Brandin Wrisley, Sterling Building Group highlighted in Business Journal Article


-Catherine Carlock
April 5, 2013

Racing trucks brought Brandin Wrisley to North Carolina, but Wrisley had spent his youth building, including constructing and installing cabinets at vendor kiosks in local malls in his native Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
In April 2003, Wrisley started Sterling Building Group in an office above his garage. Sterling is a general contractor that specializes in upfits, renovations and additions to hospitals and other health care facilities, restaurants and offices, among others.
The company quickly expanded to an office space on Battleground Avenue near Bur-Mil Park, where it remained until earlier this year, when it moved to a 3,000-square-foot office space with an 8,000-square-foot warehouse off U.S. 29.
Describe your client base. Prior to the recession, the bulk of Sterling Building Group’s portfolio was medical buildings. But Wrisley knew that the Affordable Care Act might impact hospitals’ ability to build, so he decided to diversify. Through the company’s existing client network, Sterling Building Group won projects for restaurant upfits, food processing, IT and clean-room space, pharmacies and cancer centers.
Describe the recent consolidation. Before moving, the company was spread out among a 12,000-square-foot storage unit in High Point, two storage units in Reidsville and the Greensboro office with a shop full of materials and tools.
Tracking down where various equipment and supplies were stored wasted time and energy. “It was almost a part-time, if not a full-time job, to keep track of where everything was,” Wrisley said. Sterling Building Group invested about $50,000 for renovations, which the company did itself. The company consolidated from the about 16,300 square feet among multiple locations to the 11,000-square-foot office and warehouse space on O’Henry Boulevard. That move has saved about $1,200 to $1,500 per month on rent and utilities, Wrisley said, and has created much greater internal efficiency.

How did the recession affect business? Sterling Building Group’s current revenue levels are about half what they were pre-recession, and the company has gone from about 22 employees to its current 13 or 14.
What’s your business philosophy? Wrisley has focused on growing in a manageable way, and the company does not pursue work unless it is negotiated or involves a pre-qualified bid list or selected group of bidders.
Toughest challenge? Building relationships takes time and effort, and that can be hampered by not being a native Greensborian, Wrisley says. But he credits the company’s keen focus on client relationships, employee retention, maintaining a strong referral network and maintaining good working relationships with subcontractors, suppliers and vendors. Every employee Wrisley has hired has come through an internal referral, and each subcontractor that has previously bid a Sterling Building Group project has come back to bid again, Wrisley said.
Advice to entrepreneurs? Don’t be greedy. “I know we’re in business to make money, but that client needs a project done,” Wrisley says. “Make sure you’re an asset to that client and not a burden.”

Name: Sterling Building Group Who’s in charge? Brandin Wrisley, president Address: 3224 N. O’Henry Blvd., Greensboro 27405 Phone: (336) 545-9494 Website: Annual revenue: $4 million – $4.2 million No. of employees: 13-14