Mandatory Questions –

  • Please give our readers an introduction to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/ cities. Dreyer’s DKI is a disaster restoration company that specializes in cleaning up after water, fire and mold damage. We have offices in Alachua and Jacksonville FL, but we service all of North Central Florida.
  • Kindly give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements). Dreyer’s DKI started as a carpet cleaning business by my older brother to put himself through dental school, and it remained primarily carpet cleaning until 2004 when we started doing mainly disaster restoration. I purchased the business from my father in 1995 shortly after attending college. I was able to join the DKI national franchise in 2011 becoming a part of one of the largest restoration franchises in the country.
  • What inspired you to (start a new business venture) or (to make significant changes in an existing business)? How did the idea for your business come about? In 2004 the business changed from primarily carpet cleaning to disaster restoration. I saw the opportunity to build a bigger business and help more people in the restoration industry. We still do clean carpets.
  • What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs? The first piece of advice would be to realize that you don’t know what you don’t know, keep learning and growing. Secondly hire slowly and fire fast, the people that work for you can either make the business succeed or cause it to fail. 3rd is get in the habit of constantly working on yourself and your leadership skills.
  • What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur? In my experience the first one would be the ability to be resilient. There are many situations, especially in dealing with people that can be discouraging and emotionally draining. The second would be to remember your core business. Figure out what you are really good at and stay laser focused on that one thing. Learn how to manage people and then if you want to grow, learn how to hire people that can also manage people.
  • How many hours do you work a day on average? 8
  • To what do you most attribute your success? The people that have helped me along the way.
  • How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing? We market to companies and people that can refer us to customers with water or mold damage.
  • Where did your organizations funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture? We have been able to build relationships with local banks that have helped us grow.
  • What is the best way to achieve long-term success? Hire the right people
  • Where do you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years? I see us earning a dominate share of the market in water and mold remediation.
  • Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most? Barnhart Crane company, because they give away 50% of their profit and have been able to use their company to change so many people’s lives.

Recommended Questions –

  • How important have good employees been to your success?
  • How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?
  • What motivates you?
  • What are your ideals?
  • How do you generate new ideas?
  • How do you define success?
  • How do you build a successful customer base?
  • What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
  • What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
  • What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
  • What kind of culture exists in your organization? How did you establish this tone and why did you institute this particular type of culture?
  • In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.

Optional Questions –

  • If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
  • How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
  • What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?
  • How did you decide on the location for your business?
  • Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
  • If you could talk to one person from history, who would it be and why?
  • Who has been your greatest inspiration?
  • What book has inspired you the most? (OR what is your favorite book?)
  • What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?
  • How can you prevent mistakes or do damage control?
  • What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?