PIDC is always excited to hear about the progress of its clients. Keystone Tile & Marble is a great example of a client on the growth path.PIDC was able to assist Keystone Tile & Marble with a Contract Line of Credit which provides support to small, minority-women, and disabled-owned businesses in need of a line of credit to fund contract-related working capital. We recently caught up with Lydell Williams, President of Keystone Tile & Marble and asked him to share his story.
Describe your business for our readers.
LW- Keystone Tile & Marble, Inc. is a specialty tile and marble company headquartered in Philadelphia, PA. I started the company in 2003 and have over 30 years of experience in the flooring industry. Keystone is a qualified union contractor, MBE, DBE, DGS certified and holds a license with the PA Gaming Control Board. We specialize in ceramic tile, terrazzo, porcelain, granite, and marble sales and installation. We currently have 16 employees.
I have acquired unique experiences and abilities from many years of completing numerous projects such as restaurants, office buildings, clinics, churches, retail centers and tenant build-outs in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey area flooring industry. This wide range of experience gives Keystone Tile & Marble, Inc. an edge when it comes to knowing how to do the best job possible.
Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur?
LW- Due to my unique experiences and abilities from many years of completing numerous tile projects for other companies, I felt the urge to start my own. My wife and I wanted to increase our self-worth with a great product, provide excellent service, and create jobs to help others. I wanted to create a better life through economic and social support for my family and myself. We were purpose driven with a passion to build a strong brand name that will leave a legacy for our children.
Part of the decision was also a desire for adventure and excitement! I wanted to do something that matters. Starting my own business gave me the opportunity to do what I love- seeing satisfied customers, and seeing people benefit from working.
What contracts have you worked on in Philadelphia?
• Parx Casino
• Tutor Perini Corporation Office at One Logan Square
• Bakers Square ShopRite
• Sugar House Casino
• University of Pennsylvania McClelland Hall and Mayer Hall
• Drexel University Nesbitt Hall Renovation
• Temple University Architectural building
• E.T. Richardson Middle School
• Community College of Philadelphia Dining Hall
• Global Charter School
• New Foundations Charter School
• Philadelphia Airport
• The Salvation Army Kroc Corps Community Center
• Atlantic City Airport
Did you know anything about PIDC before you became a client?
LW- I had not heard of PIDC until I met Marla S. Hamilton, Vice President, Market Manager, Neighborhood & Business Development.
What prompted you to contact PIDC for help?
LW- We received an email invitation to a seminar and my wife asked me to go with her. It was there we met Marla S. Hamilton and she emphatically stressed “If you are serious about growing your business, you should contact her at PIDC.” I took her up on her offer and have been blessed ever since.
What has the assistance from PIDC allowed you to accomplish with your business?
LW– PIDC’s financing has allowed us to become more marketable and bid and win larger jobs. We are now fulfilling our dream of hiring more people. PIDC bridges the gap with financing jobs until invoices are paid which allows us to keep up with payroll and material costs. PIDC has been life changing, literally!
Describe your experience in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business program?
LW- WOW! The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program reprograms you to a broader mind set of doing business. It has enlightened us on identifying our growth potential, risk management, project forecasting, money and metrics, how to be bankable, marketing and more!
The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program has given us tools to pave the way for a strong foundation to build an empire whereby we can help others and fulfill our dream of being successful entrepreneurs.
What are some lessons you’ve learned so far as an entrepreneur?
- You must love people! Be willing to take and recognize the risks and being able to see the bigger picture.
- You must have the right support staff and learn how to delegate.
- Never lose sight of your dream!
- You must stay current with today’s technology and market.
- Networking is important.
Do you have any advice for other small business owners?
- Be passionate about your business.
- You must be able to sell yourself and your business.
- Make a business plan.
- Learn how to manage people.
- Get to know PIDC, as it will help you with your endeavors.
- The staff at PIDC is always looking for ways to help the entrepreneur enhance their business and self-improve.
- PIDC opens the doors for many Networking opportunities which are essential to staying in business.
- Apply for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program.
- Attend workshops.
- If you really want it, don’t be afraid to step out of the box.