Some of North Mountain Construction’s work is highly visible in Nelson, including the new Kootenay Co-op building and the Savoy Hotel.
Other work isn’t so visible, including a huge mountaintop mansion. From luxury custom homes to commercial projects, the business has made a name for itself—which meant co-owners Gabe and Rikki Tyler needed to rethink operations so they could meet demand and tackle the future with confidence.
About three years ago the company began a period of substantial growth. The owners, neither of whom had business training, found themselves taking on far too much.
“It wasn’t at the point yet where things were failing,” says Rikki, “but our stress levels were definitely going up. Our solution was to put in more hours and work harder. And you can only do that for so long.”
The Basin RevUp program guided them toward a more sustainable solution. The program helps non-technology businesses that are poised for growth with customized support, training and networking. It does so by connecting business owners or managers with experienced mentors and provides customized growth plans, coaching, training and engagement with peers.
Although they already had up to or over 30 employees, depending on workload, through the program the Tylers realized they required more support for business operations. They needed to hire more people to help them operate the business including an administrator and project manager. Rikki says, “The mentoring was really critical in convincing us that we had to hire more people to do things that we previously thought ‘We’ll just do it ourselves to save costs.’ It was a big step for us to get over the hurdle of spending what we thought of as overhead costs.”
The Tylers also took action in other ways, like improving how they tracked their financials, becoming bonded so they could take on larger projects and creating a business structure that can grow in scale as the company grows. Rikki moved from bookkeeper to controller, and Gabe now oversees the company’s project managers rather than doing the everyday tasks himself. This gives him more time for bigger-picture items like client management, high-level problem solving and working with engineers and architects.
“I had a very tight grip on everything in the company,” Gabe says. “RevUp taught me to relax that grip. It showed me the things that were missing and helped teach me to grow a company.” The daily demands, too, are much more manageable for the co-owners, who are also parents to two young children.
“Day-to-day,” Gabe says, “life is much better.”
Now Gabe has set his sights on even more impressive commercial projects, like multi-storey buildings, which are often built by non-Nelson contractors. With key systems and a strong team in place—and plans for another hire in the near future—the business has more chance of achieving this goal than ever.