When you’re running a business in any industry, a crucial part of earning repeat business is simply being easy to work with. At Hughes Brothers Construction, we take pride in being as close to a maintenance-free contractor as possible. Whether it’s the first project we do for a developer or the 50th project we handle for them, we want that developer to say “wow, that was easy” when the job is done. We want that developer to feel like our project manager didn’t call them and bother them all the time — we’re capable of handling most problems on our own.
At the same time, we never want to lose sight of how we form a true team with the engineer and the developer on every project. That’s the biggest part of success on any job. If you can’t work as a team, and you’re stepping on each other’s toes all the time, that’s going to be a problem. Finding that balance between functioning as a team and being able to solve problems independently is hard to explain, and even harder to implement, but we feel like our Hughes Brothers project managers hit that sweet spot far more often than not.
At the end of the day, the developer wants two things: they want the job done under budget, and they want it done on time. If any issues arise with engineering — and there usually will be a few, it’s just the nature of our industry — the engineering firm needs to know that Hughes is a partner. We’re not going to hammer them over a small problem. We’re not going to nickel and dime them to death. We push for that partnership on every project. It’s important to us to have developers and engineers coming back and saying we did a great job, and that it was easy for them to build this project with us. If you’re fighting every step of the way from start to finish, they’re not going to come back. That’s not how you earn return business.
Today, probably about 90% of our customers are returning clients. In fact, the main way we get in with a new client these days is if one of our contacts with a developer switches jobs to a different builder. So, even when it is a new client, there’s still that relationship with our existing connection that led us to that new customer. And, of course, we continue working with their original employer as well.
These are all aspects that have played a big part in our success. We could talk until we’re blue in the face about how we have the best crews or the best iron — and to be fair, we believe those things as well — but it’s the relationships with our partners in the developing and engineering worlds that set us apart. It’s why we’ve grown from a seven-employee company into a nearly 300-employee company in just six years. We value our reputation. We’re young, we’re hungry, and we’re aggressive. If Hughes Brothers Construction tells you we’re going to do something, you can bet your bottom dollar that we’re going to do it right.