South Mountain Builders

"Four keys to success for South Mountain Builders are (1) changing to respond to the market, (2) partnering with larger companies to provide a win-win relationship for clients and partners, (3) understanding the Client, what they want, how they want it, and what they value, and (4) Follow through.These combine to build trust that we deliver for the client."

Juan Cardenas

Industry: 

  • Construction

Owners: 

Juan Cardenas

Date Founded: 

September 2003

City: 

Riverton

Host Location: 

Salt Lake City

Advisors: 

Kris Heslop

South Mountain Builders

Secret to Success: 

"The SBDC gave South Mountain the key knowledge, resources, and contacts to become a successful commercial construction manager. They have helped identify metrics of success to grow my business so we know and do what it takes to achieve our growth goals."
Juan Cardenas

Juan Cardenas started in the construction industry in Los Angeles in 1984 performing quality work.  In due course he relocated to Utah and in 1996 started South Mountain Builders (SMB) with only $2500.  In 2003,  Cardenas incorporated the company.  His wife and family have been by his side from the start.

Before Juan successfully transitioned SMB, he built on his decades of experience to understand his clients’ need. According to Jonnie Wilkinson, PTAC regional manager, “What sets South Mountain Builders apart is their attention to what the client wants and how they want it.  South Mountain Builders delivers for the client.”

Over the past six months the company has added three new employees to support growth  Juan says, “The key remains delivering for clients.”  As SMB continues to expand capacity, the SBDC will continue to assist in this growth. Juan states, “the SBDC resources and introductions, like Nancy Byerly and Jonnie Wilkinson, provided South Mountain Builders with the know how to successfully add government contracting to our business, and helped ensure we develop a successful ongoing business in the future.  As South Mountain Builders’ needs have changed, the SBDC has continued to move our growth forward, introducing us to Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses training program at Salt Lake Community College and marketing resources to further enhance our business skills and growth. These resources are what allowed us to continue to grow.” 

The Salt Lake SBDC congratulates Juan Cardenas and South Mountain Builders for their success in expanding into commercial construction management and government contracting.

Partnering with larger companies, SMB leveraged their 8(a) small business certification to secure contracts for Federal projects. In 2012 SMB was able to achieve over 300% sales growth, and  2013 sales are projected to grow 50%.Seeking solutions, Cardenas came to the Salt Lake Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to reposition his business beyond residential construction.  He initially received business counseling from Rudy Ortiz, and later with Kris Heslop.  These SBDC business advisors helped Juan move SMB into commercial construction management and government contracting, introducing him to Jonnie Wilkinson of the Utah Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), and Nancy Byerly with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to access resources for government contracting.