How One Man Is Thriving In The Construction Business | Business
Todd Harnetiaux knows what it's like to keep busy. He has four grown children who've left the nest, his 15 year old Erica is living at home and he's also raising 3 of his 7 grandchildren with his wife Nancy on the South Hill in Spokane. “It keeps us busy that's for sure,” said Harnetiaux with his usual smile.
Harnetiaux is happy to be busy at work as well. He opened Modern Construction and Consulting Service (MCCS) in September of 2008 and things are starting to take off. “I just feel really fortunate right now. A lot of my colleagues are struggling. But I feel like we've filled a good niche,” says the 52 year old.
Harnetiaux is originally from Huntington Beach California. After graduating from Gonzaga University he decided to stay in Spokane and get into the construction business. “ Over the past 25 years I've worked for Lydig Construction where I implemented and managed their “Special Services Division”. I was also a Senior Project Manager for Baker Construction & Development. I felt that with those experiences I could make my own construction company successful,” said Harnetiaux, who's company MCCS recently landed a major contract with Walgreen's across Washington State to help with the remodeling of their stores.
MCCS has 3 separate divisions within the company to service a broad client base. Cumulatively the three divisions can take a project from the construction design phase through setting up what the client needs to open the doors for business. Harnetiaux says they also do re-branding for his clients as needed.“We're getting more business than others right now through diversification, target marketing, and realizing that you constantly need to expand your services. The re-branding work we do is an example of this. This philosophy has increased my client base which in turn has generated additional profits,” said Harnetiaux.
He says you have to believe you can achieve your goals before you start your business. “Number one … believe in yourself and your ability to be successful. Your business must also have a sound marketing program. Lastly, I feel the need to get involved with community organizations and events. That helps to keep you grounded and aware of what’s happening in Spokane,” said Harnetiaux.
Harnetiaux says he's hopeful the economy will continue to get better. “ Economists are predicting 2012 to be a time line for recovery. There are signs that the banking industry is cautiously starting to fund construction loans for the private sector. Unfortunately 90 percent of the jobs bidding today are public works projects. There tend to be stiff completion for these projects which makes it difficult to get profit margins needed to sustain a small company’s overhead costs.”
As for his company's future, Harnetiaux he plans to keep things simple. “Stay small, control our costs and monitor receivables, and continue to provide quality services to your existing clients,” said Harnetiaux.