Tony M. of Coastal Concrete Construction began his small business journey 40 years ago as a fourth-generation concrete finisher.
Tony’s business, Coastal Concrete Construction, is a veritable family affair that spans four generations and 40 years. Based in Charleston, S.C., the business specializes in concrete contracting – from curbs, gutters and sidewalks to driveways, patios, foundations and slabs – across the country.
“What brought me to South Carolina was the work, the explosive economy and being centrally located between New York and Miami,” Tony said.
Early in their tenure, Tony and his crew scrimped and saved, eating Oodles of Noodles. It has been this work ethic and dedication to customer service that has driven growth over the last 40 years.
“Now, I built up to where we’re buying hundreds and thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment.”
Despite seeing such growth, Tony still wouldn’t call himself a success; he’s saving that distinction for when the business hits $10 million in annual revenue.
In 2015, Tony was seeking capital to meet increased demand and take on more clients. Initially, he was met with high interest rates, red tape, daily withdrawals and severe payback. Then, his friend, a fellow business owner, recommended Kabbage.
“Kabbage gives you that opportunity to get what you need until you can profit on it,” he said. “They made it simple – six easy payments with a small fee, compared to those other rates. Push of a button, and I’m funded.”
Tony continues to withdraw from his Kabbage line when he needs to cover ongoing expenses.
“If you don’t make your payroll, guess what? You’re by yourself,” he said. “My big issue and biggest relief is my manpower, and Kabbage has helped me quite a few times.”
Tony loves being his own boss, loves his industry and loves being a mentor and teacher to his workers.
His determination and his customer-first mindset are key factors in helping him reach the success he has today. He believes while money is good for business, you won’t be able to enjoy it if your customer is unhappy.
Tony’s father served as his inspiration and role model growing up. Teaching him the ropes and how to work in concrete, his father instilled in him the value of hard work, honesty and giving the customer what they need – lessons he wants to pass on to the next generation.
“I try to instill work ethics in my boys,” he says, “and the value of a dollar.”
Now, Tony advises others to be patient with their work, to take the good along with the bad and to learn discipline for themselves.
“And when I say discipline, I mean the finer things will come,” he says. “Discipline yourself and nothing happens overnight, and you got to build a clientele. You got to build it slowly.”
To follow Tony’s journey, check out Coastal Concrete’s Facebook page.