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Meet Cole Vickers of Metro Green Construction

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cole Vickers.

Cole, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started the company in 2009 as a method to do some facilities management work for a couple of developers I know. I was basically a salaried employee, but on a 1099 basis instead of W2.

Upon leaving my corporate job and working for said developers, it wasn’t long before some former clients tracked me down & asked me to help them with some addition & renovation work at properties I built for my former employers. The projects were too small for my former employers to care about, the clients wanted somebody with knowledge of the existing property, and the developers I was working for were ok with me doing side work. These little projects are how MGC started doing lump sum contracting.

Eventually those little projects turned into larger jobs, and soon I had so much side work I had to quit my 1099 job doing facility maintenance & focused on lump sum contracting full time. I was running the business out of my bedroom (I lived with 2 college friends), so I had pretty much zero overhead. I began turning out good profits, saved all my money, and used it to reinvest in the company.

Now we currently have $10 Million of work under contract, 7 employees, 5 company vehicles, and are embarking on our most ambitious marketing campaign to date, starting next week. Our goal is to have $100 Million in gross receipts by 2020.

Has it been a smooth road?
Obviously, there were a lot of struggles along the way. Only those with a very thick skin can survive in our industry. Once we undertook our first outbound marketing campaign, I had to get used to having doors slammed in my face very often. 9 opportunities out of 10 were failures. I got used to being blown off, laughed at, ignored, etc. very quickly. The worst were the people that would allow us to bid a project, let us spend 3 weeks and thousands of dollars in resources assembling our price/proposal, then tell us that we were the lowest price, but they just didn’t think we were qualified to get the job.

When I started focusing on lump sum contracting full time, I knew how to run a construction project, but I didn’t know anything about running a company. Marketing, sales, hiring, executive -level management, accounting, insurance, bonding, banking, taxes, etc. were all things that I knew nothing about and had to learn as we went along.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
We are a commercial general contracting firm. We only work on non-residential new construction & renovation projects. If we have a noted specialty, it would be incorporating sustainable technology into construction projects at no additional cost to the owner. We also have quite a bit of experience in the automotive construction industry, which is a small community in the construction industry.

Our dedication to utilizing sustainable building technology to save our clients’ money is what sets us apart from other contractors. Most contractors have a “get ours” mentality.

Our philosophy is that if we put our clients’ interests first, instead of our bottom line, we won’t have to worry about money. Providing value is the best way to build your revenue stream and gross profits.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Spending time in the outdoors with my Grandfather & my Brother.

Our dad wasn’t really around much while we were growing up, so our Grandfather was our best male role model; and he was an incredible man. He was always building & fixing things, which I believe is where I picked up things that drew me to construction. My family always says that my Grandfather and I are the only 2 people they’ve ever known that can fix absolutely anything.

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