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Columbia Business Monthly

#8 - Cantey Foundation Specialists

Dec 27, 2018 11:32AM ● By Kathleen Maris
Year Founded: 2014
Founder: William Cantey, CEO and Owner
Headquarters location: Camden
Number of other locations: 1 (Roebuck)
Beginning of 2018 Number of Employees: 74
Current Number of Employees: 95

Cantey Foundation Specialists is a trusted foundation and crawl space repair company providing residential and commercial services throughout South Carolina and the greater Augusta, Ga., areas. The company strives to fix it right the first time, use the highest quality materials, train its employees to deliver the best customer experience, and offer a permanent solution that it stands proudly behind. It is associated with the Basement Systems and Supportworks, Inc. international networks, has an A+ rating with the BBB, and has won the 2018 Supportworks’ Award for Integrity, 2018 Inc. Magazine’s 5000 Fastest Growing Companies, 2017 Best in Biz Most Innovative Company Award, and the 2015 BBB Torch Award for Ethics.

What are the keys to your company’s rapid growth?
William Cantey (CEO and owner): The main driver of Cantey’s growth is our people. We are continually hiring those who have a positive mindset, go-getter attitude, and fantastic customer service skills. Without the individuals who make up our No. 1 team, we would not be where we are today.

What trends and innovations do you see down the line for your industry?
Innovation in our patented products happens yearly, so we strive to keep ahead of our competitors to bring the best solutions to our customers. With the help of the international network of dealers through Supportworks, Inc. and Basement Systems, we are able to openly discuss the future of the foundation, crawl space, and concrete repair industries.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started your professional career? What word of advice, if any, has shaped your career and who gave it or where did you read it?
Decide where you are going to be in the market and stick with it. You cannot be the best and the cheapest, and there is nothing wrong with being one or the other because there is a market for both. This was only discovered after the help of one of my other mentors, Larry Janesky, who is the founder of Basement Systems, Inc. He was always available for advice, and he helped me through the great days and the bad.

Growing fast is one thing, but long-term sustainable success is another. What are you doing to make sure your company sticks around for the long haul? How important is continued learning to your success and if so, what do you do to ensure that you are always learning about your industry, your company, and yourself?
My personal approach is to lead by example. I am a strong believer in self-improvement as well as hard work. As the company has grown, I have given my team members the same opportunities to improve themselves. I truly believe that we fix homes to pay the tuition to build our people. From self-improvement books to training nationwide to financial workshops to health care benefits, I invest in their future so that they have not only fulfilling work, but also fulfilling lives. 

What is your preferred method of communication — phone call, text message, email — and why?
I prefer email. One of my daily self-improvement practices is time management. I’ve learned that time is valuable, so don’t waste it on simple tasks that can be entrusted to others or spend time multitasking without actually achieving something. I do not allow email to be a distraction throughout the day with its consistent alerts; I schedule the time to read and respond to my emails so that I may fully concentrate on the task at hand, which is communicating clearly.

Given the ease and ability to be engaged in work 24/7, how do you and how often do you break free from the job?
I am very fortunate — and learned early on — to hire great people and let them do their job. Time is valuable, and micromanaging is not beneficial for anyone. Because I’ve hired a great leadership team, I am able to spend most of my time working on our culture, specific projects, and working on becoming a better leader. I rarely feel the need to be engaged 24/7.