A-1 Builders & Adaptations Design Studio

Group shot of the A1 Builder team

“For small businesses who can’t afford a CFO or financial advisor, it’s magical having resources like SBDC to help out” is what Rick Dubrow, owner of A-1 Builders, shared with us on a recent visit.

Rick specialized in airport noise abatement before switching his focus to secondary education with a focal point on biology. Western Washington University is what lead the New York native to Whatcom County.

Bellingham has been home to A-1 Builders since1955, although its roots have been traced back as far as 1928.

In 1976, Rick was given the opportunity to purchase A-1 Builders. On a whim, he took the plunge and purchased this business. Looking back, Rick said his background of aeronautics/astronautics and secondary education did not prepare him with the knowledge of how to operate a small business.

That is why Rick sought help from the Small Business Development Center. Rick was looking for someone to help guide him on how to run a business that was, at the time, so foreign to him.

Rick has worked with the SBDC off and on for many years and loves the excellent consulting and advise our advisors have given him for no cost.

Rick returned to SBDC recently, in hopes to establish A-1 Builders as a worker-owned cooperative (WOC for short).

“I’m hoping that we will be able to pass the company on to the people who have helped make it what it is!”

The SBDC has been assisting Rick and his executive team plan for the successful transition of the company to new ownership.

Our work has included educating team members about financial management issues, developing KPI dashboards to monitor performance of the business, business valuation and financing options to fund the conversion to a WOC.

Each month we meet with the executive team to review financials, monitor KPI’s and check on programs towards goal achievement.

Other small business owners would be crazy not to work with the Small Business Development Center. It’s free, professional advice and where else can you get help like that?

Rick Dubrow