Building a Model Business

Despite a tough economy, Gail Warrior ensures the success of her construction company

In 2009, Warrior Group won a $15 million contract with the University of North Texas to renovate its law school building. Also in 2009, Warrior Group began working on a $15.3 million four-story barracks project at Fort Hood military base in Texas.

Tapping into the Green Economy

A factor in Warrior Group’s success is the growing interest in “green” construction. As concerns increase about the environmental impact of building projects, more organizations are turning to modular as a solution. Modular structures have been found to reduce the amount of waste that often accompanies constructing a building on-site. “Since the buildings are produced off-site, you don’t have construction-related traffic at the site,” Slingerland says. “And having fewer vehicles at the construction area significantly reduces carbon emissions.” Warrior Group’s buildings, which are made of timber, can be certified under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, program.

Fighting to Win

Warrior’s entrepreneurial philosophy is grounded in believing that winning any battle is first about the condition of the mind. “Believe in your abilities,” she says. “If you know you can do something, do it.” Warrior says having faith in herself has helped her succeed and has come in handy when dealing with comparably sized competitors. “We keep on top of new developments in the industry,” she says. “It’s also about customer satisfaction and offering the customers what they want. So I’m just trying to stay competitive in terms of the different types of construction services we offer our customers.” Warrior Group stays diversified by offering construction management, which involves overseeing projects from beginning to end. Services include pre-planning, scheduling, subcontractor negotiations, and engineering.

The Warrior Group also stays competitive by hiring and retaining top talent. “Good salaries help. And recognizing good work,” says Warrior. “It’s also about the people you hire. We make sure we look for quality.”

Warrior advises against intentionally hiring employees who know less than you. “I’m no architect and I’m no engineer, but I do know how to surround myself with people who know how to do things that I don’t know how to do. And so many managers are afraid to do that. They’re afraid to hire what I call nines and tens because they worry that their skills and knowledge will make them look incompetent or less knowledgeable. And so often, what they’ll do is hire fives and sixes.”

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  • I absolutely agree with hiring people who know more than you in a specific area. This can seem intimidating to entrepreneurs initially, but it is vitally important to a successful enterprise. Smart, sharp team members will allow you to focus on building the business rather than fixing lose ends.

  • I confess, I have not been on this weblog in a very long time. nonetheless it absolutely was one more joy to read your great content.

  • Thanks for your comments. Yes, Bunmi, I agree. Hiring employees who are more knowledgeable benefits a company. Managers should not be afraid of being outshined. At the end of the day, high-performing workers make their bosses and their companies look better. And thanks Natavidad for your message. We try our best to give you content that you can use and apply on a daily basis.

    • Jon

      Articles like these are inspiring. a0At this time, there’s no hope not even a ppecrost of hope. a0I did what I was supposed to do 1.) Graduate from hospital 2.) Stay out of trouble and 3.) Graduate from college. a0I’ve yet to make an annual salary which supersedes the amount I owe on loans. a0To make things even worse, I’ve been unemployed for over year in an funky downsizing situation where I didn’t even qualify for unemployment benefits after fighting almost an entire year. a0I’ve tried to go entrepreneurial in the field in which I graduated in, but even that isn’t yielding anything. a0They’re no jobs, but yet Nelnet is still putting pressure on me even hounding my parents for money. Is this the American Dream promised to me if I did what I was supposed to do? It’s more like a nightmare. a0Since there is apparently no help out of this, when I am fortunate enough to receive divine help to dig myself out of this rut I will promise a few things! 1.) It is very unlikely that I will allow my children to go to college unless they indicate overwhelming promise in a SPECIALIZED area. 2.) My children will go to trade school following graduation in a career that they have shown distinct interest and promise in. a0I honestly don’t believe the American Dream is for middle-class citizens anymore. Honestly, I think it’s the job of parents in today’s society to supplement as much of the dream as possible. Bankruptcy at this point would be like a dream come true. Please make it come true, so some of us struggling people can at least have the opportunity to start over. a0#help

  • Awhitake

    I’ve been hesitant about branching out of my 9-5 to get into this industry. Construction (particularly homes) is something that I’m fascinated by. How can I get started down this path in Houston? Seems like having a mentor is really the key?

  • Joanne

    This was the first time I’ve had outdoor pothos of my kids taken. I think I waited for the BEST photographer to take the pictures! I love how open Robin is to my ideas and what I’d like to capture. The kids enjoyed themselves and have already asked to take more pictures with Ms. Robin! Thank you, girl, for your beautiful work.