Desmond Conley first started working in remodeling when he got an apprenticeship helping a master carpenter complete flooring jobs. He quickly found himself doing similar work in his own home and for family and friends. But he wanted to know more about the craft he had chosen, so he decided to pursue an associate’s degree in construction technology.
“I enrolled as a full-time student and did small projects for clients during winter and spring break to get me through school,” he calls. “I started G.I.D. Remodeling and Services after my first semester and after three semesters I graduated with a 3.7 GPA.”
But while Conley knew the ins and outs of his craft once he had graduated, he needed help growing and protecting his business.
Conley contacted SCORE early in his venture by attending the “Own Your Own Business” workshop taught by Louisville SCORE in conjunction with the local Small Business Development Center. “I credit improvements in my financial record keeping to that workshop,” Conley says.
Mentors Hugh Shwab met with Conley weekly during his first eight months in business to work through business-plan preparation, financials, and “Even advice on just personal and life solutions as it relates to running a business,” he says.
G.I.D. Remodeling & Services has experienced an average of 240 percent increase in annual revenues, with a peak as high as 400 percent during the first five years of his business. Conley credits this success to regular meetings with his team of SCORE mentors.
Now as an established business, “The greatest challenge I face is finding skilled workers and balancing work and personal life,” Conley says. He still meets with his mentors on a quarterly basis and plans to for many years to come. Conley’s business “Utilizes SCORE like my very own business watchdogs and I have come to build trust and a great deal of respect for Hugh,” he says.