Mathews Electric Corporation delivers solutions in northwestern Washington
The adage, “Necessity is the mother of invention” has likely been the catalyst for the spawning of myriad businesses across many industries. When Greg Mathews decided to start his own electrical company, it was this saying that sparked his decision.
“I started working as an electrical contractor in 2000,” Mathews says. “After my apprenticeship, I worked for a few small companies, but after our first child was born, I needed to find a job closer to home. When our second child was on the way, I was 27 years old and decided, yet again, that I wanted to do something different. I came home from work one day and told my wife that we were going to start our own company. That was in 2012 and we haven’t looked back since.” Today, Mathews is proud to serve as President of Mathews Electric Corporation in Poulsbo, Washington.
Growth and Development
“For the first eight months that Mathews Electric was in operation, it was just me,” Mathews recalls. “I did everything from the billing to the project work. I was desperate for work and would take on any type of project. Fast-forward nine years and we now have 22 employees who provide a full range of electrical services for industrial, commercial and residential customers. I could not have accomplished half of this if it weren’t for my team.”
The team that Mathews refers to consists of 16 electricians in the field and six administrative personnel in the office. “Our mix of projects is approximately 60 percent residential and 40 percent commercial,” he says. “Six of our electricians are dedicated to working on commercial projects. We have several more employees who have their commercial licenses and can switch from residential to commercial projects, when needed. The rest of our team is divided into five crews of two electricians who bounce around on a variety of projects.”
According to Mathews, the company’s project mix has changed over time. While the residential side has steadily grown since the early days, the commercial side has taken off in the past few years.
“Because we’ve had constant and steady growth in the residential market, I decided to start chasing some bigger commercial jobs that I knew we could not only handle but could also be profitable,” Mathews says. “And while we were focusing on building the commercial side, a lot of talent came walking through our door. We were fortunate in that the timing was perfect. We gained five employees over the last year, which allowed us to continue growing both markets at the same time.”
Mathews is committed to continuing to grow the company, but in an organic way. As a result, Mathews Electric doesn’t actively advertise. Instead, the company relies on word-of-mouth, referrals and social media to gain new customers. “A lot of our work comes from repeat clients,” Mathews says. “In my opinion, we work with a lot of the top local contractors on the residential side. The commercial side is more of a bidding game and once contractors know you can successfully deliver a job, they’re more likely to throw projects your way. We’ve worked hard to build a solid contractor base in both the residential and commercial markets.”
Striving To Be Best
Beyond growing and diversifying, Mathews has made some significant and constructive changes in the way the team manages the business and the workload. “Jeremy Linn joined our company in January 2019 as a Project Manager and he brought a lot of structure to the business,” Mathews says. “On his first day on the job, he told me that I had too much information in my head and not enough of it stored in the computer. He got busy changing our scheduling and billing systems by automating and streamlining everything. Jeremy’s been a huge asset to our company.”
“I began my career working as an electrician in 1996 and worked for several contractors over the years,” Linn says. “Greg and I have known each other quite a while. When I heard he was looking to fill a gap and expand his business, I thought I could help him. Once I was hired, we made a big push to streamline the office work and now things are more organized and efficient. I guess you could say I helped take the company from pad and paper into the next generation.”
The changes that the company invested in have paid off. Mathews Electric was voted as the No. 1 best team of electricians in North Kitsap in 2019 and 2020. Linn is optimistic about the company’s future growth potential and he hopes that the firm will become the largest electrical contractor in the area.
“There is significant growth happening in Kitsap County and on the peninsula right now,” he says. “A lot of people are moving out of Seattle and coming to this area. It’s only a 35-minute ferry ride from Kitsap to downtown Seattle, which makes it a reasonable commute. In addition, three naval bases, a submarine base and the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard are all located in Kitsap. The area has experienced an approximate 10 percent spike in population since 2010, which doesn’t include the military personnel who also live here. Because of the steady increase of people, there’s been a big uptick in the housing market as well as commercial projects coming out of the ground. Mathews Electric is well positioned to provide services to this growing market.”
Mathews agrees but is also quick to point out that, regardless of what’s happening in the local area, the company doesn’t lose sight of its core value: to provide customers with the highest-quality service at a competitive price. “We believe the customers’ needs are of the utmost importance,” he says. “Because our entire team is committed to meeting those needs, communication and responsiveness are also key areas that we focus on. We make sure that any phone call that comes in during the workday is answered by one of our employees. And when we tell a customer that we’re going to be at their site on a certain day and time, it’s important that we deliver on that promise.”