Name: Jimmy Gallagher
Business: ASAP Construction
Jimmy Gallagher was just a child in Long Island, New York when his dad handed him a spade and said, “Dig.” He helped to create a water main as part of a project for his dad’s ASAP Construction company. Today, nearly 40 years after buying the business from his father, Jimmy is immensely proud of his family business and his commitment to the local business community.
What’s it like working in the same community for decades?
Our company is still in its original location. I have a huge network. I know everyone in the town halls. I still work with contacts from my dad, and he’s been retired for 30 years now.
After all these years, do you find anything difficult?
The biggest challenge is in plumbing. There must be thousands of new parts and items, as well as all the new building codes. I just try to convince people I know what I’m doing! My guys like to laugh at me. I send them to school to make sure they know everything. My days of going to school are over.
What are your marketing tactics?
I hadn’t advertised in almost 30 years. I’ve gotten most of my work through word of mouth. But the climate is changing. Now we have a website, and ASAP Construction is listed in local periodicals. My best marketing strategy is being very aggressive when I’m interviewing for a job. I win big jobs because I ask a lot of questions. I come back 10 times to walk the property and understand the project. I look at the schedule and figure out how to save time and money.
What keeps you motivated?
Thanks to my mother and father, I learned from a young age that a strong work ethic is crucial to success. It’s really necessary—I love my job, but when things are bad, they’re pretty bad. You’ve got to be willing to do a lot of hard work.
I had open heart surgery a couple years ago. Since then, I’ve wanted to get more regular income without killing myself every day. I’m still up at 4:30 pulling permits, doing paperwork and getting everything ready so I can meet the guys at 7:00. But I’ve got 2 young kids, so I try to be home for dinner. That means I keep up a fast pace all day long.
I’ve been in this business for a long time now, and fortunately, I still love to build things. I love every aspect of what I do. I can still stand back and look at a building we put up and say, “Look what we’ve done today.”
Before you go
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