#15 - Thomas Mechanical, LLCNov 01, 2017 12:01PM ● By Emily Stevenson
#15 Thomas Mechanical, LLC
Martin Lowry, President
Thomas Mechanical, LLC is a mechanical contractor specializing in commercial/industrial HVAC services, fabrication, process piping, engineering, and maintenance services. Founded in 2004, the company has its main office in Laurens and a number of offices outside of the state. Thomas Mechanical has recently added a fire protection division to its services. Its work includes projects at BMW, Rooms to Go, and The Governor’s School.
What are the keys to your company’s rapid growth?
Like most company leaders will say, I truly believe our growth has been the result of how our employees do their jobs…professional quality work with a sense of urgency. We rely heavily on repeat business, and when we do a good job, the word spreads to other potential customers. We have capitalized on those opportunities.
What do you see as your company’s greatest opportunities in the future?
There is still room to grow in the market we serve. Our growth will likely be organic, but we will always look at any opportunity to grow by acquisition as well.
What advice can you offer someone just starting a business?
Surround yourself with good trustworthy people who may not always tell you what you want to hear but have the company’s best interests in mind, have realistic expectations, start with more capital than you think you need, watch cash flow because it really is “king,” be careful about taking on debt, and always keep close tabs on what is going on in your business.
What are your biggest challenges and how do you plan to overcome them?
Our biggest challenge is attracting quality employees. We have been fortunate so far but we are constantly on the lookout for talented people to join our team.
What is your strategy for innovation?
We innovate by always looking for ways to do our projects faster and more efficiently. We use technology for better communication, job tracking, and cost accounting.
Who do you consider to be your mentor/mentors in business?
I have had many people who have helped me in building Thomas Mechanical. They know who they are and I’d like to keep their names confidential.
Does your company’s geographic location offer any specific advantages?
Not really. We do the majority of our work in South Carolina, but we also do work in other states.
How many employees do you have and do you plan to add any in the coming year?
We have approximately 45 employees and we definitely plan to add more this year as we build our new facility.
Have there been any entrepreneurs in your family?
How is your company legally structured?
What is the hardest thing about being a founder?
Long hours…but absolutely worth it.
What is the best thing about being a founder?
I always wanted to be an entrepreneur and starting a company that has grown like Thomas Mechanical has been extremely rewarding.
If you are a founder, at what point did you start paying yourself?
How much money did you use to start your business?
Approximately $15,000…not enough! Undercapitalized, but we got very lucky with cash flow and survived.