Patrick Heffler: FAMILY-OWNED Construction Company Grows 10,000% Using 8a BD Program
President and CEO of a family-owned construction company, Patrick Heffler shares how their business grew using the 8a program and how he uses his father’s values in continuing the business.
Patrick Heffler is the President and CEO of Heffler Contracting Group, a San Diego-based 8a and HUBZone certified federal contractor, providing customized contracting solutions for federal and military installations.
At a young age, his father taught him the values of hard work by urging him to work on weekends and do tasks including digging ditches and estimating numbers.
After graduating with an economics degree from the University of San Diego, he then purchased the company from his father and accomplished his first contract which is a parking lot expansion project at the San Diego Office of Education complex on Linda Vista road.
“I learned from the bottom and I learned working side by side by, with people that work hard. I understand the work ethic. I understand what’s involved. And he would work me on the weekends and I didn’t argue. I loved it.”
THE 8A BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
When the 2008-2009 credit crisis and recession hit the United States, Heffler’s revenues were destroyed and his company plunged into the federal marketplace and thought of joining the 8a business development. However, in order to win contracts and clientele, they need to provide value.
“‘Hey, what’s going to give me a competitive advantage over other contractors? What’s going, how can I utilize my ability to do good work, show integrity, not be a change order contractor, and provide that to the client?’ The 8a program was the solution. And not that the 8a program is a free ticket in any aspect, it just gives you, instead of a cold call, it gives you a warm call.”
But before diving directly into the program, he decided to do a research. He interviewed 18 successful and unsuccessful contractors and asked questions about their goals, achievements, and mistakes while in the program.
What he found was the contractors who treated the program as a long-term business development and sustainment program gained success in the long run. Meanwhile, those who only looked at it as a means of attaining low hanging fruit failed and didn’t win any contracts after their graduation.
“There are so many people out here that have the 8a certification that have no idea how to use it. They don’t even know why they got it. Someone told them about it, right? And they go into it completely blind, not knowing the program, not knowing how to leverage the program, how it’s supposed to work, what it’s supposed to do for them.”
Then, after 18 months of hard work in finishing the application process, Heffler was then approved on the program. During their first years, they roughly had a $320,000 revenue with one employee but today, they already have a revenue of $32 million with almost a hundred full-time employees.
THE REAL KEY TO SOLE SOURCE
Heffler and his team is not just bidding for contract opportunities, they are also responding to sources sought notices.
An example that he gave was how they responded to a sources sought notice in 2018 and then responded again in 2019 for other sources sought but with the same person. In those times, they never know what will happen but just this year, they got a call asking if they are still interested in the opportunity.
“You know what? The government didn’t let a lot of the people that we worked for, contracting operators, specialists, whatever they may be. They don’t want to have a lot of time. They don’t have a lot of resources, a lot of time to deal with things, but you got to find every opportunity to contact them.”
However, also consider that not all sources sought will equate to an opportunity because there are other contractors that might be more qualified for the job.
Still, continue doing so because you might not be qualified for that certain job but the contracting officer may have another opportunity for you where you can do the project without losing revenues.
FIND THE RIGHT PEOPLE
Patrick Heffler believed that the family-owned construction company won’t achieve this success without their people. And this is one of his obstacles: finding the right people who want to expand their footprint and understand what they’re trying to do and accomplish.
“I’m very clear when I interview anyone that comes into the company. I’m not here to have you work on one particular project. I’m here to have you work the rest of your career here… but it’s up to you to do it. You need to live it up, live up. And I will live up to my expectations as well. So that’s the way I treat it. And sometimes it works out.”
One of these people that he’s lucky to work with is his friend Jesse Tovar who has the analytical side of things and is not afraid to tell him if things will not work out and the reason behind it.
So, like how his father inspired him in managing the company, he is also treating the company and the people behind it as part of his family.
“I think a lot of people that come to work for Heffler, they’re coming here because they’re inspired by what we’re trying to achieve and they want to be part of it and they want to belong. They want a family and they want to belong to it. And I think I got that from my dad.”
If you want to watch the full video of the interview with Patrick Heffler as he shares how their business grew using the 8a program and how he uses his father’s values in continuing the business, then be sure to click the link down below.
068: Patrick Heffler – Family-Owned Construction Company Grows 10,000% Using 8a BD Program
👨👩👧👦 FAMILY OWNED 👨👩👧👦 Construction Company Grows 10,000% Using 8a BD Program