After working in a machine shop for three years, in 1977 I set out to find an outdoor job in construction. Hollywood Door in Dallas was hiring subcontractors for their installations. There I learned to install Genie garage door openers, attic stairways, and service residential garage doors. I found the installation of Genie openers most interesting and starting contracting to Forbis Electronic. After contracting around Dallas and even doing some commercial garage door repair in Austin; I decided it was time to stop contracting to others and manage my own business.
We started out picking up odd jobs, and marketing using word-of-mouth. Over the next few years, we went from struggling to find work, to busy enough to run a fairly consistent schedule with my work truck staying busy most of the time.
In 1984 I took a leap of faith and placed two dollar bill sized ads in red bold print in the GTE Plano directory, using the company name “Plano Door Service”. The cost was 400 per month and my competitors said I was crazy for even thinking about it. Working from the living area in our West Plano home we offered same day service at reasonable rates. Within three months of placing the ad, we hired our first employee. We continued to work out of our home office until 1990; during which we had an assortment of different small to medium size warehouses to store scrap materials.
In 1990, we took the next step and incorporated all of our existing customer base into one company- Plano Overhead, Inc. We also combined our office and warehouse to our first retail location at 801 Jupiter Rd near Plano Parkway & Jupiter Rd. We constructed walls out of garage door panels to create an office that allowed customers to see our steel doors and electric openers- while creating working environment as well. This location served us well as we had significant growth over the next ten years.
In 2000 we moved to 1111 Jupiter Rd. just north of our old location. It was a much nicer showroom with sufficient office and warehouse space. We grew large enough to hire secretaries and a few additional installers. My son, Nick, also joined us as an installer in 2008 after graduating from Texas A&M University. Nick started as an installer learning the business as I did, from the ground up. He worked as an installer for a few years, was Service Manager for about a year, then General Manager for 3 years, and has now been promoted to CEO since 2016. After doing two five year leases the landlord went way up on our projected rent for the next five years and we decided to take yet another leap of faith. We decided that we would attempt to find a location that had highway visibility- at warehouse prices. To do this, we would actually have to separate our retail space from our warehouse space. Fortunately, we were able to find two locations within a mile of one another that was around the same budget as before- but with higher visibility at one location, and more storage at the other. We were up for the challenge!
In 2016, we were able to bring my other son on board to serve as the CFO. He also attended Texas A&M University and lived with my other son, Nick, for a few years. Nobody could be more excited than my other son to have him on board as he helps to bear the weight of continuous growth and transformation of our company. As we transition our business to the next generation, we are confident that our two sons will take our company to heights we never thought possible- while maintaining the integrity, ethics, and values that have always been the backbone of our company.