Part of their increasing gross sale results from becoming a “one-stop shop,” installing almost all types of decorative products. Having employees who can learn how to do this wide range of work is critical and that’s why education and training is so important. He tries to hire self-directed people and then give them the freedom to work on their own and not micro-manage them.
In hindsight Hryniewicz thinks it would have been better to work for another decorative concrete contractor first as a way to learn about the industry. He started his company realizing the opportunities decorative concrete offered but he didn’t fully appreciate the many risks. So the lessons learned were often painful and expensive and he doesn’t suggest this approach to others—the “learning by our mistakes approach” is the way many of us started out companies.
The decorative concrete industry keeps changing, coming up with new creative ideas. At the same time there are many more problems to solve than in the concrete industry as whole— problems that cause customers not to pay for their work. Hryniewicz decided from the beginning to make education for all levels of employees an important goal. “Hiring people with bad habits just repeats past errors. Hiring good people, educating them, and keeping them updated with the latest technology and ideas ends up saving the company money,” he says.
Hryniewicz first learned about the American Association of Concrete Contractors (ASCC) two years after starting his company by attending one of their decorative concrete events in Tampa, Fla. He wishes he had known about them when he first started because he learned a lot through the networking process with other member contractors. He joined a “MIX group” soon after joining the association too—a small group of non-competing contractors who share their problems and management ideas with each other.
Hyde Concrete currently employs two Construction Industry Management (CIM) student graduates. College programs such as CIM can help companies keep up with the latest technology advances. They are fresh minds eager to learn and grow.
Within their service area Hyde Concrete has become a market leader and they work hard to keep earning that trust with their customers.