Diana and James Lewis
“We thrive on being dependable and professional. There’s always a need for our service.”
D&J Erosion Control Doubles its Team and Revenue to Keep Pace with Construction Growth
In cities like Jacksonville, Fla., where the construction industry has grown following a post-recession slump, construction projects drive more than new buildings, bridges and roads. They increase the demand for companies that help contractors protect project sites and meet state standards.
Diana Lewis and her husband, James, started D&J Erosion Control Specialists in 2013 to meet this demand. With 30 years experience in construction, James recognized the market opportunity to provide reliable, professional erosion-control services to protect against wind and rain. These threats are especially acute in Jacksonville, where summer thunderstorms are routine.
D&J crews install and maintain devices, like silt fences, which prevent erosion around the barriers of major construction sites, including projects contracted by the Florida Department of Transportation and the University of Florida.
Funding for Future Employees
Diana and James grew the business to a crew of five, but they didn’t have the resources to expand further. They took out business loans for equipment, such as excavators and trucks, but struggled to secure extra funding to hire more people.
“We found there wasn’t much help out there for small businesses,” Diana says, recalling that she previously took out credit advances to make payroll. “No one was willing to take a chance on us.”
The online business loans she found involved high fees, extensive paperwork and little-to-no information about interest rates.
When Diana found Kabbage in 2017, she appreciated that the process was transparent and painless. She applied online and quickly qualified for access to a line of credit.
Twice the Work = Twice the Revenue
D&J has doubled its revenue over the past year by taking on twice as many jobs — something they weren’t able to do before hiring another eight people. With a second crew, including a supervisor and laborers, D&J can serve double the clients.
For Diana, the most significant benefit is peace of mind. “I know I can pay my employees even if I’m waiting on cash to come in,” she says. “It’s always nice to know the money is right there, and I can usually access it within 24 hours.”
Looking to the future, she anticipates more steady growth. “There’s always a need for our service,” she says. As Jacksonville expands and new construction sites abound, she anticipates more opportunities than ever.
Year established: 2013
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
Experience: 30+ years
Growth: Double revenue YoY
Kabbage customer since: 2017