.
What is your No. 1 source of leads right now, and why is it working? Referrals. We try our best to take care of our customers, and they appreciate that and refer us to their friends.