In honor of Small Business Week, we will be celebrating and highlighting local small businesses and entrepreneurs in our area throughout the week next week. Today we are highlighting Henderson Professional Engineers (HPE). Jen Henderson, President of HPE, shares with us the motivation for her new business, hurdles she overcame, and other advice for entrepreneurs just starting out.
Read more about Jen’s journey to launching Henderson Professional Engineers.
- Describe the concept for your business and what motivated your idea.
The concept of our business is simple, to help facilitate land development in the region. We are here to help in all aspects of land development – from understanding the process of site selection to seeing a vision through construction. We enjoy seeing an owners vision come to life. The most enjoyable part is seeing an owner scratch out his vision with a paper and pencil then being able to drive into the parking lot and see that vision as a reality. Knowing that our mark is left in the community where we drive every day is something that can not be explained in words. We are here for annexation, zoning, platting, site construction plans, and construction oversight of projects from the building face to the property line.
Motivations included the ability to control where we work as we live, work, and play in the same community. We are proud of this community and are proud to hang our shingle in the place we love most. We want to see Round Rock as the premier place to live. We love OUR home and we are one family inside of our office. We are motivated by one another to do our best work in the most efficient manner possible.
- What was one hurdle you had to overcome?
Making the decision to hang our shingle out in the middle of a pandemic and then dealing with the effects of COVID-19 and all of what it brings to employees, family, and friends. It has been really hard to see the COVID-19 impacts – from families who have lost loved ones, losing some friends, to watching businesses we helped build go out of business. The emotional rollercoaster we have been through, along with everyone else, as the biggest hurdle this year.
Like every new business, we also faced the hurdle of getting new clients and retaining those who are near and dear to us. We also had to overcome working virtually for three months then opening our office.
- What do you attribute to your success?
Huge drive and an established network. Knowing people to help understand the business side has been a tremendous help. Every time there was a need that we didn’t know how to fix, there was a friend at an event that we knew could help. The toughest parts became the easiest parts with the network of friends who we became clients of. This chamber was a HUGE part of how we are successful because of the number of friends who invest and are their at events.
- What would be one piece of advice to someone just starting out?
Besides don’t do it? Don’t cut corners on asking for help where you need it. For example, if you are not good at finances or payroll, then find someone who is and hire them to take on that role. Don’t be scared to be honest about what you do and don’t know – if you don’t know it someone does. There are plenty of people willing to give advice on what the right and wrong way to do things are. Lots of great business owners are willing to tell you their lessons learned – listen to them all. The lessons from the big companies are just as valuable as those from the mom and pop shops.