The nation’s financial crisis in 2008 forced Eric Koehler into making his side business his main business. Before the downturn, he served as chief development officer of a residential construction company. But he also had a custom home-building business. Remodeling jobs came along and the company morphed into a remodeling firm taking on whole-house remodels, then additions, kitchens, baths, and more. All the while using trusted subcontractors. “Finding the right guys took a while, but I have a crew I’m in love with,” Koehler says.
- Daily checkups on jobsites. Koehler makes a point of visiting every jobsite every day—that’s usually about six—to find out what’s transpired and what’s about to. “The homeowner comes home every night and wants to see progress. If there is no progress, they start to get upset.” He acknowledges that as he moves to a new stage of growth, this aspect of managing his operation will have to be turned over to someone else, but “that’s a good problem to have.”
- Organizes dinners with trade contractors and their wives several times a year. “One of the great things about using the same guys is that each guy knows how the next guy works and what the next guy wants.”
- Has been listed in the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Top 25 Residential Remodeling Contractors for the last four years. “Executives read that,” Koehler says. And some of them become his clients.