S.R. Office Management has changed the way construction companies do business. Keeping up with office work can be more than a task especially when construction jobs are piling up. S.R. Office Management in Spring, Texas offers remote office assistants, that handle services such as; accounting, remote (VA) assistant secretaries, payroll specialist, document creation (contracts, invoices, etc), office manager, call center operations and more. All of this was created just for construction companies to better their businesses so that they don’t have to worry about office work and can focus on gaining new clients and servicing old clients more efficiently. S.R. Office Management has more than five years of experience in providing topnotch strategic consulting, financial analysis, and good, fast customer service. Owner of S.R. Office Management Sylvia Gail Ricketson opens up about starting S.R. Office Management and the courage it takes to become entrepreneur.
Tracy: Tell me about yourself?
Sylvia: I am the mother of 2 kids. I am apart of the the American Taekwondo Association. I love to read and I plan on starting an educational workshop for small business owners in the near future.
Tracy: What was the crossover point from “I’m going to be” to “I am” an entrepreneur?
Sylvia: I never had one. There was a moment between I’m thinking about starting a business to I have a business. My career didn’t start with a decision to become an entrepreneur, it started when I decided to go into business; being an entrepreneur was a by-product.
Tracy: What was your entry point to Entrepreneurialism?
Sylvia: I knew a man who was a General Contractor (roofer) who was tired of making the profits for other people. He recruited and closed his clients, managed his projects, and then collected the checks and deposited them into his boss’s account. After much deliberation and conversation in 2009 I talked him into opening a credit line with ABC Supply and told him that we could run the jobs ourselves; thus, Kayne Builders, Inc was born. On my end of ownership, I handled client and vendor management, procuring permits, price shopping and closing insurances, payroll, building and distributing orientation packages, social media, invoices, web design, reputation management, document creation (invoices, lien releases, warranties, flyers, brochures, contracts, etc), bookkeeping, and much more. At the end of 2009, I began operating a telemarketing center, Tele-ppointments, to call residents in storm damaged areas and generate leads. As the telemarketing center began to create business for Kayne Builders, our associates started to ask how much it would cost to generate leads for them also. Tele-ppointments began servicing numerous General Contractors and had a full-time calling staff of around 7 employees. After several years, my partner and I began to grow in separate directions and decided to dissolve the company. I closed down Tele-ppointments and came back to Houston. With little to do, I took a short break from entrepreneurship before it occurred to me that I could reopen Tele-ppointments in Houston, so I did. This time I built a daytime sales staff of 12 with a sales manager to reach General Contractors, and hired a night time telemarketing staff of 20-25 (had to manage retention and turnover) to reach residents and generate leads. Unfortunately, telemarketing had already taken a turn and I was unable to generate the productivity that I had been able to before. Simply put, I re-entered telemarketing just in time to witness its death. While I have been licking my wounds for the last year, I have been helping other small businesses reach their start up goals. I have become a business office consultant reviewing or establishing: bookkeeping, procedures, business documents, websites, sales and marketing strategies, etc. Recently, I’ve had many people ask me to work for them, so many in fact, that I’ve had to hire a few people and create a firm. I suppose then that this is a re-entry into entrepreneurialism.
Tracy: Tell the story of your rise from green entrepreneur to where you are now?
Sylvia: Shortly after I started Kayne Builders, I had friends and acquaintances who were starting companies of all kinds and everybody had questions for me. I didn’t have to know what their industry was, but I had a good idea about where they needed to start their education on entering their businesses. That’s when I started to realize that I was becoming an experienced entrepreneur. But, I am always learning. I think everybody says that in any industry. By the time I opened Tele-ppointments for the second time, most of it was intuitive: purchasing, IT, document ad bookkeeping management, procedures, etc. However, I was in a high-turnover city in a high-turnover industry. I had a lot of trouble filling the desks at first. I bribed a friend (the youngest self-made millionaire at 26 years old that I knew) with lunch and begged to pick his brain. He told me some secrets to building a hard-working loyal sales staff. I was picking through it like a “greenie” before that moment. In the office management industry, I am always learning things from my clients and employees. I’m lucky because most of my clients are in construction and labor service end jobs (land clearing, general contracting, hauling, etc.) so I already know the industry pretty well. But, as all successful entrepreneurs know, the moment I’m not green, I’ll break when I should bend. The people that I respect most and have the most success in business are readers and listeners. It’s the people who know everything that have a hard time learning.
Tracy: What is it you can look a business owner in the eye and say “I can help you” and how did you discover this magic?
Sylvia: I didn’t mean to specialize. It just kinda happened. I never set out to learn what fascia and decking are, to know what an excavator and a rake is, or to know the difference between a horizontal and a tub grinder. When I was taking accounting in college, they never taught me what a DOT number was. I fell in love with the type of people who run these companies and began learning new ways to help them with the office work that they don’t have time for and usually don’t like. I didn’t set out to discover the magic, I just realized one day that I had it.