Growing up with a grandfather and uncle in the concrete trade, Rick Eckes fell in love with concrete finishing. In late 2018, Rick launched his own company, Next Gen Concrete Finishers. As the third generation of his family working in concrete, Rick’s uncle showed him that customer service, fair treatment of customers, and nurturing relationships was as important as the quality of the concrete work itself. It is on those pillars that Rick operates Next Gen.
Rick saw a Community Futures Entre-Corp billboard on 13th Avenue, and the rest is history. He signed up for the self-employment program, and, realizing he wasn’t alone out there, and seeing where to find resources, advice, and training, he launched his business. Rick applied for and received RRRF funding and slowly built his business from the ground up.
Rick is up at 5:30am to take advantage of the short construction season. He has grown the business substantially in the last two years and is poised to double his workforce from two full-time employees to four. Next Gen Concrete does all kinds of concrete finishing, from new home builds to stand alone projects. Rick does his best to juggle his love for the outdoors with the short building season.
As Next Gen Concrete Finishers enters the next phase of its business life cycle, Rick is looking to train up new employees, keep building his customer base, and continue building on the word-of-mouth advertising that he has created.
Rick’s advice to those thinking about starting a business is research your market thoroughly, be a life-long learner and embrace constant training and improvement, and never be too shy to ask questions or ask for advice.