Folkers Window and Home Improvement Company was founded in 1972 by Tom Folkers and is now owned and operated by Kip Robinson. Kip, a United States military veteran, lives his life by the values and fundamentals he learned while serving our country and has created a similar culture within his business.
What has been the toughest part of running Folkers?
“The most difficult has been attracting talent to the construction industry. Other than that, there’s nothing that stands out.”
How important have good employees been to the company’s success?
“They’ve been absolutely essential to the success of the company. Without good employees, you can’t have a successful operation, in my opinion. If your employees enjoy their job, they’ll be happy to come to work and they’ll take good care of the customer. As a result, the customer is taken care of, they’ll to be happy and satisfied, they’ll tell their friends and family, we’ll get new and repeat business, and it becomes a beneficial upward spiral from there. It all starts with the employees.”
If you had to start over from Day One what would you have done differently?
“If anything, I probably would have “digitized” our business, so to say, a little more. There’s not much besides that – our processes are great, our guys are great and our products are great.”
What is the toughest part about having a home improvement business in 2017?
“Finding good employees, definitely. Plus things in the construction and remodeling industry are changing quick. The digital side of it, at least, is moving so fast and it can be difficult to keep up with.”
If a customer was to choose between Folkers and three other companies just like it, why would you suggest they at least give you a try first?
“First of all, we don’t sell cheap products – we don’t sell junk. Secondly, we don’t use subcontractors, so the job is done the right way the first time. We have full-time employees, we do everything the Folkers way and we use high-end materials, from the glass down to the screws. Additionally, we’ve been in business for 46 years and we expect to continue for another 46.”
Excluding Folkers, what company, business or organization do you admire the most?
“Well, being a veteran, we try to pattern a lot of what we do after military processes and procedures, such as preventative maintenance, making sure things are done the right way and continually improving. I admire our military and the men and women who have dedicated their lives to serve and protect us.”
What do you do in your non-work time?
“Well, we just got a new dog, a golden doodle named Milo. You’ll see him on our Facebook page a lot. One of my kids is leaving for Mississippi State so we’ll be watching the Bulldogs this season and the other is a competitive swimmer, so we do a lot of traveling with the swim team. As for me, I do a little fishing every now and then.”
Who has been your greatest inspiration?
“The basketball coach Bobby Knight, “The General” from Indiana University. My favorite quote of his is, “Your biggest opponent is not the other guy, its human nature.” That resonates with me because he’s conveying that a good life is about work ethic, making sure you’re doing the right things and treating people with respect. Human nature pushes us towards laziness and cutting corners. Do it the right way, even though it might be tough.”
Folkers Window and Home Improvement Company serves the Gulf Coast of Florida and Alabama, providing replacement windows, custom entry doors and many other home improvement products and services. Get new windows for as low as $10 per month per window. See website for details.