Today we’d like to introduce you to Roger Williamson.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
In the summer of 1985, between semesters at Baylor University, I took a job with a foundation repair company here in the North Dallas area. As a beginning laborer, I dug holes and poured concrete. Over that summer I learned a lot about the operations side of the business – both good and bad lessons – and then went back to Baylor in the fall. The following summer, I decided I could do at least as good as the company for whom I had worked, so I borrowed money from my father to start a foundation repair company as a summer job – much as many of my friends mowed lawns in the summer.
I marketed myself relentlessly and found a few people desperate enough to hire a kid to do their job. I actually found that I had a knack for this business and an innate understanding of how houses would react to movement. By the end of the summer, I had actually earned enough to pay my tuition and pay my father back the money he had lent me.
By my senior year at Baylor, I was only taking Tuesday/Thursday classes as I had a 1-2 month backlog of work here in Dallas to do Fridays through Mondays. I changed my plans to attend Law School and have been running the foundation repair company ever since.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The journey of the past 33 years has been an amazingly rewarding struggle to say the least! Our industry is strongly affected by the overall economy, housing sales, and weather – 3 things difficult to predict far in advance. As a result, the company has grown and shrunk many times.
In addition to the outside influences which are out of our control, this industry has had no regulation or industry associations (until relatively recently) to help give guidance with techniques, procedures, and best practices. After both my father and grandfather passed within a year of each other in 1992, I have had no mentors or trusted advisers upon which to rely. Because of this, I have made a million business mistakes which could have been avoided. Many of those mistakes have been in hiring and people management, financial management, record keeping, and marketing.
But through it all we learn and continue moving forward. I now enjoy sharing the things I’ve learned (mostly the hard way) with other young Entrepreneurs.
Please tell us about Williamson Foundation Repair.
Williamson Foundation Repair has been North Texas’ premier “boutique” foundation repair company for over 3 decades.
While we have no desire to be the biggest foundation repair company in town, we certainly pride ourselves on being the best! And being the best means we always put our customers first. We strive for complete honesty and prompt thorough communication, as well as professionalism and courtesy in all phases of the process. Our Lifetime Warranty is simply the strongest in the industry (no need to transfer, and never any inspection or adjustment fees), and we pride ourselves on responding to warranty issues and honoring our warranty at all times (sadly not an industry standard).
As such, we have the highest possible ratings on Angie’s List, The Good Contractors’ List, and the BBBs of both Dallas and Tyler. Our on-line reviews are plentiful and speak for themselves. Unlike most foundation repair companies, we not only perform foamed polyurethane injection (a high-tech method of lifting concrete), but we actually own our own equipment and do not sub-contract the work to a third party.
We are also the only foundation repair company focused on the prevention of foundation problems, and took several years to develop our exclusive Foundation Defender System – a unique foundation watering system developed by foundation experts, and not by a sprinkler company. In conjunction with our desire to keep foundations stable, we also design, install, maintain, and repair drainage systems of all kinds, and even perform foundation water-proofing procedures to stop water from penetrating into rooms located below ground level.
Because we want to service all our clientele in the best way possible, we install virtually every type of pier on the market. We do not sell a “one-size-fits-all” approach because every home and every situation is different – which is why we install drilled concrete piers, concrete piling piers, steel piers, and even helical steel piers. So all-in-all, Williamson Foundation Repair is uniquely designed to meet your needs and exceed your expectations!
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
The most important lesson I’ve learned is NOT to listen to those who tell you how hard it is or that you can’t do it. Don’t listen to the statistics of business failures, but believe in your abilities and constantly move forward. But here are some things I would definitely change: I would have sought out business mentors to help me steer the company’s development and growth. I would have also put a bigger emphasis on marketing, as I did virtually none for over 20 years. I would have paid myself less and re-invested more into the company – both in people and in research and development. I would have hired people sooner to do the things I’m not good at or which aren’t a good use of my time. Hiring is always a daunting prospect, but having a good team has proven to be the biggest asset to the business.
- Mention Voyage Dallas and receive a FREE Engineering report with your foundation repair job (a $600 value!)
- Address: 3309 Main Street
Rowlett, TX 75088
- Website: www.williamsonfoundation.com
- Phone: 469-698-8332
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/williamsonfoundation/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/WilliamsonFdn
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/williamson-foundation-repair-richardson
- Other: https://plus.google.com/108238210857245556146