A CHAT WITH AL COLVIN, FOUNDER OF NRG MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS

 

al-colvin-nrg

Al Colvin is the founder of NRG (Energy) Management Solutions,Inc. is an electrical contractor company that provides electrical services for commercial and industrial construction projects.

1.    Describe the mission of NRG Management? 

Our mission is to provide our employees with an honest and helpful working environment, where every employee, individually and collectively, can dedicate themselves to providing our customers with exceptional workmanship, extraordinary service, and professional integrity.  We will strive to implement a long term relationship with our clients based on safety, quality, timely service and an anticipation of their needs.

2.    What inspired you to start NRG Management Solutions? 

Well, I had an opportunity to start the company as a vendor to one of the largest electrical distribution companies in the world; however, once they realized the amount of revenue that could be generated by self-performing start-ups and commissioning, it was brought back in-house.  I, then, ventured into new construction and the rest is history.

3.    What makes NRG Management Solutions unique and different than other electrical contracting firms? 

We care about people first.  This is a culture that starts with the company and emanates outwardly to all of our customers.  I want EVERYONE to feel important and appreciated.

4.    Are you a Nashville native? 

No, I am originally from Ohio but have been in Nashville off and on for almost 21 years.  Transferring to TSU (Tennessee State University) was the reason for coming to the Music City, but I fell in love with the Southern hospitality and felt as though this was a stable environment to raise children.

5.    Electrical contracting is a specialized field that is very important for any construction project; could you describe a typical on the job day? 

We start off the day with a safety briefing, because I want everyone to return home in the same condition in which they came.  Afterward, there is an assessment of job status as it relates to scheduling as well as checking for material and tooling needs for the upcoming days.  We are always trying to be proactive instead of reactive. 

6.    How long has your company been in the NBIC program?

We are going into our 3rd year at the NBIC.

7.    Could you share 3 things you love about NBIC that others may not know? 

  • The staff has been excellent throughout our tenure.  They are all dedicated to the growth, development and overall success of the companies in the program.
  • NBIC has enabled us to enroll in free business development opportunities through various entities such as MNAA and SBA.  These programs are invaluable for businesses looking for sustainable growth.
  • Lower rent helps companies maintain lower overhead in order to be more competitive in the market place and save money for their own facility upon graduation from the program.

8.    Is there one business resource or tip you would give to readers just starting out in their business?

A popular misconception amongst people wanting to start a business is thinking since you are able to perform the work, you are able to run a business.  Unless you understand how to operate a business, you are going to find it extremely difficult to grow and sustain your business without the right assistance.  The NBIC has helped me tap into various resources in order to grow exponentially.

9.    Is there one significant win you have received over the last 6 months to a year that you would be up for sharing with the NBIC community?

Over the first year at the NBIC, I was fortunate enough to generate revenue through another business and as a result the electrical company suffered.  Angela Crane-Jones personally challenged me to put more effort into the electrical and I accepted.  This year we have already surpassed sales from all of our previous years combined.

10.  Lastly, what can Music City expect from NRG Management Solutions in 2017?

We are steadily looking for ways to improve our employee and customer experience.  I want the company to be better than the day before and never allow success to make us comfortable.

A CHAT WITH MICHEAL WEISS, FOUNDER OF MEDFORWARD

 

Michael Weiss is the founder of MedForward, a digital marketing firm focused on helping medical businesses, including private practicing physicians, hospitals, and healthcare companies grow their businesses.

What inspired you to start your business?

I was inspired to start my business out of the desire to help other medical businesses and patients and make a lasting positive impact.
Nashville is being called the “It” city…. Why are you loving Nashville right now for your business?

I am originally from Baltimore and our primary reason for moving to Nashville was to join the Nashville Business Incubation Center in 2012. It is an affordable and very business friendly city. It’s the center of the medical industry which aligns with our vertical and also relatively geographically centered in the U.S. which helps us do business across the country.
What was the biggest aha moment you have experienced during your business journey?

There’s not a specific aha moment, but we always learn that one of the most important things to do is to hire the best people.
What are three things that you love about your NBIC experience?

1) The affordability of the space as we grew our business.

2) Networking with the other businesses in the center and attending NBIC sponsored events was a benefit.

3) Mentorship opportunities were very beneficial. Angela Crane Jones helped in coaching me on my business along with an introduction to the TN Small Business Development Center and connecting me with a NBIC board member who runs a similar company.

Name a barrier you faced during your business journey and how did you make it work for your good?

One barrier we faced was coordinating as a team. We implemented a ticketing system which really helped address this problem.
Is there one business resource or tip you would give to NBIC readers just starting out in their business?

I’d recommend that they don’t give up and keep trying. Make sure to keep an open mind towards your strategy and pay attention to market demands to pivot if necessary if at first you don’t succeed.

What would you say has been one of the challenges you faced starting a tech driven small business in Nashville and how did you overcome it?

I wouldn’t say this was one of our challenges but I have heard raising capital can be challenging outside of a Silicon Valley environment. Since our model focuses on selling directly to healthcare providers and Nashville is such a healthcare mecca, we did not see this as an obstacle for our business growth.
Lastly, what can Music City expect from your company in 2017?

MedForward will be growing, hiring in Nashville, and continuing to innovate by adding new features to our secure online medical forms and online medical marketing software.