2016: Builders Plus Construction is a Ma and Pa and Son shop
When draftsman Hal Callen volunteered to help build a church in Garden City, he and his wife, Donna, became convinced they should start their own company.
“My father saw a need for a qualified concrete contractor in both residential and commercial construction,” said his son, Chris Callen, who is now CEO of Builders Plus Construction.
Chris Callen said his parents made investments in innovative equipment, such as a laser screed.
“It allows us to place large volumes of floors that are rated super-flat,” he said. “It boosted our average project size by 300 percent or so.”
That propelled the company into building schools and large retail outlets, such as Wal-Mart stores.
“Back then, it was very much our competitive advantage that really boosted our revenue and company size in a short period of time,” Callen said.
It also prompted the family to move the company to Wichita where its core work is, including some general contracting.
Today, Chris Callen said his knowledge of technology – his degree is in management information systems – is “what we see now as more of our differentiator.”
He uses technology such as drones and 3-D software.
“That’s kind of changed how we operate our company.”
Best business advice you have received: Simon Synek’s “Start With Why” completely changed the angle in which I view business. Focusing on the services you provide and the techniques in which you provide them will only get you so far. To spread a vision throughout a company and then into your customer base and beyond, you must focus on the “Why.”
Best business advice you have given: Celebrate your failures and push through them.
What sets your company apart? While a large amount of similar companies are family owned and multi-generational, we believe we have a different environment as result of having Chris, Hal and Donna involved. … Between the leadership team at Builders Plus, there is little overlap of our true skillsets. This model only flourishes within a strong, team-oriented organization.
What have you learned about your company by going through this process? I think that anytime we are given the opportunity to share about our team, we step back and are able to look at the bigger picture. .
Why do you prefer to run your own business as opposed to working for someone else? People say I personally have a poor work/life balance. … My passion just happens to coincide with my career, and it makes it immensely rewarding to love working each day.
How has your business changed in the digital age? The last 10 years have upended construction as we now have more computing power in our pocket than we had to land on the moon. While we have experienced a shakeup recently, more … is to come.
What’s your company’s next goal? Our company’s goal has been and will continue to be to become one of the greatest places to work, period. We truly want every team member to feel respected, cared for, and proud to have Builders Plus Construction written on their hard hat.
Name of business: Builders Plus Construction
Year founded: 1985
Owners: Hal and Donna Callen
Address: 1867 S. Hoover. After June, 1520 E. Douglas, Suite 100