Building a Business Legacy
Back to the Future
It’s not uncommon for someone who has spent a number of years in corporate America to shift gears into entrepreneurship. Being your own boss certainly has its advantages. But for Scott Beckler, who recently purchased Lewis Installers in Gretna, his reason for taking on a new business venture had more to do with honoring not only his father’s legacy, but building one of his own.
Beckler started his career as a business education teacher then moved to a corporate career in technology. But for a number of years he kept an eye on businesses for sale, hoping that just the right opportunity would come along. “My dad was an entrepreneur who owned his own real estate insurance company,” he said. “Despite the fact he had ongoing health issues, he still got up every day, put on a coat and tie, and went out to make a sale. He was a very successful businessman, and I wanted to honor a bit of his legacy.”
After contacting The Firm and discussing what he was looking for in a business, they suggested Lewis Installers, which specializes in industrial conveyor and rack systems. At first it seemed like a big departure for him. “Shelving and logistical systems isn’t something that jumps out at you,” Beckler said. But the more he looked into it, the more he realized it had many of the aspects he wanted in a business. The most obvious being that the company was located in Gretna, where he lives, and the seller lives up the road from him. “After meeting him and hitting it off, we quickly realized it was a match on both sides,” he said.
"My dad was an entrepreneur who owned his own real estate insurance company. Despite the fact he had ongoing health issues, he still got up every day, put on a coat and tie, and went out to make a sale. He was a very successful businessman, and I wanted to honor his legacy."
- Scott Beckler
Other elements made sense too. The financials were good, the size of the business was ideal, and there was a lack of competitors in the industry. Beckler also realized that his corporate background actually fit well with this new business. “Although it’s an entirely different industry, many of the business principles are the same, such as project management, customer service, delivery, vendor management, and cost containment,” he said. “I’ve been doing all of those for years.”
His background in technology will also be an asset he brings to the business. Not only does he have established relationships with large vendors that he’s built over the years, but having built entire data centers will help him grow the company from an automation standpoint and bring new technologies that the business hasn’t had before. At the same time, he’s looking forward to learning the daily operations of the company and having a hand in every part of the business, from bidding to closing the deal to payroll. “It will be challenging coming from a big business background where I’ve only been involved in the periphery,” Beckler said. “Now I’ll be involved in all of it.”
But the fact that Lewis Installers is a family-owned business is what he’s most excited about. He said it’s a company with a good reputation that’s known for quality, meeting deadlines, and has a strong Midwestern work ethic. It was a company built from the ground up, much like what his own father had done. “I want this business to be a legacy for my family,” Beckler said. “My hope is that my own family could one day be involved in it and that it could stay in the family with my own kids and grandkids.”
The Firm Deal Review
Business Established: 1987
Reason for Sale: Retirement (translation: more time with a fishing pole)
Owner's Profit: $495,004
Type of Loan: SBA with Core Bank