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Entrepreneur Profile , J. David Rauch

More than 10 years ago, David Rauch identified an industry need and started ProTec Building Services, a company that provides homeowners associations with manuals, inspections and community maps.

“We’re the only company in the country that does what we do,” Rauch said.

ProTec offers two key services , creating custom programs for managing condominium communities and writing HOA manuals , that placed it among Inc. magazine’s top 500 fastest-growing companies in the nation last year. Since 1996, ProTec has written more than 1,000 HOA manuals for master-planned communities such as Ladera Ranch in Rancho Mission Viejo and Santaluz near Rancho Santa Fe.

“It was something I started,” Rauch said. “And it’s been very successful.”


VITALS

Name: J. David Rauch.

Title: President.

Company: ProTec Building Services.

Company address: 5555 Kearny Villa Road, San Diego.

Company phone: (858) 569-1080.

Year founded: 1996.

Prior business experience: Division manager for N.N. Jaeschke Inc.; vice president of MTK Construction LLC; sales representative, Kennedy Wilson real estate investment and services firm.

Average hours worked weekly: 60.

Source of startup capital: $123,000 from financial partner whom I subsequently bought out a year later, and $75,000 on my credit cards.

2006 revenue: $9,950,271.

2005 revenue: $11,404,761.

Number of employees: 151.

Web site: www.protecbsi.com.


BACKGROUND

Birthplace: Fort Knox, Ky.

Education: Bachelor’s degree, city planning, University of Virginia.

Age: 53.

Current residence: Leucadia.

Family: Three daughters, Heather, 22, Samantha, 12, Abigail, 7.

Hobbies: Skiing, surfing, running, swimming, hiking and reading.


JUDGMENT CALLS

Reason for getting into business: I realized there was an unfulfilled need for a company to help developers mitigate their risk of construction defect litigation by understanding “post-construction risk strategies” and for a company to provide professional maintenance services to homeowners associations.

How I plan to grow the business: Utilizing my board of directors. We have a five-year road map, which we tweak each year prior to our annual strategic planning.

Biggest plus of business ownership: The satisfaction of knowing that my hard work (and a little luck) results in providing jobs to really great partners and people.

Biggest drawback: I have a fear of unrealized potential.

Biggest business strength: My faith in open book management and giving ownership (stock options) to those who put their hearts and souls into our company’s success.

Biggest business weakness: We never seem to be able to find enough new great people nor ever have enough cash.

Biggest risk: Forgetting that the thing to fear the most is the thing that we don’t know anything about; stuff happens in business at the least advantageous time when you are least expecting a surprise.

Smartest business decision: Giving ownership of my company to key employees. If you are going to truly have a team environment, you have to put your money (or stock) where your mouth is.

Biggest business mistake: In 1999, I handed ProTec’s HOA maintenance manual templates to an independent contractor, thinking I could trust that person. I even first obtained a signed non-disclosure agreement and a month later, that person became a competitor.

Toughest career decision: To leave a comfortable job that I enjoyed to make the leap to being an entrepreneur and starting my own company , with little capital.

Biggest ongoing challenge: Finding a way to scale our business to other cities and bring the same level of teamwork, quality and customer service.

The most important part of my business: Clients can rest assured that we will help them achieve their goals of building and managing great communities through our post-construction risk and maintenance planning strategies.

My business works best when: All our key management positions are filled with ambitious, intelligent and skilled managers.

Best way to stay competitive: Have a laserlike focus on improving quality and not focus on what our competitors are doing.

How I measure success: Successful is the person who has lived well, laughed often and loved much, who has gained the respect of children, who leaves the world better than they found it, who has never lacked appreciation for the Earth’s beauty, who never fails to look for the best in others or give the best of themselves.

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