We are in the middle of making our own TV commercials. In years past, we have run commercials made by agencies, but the agencies don’t seem to understand how to share our awesome. This time, we are making them ourselves. We have some great concepts and are excited to get them on the air in the next few weeks.
When I first started out, I named my company “Stamilton Property Investments” because I had a rental house. Stamilton came from combining the last names of the two main characters (Stevens & Hamilton) of a book titled the “Ultimate Gift” by Jim Stovall. Was a great book that I recommend reading as I felt I could related to some of the principals in the book relating to doing the right thing.
2010 – Sole Proprieter with Stamilton Property Investments (yes, I had a rental house)
2011 – Converted Sole Proprietor to Stamilton Property Investments LLC
2011 – Introduced a doing business as Stamilton Construction & Handyman
2014 – changed name to Stamilton Construction LLC
2016 – change name to Stamilton Baths LLC
2016 – changed branding to America’s Bath Company
In 2016, my business really began to grow and what we found with our increased marketing is that the Stamilton name was difficult to remember and pronounce. After 2 months of playing around with names, in October 2016, we introduced America’s Bath Company. I think the name is perfect as it reflects our commitment to using American Made Products installed by top quality American Workmanship. We kept the logo, colors, and look the same as I really love what my graphics guy Ed put together.
Just like in school, we had our own team member photo day. The difference is we will not be handing out wallet size!
When I bought my 2nd home in 2006 (yes, paid too much), I began a journey that I would have never imagined would put me in the construction business. Up until early 2010, I was in the mortgage business, but after remodeling 90% of my home (in and out) myself, I found that I discovered something that I loved. I loved learning how to make improvements to my home, finish them, and have them turn out perfect. (yes, I’m a bit of a perfectionist).
“Do something you love and figure out how to make a living at it”
In 2010, I reached out to a very reputable remodeling / handyman company in Barrington that I knew of that actually helped me with a couple of things at my home. I quit the mortgage business and took at job with them on a part time basis for cheap to learn even more. They had me work a lot with a guy named Steve who was more of a perfectionist than me, but I learned a ton more from. From there, the rest just played out. In addition to working with Steve at this company, I began doing a lot of handyman work which then transitioned into doing a lot of corporate work for companies that were buying 100’s of houses that my company ended up remodeling. (talk about seeing it all – try remodeling nearly 60 houses in a year – you will learn more and see more than you want).
Along the way, I found that I loved remodeling bathrooms the most so in 2014, we began to focus exclusively on bathrooms where we have completed projects from $4,000 to $75,000
What did I learn?
- Focus on one thing and do it well (bathrooms)
- Don’t hire subcontractors (they don’t show up, they show up late, they cut corners, they don’t take responsibility, and they NEVER finish on time) – I had more than my share of headaches
- Make the guys and girls doing the work exclusive to you – this way they are exclusive to me doing the same thing every day – bathrooms – and I can then control the customer satisfaction by designing their compensation program around the success of the project they are working on. By doing great work, being responsible, and finishing on time……they receive a bonus. With that format, it’s a win for the customer, the company, and the employee.
- Do what you say you are going to do when you say you are going to do it – the world of handshake deals is dead, but what I learned from my father (who passed away at 52 – I’m 47 now) is just that. As a prudent business person, I have more contracts and agreements than I would like, but people who know me know, that if I say it’s going to be done, it will be done.
- There are may unscrupulous people in the construction world – I knew I could set myself apart as I brought a business background to the construction world, but I’m amazed a how homeowners almost expect to be screwed by a contractor. I think it’s because there are so many stories out there of projects never being finished, contractors always asking for money, and so forth.
- Know who you are doing business with – I learned to check people out and now as a company, we run background checks on all team members.
There you have it, the quick run down of how I started and what I learned along the way.
I really did not like writing when I was a kid, but somehow in my late 30’s I developed the urge to write a book when I was in the white collar world of mortgages. While I was in the mortgage business as a loan officer, I keep seeing young buyers make mistakes or receive less than accurate information from older people or real estate agents. As a result, I saw many poor decisions being made by people buying more house than they should have been buying, but hey, it was the early 2000’s before the market crash. (I wonder how many of those who bought are still in their homes today?)
Like any good financial adviser would say, have a well balanced investment plan so all of your eggs are not in one basket, so after the crash, I got the bright idea to start writing a book in mid 2007 to teach young people to buy right and thus wrote a book (mostly in the Ela Public Library in Lake Zurich) titled “Create Wealth With Homeownership” yes, you can find it at Amazon and I still have some copies available for purchase :). The book was published by a now defunct publisher DNA Press who insisted I use that title…..which did not accurately reflect the goal of the book….but there was only so much I could do and the book was published in 2009……..with enough sales to buy dinner!
Since I apparently like to write and teach, I’ve got my little blog here attached to my company where I can write, teach, and show everything that makes my company tick. If you are like me, you want to know who you are doing business with, so since my company has grown and I can’t see every customer, I figure you can get to know us a little bit here through the written and spoken word.
Thanks For Reading…….
Douglas Boncosky (Mr. Baths)