Eric Stevens, Good Wood
He built his dream of an equitable business
Watch Good Wood's story
Eric Stevens is no stranger to new beginnings. After graduating college, he spent a number of years in Chicago pursuing his interest in furniture building and design until the economy crashed in 2008. He moved with his family to California and at age 30, interned at a tech company as a software designer.
After years working in software tech, he yearned to get back to working with his hands. When a friend’s studio burned down, he offered up his services to rebuild her creative space. Rebuilding her space, but also her morale, helped jumpstart his new career. Eric started with a few small millworking jobs, but as demand grew, he was able to hire a team to help him. That team became Good Wood.
A problem solving partner
Handling multiple projects at once isn’t an issue for Eric. In addition to building, he has a passion for problem solving that helps him connect the dots between the different projects Good Wood is working on. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. With more projects come more variables, and more complications.
The main challenge a business like Good Wood faces is cash flow. Since it’s important for Eric to have his team maintaining consistent hours, he needs to know how much money he’ll have in advance to pay his employees. Since every project has different operating expenses, having a grasp of overhead at all times is critically important.
A handy assist
With a volatile business, Eric needed an accounting software that could keep up with his problem solving skills. Coming from a software design background, he didn’t want to use technology that would be difficult to understand. Xero’s simplicity and ease of navigation allows Good Wood to seamlessly invoice and track bill payments from multiple vendors at once.
Xero also allows Eric to customize his quotes so that they’re clear and legible, and he doesn’t have to hand in an Excel spreadsheet for someone else to figure out. With tracking of hours automated, it alleviates his stress when it comes allocating workers comp and other forms of insurance.
An equitable path
Building, problem solving, and equitable business. Those are Eric’s passions. When he created Good Wood, he strived to think about business differently. Working closely with his wife Jesse, they are focused on having profit sharing with their co-workers. They want to develop their people’s careers as much as the business. Eric doesn’t even like using the word “employees” because for him, the tools that Good Wood builds foster independence for his customers, and he wants the business to do the same for his team.
After an economic downturn temporarily derailed his dreams, Eric pushed through to get back to the career he always wanted. His passion for building couldn’t be deterred, that’s the epitome of self-made.
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