“I’ve always been a businessman,” notes James “Bud” Parsons, when asked about what it’s like to own and operate a business.
With over 50 years in the trucking and excavating industry, it must have seemed like a natural choice for Bud to partner up with Frances “Fran” Williams to found Porlier Pass Contractors in 2008.
Porlier Pass Contractors provides a complete range of contracting services, including trucking, excavating, water and sewer line installation, and roadbuilding. Although based in Duncan, Porlier Pass serves clients throughout Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland, and has received calls forwork from as far away as Alberta.
While a business thrives on many different factors, one of the key drivers is clearly passion, which is obvious when Fran is asked about what she most likes about her work. “I love to move the earth,” she states.
Over the last three years, Porlier Pass has enjoyed steady growth and worked on a variety of projects, including a lot of work with Aboriginal-related projects (Fran herself is of Aboriginal heritage).
As with other small businesses, flexibility and the ability to adapt are pivotal. “There are always challenges, but adapting to the ups and downs of the economy...being flexible, is important,” says Bud. “We can adapt to do different types of work, too, when necessary.”
This flexibility, adaptability and a reputation for results mean a steady flow of work for Porlier Pass. “We just finished a 48-lot subdivision,” Bud says. “We did the hydro, sewer, water - all the servicing for the lots.” Obviously, the workload can fluctuate, and while Porlier Pass currently has about 10 employees, they often take on more, when needed.
As for the future, Bud will probably retire and hand over the reins to Fran. However, when he leaves, he will know the business will be in good hands with a solid reputation. “We’ve paid all our own bills, we don’t owe anybody any money,” Bud says. “We’re pretty proud of what we’ve done.”
For more information, phone Porlier Pass at 250 748-7700.
This small business profile first appeared in Small Business Profile 2011: A profile of small business in British Columbia. Aussi disponible en français.Other profiles in the series:
- Taking yoga and pilates classes to the workplace
- Sidney firm lights up business world
- Frustration the mother of invention for entrepreneur
- Richmond firm makes state-of-the-art hockey stick tape
- Vancouver entrepreneurs making the web mobile
- 'Safety, service, reliability' watchwords at Westcoast Helicopters
- Custom sawmill learns importance of patience in winning over customers