Money For Lunch – Patrick Smith – Innovative Solutions

Patrick Smith – Innovative Solutions

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Patrick Smith 
Business Name: RPS Associates of New England
Website URL:
Email Address:
Year Founded: 1981
Number of Employees: 29
What does your company do?: We solve dust and noise related problems in the industrial setting. We design ventilation system to control process related fumes and pollutants.
We incorporate process needs with state of the art filtration technologies and current NFPA, and ACGIF requirements. We design these systems to have the lowest operational costs to minimize energy consumption and maintenance costs.
Was there a specific turning point when you realized your business was moving to the next level?: We have evolved and changed a couple of times and are in the midst of change again.
What processes or procedures have you implemented that have helped grow your company?:
The first hurdle is the mindset and goals of the CEO regardless of the size of the company. In 1981, my goal was to generate enough business to have a regular pay check. Someone told me back then not to open the business, my goals were not lofty enough. But there were no jobs in my field, businesses were closing and down sizing. We were heavy in the steel industry in the 70s into early 80s.
As the goals of the leader change, the methods employed to achieve them also change and the company evolves.
What is most rewarding about running your business?: Rewards are elusive. There is a daily sense of accomplishment and responsibility. The burden is not something I would wish on anyone but I would never trade it. The flexibility provided by being at the top offers me the choices of where I go and what I do on a daily basis. By providing custom solutions to a variety of problems in a variety of industries, we are sought after by companies large and small all over the nation. Our reputation is our primary sales lead generator, and our ability to be innovative is our best sales closer.
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?: First was partners that are brothers with different vision. Since buying out my brother, we have more then doubled the business. I still have a financial burden related to the buy out that has prevented us from funding more growth for expanding our physical plant.
It is difficult to systematize custom solutions. We are trying to create systems though that will still allow our flexibility to be maintained. This is key to our future growth.
If you were starting over today, what would you do differently?: Not much. I had to evolve and grow with the company. When my children were young, being home was more important then making money. Striking a balance between household financial needs and meeting the non-financial obligations of a father was difficult but maybe the most important thing that I did. I was often traveling to meetings and projects 200miles away at 3AM so I could be back on the little league field at 6PM.
What advice do you have for other business owners?: For those that have not opened a business – Get a good paying job and keep it. Too many have failed because they could not muster up the strength to do what needed to be done.
For those that have opened a business. First, “Failure is not an option”. Second, “Failure is not an option”. and third, “Failure is not an option”.
Now that we have accepted that, you must have a masters in GSD.
Anything less means that failure is still an option.
Oh yeah, a GSD is “getting stuff done”.
Please list any favorite books, tools or resources (software, website, etc.) you would recommend for others:  The bible – it has practical knowledge that will help keep one balanced.
Tony Robbins – also will help to keep one from being 2 dimensional.
Chet Holmes – will help you to market your company
What is something that people might be surprised to learn about you?: I studied to be a priest.


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