A NETWORK OF SUCCESS

Our back office program connects construction business owners to our local network of service providers such as estimators and accountants who deliver customized one-on-one training, mentoring and support. Below we spotlight just a few of the construction entrepreneurs who have engaged our program to implement business systems for growth, alongside service providers who are leaders of their field. 

Entrepreneur Spotlight
GWO Trucking & Construction, Inc

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MIRION GREEN - PRESIDENT
RICKY ONEAL - VICE PRESIDENT

GWO Trucking & Construction, Inc 

Matteson, IL

 

AVAILABLE FOR

Trucking

Hauling

Aggregates

General Contracting

(708)330-4425

www.gwotrucking.com

info@GWOtrucking.com

OUR STORY

Our family owned a school bus company contracted with CPS for 20 years. That market began to shift so we gradually transitioned to the construction sector where we saw more opportunity. In 2013 we started with 2 dump trucks. We had some fits and starts. 2017 was our breakout year, landing contracts with CHA and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District. We’ve been growing steadily since then, with 4 trucks and a fleet of subcontractors. 

 

PARTNERSHIP WITH BUSINESS SERVICES COLLECTIVE

We heard about BSC online, and after a conversation about their back office training we recognized it was the necessary step we needed to take our business to the next level. We have a good track record winning bids, but we knew there was more science we could apply. BSC’s back office apprentices helped analyze our historical GPS data to determine precise travel time estimates. It’s given us more confidence in negotiations, knowing our true baseline costs and margins. We’re also enjoying BSC’s one-on-one Quickbooks training. Other accountants haven’t had the time to teach. Now we prepare questions throughout the week and get them addressed in an hour.

 

OUR SHARED IMPACT

Our recent growth has stretched our capacity as a leadership team. BSC’s mentorship helped us confirm where we need to focus. We are now training our first office manager and plan to keep hiring. The industry has trouble recruiting but we stand apart because we treat staff like family and help them build a future as bright as ours.

 

 

Service Provider Spotlight 

Mejai Dyson

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MEJAI DYSON

Chief Estimator

 

AVAILABLE FOR

Construction cost analysis

Construction cost estimating

Construction management

Project Management

General Contracting

(773) 729-7306

https://dysonbuildlease.com

mejaikaidyson@gmail.com

MY STORY

I’m an Industrial Technologist focused on construction management. I’ve built my career providing solutions for heavy construction General Contractors and Commercial Developers around the U.S. with a specialty in hotel and retail construction. With Business Services Collective, I get to share my expertise with trades contractors, helping build cost estimates and prepare bids using industry best practices.  BSC’s estimating program helps construction entrepreneurs level up their skills in quantity take offs, labor and materials cost estimating, bidding and job cost accounting. Through hours of one-on-one coaching, we ensure construction entrepreneurs implement these best practices by completing real bids and repeating the practice until it is mastered.

 

PARTNERSHIP WITH BUSINESS SERVICES COLLECTIVE

Through BSC, I get to work closely with trades construction entrepreneurs. This experience gives me deep insights into the challenges and strengths of businesses at the trades level, which informs my work creating value for the entire construction industry. From an industrial technology point of view, this is a unique opportunity for me to serve as a bridge connecting best-in-class processes in construction management to improve the final product--the built environment in which we live.

 

OUR SHARED IMPACT

Working directly with trade shops puts us at the leading edge of creating solutions for trades that ultimately add value to the built environment and construction process. I get to experience first-hand the transformational impact our deep coaching has on entrepreneurs. We know that by supporting small construction businesses ready to scale, we are pushing the industry forward.

 

 

Entrepreneur Spotlight

W. Howard & Sons Construction, LLC

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ELIZABETH HOWARD

Manager,

W. Howard & Sons Construction, LLC

Chicago, IL

 

AVAILABLE FOR

Masonry Restoration

Reinforced Tuckpointing

Retainer Walls

Chimney and Flashing

Caulking 

773-456-5089

howardandsonsconstruction.squarespace.com

howardsonsconstruction@gmail.com

OUR STORY

I left my IT career to focus on managing the back office of our family's growing construction business after our revenues kept nearly doubling year after year. My husband launched the business 16 years ago, . Our goal is to become a union masonry business, transitioning from residential work to more public and commercial projects.

 

PARTNERSHIP WITH BUSINESS SERVICES COLLECTIVE

My husband and I have typically worked together to bid on projects, he read blueprints while I put the calculations and proposal together. We spent a year trying to manage an outside estimator on our own, we were not getting results. Business Services Collective provided the best resources from day one. They introduced me to estimating software and made it accessible. Now I’m learning to complete bids on my own, enabling my husband to focus on the field and increasing our efficiency as a team. 

 

OUR SHARED IMPACT

We are passionate about creating careers that instill pride and inner peace. We’ve been working with 4 young people for the past 5 years; we start them as laborers, teach them OSHA safety, how to carry tools and interact with customers, then graduate them to masonry work. We’re becoming certified instructors to start a masonry workforce program and share what we’ve built.

 

 

Service Provider Spotlight 

BM Accounting and Tax, Inc.

