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David Klingenfuss on Running a Successful Contracting Business for 30 Years

David Klingenfuss has run a contracting business for the past 30 years in San Francisco and the Bay Area.

“I’ve done everything from service calls to wiring brand new houses, custom lighting, commercial work, biotech labs and more,” says Klingenfuss.

Klingenfuss says he started small but worked his way up.

Having accepted thousands of jobs in the past three decades, Klingenfuss has a mix of practical hands-on experience as well as a deep understanding of the day-to-day business operations and best practices of his industry.

Klingenfuss started working on construction projects with his stepfather when he was in his early teens.

“I learned all aspects of construction and he taught me the importance of hard work,” says Klingenfuss.

When he was 20, Klingenfuss visited Job Corps in Reno, Nevada, where he received the vocational training and education that would set him up with the foundational knowledge he needed to get started.

Klingenfuss’ own observations inspired his pursuit of electrical contracting.

He knew many trades workers laboured hard, but electricians required both practical knowledge and happened to be lighter on the physical labour.

Having already experienced construction work before, Klingenfuss was determined to pursue a career as an electrical contractor instead.

When Klingenfuss returned to the Bay Area from Nevada, he was hired as an electrical apprentice, where he received on-the-job training.

Klingenfuss attributes his success to always putting his customers first.

“My customers are the reason why I’m in business, so I always prepare beforehand and do my best work,” says Klingenfuss.

Klingenfuss says he knows he’s done a good job when he gets referrals and positive reviews from his customers.

“Success for me is when I do a good job and my customers are happy.”

Klingenfuss says one of his top tips for people who want to pursue a career in the trades is to focus on the work at hand and produce the best results they can.

“Many people are focused on the high-level aspects of their career and their earnings, that they forget they need to focus on doing the best job possible.”

Klingenfuss recommends starting lean and working your way up when you start your own contracting business.

“The one thing you don’t want to do is borrow a lot of money for vehicles and put yourself in a position of debt.”

Klingenfuss says that one of the reasons why he’s sustained his business for decades is because he has low overhead.

He keeps cost down and delivers great work, so he’s able to sustain his business and his lifestyle over the long run.

During the coronavirus pandemic, Klingenfuss saw a business drop of about 50 percent.

To cope with the business loss, he cut back his spending and reached out to his loyal customers to drum up more work.

He says it’s important to build strong relationships with the people you work with.

Fostering relationships and providing the best work is the key to sustainability and growth.

To learn more about David Klingenfuss and to get access to his tips and tricks for electrical contractors and more, you can visit his website at:

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