Chad Collins is a pretty quiet, unassuming guy, but he tells it like it is. That’s important in his line of work: he’s a home builder and a home inspector in the Triangle area of North Car.... And something about that combination makes his clients very happy -- on both sides of his business.
We gave Chad our Q&A and he was able to mention the rock band KISS and NASCAR in the same interview. Very impressive! Here is what he said.
When did you start your business?
How long had you been planning to start your business? Was it a sudden decision or a five year plan? What helped you pull the switch?
It took five years of on the job training and education to earn licenses and accreditations. I’m a true example of “being at the right place at the right time.” The business plan finally worked its way into the private sector when I found “lenders” who invested in me.
Did anyone give you a great piece of advice? If so, what was it and what did it mean to you then as opposed to now?
If I said I was inspired by rock band documentaries would you believe me? Because that’s kind of how it went down. I watched a VHS tape of KISS, Metallica and others being interviewed and figured we all wanted to rule the world. My path was construction instead of rock ‘n’ roll. Can’t you see the parallels? Only there are not as many chicks wearing your t-shirt in construction… I still look to professionals being interviewed to this day for inspiration. Only now it’s more likely to be athletic team coaches or NASCAR team leaders.
What's something you know now that you *wish* you knew when you first started your business?
I wish I had been more ballsy. I wish I had gone for broke and laid it all out there. I think I would have achieved financial success early on. I now have more to lose, so I play it safe for that reason-- but back before family and kids? Man, I could have made some dough!
What's your biggest challenge as a small business owner?
Currently, I am struggling with waves of work. It comes in heavy waves, but just not steady enough to warrant hiring an employee.
What do you like best about being a small business owner?
I love what I create. My projects become a part of me for life. For example, while I’m building an new home, I will talk to the walls just like it was living, breathing thing. I pray for our projects. I respect them, and am humbled by them. I am a lucky fellow to get to do what I do. I mean, think about: people hand me over a half million dollars (in most cases) to make a home for them. A place that they are going to trust to be safe; to raise their babies; their pets; their memories. That is a heavy responsibly. And I cherish it.
ABOUT THIS SERIES
Small Business Stories are a series of interviews by Walker Interactive (Lauren Walker) with our past and current clients. It came about because I found myself constantly beginning a sentence with, "Oh, I have a cool client who..." and sharing their story. Our clients run the gamut, so this series shows a lot of variety, but all are entrepreneurs and small business owners who are in the trenches everyday!