Marcus Mumm and his partner Nicki Rust have their hands full operating two successful small businesses. Advanced Electric, based in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, opened for business in 1998, installing new and revamping existing electrical systems. The company provides residential, commercial and industrial electric contracting services in newly built facilities, and their niche market is focused in adaptive reuse and fire alarm wiring. The second business, Mumm Real Estate, manages a portfolio of 40 rental units in Wisconsin and 8 vacation rental properties in Florida.
FOCUS ON EMPLOYEES
Advanced Electric currently operates in multiple states as well: Wisconsin, Indiana and Colorado. They also hold seven master licenses throughout the country if they choose to expand the business into additional states. As a family-owned and operated company, one of Marcus’s biggest priorities for the business is to do right by his employees, some of whom have worked with him for 18 years. He offers apprenticeships with himself and supports furthering formal education through Moraine Park Technical College. The company started with just 3 employees and has now grown to a staff of 25.
FOCUS ON CLIENTS
Marcus also strives to do right by his customers who are comprised of general contractors, property developers and managers as well as residential customers. He offers several cost-saving measures such as installing energy-efficient lighting and electrical equipment. He makes sure to stay informed of rebates and tax incentives for energy-efficient items to help further reduce costs for customers.
Accomplishments with UW-Oshkosh SBDC
- Loan refinancing
- Business trust advice
- Digital marketing resources
- Expansion strategies
FOCUS ON GROWTH
The two partners, Marcus and Nicki, came to the UW- Oshkosh Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in 2016, when Advanced Electric was going through a big expansion. SBDC Consultant Tom McDermott helped them re-finance their SBA loan with a conventional line of credit significantly improving monthly cash flow. Marcus said he found Tom’s personal experience as a business owner with a similar growth experience very valuable. Nicki added, “Tom was very good at listening to us and giving us different ideas of how to move forward and make changes. He gave us tasks to complete in a specific timeline and that was really helpful!”
The two partners learned some difficult lessons when Hurricane Irma hit Florida in 2017. They were without power for 10 days and had cancellations on several vacation properties for months afterward. Tom gave them practical advice on setting up a trust to protect the business. Tom also introduced them to a website developer who built a new website for Advanced Electric and a second one for their real estate management company. Nicki said of the website developer, “Dan Brosman was terrific! He was very patient and met with us several times. He helped us link all the website elements with pictures and pricing to make the site more functional for clients.”
FOCUS ON FUTURE
Marcus and Nicki are always looking for ways to improve on their success and are now looking forward again, thinking about the next generation of management and working on staff development.