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‘We are better together’

How Stephen Carlson built Coastal Contracting, LLC.

So, you want to build a business? That’s a great idea! First, I want to inspire you, encourage you and bring clarity to the process.


First, let’s define who your market is. Your market is a critical piece of the business because you must know and appeal to your audience. What is the need you intend to fill?

I would suggest finding a hole in the market — a spot that no one else is serving. For example, in the homebuilding business, market analysis may be done by networking with a Realtor and determining the price point at which no other company is building. Next, your new Realtor friend should be able to provide a market analysis showing a price point where most buyers are concentrated. Information about your target buyer will help you develop a structure and find the right market and price point.

Alright, great work; now how does our business function?


As an entrepreneur, you can’t know it all; it takes a team. I have a personal belief: “We are better together.” We need to surround ourselves with people who are smarter than us and develop a culture. We need to share our vision and ideas and listen to others’ thoughts. Don’t forget, everyone has a voice; be humble and learn to listen. As a business owner or manager, you must be quiet where appropriate but unapologetic when it comes time for implementation or action.

Speaking of action, let’s discuss running a business for more clarity.


Remember none of us can do it without the right team. I spoke with someone years back and asked about the hardest part of running a business. This person responded by saying “employees.” Yes, employees. They all have different motivators, opinions, ideas, etc. Oh, and these can change daily.

Don’t get cold feet on me now; after all, opening a business is not for the faint of heart.

Owning a business is not for everyone. Just because someone is great at a certain level doesn’t mean he or she will be great at the next. Owning a business also is scary; there will be times when everything seems like it’s caving in.

But I have good news: Owning a business has many benefits. You may feel a certain pleasure or momentum when you see the happiness on a client’s face. You can have a flexible schedule and attend more of your family’s events. Most importantly for me, you can grow a team and have an extended family. The most rewarding part for me is watching people rise to a level they never thought possible and realizing that I had a positive impact on someone’s life.

OK — enough talk, let’s get to work. After all, you have a business to build.

Stephen Carlson is owner of Coastal Contracting LLC. Reach him at or (228) 424-5152.

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