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Business as youth-ual

image David Esslinger and the Epoch team members.

AUSTIN - Youth is not always wasted on the young. Only four short years after David Esslinger earned his Business Administration degree at A&M in 2002, he started his own general contracting business.





    “After college, I took a position in New Orleans and was offered an opportunity to come back home to Texas in Houston and I jumped at the opportunity,” Esslinger says. “In 2006, through a multitude of learning experiences, I decided to go out on my own and started Epoch Construction. It was something I had long wanted to do without any partnership or hinges to hold me back. Obviously, as everybody knows, when you’re young it’s easier to take those leaps of faith and persevere through the struggles the first several years of doing everything as you grow.”
    Esslinger says he started the business as a “one-man show” out of his one-bedroom apartment and grew the business steadily at about 20 percent annual growth. Twelve years later, Esslinger oversees 23 employees at Epoch’s Houston home office as well as a new Austin office, which opened early 2017. While he has no immediate plans to expand, he’s not ruling out future offices in Dallas and Corpus Christi.
    “Right now, we build in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Austin; those are our four major markets,” he says. “We do everything from high-end restaurants to private multi-story hospitals.”
    Esslinger says his years in the business have taught him the importance of patience and honest client communi-cation.
    “This is not a sales job; this is a real-life growing business,” he says. “A lot of our clients are repeat clients, so obviously it is critical to treat them well and be honest with them, to give them a reality and in doing so, telling them the truth, good or bad. Communicating with them well and keeping them in the loop can really assist in overcoming obstacles. Every project is going to have small problems. If you let everybody know those issues through open and up-to-date communication, you can provide them solutions and options to cure, which may allow you to overcome those problems, [and then] you really don’t have an issue.”
    Esslinger has also learned the importance of developing a strong relationship with his employees.
     “Hunting, fishing, the rodeo, our annual Christmas party – we do a lot together,” Esslinger says of his employees. “My business is still a very small business and I treat employees like family. I get to enjoy a lot of time with my team members. You’ve got to work hard to be successful and give yourself the opportunity to play hard too, or you’re just going to burn yourself out. This is a tough business.”
     With two offices offering a wide range of services, Esslinger says his days are busy but he leans on the support of his wife and two children as well as his own strong office team.
    “It can be a lot, but we are blessed to have a wonderful supporting team that looks forward to any challenge,” Esslinger says. “I enjoy the challenge of being a business owner, the growth opportunities and the family atmosphere that we have here.”
    Epoch Construction is a general contractor located in Houston and Austin. –mjm

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Author Info

Melissa Jones-Meyer dfweditor@constructionnews.net