Springfield Business Journal: What’s been the key to your recent growth?
Matt Bailey: One key is the merger between my company and my brother-in-law [Adam Pyle’s] company in 2016. That was our goal all along. I knew where I was deficient in my company, he knew where he was deficient, and we made a plan. The first key was getting his employees and my employees together, because we each have our own strengths and we needed each other to grow. Then, just having a good base of clients. We do a lot of repeat business. It was really hectic that first year, but we were right where we thought we’d be.
SBJ: What are the issues when it comes to managing growth?
Bailey: The more business we do, we have our own industry issues that we’re dealing with. Labor costs. But just the growth in general. Just trying to manage our people, combining our people, finding the strengths of each of our employees and where they should fit within this new company, maintaining our jobs (and) quality. Trying to find a place for each of us. Adam and I knew where we thought we fit. But you have two companies and two sets of employees and they have their own thoughts. We had to listen to that. His personality is more of an A, and I’m not. That’s why I needed him to help my business grow. If we were the same, this wouldn’t work for long, especially with our growth. It’s hard right now to find any labor. If you look at how many companies that are hiring, it’s pretty much every construction company. You should have a job in construction, if you need a job. Everyone is hiring. You can have your job fairs, but we try to look at it a little deeper and try to work on the future. We’re involved in (Missouri State University’s) construction department, and then we go all the way down to the high school division. We’re looking at it all the way down to that level, not just what we can get immediately. This is long term for our company to sustain this growth. We need employees.
SBJ: What has the growth enabled your company to do?
Bailey: Not sleep much. [Laughs] We are now competing with larger firms that we’ve never really had the chance to. Our partners in the design industry have really helped us get to this level. They believed in us. We were always kind of stuck in that $1 million-$2 million job for commercial, which is great and we still do them. We wanted to be in the $3, $4, $5 million. Now we’re competing in the $10 million, $20 million jobs. That’s kind of a sense of pride that we’re to a point where we’re actually being asked to price these jobs.
SBJ: Is there a tipping point?
Bailey: We will not sustain this growth. We have a plan of where we want to be, and we did not plan on that growth to begin with. As far as sustaining that growth, no, I don’t see we will grow every three years at 500%. We are OK if it’s a slower growth from here on out. It’s ultimately better for our company.
SBJ: Have your goals changed as your business has taken off?
Bailey: The plan that we had laid out has changed a little just because we’re a little further ahead than we thought we would be. We’d like to keep a sense of a small company, though. There is a lot of family in our company. We’re looking now at getting more people involved in the community. Volunteering doesn’t necessarily benefit my company’s bottom line, but I knew it was the right thing to do.
SBJ: What’s the best business advice you have received?
Bailey: You’re only as good as your employees. Always hire people who are not necessarily like you. That’s kind of how Adam and I got together. I hire to their strength, not to my strength. I don’t need another me.
SBJ: What makes your company dynamic?
Bailey: We feel our customer service is one thing that makes us dynamic. Our small, tight-knit little family of employees makes us dynamic. We go above and beyond for anybody. I was raised in residential, doing custom homes. It’s very detail oriented and people have a different attitude when you’re going to live somewhere versus going to office somewhere. We brought a level of that type of custom building to every project we do. It doesn’t matter what size of project, doesn’t matter what dollar amount.
Springfield Business Journal’s 2023 Trusted Advisers event honors 20 businesspeople.