For Chris Beuttel, 2015 will be remembered as a year of major transition.
Since he started CLC Services Inc. in Overland Park in 2004, Beuttel has been focused on small home remodeling projects, landscape services and Christmas lights installation.
However, through an accidental email he received in April, Beuttel has added a new service — repair work for AT&T and Google.
“I got an email addressed to someone they thought laid down sod,” said Beuttel about the message he received from AT&T. The communication company has been laying underground cable in the area. “I called them and told them they got the wrong guy but they asked what we do and told me they might need my services.”
After a few conversations, Beuttel was hired for the repairs.
“We have gotten hooked up with AT&T and Google as their support team, which means if they come through like a tornado and leave a mess in a homeowner’s yard, we come in and clean up,” Beuttel said. “That can be anything from fixing a driveway to sprinklers and landscaping that have to be replaced.”
Q: What are the primary services of CLC?
CLC provides some landscaping services, landscape lighting, as well as the installation of irrigation systems — a service added this summer.
CLC also offers holiday light installation, but it is phasing out of the home-remodeling business.
“I have been doing Christmas lights since I was a kid,” Beuttel said. “This is about my 24th year handling Christmas lights.”
CLC operates out of a 2,500-square-foot facility with more than half dedicated to storage.
Q: How did you get started in your own business?
Beuttel started mowing lawns as a teenager as a way to make some money.
“When I was 15, I bought a truck and a trailer and that was the tipping point for me,” he said. “I used to be restricted to doing lawns in my parents’ neighborhood and that opened it up so I could get out of the neighborhood.”
Beuttel got so busy he hired friends to work for him. After graduating from high school, Beuttel gave college a try but found it wasn’t for him.
“I picked my business and left school behind,” he said. One of his customers was a lawyer who helped Beuttel incorporate his lawn care business. At its peak, Beuttel said the company was mowing 95 properties.
It wasn’t long before Beuttel added other services to keep busy in the fall and winter months. As he branched out, he eventually sold the lawn care service.
Q: How does the Christmas lights service work?
Beuttel talks with potential clients about what they want in their holiday lighting. Then it’s on to looking at the house, often with the aid of Google Street View.
The homeowner must decide whether to use incandescent or LED lights. He prices by the section of the house rather than footage.
“It is hard to look at a house and do it by feet,” Beuttel said. “I break it down into 25-foot sections….A typical house, all in incandescent lights, ranges from $300-$600. With LEDs, it almost doubles.”
CLC provides holiday lighting for about 200 homes annually, beginning work in early October and continuing into December, as demand warrants.
Q: With the addition of the AT&T and Google work, what is your greatest business challenge?
Adding staff has been challenging.
“With 20 people and 20 personalities, dealing with workers is a challenge,” he said. “I try to keep our trucks clean and our guys outfitted in clean uniforms and like a clean look.”
He’s also had to grapple with managing rapid growth, especially with the accounting.
Q: The future for CLC?
By adding the repair services associated with Google and AT&T, CLC has received a real boost in business.
“We have seen substantial growth,” Beuttel said. “It’s been about 75 percent of our work this year.”
CLC has gone from two trucks and three employees to 13 vehicles and 20 people, Beuttel said. It may even lead CLC to work outside of the metro area.
“If we keep doing this kind of business, we will have no choice but to go to the city they are in and expand,” he said. “We have at least four more years of work with Google here.”
In a nutshell
COMPANY: CLC Services Inc.
ADDRESS: 7005 W. 152 Terrace, Overland Park
WEB SITE: www.clc-services.com