Derick Sabbatini is the owner of Derman Associates based in West Wyoming, PA. Derman provides construction services specializing in construction management, plumbing, and general construction. Derick has over 10 years of experience in the construction industry. Follow him at @dsabba.
What is the first thing you did to turn your current business from an idea into a reality?
I grew up around the construction industry. My grandfather and my father both worked in construction. I didn’t realize how interested I was in it until I finished college. While I was working full time, I started my company working a lot of nights and weekends. I used the resources and people around me to find jobs.
What is the scariest part of being a young entrepreneur and how can others overcome this fear?
The scariest thing is to overcome the intimidation of others who have been in this line of work for a long time. They feel that they know more than you do. It’s not easy to overcome, but you need to stay confident in yourself. It may take some time, but it will come.
Were you ever told not to pursue your entrepreneurial dreams? Who told you that, what did they say and why did you ignore them?
I was the one who questioned what I was doing. Was it the best route for me? Was it best for my family? With the support of my wife and my father, I stayed with it during the hard times.
What is the No. 1 thing you wish you’d known starting out and how did you learn it?
I wish I knew how to deal with employees. It’s hard to keep all of them happy, and you have to know when it’s best for your company to go in another direction. I believe the only way you can learn this is by going through it.
What do you recommend all new founders do for their business — or their personal lives — that will help them the most?
You need to learn how to separate your work life from your family life. It’s hard, especially in the beginning when your business is most vulnerable, but you really need to make time for yourself and your loved ones.
How do you end each day and why?
I keep a to-do list and at the end of the day I like to look at what I accomplished and what I need to accomplish the next day.
What is your best PR/marketing tip for business just starting up?
Word-of-mouth marketing is very important. Don’t be afraid to reach out to the people you know. They may be able to help you out or pass you on to someone who can.
What is your ultimate goal? What will you do if/when you get there?
My ultimate goal is to make Derman Associates a regional go-to construction firm. When potential clients are starting the construction process, I want to be on their list of firms to reach out to.