Gibson Custom Construction

Denver, NC

First in Teamwork

In 2004, Jeremy and Lindsay Gibson founded Gibson Custom Construction, a residential and commercial general contracting firm, when they decided to build their own home in Huntersville, NC. A second-generation GC, Jeremy was licensed at age twenty-one, and he earned his Construction Management degree soon after. For twenty years, he worked for other companies, while also maintaining his own business. But by 2019, he was ready to work full time for himself, and he needed a strong team to pull it off.

The View from Thirty-Thousand Feet

Jeremy had always been a hands-on person. He knew how to work projects from start to finish, but he struggled to shift into a business-owner mindset. “My goals were: get projects and do them,” he said. “I wasn’t thinking from thirty-thousand feet.” Early on, Jeremy had brought on Project Manager Ezequiel Vega to help manage the workload, but as the business grew, he was working overtime. He wanted to scale the business, but he also wanted to spend more time with his and Lindsay’s children. They needed more help.

“I was project-driven, but I didn’t understand I needed to check the balance sheets fully, or the P&Ls, or have systems set up to work on that, even understanding simple business principles. That’s where the SBTDC’s been able to help.”

Jeremy Gibson

A Chance Connection

The Gibsons hired an administrative assistant who had experience with the SBTDC. She encouraged them to reach out to Center Director Michael Moore. Jeremy was skeptical, but after the first meeting, he understood how much his business could benefit from the SBTDC’s depth of knowledge. The SBTDC counselors helped them to improve their mindset; build clear parameters around their scope of work; and develop a mission, vision, and core values. But the most important guidance they received, Jeremy said, was on their business model. He participates in a Charlotte-specific pilot project called the Business Model Accelerator, through which business owners meet, share, and grow, guided by an SBTDC counselor. “Every time we meet, I’m just trying to take nuggets away because there’s so much information there.”

Entrepreneurial Mindset

Since 2019, Gibson Custom Construction has grown from two people to eleven. With SBTDC’s help, Jeremy began to teach his team to operate “with an entrepreneurial mindset,” enabling him to shift from working in the business to working on the business. Lindsay’s position, too, shifted. As president of the company, her role became more active, starting with client and team care and eventually taking over the accounting work as they migrated to a more efficient system recommended by the SBTDC. “For me, the biggest benefit [to owning our business] is providing a family atmosphere for the people who work here,” Lindsay said. The strength of their team is reflected in the success of the business: Their revenue grew from $1.5 million in 2019 to $5.5 million today.

Nurturing The Team

The Gibsons have built their team through mentorship, which is both a challenge and an asset for their business: Jeremy gets “pulled into the weeds” sometimes because “we’re developing guys who are kind of young in the profession,” but his mentorship leads to a positive and effective work culture and team members they trust. Starting with onboarding, he and Lindsay guide their team with the company’s values. So, while Jeremy empowers his team not to be afraid to make mistakes (“If they’re not making mistakes, they’re not growing.”), he insists that “If you’re working within our core values, you’re not going to make a wrong decision.”

Forward Momentum

For Gibson Custom Construction, there is a clear, bright future: Lindsay and Jeremy are involved in their community, frequently giving to kids’ sports teams and charities and encouraging their team to volunteer through paid time off set aside for that purpose. For Jeremy, the best part of owning a business is seeing his hard work pay off. He is still a little amazed by their success: “We’re a real company out there doing real work.”

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