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Building a reputation.

Building A Reputation

Doyne Construction Co. of Little Rock is a small business success story that might never have occurred had Hollywood beckoned.

The $2.3-million (1990 revenues) company has been involved with such visible jobs as the renovation of Little Rock Regional Airport, the state treasurer's office and Philander Smith College.

It all started in the living room of a College Station home.

"I took a wrong turn in Los Angeles and ended up here," says Little Rock native Dexter Doyne, 36, who has a degree in film from San Francisco State University.

Doyne "postponed" a move to Hollywood to come home and help renovate rental property his father owned.

Although this Spike Lee could-have-been has yet to make a name for himself in the film industry, he is fast earning a reputation as a quality contractor.

Doyne, with the help of his bankers and his accountant, has managed to keep his finances in order while growing the business.

"You have to watch everything, especially the company's overhead," he says. "It can get out of hand before you know it."

Doyne says his accountant is quick to point out weak areas before they become full-blown problems and advise him on when to make major purchases.

"Most jobs will show a gross profit," Doyne says. "But you can't forget that each must carry some of the overhead burden."

Doyne, proud but not complacent, began his business as a sole proprietorship in 1983. It is now incorporated.

Doyne hopes the company will have $5 million in revenues this year.

The number of employees ranges from seven to 50 depending on what projects are in progress.

One of the employees is an office manager, Tanya O'Donohue.

"Tanya is a penny pincher, and I say |great' to that," Doyne says. "The owner has to wear too many hats. You need a good right hand."

As is often the case in start-ups, Doyne's wife, Angela, was the company's first bookkeeper. She is still the corporation's secretary-treasurer.

Doyne, the president of the Arkansas chapter of the National Association of Minority Contractors, understands a business' "numbers" won't take care of themselves.

He can rattle off what workmen's compensation insurance or bonding will add to a job. He updates his business plan annually.

Know Thy Banker

Doyne also understands the importance of a business owner establishing a relationship with his bankers.

He jokes that the more money he borrows, the bigger office his loan officer has.

Doyne has worked with Tom Wetzel of First Commercial Bank for more than five years. Wetzel's first office was in the basement of First Commercial's Southwest Mall branch. Now, Wetzel has an "office with a view" in west Little Rock.

Accordingly, Doyne's credit limit at First Commercial has grown from $4,000 to $100,000.

"They appreciate my using the money wisely," he says. "I keep them informed whether the news is good or bad. They know I'm watching the dollars. I submit regular, accurate financial statements and business plans."

After attending a two-day seminar at First Commercial on growing a small business, Doyne was able to more accurately calculate his credit needs.

"I needed half of what I though I needed," he says about one job.

Doyne also has a relationship with Twin City Bank at North Little Rock and the Small Business Administration.

The man whose business card reads "In God We Trust" adds, "Divine help is always welcome."

PHOTO : DOUBLING UP: Dexter Doyne, president of Doyne Construction Co. of Little Rock, hopes to more than double his company's revenues this year to $5 million.
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Title Annotation:Doyne Construction Co.
Author:Ford, Kelly
Publication:Arkansas Business
Date:Aug 19, 1991
Words:596
Previous Article:Running off the tracks.
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