Small Business of the Year thrives on anticipation
The key to staying in business for 41 years is to never get comfortable, according to ProSpace Interiors founder Tom Huerkamp.
Huerkamp prides himself on evolving the company that began as Grand Mesa Office Supplies in Cedaredge into the commercial furniture supplier and installer it is now, with offices in Delta and Grand Junction. The company, which has 15 full-time employees, is this year’s recipient of the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business of the Year award.
“This award is an affirmation of success we’ve had,” he said.
The business has sold office supplies, janitorial supplies and electronics, but now focuses solely on customizing office flooring, furnishings and other fare to fit clients ranging from St. Mary’s Hospital, Halliburton and Home Loan locally to jobs in Idaho, New Mexico and Texas that resulted from local customer referrals.
Every time he saw a threat to the business, such as big-box stores and Internet sales, Huerkamp found a new niche. He even changed the business’s name. Twice.
“The market is always changing,” Huerkamp said. “It’s instinct for me, no big secrets, no big degrees.”
ProSpace Interiors, which changed its name from Office Furniture and Design Center last year during a rebranding, works with approximately 100 manufacturers to load up on a variety of offerings, from chairs with seven adjustment settings to desks with a dozen trim and color options.
When something doesn’t quite fit for a client, Huerkamp’s team adapts it to the situation “in ways the manufacturer never thought of,” he said.
“People think a desk is a desk. It’s not that simple anymore,” he said.
When a client comes to ProSpace, the company first looks at the configuration of an office and finds out what kind of style the customer is after. From there, designers can start making a floor plan fit with furniture arrangements and other details, such as carpet and wall decor. The final step is to put everything, literally, into place, then “vacuum our way out,” Huerkamp said.
“Our install crew earns tons of unsolicited (thank-you) letters,” he said. “Once they’re in a place, we have no competition.”
Service, flexibility and good employees are all reasons Huerkamp believes ProSpace Interiors may have won Small Business of the Year, but civic involvement and community service are also on the list. Many employees are members of local service clubs; the business is part of chambers of commerce in Grand Junction, Delta, Rifle and Montrose; and Huerkamp has a special place in his heart for supporting Hospice & Palliative Care of Western Colorado.
“My wife passed away in March, and I had hospice in my home for six months,” he said.
Never satisfied with the status quo, Huerkamp isn’t finished making new goals for his business. The next step is to expand into more projects in eastern Utah, where ProSpace just completed a job at Moab Regional Hospital, as well as drumming up more business along the Western Slope.