Brian Henry: Truck Driver turned Successful General Contractor
Get inspiration from Brian Henry, the former truck driver who built a multi-million general contractor!
Brian Henry grew up in Green Cove Springs, North Florida. He is the son of a school teacher who instilled in him that there’s nothing he can’t do if he just put his mind into it.
Meanwhile, although construction was not on his agenda, after being laid off in his job as a truck driver, he started in the industry through trucking and shifted to being a general contractor.
Eventually, he worked his way up in the 8a program and four years later had surpassed the $10 million annual revenue mark.
Currently, Brian Henry’s company, Henry General Contractors, is known for its wide service in providing public construction projects including historic preservation and restoration, demolition, and other commercial and federal works.
“There’s more opportunities out there. Do more than what you usually do.”
HENRY GENERAL CONTRACTORS
Brian Henry started in 1992 but during that time until 2002, it was still a trucking company. He only shifted to construction when a good friend encouraged him to stop doing trucking and start a construction company.
“I said to myself, ‘Well, why can’t I build houses? Why can’t I do this? Why can’t I do this in my spare time?’ So, it got to the point where I said, you know, ‘I could do this.’”
He then set out to get his construction supervisor’s license and started taking small projects working on the state level as a minority business enterprise and as a subcontractor for his friend.
At first, there were only two people in his company. There is another gentleman who was working in the field while he’s in the office doing all the paperworks for the contracts and submittals.
Then, when their 8a application was approved and they experienced growth during the first three years in the program, he decided to hire more people. Until now, they continue bringing in more good people who could help them grow.
“One thing about construction is that you don’t have to know everything, but the people in your company have to know. So, at the end of the day, you surround yourself around people that are gonna help you grow.”
1. Go the extra mile.
Customers want best for them and to gain that response, you need to treat them right and like they’re your only customers, this way, you’re at the top of their list.
“Well, that’s pretty much the one that I live by, and I even tell them, I say, ‘I’m going to treat you like you’re my only customer. You’re not my only customer, but I’m gonna try my best to treat you like you’re my only customer.’ And that’s really— once I put that statement out there, then I have to live up to it.”
2. Market your business.
Marketing is very important. It is the biggest key why other contractors won contracts and others didn’t. So, speak to an agency, introduce yourself, and bring your literature and present it to them.
“Basically you want to build a relationship because at the end of the day, when the agencies call, they can’t just recommend one contractor, but you definitely want your name thrown in the hat. So, to have that relationship is only beneficial to you, especially if you’re out there making all your customers happy.”
3. Ask for help.
Sometimes when you’re a business owner, you think that you can do more than you can, but when the point comes when you really can’t do it all alone, you need to hire more people. That’s the best strategy, as long as you hire the good ones and the best fit.
“Let’s be cautious. Let’s be conservative. Let’s just go at this very conservatively. But when the clock ticks and… as the contracts grew, then you can’t do it all. And that’s when I started bringing in people to try to help and assist and really take lead and help grow the business.”
4. Treat your team well.
Be fair to your employees and treat them the way you want them to treat you.
“You know, you can’t run off with all the money. At the end of the day, acknowledge people for their accomplishments, acknowledge them, make them feel comfortable. This is a team effort, and let’s just grow and see what we can… see how far we can go. And I have a good group of people and we’re continuously looking for good people.”
6. Help others.
There are a lot of people who helped Brian Henry on his way to success and he wants to give back by helping them or other people who need it as well.
“Don’t be afraid to help someone when you get to the point where you’re able to help someone. It’s one thing I’ve always learned that, you know, there’s many people that have inspired me and helped me to be who I am today.”
If you want to get more inspiration from Brian Henry, the former truck driver who built a multi-million general contractor, then be sure to click the resources below. You can also visit the GovCon Giant website or the new GovCon Edu where you learn everything about government contracting!
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