Craig Fuller has always looked for the opportunity to help others. After being honorably discharged from the army, he received degrees in Business Management and Economics, before entering the banking industry. After twenty-five years of hard work and dedication, he assumed the role of Branch Manager. In this role, he led his team to success, receiving several awards as a top-performing branch.
When he saw the need for logistics help in the construction industry, he created Rescue Me, LLC to help provide supplies and additional assistance to local contractors. His focus on customer service has helped the business grow, especially as the country is opening back up.
As a newcomer to entrepreneurship, Craig has found the endeavor both challenging and rewarding. Being the much-needed connection between suppliers and contractors has allowed him to step outside his comfortable nine to five and expand on his strengths.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
I’ve been in the banking industry for twenty-five years. As COVID spread and businesses were affected, many business clients expressed the need for help with logistics, such as getting supplies to work sites and taking the trash out. Their staff was reduced by the pandemic and as we opened back up, they wanted to focus on using their skilled workers to keep projects moving. Hiring people has been tough. I could see the need and decided to take a chance.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Every day is different, which I love. There are a lot of phone calls throughout the day. I am still new at this, so making those connections is very important at this phase. There is also a lot of running around. We provide things like tools and supplies, and we take them directly to the site. That means running to the store, then maybe driving across town to deliver. Given the current product shortages, there is also a lot of research to locate the items.
How do you bring ideas to life?
We are constantly looking to improve our processes. We are learning which suppliers tend to have what we need when we need it. We are getting more efficient with scheduling routes and fitting more into less actual driving time.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The pandemic has been an awful situation worldwide, but I think it has shown us, as a global community, just how connected we are and how we can help each other. What I am doing with Rescue Me is a small part of that. I saw the need in my local area and found a way to help. It’s just a small part of humans helping humans as we navigate the new normal while trying to hold on to what we know.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
My morning routine has certainly changed from when I worked for someone else. I love to wake up and consider how best to schedule my day. Whereas before I would just need to get to the office and perform my duties, now I spend my mornings planning my day and really being present in that.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I spent a lot of years working for someone else. As a kid, I was taught that you go to school, get a job, work until retirement. I’ve just recently gotten into the self-employment area. If I could go back, I think I would tell myself that this is an opportunity that I could take advantage of, that you can find success in taking a risk on yourself.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
That there is not one clear path to success. The route to success looks different for everyone, the key is hard work and dedication.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Maximize your client satisfaction. They are who will most help expand your business. Word of mouth has always been the best recommendation you can get. That is your most valuable dividend and it will pay you back instantly.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I have done some advertising and that has helped me grow. I am always willing to go the extra mile. For example, when I’m making a delivery, I will ask what else I can do. Most of the time, that brings me more business. They appreciate you for asking and will depend on you more.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Right now, supplies are hard to come by, especially in the construction business. Things like wood and paint are in short supply. I had to find where I could get these things so I could provide these resources to my clients. I started the business during the height of the pandemic, so I had a bit of a head start as we opened back up. I knew where I could get things and that helped my business grow.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I would recommend anyone to diversify their sources of income, no matter what business you are looking into. If you have your entire income wrapped up in one thing, like a job, then you risk losing it when something goes awry. The pandemic is an example of that, so many people lost their jobs when it started and they were without any kind of reasonable income. By diversifying, you have an opportunity to pull from other resources you have created.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I recently bought a new laptop to use for my business. It was well past time, but I had been holding off. It has definitely made my day-to-day life easier.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I use Google Maps daily. It has helped me create better routes and schedule more efficiently. At the end of the month, I can access a report of everywhere I’ve been, so I can use that to help guide me better in the future.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Grit by Angela Duckworth. The premise of this book is to show the reader that talent is not the only thing you need to find success. It teaches how your ability to adapt and to persevere is also necessary for success.
What is your favorite quote?
Will Smith once said, “I’ve never really viewed myself as particularly talented. I’ve viewed myself as slightly above average in talent. And where I excel is ridiculous, sickening, work ethic. I’m not afraid to die on a treadmill. I will not be outworked. You may be more talented than me. You might be smarter than me. And you may be better looking than me. But if we get on a treadmill together, you are going to get off first or I’m going to die. It’s really that simple. I’m not going to be outworked.”
- Look for opportunities
- Diversify your income source
- Word of mouth is the best advertising – keep your customers happy
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.