Scott Kramer is the President and CEO of Spartan Contracting Corporation. With over 15 years of experience in general contracting and commercial construction management, Scott and his team primarily focus on the financial, office, retail, multi-family, hospitality, and healthcare industries.
His entrepreneurial journey began in 2012 when he started Spartan Contracting Corporation.
Since then, Scott has continued to build a strong foundation for his ever-growing business.
Check out our Q&A to learn more about his career, his company, and more!
Did you always know one day you’d start your own business?
I didn’t. And, I told this story last night at a dinner with Florida Bankers Association and Governor Ron DeSantis. Which, by the way, I am extremely humbled to have even been invited to.
Anyhow, I had worked for other commercial general contractors for about a decade. I had a banking client start asking me questions about the company I was working for. When I finally got to the bottom of what he was getting at, I found out he had assumed I was the owner of that company because of my work ethic and the professionalism displayed while I renovated his banking center.
That put the idea in my head. So, I decided to get my contractor license and open a business as a vehicle to use it. I started off doing a few small side jobs to make extra money while still working as a project manager for another contractor. Well, that contractor found out about my license and Spartan and decided to fire me for it.
I didn’t have a non-compete, so off I went. Today, I compete with that former employer daily and even have a few former co-workers from that company join me at Spartan.
What’s been your biggest challenge and triumph so far as a business owner?
The easy answer is COVID. Obviously, something none of us was ready to handle and tackle but I’m happy that we were able to not only keep every single employee at Spartan, and at full salary, but we actually added staff during COVID.
The more complex answer is also COVID, ha.
The tight labor market, long lead time for materials (if it was even available at all), shifting to remote work and back to hybrid, etc.
These were the same challenges and triumphs most business owners experienced over the past few years.
The heartfelt answer to me is employee growth. Managing people is always a challenge.
However, Spartan is an extremely employee-oriented business. Our employees come first.
Even before clients, it’s always a challenge to find the right people for the open seats in your organization.
But, absolutely nothing makes me happier than watching my coworkers succeed and advance in their careers and personal lives. That can be internal promotions and transfers at Spartan or the handful of former Spartans that moved up the food chain and now work for our clients. It also puts a smile on my face to see some of these folks that started with next to nothing at Spartan now own beautiful homes and everything their families could need and want.
That’s why I get up every day and is the most important triumph in my career to date.
What do you love most about your job?
The people. They are the best and quite often the worst part of my job.
I love all the different personalities, ideas, and sense of humor I get from a diverse group of people at Spartan and with our clients and vendors.
But they can also ruin your day in a heartbeat!
If you could share only one piece of business advice, what would it be?
Surround yourself with not only people who are smarter than you but people that you WANT to be around.
Don’t waste your time with people that don’t align with your goals and values and certainly don’t keep them in your circle or network if all they do is make you miserable.
Life is too short to deal with people that just aren’t worth your time.
What makes Spartan Contracting Corporation different from other contracting companies?
The employee-oriented focus no doubt.
People want to feel engaged and like they’re helping to build something at work in 2022.
I’m proud that we picked up on that as a company from the very beginning and have taken care of our people in a way that far and away exceeds our competition.
We have the usual fringe benefits such as 401k, health insurance, company phones and trucks and whatnot.
But, the #1 thing we have that no one else does is a bonus program tied directly to company profits.
Employee bonuses are directly tied to company performance, so your bonus is what you make of it.
We’re now in our fifth year of this program and every single year we have done it; every single employee has received a profit share bonus of five figures and greater.
In the next year or so, we will be transitioning to a 100% employee-owned company.
I look forward to sharing equity in the organization with those that put in the hard work and long hours in the heat and cold every single day!
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