Valemount business reaches new heights with support from consultant

March 6, 2023

A Robson Design Build crew works on a bridge.
Photo: Ruby Hogg – Wide Open World

For 10 months beginning in 2020, Robson Design Build worked with a professional consultant to help them learn about different elements of operating a general contracting business. In operation since 2012, Robson Design Build realized the need for external education and support to help them weather the economic downturn and successfully bid on large-scale projects.

Since completing the consulting project in June 2021, Robson Design Build has experienced many benefits to their business, including smoother operations, increased revenue and faster project delivery.

“It’s been a huge help to have a better understanding of contract law, project scheduling and learning how to build a great team is really what has made the biggest difference,” said Andreas Thoni, owner, Robson Design Build.

Photo: Robson Design Build

To assist with the costs of the $44,659 project, Robson Design Build received a $25,000 Small Business Recovery Consulting Rebate from Northern Development, which they learned about through social media.

After working with the consultant, Robson Design Build grew their team by adding a full-time office manager, a full-time construction estimator and a site superintendent. Combined, the new staff members have made operations smoother and provided Thoni with the time to develop the business and effectively manage multiple projects at the same time.

While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt their business through the postponement of many of the remote construction projects Robson Design Build specializes in, the skills learned has allowed them to pivot and successfully take on many new builds which they would not have otherwise been qualified for without the training.

“One of the projects we are most proud of is the Valemount Trail Network,” said Thoni. “It is not the biggest project Robson has built, but it has definitely benefited the community of Valemount the most.”

Photo: Ruby Hogg – Wide Open World

Thoni has been significantly involved in the development of Valemount Trail Network since 1999, including the park’s first master plan. Robson has been contracted to build many of the trails within the network, with an overall goal of providing the highest experiential value, usability and aesthetics. The Robson team has worked closely with Curtis Pawliuk (VARDA general manager), the bike committee and many other partners to continue to develop the trail network.

The Small Business Recovery Consulting Rebate is currently accepting applications from small and medium-sized businesses in northern and central B.C. Funding applications are received and reviewed on an on-going basis, with no need to wait for application deadlines.

Photo: Robson Design Build