The more aggressive one attacks a problem, the sooner the problem goes away.
Lloyd Claycomb founded United Builders Service, Inc. (UBS) in 1978. Claycomb accepted a small loan from his father to start UBS and immediately hit the ground running. He began assembling an excellent crew, developing business opportunities and set the foundation with an incredible leadership team. Lloyd ran the business for many years. In 2012, his son, Lloyd Claycomb III, came onto the leadership team to oversee operations on a day-to-day basis. The father-son team continued the company’s growth and further built upon the profound reputation of excellence UBS has as one of Colorado’s premier specialty contractors.
Located in Denver, Colorado, United Builders Service, Inc. is a drywall construction firm that has completed more than 50,000 single and multi-family residential unit jobs along with hundreds of commercial projects over the years. United Builders Service, Inc., are experts in metal stud framing, acoustical grid ceilings, fireproofing, insulation, and drywall. Most recently, Lloyd Claycomb has personally supervised almost every type of new construction projects. For instance, Lloyd has supervised, hotels, hospitals, churches, ultra-luxury custom designs, and various government facilities.
In addition to being the founder and CEO of United Builders Service, Inc., Lloyd Claycomb sits on the board of many different associations, including Grand Canyon State Bank, AviBree Real Estate Holdings, Inc., and Design Builders of Montana. Lloyd Claycomb is also a highly active philanthropist. He is a proud board member of Maranthana International Volunteers and Our Children International. Claycomb remains very active within his community, but also reaches overseas through his philanthropic work.
Lloyd Claycomb is a husband, father, and grandfather who enjoys spending time with his family. He also gives back to his community by serving as a Reserve Deputy. Claycomb was the first Reserve Deputy to train and certify a K-9 unit. In addition to Lloyd’s busy schedule, he makes room for his jet flying hobby! Lloyd Claycomb is a certified jet pilot with over 5,000 hours of logged flight time across various different aircraft.
Where did the idea for United Builders Service, Inc come from?
In 1978 I borrowed $5000 from my father and built a multimillion dollar business with just a starter loan.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Our day starts with answering emails, constantly being on top of our business, and knowing and reevaluating the system in an ever-changing environment. We set meetings, read reports, analyze documents, negotiate contracts, as well as a multitude of other important items. Typically we visit the job site weekly to ensure the client is happy and the quality control is excellent. While we are there, we also talk with our safety managers to ensure all employees are safe.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Concepts and ideas are brought to life through conversations with the partners about ways to be more efficient, cost-effective, and profitable. We usually implement a new procedure on a temporary basis to ensure it’s going to work before a full implementation
What’s one trend that really excites you?
When the general market trends hire and housing needs increase, the residual fallout in commercial work tends to follow as everyone needs the ancillary support for growth.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
This is an easy answer. The more aggressive one attacks a problem, the sooner the problem goes away. Besides attacking the problem head on, we analyze why it occurred. Then we set forth new procedures and policies to ensure that the same issue doesn’t occur again. Being smart is an attribute, but being aggressive is the way to success.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
The worst job we had was an office building in Las Vegas and we ended up losing a little bit of money. We learned that managing the process closer ensures the supervisors are following policies closely. When a problem occurs and you know about it early on, you begin the solution process quicker.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I would do more general contracting. We find that often times our company is more efficient and profitable than many general contractors. Additionally, I would strategically target three or four high growth areas, open up offices there, and be more aggressive up front to take advantage of upswings in the market.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I am constantly reevaluating our company from start to finish. I also evaluate staff and look for diamonds in the rough. We always want to hire great employees who are dedicated and hard-working, as well as smart. We hope for those employees every time, but occasionally we get a bad one. We must terminate that relationship quickly to avoid more potential problems. I would recommend that people should not be afraid to take a risk. Work hard for the first five years doing anything necessary to make a project successful and the client happy.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
The one strategy that we have always adhered to is taking care of the client and making their schedule. Typically, we are the most aggressive contractor on the job site. We are pushing the job schedule and having the general contractor reap the benefit of our strategic planning. Also, we develop relationships with all of our clients and often times are put in a position where we may get the last look on a project. We even end up with the opportunity to negotiate as opposed to a strict, specific hard-bid environment.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
The one failure I had, which every entrepreneur has at least one of, is that when we bought the company we, relied on our accountant to determine what profitability they would incur over the next two years. A big eight accounting firm had indicated they would make 5 million over the next two years, but in fact, they lost 2 million. Bottom line is, you have to be smarter than your accountants, lawyers, and professionals around you!
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I gave away $100 to a homeless guy, knowing full well that he would most likely buy alcohol. He was very kind and considerate. I had hoped that he would get some food. We donate as a company and ended up as owners and individuals giving over 20% of our net income to charity every year without question.
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
We currently use a highly proprietary development software specific to our industry. However, we are not happy with it and may go back to a more strategic, generalized type of software. Something that is fully integrated with our company divisions
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The Bible first and then Donald Trump’s marketing books
What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?
My father was a great influence, however, I am way more successful than he ever dreamed of being. I think, genetically, one either is motivated to get ahead in life and take calculated risks or not. Some people are satisfied with the average and mundane. I was never satisfied and always put additional pressure on myself to succeed.
My son is a good example of one person I respect. He has the same hard driving qualities that I have talked about and his specific skill set has made him out to be very successful. He understands how to market our company and, at the same time, how to operate it daily.
Twitter – @lloyd_claycomb
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.