On September 8 of this year, Skydell Contracting Inc. celebrated our 24th anniversary of home remodeling in the Somerset and Union counties of New Jersey. Despite three recessions, two major hurricanes (you all remember Floyd and Irene), and employees who have come and gone, through it all we have survived and prospered. And that has us feeling rather proud…
Photo at left of Richard and his daughter taken around 1992
When I sat down to write this blog post, I looked up what the gift is for a 24th wedding anniversary: it’s a musical instrument. That made me think of my wife and daughters playing the piano in our living room over the years… and that’s when it came to me: owning a business is much like learning to play the piano.
When you’re first getting started, you focus on simple tunes like chopsticks and finger exercises. As time goes by, your skills, creativity, and confidence continue to improve, and you can look back with pride on the progress you’re making. However as any great pianist can tell you, it takes years of practice to truly master the skill, and you’re always looking for ways to improve.
It was much the same for me in the remodeling business. When I began Skydell Contracting Inc. in 1988, I focused on smaller projects and odd jobs, since I had always enjoyed doing this type of work for family and friends. Over time, the little jobs grew into bigger assignments; I was as proud as I could be when I completed my first large basement remodel. However looking back on that project now with the clarity that comes from years of practice, I realize I had much to learn.
And I’m still learning today. Because even though the past 24 years have given us time to master our craft, we still learn something new every day–whether it’s a new type of kitchen countertop material, an improved installation method, or a better tool for the job. Just like Beethoven, Chopin and even Billy Joel who were never happy with their current set of skills, we know that if we stop learning, we stop growing. There’s always a better, smarter, faster, more efficient way to get a job done.
We also channel this “thirst to be better” into improving our overall customer service. Every time we face a challenge, we try to learn something specific that we can improve–a faster way to get a client back into their master bathroom, a better way to respond to client concerns, maybe even a smarter way to do business. Although we may be fully grown adults in years, we know that we are far from being the wise old scholars that we hope to someday become.
At left: another bathroom remodel from the early 1990s
Continuing the musical instrument analogy one step further, our clients are our sheet music. We owe it to you to continue to practice, learn, grow and get better at what we do so we can honor you with the best project possible. Just because we’re good today doesn’t mean we can’t get even better tomorrow.
Thank you for helping to make the past 24 years possible and we promise that with your help, the next 24 will be even better.