Today we’d like to introduce you to Jon Cunningham.
Jon, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Sure, I always love to share with others that are interested in talking entrepreneurship!
In my family, we have a long line of entrepreneurs so even as a child, the thought of creating a business always seemed natural. Plus, I’ve always preferred freedom over money and I like being of service to people. In the late 90’s, my wife Karen and I owned a construction company which employed about five crews of 2-3 people. When our second daughter was born in 2000, I decided to try out the implied stability of working for a company. While there are definitely pros and cons to working for others, after working in a corporate environment for about 6 years I decided it just wasn’t in my DNA.
I took what I had learned at my employer and built a home-based drafting services company which started in 2005. I had previously learned in my industry that there was an underserved market for technical shop drawings so I set out to fill the need. My former employer had become my first customer. I had one basic personal rule for success passed down to me by my father and that was, “Always do what you say you are going to do.” The fact that I didn’t have a college degree didn’t matter. I knew my industry and held my work ethic above all else. All these years later, our business is thriving and better than ever.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Our intention from the onset was to design a company that gave us the freedom we wanted out of our personal lives while also being readily available to our clients. I wanted to be able to take my business anywhere, even to my family’s lake house. Later being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, lifestyle design became extremely important. With the use of remote servers, a website, and sub-contractors, we designed a home-based business that was scalable. This way when you experience the inevitable obstacles and challenges in business, you can adjust accordingly. We’ve had as many as six drafters and as little as two working for us at any time.
The main challenge otherwise is basically qualifying the proper customer. I was raised to give my best price the first time, be proud of what you charge, and to provide the best service possible. Some people are looking for a bargain while others are looking to bring a design team onboard that has their best interest at heart. To avoid as many unnecessary obstacles as possible, we take qualifying our clients very seriously as we would expect them to do with us.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Innerwall Company – what should we know?
Innerwall Company provides architectural and structural metal cladding drafting services to the construction industry. These are also known as shop drawings. Our typical clients work with Division 7 construction which involves metal roofing, metal wall systems, copper, zinc, and various ornamental architectural metals. What sets us apart from others is our exceptional industry knowledge, fast and accurate pricing, and consistent, on-time delivery of construction shop drawings. We always come through for our clients.
One of the largest projects we’ve had the pleasure to be apart of was the Maynard H Jackson Jr International Terminal at the Atlanta Airport. Many of our completed projects can be found in industry trade magazines like Metal Architecture, Metal Roofing Magazine and Metal Construction News.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My wife of 20 years, Karen is my partner and President of Innerwall Company. I focus on the projects and her focus is the general management of the business. Dividing and adhering to the roles that we set for ourselves has been key to growing and maintaining stability and success over the years.
JR Thomson is our Senior Drafting Manager and has been with us almost since the beginning. When you’re a small business it’s important to have someone cover for you that has your family’s best interest at heart, just like we do for our clients. We owe him a great deal of gratitude for helping shape the business into the success that it is today.
- Address: 2295 Towne Lake Pkwy Suite 116-176
Woodstock, GA 30189
- Website: https://innerwallcompany.com
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/shopdrawingpros
MetalTech-USA, University of Tampa