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Greenville Business Magazine

#13 - New South Construction Supply

Nov 01, 2017 12:10PM ● By Emily Stevenson
#13 New South Construction Supply, LLC
Greenville, S.C. 
Jim Sobeck, President and CEO

New South Construction Supply, LLC is a supply service that delivers and ships across the U.S. and abroad. Founded in Columbia in 1981, the company was originally named New South Supply, with the “Construction” added in 2007 for clearer branding. New South Construction Supply has expanded into nine total branches, with five locations in South Carolina, three in North Carolina, and one in Georgia. The company has rebar fabrication shops located in six of its branches.

What are the keys to your company’s rapid growth?
Great people, more product lines, and the addition of rebar fabrication to our offerings.

What do you see as your company’s greatest opportunities in the future?
We are in the greatest area for construction in the United States. We intend to keep growing our operations to better serve our customers as they continue to build homes, factories, apartment buildings, etc., across the South.

What is your strategy for innovation?
We list technology on our strategic plan as a core differentiator for our business. We constantly innovate with things such as our mobile app, which our customers use to buy from us, pay bills online, get copies of old invoices, etc.

What are your biggest challenges and how do you plan to overcome them?
People are the most critical factor in our success and there is a current labor shortage. There is an acute shortage of the kind of people we like to hire. That is our biggest challenge.

What advice can you offer someone just starting a business?
Do a budget, then cut your revenue projections in half and double your operating expense projections. If you still show a bottom line profit, you are onto something.

Who do you consider to be your mentor/mentors in business?
My father and Clarence Bauknight, the founder of Builder Marts of America, were my two main mentors; however, I have many other mentors to whom I owe a deep debt of gratitude.

Does your company’s geographic location offer any specific advantages?
Absolutely. The Carolinas and Georgia are the hottest markets for construction in the United States. We could not be in a better location.

How many employees do you have and do you plan to add any in the coming year?
We currently have 72 associates and we plan on adding four or five more this year.

Have there been any entrepreneurs in your family?
I am the oldest of five siblings and every one of my siblings owns their own business. My father was an entrepreneur who started his own business and he passed that gene on to all of us.

How old were they when they started the company?
Various ages starting from 23 to 27.

How is your company legally structured?
We are an LLC.

What is the hardest thing about being a founder?
The hours. I work 80-120 hours per week.

What is the best thing about being a founder?
Controlling your own destiny.

If you are a founder, at what point did you start paying yourself?
I started paying myself right from the beginning. I have bills to pay and children in school, so I didn’t have the option of not paying myself.

How much money did you use to start your business?
$200,000 of my own money and $800,000 from outside investors. And they have all been paid back.