#17 Tri-County Mechanical, Inc.
Horry County, S.C.
Brett Rathbone Sr.
Tri-County Mechanical Inc. is a family owned and operated full-service HVAC supply, installation, and repair company. Founded in 2007, the business is located in Horry County and has license to work in South Carolina and North Carolina. The business primarily serves Horry and Georgetown counties in South Carolina and Brunswick County in North Carolina.
What are the keys to your company’s rapid growth?
Offering quality workmanship and services, knowledge in our field, honesty and integrity, and the best employees you could ask for.
What do you see as your company’s greatest opportunities in the future?
Design build work, growing our sheet metal fabrication department, and growing our service department.
What are your biggest challenges and how do you plan to overcome them?
Other companies offering cheap prices and not understanding what they are doing. Unlicensed contractors performing low quality work at a cheap price. Finding qualified employees as we grow.
What advice can you offer someone just starting a business?
Be honest with any customer, hire the best employees, and have some money in the bank—the first year is tough.
What is your strategy for innovation?
Continuing education for me and my employees.
Who do you consider to be your mentor/mentors in business?
Bob Reid, Jim Shepherd, and Keith Moore.
Does your company’s geographic location offer any specific advantages?
Yes. The corrosive environment from the ocean and the high temperatures keep us busy.
How many employees do you have and do you plan to add any in the coming year?
We currently have 14 and plan to add more this coming year.
How is your company legally structured?
We are incorporated.
What is the hardest thing about being a founder?
Hard work, long hours, and continually wanting to grow and be better.
What is the best thing about being a founder?
Looking back on starting the business. We had one truck and two employees, including myself. Now, we have 14 employees, including myself, and 11 vehicles.
If you are a founder, at what point did you start paying yourself?
I started after our second year.
How much money did you use to start your business?
We started with $300,000.00 in bank.