Daniel Oseth, 33, is the owner of Sterling-based Oseth Group, a contracting company that does interior build-outs and renovations for commercial use. The company launched in 2015, and this year was ranked No. 186 on Inc. magazine's list of the 5,000 fastest growing companies in the U.S. The Times-Mirror spoke with Oseth about the company's quick rise to success and how he has made an impact in the industry.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, your business and how you got started.
I grew up here [in Loudoun County], and my parents still live in the same house. I attended Potomac Falls High School, Seneca Ridge Middle School and Sugarland Run Elementary School. I received a full scholarship in track and field at Radford University, where I majored in business.
After college, I started working at HIIT contracting, and after six years went to Cresa construction management. I wanted a bigger challenge, so at the age of 28 I decided to sell my race car – I was into Formula F1600 racing – and worked out of my basement for about six to seven months to start the business.
I landed a few big projects and started hiring. I knew I needed to find good people to hire. The biggest investment into the company is employees, and I brought in really good people.
The first year we grossed $133,000, the next year in 2016 was $2.2 million. In 2017, we grossed $4.1 million, and in 2018 $5.4 million. We went from one employee in 2015 to 30 employees in 2018.
In 2017, we opened a satellite office in Arlington for marketing, attracting talent and for our work in D.C.
In 2019, we continue to grow. I have learned a lot in a short time period and am never satisfied with where I want to be.
Employees who work here feel satisfied – it is a stimulating environment and we all really get along. It is a nice, collaborative office.
The three things I look for in hiring is not just experience, but loyalty to the company, work ethic and someone who is genuine and personable with clients. Those are things you cannot teach someone.
I make it a point to keep in touch with each employee weekly, we don't want a revolving door. I'm proud to say we have had many employees stay here for a long time.
The business is focused on corporate interior build-outs and renovations, mainly commercial.
What role models have helped shape you and your business?
My mother and father – Connie and Jim Oseth; my uncle, Steve Oseth; my business coach, Jim Kearney; Gary Vaynerchuk; and a vice president and executive senior vice president at my first job out of college.
What is one of your favorite projects to date?
BluVector – a 9,000-square-foot office in Arlington. They spent close to $600,000 on the project, and it ran very smoothly. The schedule was very fast – 10 weeks. We performed and delivered the project seamlessly, partnering with a strong team of subcontractors, construction manager [who represented BluVector)], an architect and the landlord. We have a strong relationship with all parties involved , that provided us with multiple opportunities to work with them on many future projects. Additionally, it was the first project for one of my strongest project managers, John Veselick, at Oseth Group. Guiding and mentoring John throughout the entire project allowed him to understand what a textbook project entails – John has since grown to be my vice president and one of our key assets to the growth of Oseth Group.
Have you ever felt your growth is too fast? What do you do to manage it?
Yes – I had this feeling toward the middle of last year, when we were awarded 12-15 projects at once, with the same schedule. Oseth Group was spread very thin, and to manage the day-to-day activities, issues and keeping open lines of communication – I had to begin delegating more and more to the people who I trusted. This allowed me to maintain a big picture view of the companies financials, upcoming opportunities and keep Oseth Group functioning as a well-operating machine.
What is the most meaningful achievement in your career so far?
A year before I started the business I was living with my parents, and I had just had surgery on my ankle. I had an idea to start my own business. I was inspired by my uncle who had a very successful concrete business, and I studied a lot by reading various financial and business magazines. My goal was to get on the Inc. 500 fastest-growing companies list. People thought I would fail, I was too young, but I was able to do it.
This year we are ranked No. 186 in the U.S. out of 5,000 and No. 12 in Virginia, No. 1 in Loudoun County. We are also No. 12 in construction companies nationwide and No. 15 in Washington, D.C.
It puts tears in my eyes when I think about it because that was my goal.
What is the best advice you have received?
1. Never lose focus when running a business.
2. Never be afraid to ask for help.
3. It’s OK to be disliked, and to not let other people’s opinions of your future success distract you from being a visionary.
How does being in Loudoun County benefit your business?
It is great to be in my hometown. I've lived here my whole life and I know what this county used to look like – and I don't want to leave. I just want to be a part of Loudoun's growth.
What is it about Loudoun that you love, and what do you do to give back to the community?
I'm proud to say I'm from Loudoun, and I'm helping develop Loudoun on the construction development side. It's very satisfying and I feel very connected here. We have given back to the community by donating money to sports teams, and we collected coats and jackets to donate to kids at Sully Elementary School.