Qualified Remodeler Magazine

SEP 2018

Qualified Remodeler helps independent remodeling firms to survive, become more professional and more profitable by providing must-have business information, namely best business practices, new product information and timely design ideas.

Issue link: https://qualifiedremodeler.epubxp.com/i/1027259

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Page 19 of 79

QR: Who started your company? SC: I started my company 30 years ago, in 1988, after working for a family member for a few years. I learned a trade then decided to go out on my own as an entrepreneur and started a tile/flooring business. QR: How did you do become a remodeler? SC: I started a tile business in the back of a truck with a helper for a few years, then opened a store front and started doing all as- pects of flooring and was very successful at that. en, our clients started asking us to do more and more projects other than floor- ing and showers. My company started doing smaller jobs for our clients that led into bigger, more detailed projects. at's when I decided this is what I was meant to do. QR: What does being part of NAHB Remodelers mean to you? SC: I feel privileged to be a part of this great QR: Where do you go to look for solutions and ideas for your business? SC: I lean heavily on my staff and family for ideas and inspiration. Cristina keeps up with the latest design styles and new products for our clients, and my field staff keeps up-to-date with new tools, tips and tricks to make the project run smoother. Pinterest and Houzz are great inspiration as well. QR: What is your No. 1 source of leads? SC: e best source of leads for us is word-of- mouth from our clients. It's the best compli- ment you can receive. We have a small local paper that only comes out on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and every now and then we will run an advertisement just to keep our name fresh in people's minds. ere is a section in the paper called "e Last Word," and it is wonderful to see your clients send in a report of what a great job you've done for them. QR: What motivates you every day? SC: After 30 years I still get excited to come into work and help a family create a "dream" project for their home. I hope to continue to build a successful business that can one day be passed on to my children and then to their children. QR: Anything else you'd like to mention about career accomplishments? SC: Over the past 30 years, I have learned that it is OK to take advice from my peers, and it is also a good thing to spread the knowledge I have. Teamwork is everything. I have been the president of my local association, as well as chair of the remodeler's council and sub-com- mittee chair at NAHB, and the old saying of "It takes a village" could not be more true. | organization. I think when you surround yourself with great people you can learn so much to implement into your own business. I also like speaking with people from differ- ent parts of the country to see how they are handling the same issues or situations with their clients. It makes for a great sound- ing board. Another great part is that you get to see firsthand how NAHB fights for contractors of all sizes in the legislative and regulatory battles and obstacles that we all face every day. QR: Right now, is your focus on more growth or steady revenue at greater profitability? SC: In the first 20 years of business, my main objective was to grow the business. As I have matured as a person and business owner, the objective has changed to more of growing our profitability. I have learned that I don't have to take every job that comes across my desk, and I can now specialize more in what we do best. QR: What differentiates your company? SC: With 3-D renderings I can have clients come into the office, sit at the computer, make changes in real-time, and they can walk away with an idea of what their finish project is going to look like. I have the great privilege of working with my whole family: my wife has worked in our office and acted as our in- house designer, until our daughter Cristina finished school and took over from there; our daughter Brittany works in the accounting department; and our son Michael works in the field doing our tile work and some carpentry work. I think our clients get a real sense of a family owned business. Mature Growth Cunningham built his tile and flooring business into a successful family owned remodeling firm. Compiled by Kacey Larsen STEVE CUNNINGHAM, CAPS, CGP Cunningham Contracting Inc. Williamsburg, Va. cunninghamcontract- ingva.com TITLE: President YEAR FOUNDED: 1988 NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 15 Cunningham credits his CAPS designation as an important driver for growing his business. Photo: Cunningham Contracting PROFITS: NAHB Remodeler of the Month 20 September 2018 QR QualifiedRemodeler.com

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