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LEO BECERRA, CPA

President,

BM Accounting and Tax, Inc.

Chicago, IL

 

AVAILABLE FOR

QuickBooks set up and training

Monthly bookkeeping Services

Tax Preparation

773-571-6922

www.bmaccountingandtaxinc.com

becerra@bmaccountingandtaxinc.com

MY STORY

I had been working in accounting for a number of years in corporate environments before shifting to smaller nonprofits which served entrepreneurs. However, I wanted to work more closely with small businesses. In 2014 I started my own business and was able to make it my full-time passion.

 

PARTNERSHIP WITH BUSINESS SERVICES COLLECTIVE

Running my own business, I am always splitting my time between working with my current clients, and looking for more clients. With BSC, I get to meet a number of business owners within my target market. BSC provides the critical relationship management support to both sides, identifying opportunities, facilitating introductions, and providing feedback along the way to ensure that everyone is satisfied with the service. 

 

OUR SHARED IMPACT

In our first few months of working together, I’ve helped BSC’s construction businesses complete their financial documents to qualify for PPP funding. I’ve helped a new entrepreneur learn how to confidently manage her Quickbooks account, and I was able to step in for another business owner who needed to transition his bookkeeping function to prepare for growth. 

 

It is rewarding to help entrepreneurs of color realize the significance of building their back office. In addition, this has been a great opportunity for me to pick up more clients, grow my own business, and spend more time doing what I love.

 

 

Entrepreneur Spotlight

Melissa Chinwah Enterprises Inc.

MELISSA CHINWAH

CEO and Founder,

Melissa Chinwah Enterprises, Inc.

Homewood, IL

 

AVAILABLE FOR

Post-construction cleaning

Janitorial services

773-245-6262

www.chinwahenterprises.com

mchinwah@chinwahenterprises.com

MY STORY

I’ve been cleaning since I was in college. In 2012 I needed to create myself a full time job. I learned about post-construction cleaning services and started my business. I have three degrees, but I am still learning about running and growing my business. 

 

PARTNERSHIP WITH BUSINESS SERVICES COLLECTIVE

Business Services Collective partnered me with a professional estimator who is guiding me on how to strategically bid on public projects. Each week we meet one-on-one to discuss the bids I’m working on, to ensure I’m covering my costs and building my confidence. The estimator created an estimation process unique to the strengths of my business, and helped me refine my business development process to cultivate long term relationships within commercial construction.

 

OUR SHARED IMPACT

I recently bid on an opportunity with a big client to clean 5 locations. In the past I would bid low and sometimes undercut price, hoping to get my foot in the door. Thanks to BSC, this time was different. My estimator coached me to recognize my strengths as an M/WBE in the post-construction cleaning space. I was able to confidently bid more work as I aim to double my margins. It’s a relief to learn I can add clients, safely cover my costs and earn enough to reinvest back into the business for growth.

 

 

 
 
 
 

BACK OFFICE APPRENTICESHIP

Responding to construction entrepreneurs' need to delegate administrative tasks and recognizing the shortage of candidates with entry-level skills, in 2020 we created our Back Office Apprenticeship. Through this program we train young people in the business of construction and match them with the entrepreneurs we serve. Below are a few early reflections on this unique experience increasing the capacity of construction businesses to bid more projects, implement technology, and refine their strategy while creating a launchpad for careers.

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Chris Piesen

I have always been interested in real estate investment, development and construction. During my senior year of college I decided to pursue a career in project management. I reached out to a general contractor I knew, who introduced me to Business Services Collective.

During my apprenticeship I learned how to estimate construction costs and assemble bids. I was paired with a small general contractor and helped them get more bids out the door. 

On top of my academic studies, this was the most important experience I gained toward my career.

One week before college graduation, I was hired by Clark Construction as a project engineer overseeing structural concrete and steel framing. I credit my apprenticeship with BSC as the crucial step to launching my dream career.

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Aman Idrees

I grew up working in my uncle’s construction business, helping build and rehab apartments. As a first year college student, it was difficult to find internship opportunities to add to my experience. BSC’s apprenticeship was a perfect fit. I wanted to learn more about the administrative side of construction. Working directly with construction business owners really flipped a switch for me. I was able to hear their stories and use my skills to help solve their back office constraints.

One of my major projects was developing a series of instructional videos on how to read blueprints. At BSC I discovered my love for teaching and supporting a community. This Fall, I’m starting as a teaching assistant at Illinois Institute of Technology and I am confident BSC has prepared me for this role.    

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Sarah EK Lamb

I’ve done woodworking and small construction projects since I was a kid. I spent a previous summer at IDOT and had a crash course in reading blueprints, but was guessing a lot. I developed an understanding of the nuances at BSC. I enjoyed seeing the impact of my work across a wide variety of tasks. Confidently being able to read blueprints and developing an attention to detail are great transferrable skills.

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Viren Patel

In addition to concrete skills like construction cost estimating, this apprenticeship taught me time management and how to effectively communicate with clients and co-workers. This helped me secure a job at Caterpillar as a Digital Product Owner.