Commitment puts Fredrickson into Top 40
Paying his dues has paid big dividends for Naramata’s Robin Fredrickson.
Now 34, with his own business, he began learning his current trade at age 14 from his father Chris Fredrickson, a longtime journeyman electrician.
“Absolutely, it came from the ground up and there’s no question that made a huge difference when I went out on my own,” said Fredrickson. “I even worked for my dad as an adult when I was doing my apprenticeship.”
Just as in business, he has applied that work ethic and commitment to every aspect of his life, whether learning the bass guitar or scaling the granite at Skaha Bluffs.
“There’s no steps to skip,” said Fredrickson. “Everybody I know that’s been successful all had to take their knocks, that’s how it works, you don’t go anywhere if you’re just expecting somebody to hand you something.”
It was in early 2008 he began his home-based career when he founded RMF Electrical Contracting Ltd. at a time when business was booming for those in the trades.
But unfortunately the good times did not last.
“I barely had a year under my belt before everything just tanked but I was already committed at that stage,” recalled Fredrickson. “I really believe in the sustainable growth of a company. There were opportunities where we could have grown bigger and faster but I knew I had to hold things back a little and make sure we were dialled in before taking the next step and find we’re in over our heads.
“I’m in this business for the long term, I like what I do and I like living here. I don’t want to shoot myself in the foot because I’m growing too fast, too soon.”
“It was a good lesson to learn.”
His business philosophy over the years has also helped him save a lot money, especially when it comes to finding new clients. He maintains the best way to get new customers is the old fashioned word of mouth.
“What we do at the ground level part of the business says a lot about who we are,” said Fredrickson. “When somebody’s been referred to you rather than just pulling your name out of the phone book they already have a sense of trust in you. It’s also a lot easier to develop a relationship with your customers.”
Considering his strong family bonds, he developed while growing up, getting together with friends and relatives is a key component of his life.
“As a business owner you’re married to this thing, you live it, sleep it, eat it, but you need to have balance in your life and for me that’s the longer term goal, you have to have time for yourself,” he said. “When I’m here (Naramata), we spend a lot of time down at the beach barbecuing and that’s usually the time the guitars come out and the singing begins and we enjoy some good food and our time together.”
He and partner Donnalee Davidson also like to travel and usually get away a couple of times a year when possible.
In terms of giving back to the community, Fredrickson served as a volunteer member of the Naramata Fire Rescue for some time until the demands of his business prevented him from maintaining the level of commitment he wanted to. He is still active in assisting with the various fundraisers for Naramata Elementary School
“I mean kids and families are what really make a community and the school here has suffered financially a little bit and we like to help out where we can,” said Fredrickson. “I’m always happy to support that in the community and it’s always a good time to have fun and reconnect with the people you know.”
In addition to Fredrickson, RMF Electrical has four other employees and as the company continues to grow, he foresees a time in the near future when he will be able to take on a more managerial role and find a new location.
“I was asked if I ever saw myself growing the business to a point where I didn’t do any of the hands-on tactile work anymore and while we may get to that point someday, and I wouldn’t be opposed to it, I don’t think I would ever be comfortable not doing some of the tool work.
“Sometimes business owners get too big and they loose touch and that’s when the quality starts going down.”
So, at least for now he plans to continue paying those dues and making a name for himself and the company, knowing the rewards will come.
Penticton Top 40 under 40 is presented by the Prospera Credit Union in partnership with the Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce, JCI Penticton with support from Community Futures Okanagan Similkameen..
Nominations should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line ‘Top 40 Nomination.’ Please include nominees contact info and a brief reason for nomination.