Mike Macura was eight years old when he first operated a piece of construction equipment in his father’s business. Years later in 2013, he started his own company from scratch. Macura Excavating services a 60-mile radius from North Grafton, MA. The company provides turnkey site work in the commercial sector on jobs ranging from $50,000 to $2 million. Its 20-piece fleet includes new Doosan excavators and front end loaders, and used Caterpillar crawler dozers and backhoe loaders. Although he had accumulated significant experience helping his father, Macura knew that behind every successful construction project is a good blueprint, so he would need a business plan. The strategy proved successful. In the first year of the five-year plan, Macura invested in a track hoe and rented an excavator and loader. Revenues were $750,000, exceeding his goal of a half million in sales.
“Each year, I wanted to invest in a new piece of equipment, hire one additional person, and make sure our revenues grew at least 20 to 25%. We exceeded that,” says Macura.
Revenues climbed each year to $1.2 million, then $1.8 million, and in 2016 were expected to reach $2.25 million. Macura says the conservative business plan guided him away from overextending himself. “Don’t buy a piece of equipment too fast, too early,” he advises. “Do a cost benefit analysis to see if it makes sense to rent versus buy.”
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With cash flow increasing as he adhered to his plan, that meant building up credit with vendors and banks. “We got a working line of credit that’s been enough to finance bigger jobs on the front end,” says Macura, noting that not all clients pay him in a timely fashion. He recently purchased a garage and 4 acres of property for a home base. The company started with two employees and now has nine.
What He Does Day to Day
Macura spends mornings visiting each work site, meeting with clients, ensuring that the foremen have what they need, and discussing upcoming work. He returns to the office to work on accounting, submittals, purchase orders, and project management.
What Led Him to This Line of Work
Macura aspired to follow in his father’s footsteps, but made a few side trips. After earning a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Penn State, he wanted to work for a heavy equipment manufacturer. But also wanting to stay close to home, he took a construction management job in Massachusetts for seven years.
“I gained a ton of experience, learned how the industry was run, and decided if I wanted to do something like site work on my own, I should immediately give it a shot.”
He resigned and started his own business in 2013, enlisting his father’s help to get it off the ground. While his father’s business emphasized concrete construction, Macura focuses on excavating.
What He Likes Best About His Work
Macura says that owning a company means “your potential for success is under your control. Your advancement in your career and the way you want to live your life financially isn’t being determined by someone else.
“Even though working for a company brings in a steady, stable income; is less stressful; and doesn’t necessitate bringing work home, I feel there would be more of a linear growth, and with me, I am way too ambitious. I wanted an exponential career path. I am willing to go above and beyond to achieve it.”
His mother had told him he’d always been a leader. “Even back in kindergarten, I was always directing people what to do at play time,” remembers Macura.
His Greatest Challenge
“Being able to feed the company with work is my biggest continuing challenge,” he notes. “My business development push is how I’m trying to meet that challenge. It gets competitive at times. I have to make sure the company is set with enough work to maintain where we’re at, keep our employees busy, keep the company growing by meeting new clients, and building relationships for repeat business. Within the last couple of years, we’ve been noticed by a lot more builders and construction managers in the industry. There are a lot of opportunities out there we’re dialed into.”