If you don’t already know Steven Leuck and Jeff Brown, the entrepreneurs behind Contractors Electric, we’re very pleased to get to introduce you to them. Launching a new business venture anytime is fraught with risk and huge odds of failure. Launching it in the middle of a recession (2010) when work and capital is scarce is even harder.
Both long time employees in the local electrical contracting community (50+ years between them), Leuck and Brown found themselves where many employees in Lane County found themselves during the crash of 2008: hours being cut, benefits being trimmed, unsure if their jobs would continue and for how long, and facing the challenge of figuring out how to keep making ends meet for their families.
In an interview with Inspire Eugene, Leuck reveals the lengths he and Jeff Brown went to in order to give their business the best possible chance of succeeding.
“One of the reasons for our success during a depression period is, we put ourselves out there. We are everywhere we can be, we are talking to people, we are participating at the community level. By doing that we have gotten to know people and they have gotten to know us. Sales are about relationships, it’s nothing more than that. You build on your relationships and people learn to trust you; if you provide the services that they learn to count on, then you are going to work together.” Leuck said.
Here is Inspire Eugene’s podcast interview with Steven Leuck
Leuck is not only a member of the Springfield and Eugene Chambers of Commerce, he also just finished as this last years co-host for the Springfield Greeters. Prior to that he got involved by working with various chamber committees and working with the Springfield Chamber board. Leuck also serves on a local charter school board and is this years president of the Construction Specifications institute.
“You also get involved in charitable things too where you have opportunities to share with the community. Sheltercare is one of our favorites, we’ve helped out at ARC of Lane County, you know these really help people understand who you are and what your goals are as you are helping them.” Leuck said.
Leuck and Brown also did something that few startups do properly: planning. Once they decided to strike out on their own, the first thing they went after was knowledge so they could craft a business plan. Leveraging competitors knowledge, trusted confidants, SCORE!, the Chamber of Commerce and even former employers,
“I worked for probably 2-3 months on a business plan using a well known local software product (Business Plan Pro), then we took it to our mentors and spent several more months refining that. Once we got it to a place we thought was workable we talked to a couple friendly competitors.” Leuck said.
As neither partner was in a position with the current economy to secure outside financing, they recognized that they would need to bootstrap their business. With a well vetted and thorough business plan, and their own money the made the leap and created Contractors Electric. The benefit of planning, a solid customer based philosophy and a commitment to hard work, it took them 3 years to put Contractors Electric onto not only a profitable footing, but a debt free one. With the quality of their service and the growing list of satisfied customers, Contractors Electric has experienced positive growth year to year.
“We’ve been very blessed to grow 50% a year, every year until this year. We thought it was going to taper back a little bit, but we are already at 200% of last years, double the business we were doing.” Leuck said.
How does a new business grow like that, during a recession? We checked out what their customers had to say. We first headed for Yelp – the site famous for scathing and nasty reviews, and notorious for litigating to protect those negative reviews. To our surprise, not a single negative review of Contractors Electric.
[gn_quote style=”1″ color=”#0088DD”] “My friends over at Mechanical Air & Heating referred me over to Contractors Electric and boy am I glad they did! When I called in I spoke to Jeff and he told me that he would re-route one of his guys over to my house within the hour. Also, he quoted me a reasonable hourly rate for the work. Within 30 minutes Nathan showed up and was very professional and courteous. He showed me what the problem was, proceeded to fix it very quickly, and then addressed a few other smaller electrical issues my wife had on our fix it list. I would highly recommend this company to anybody in the Eugene/Springfield area who is looking for a quality electrician for an affordable price.” – Nick W.[/gn_quote]
How many businesses do we collectively know that show up earlier than they promise, do the work, for the price and even answer their phone 24/7…personally? I can think of exactly 1.
Eugene Daily News recommends Contractors Electric, they are an example of excellence in our community. If you haven’t already voted in the Register Guard’s Annual Readers Choice Awards – click HERE and give Contractors Electric your vote: supporting businesses and business owners like this are exactly what it takes to keep Eugene, Springfield and all of Lane County growing and prospering.