Matt Breyer has been working in construction ever since he could hold a hammer, he says. Rundown barns in the woods around Reading, Pa., provided the boards he used to construct a three-level deck—“with a drawbridge,” he notes—as a 12-year-old.
Today, Breyer’s company completes about 150 projects a year, along with his versed three-level decks. And, in his limited spare time, he writes articles for PROFESSIONAL DECK BUILDER and THE JOURNAL OF LIGHT CONSTRUCTION.
In turning his talent into a living, Breyer advanced from building decks to designing them and finally to selling them. Now, as his company pushes ahead adding more volume, he’s looking to redefine his role in the business. He sells not because he needs to, but because he likes it. “I like solving problems,” he says.
Breyer Construction’s marketing aims to get Breyer in front of prospects to form the relationship and then—based on that relationship—to set a course of action. But he also seeks to cut his “windshield time” by hiring additional staff.
Lately, with more sales, Breyer has committed himself to chasing down inefficiencies by building the kind of controls into production and cash flow that will ensure consistently profitable performance job to job.
To reduce the impact of seasonality on its work, the firm has added services such as basement finishing. “We did it slowly because we don’t want to dilute our brand,” Breyer says. “We have three basement jobs going right now.”
- Breyer Construction invested in design software, including a 3-D program called Vision Scape, which renders images “good enough to bring that comfort level up and get prospects to say yes,” Breyer says.
- The distance between the chronological bookends of a job has been shortened by ramping up the company’s marketing efforts. “If we can book the work, then we can do the work,” Breyer says.
- To reach the goal of having “the highest customer satisfaction and the highest employee qualifications within [their] region,” Breyer invested in getting all applicable personnel certified by NADRA (North American Deck and Railing Association) and the National Association of Home Builders.
- Breyer takes advantage of installation training offered by all the manufacturers whose products his company uses. “We’ve been pushing that training down through the project managers and carpenters,” he says, pointing out that the training “has also given [staff] some really good contacts in the industry.”