The Dream Team

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How a husband and wife duo think outside the box

by Amanda Milford

Jeannette and Tim Wyatt are the perfect team: innovative, collaborative and creative. Together, the husband-and-wife duo are the owners of Wyatt Management, a Houston-based general contractor. In fact, it was the business- and their determination to see it succeed-that initially brought them together. Today, they’re working side by side to take Wyatt Management to the next level.

TIM’S STORY Tim has always been interested in construction, even though the medical field runs in his blood-his father and great-grandfather were both doctors. But Tim chose a different path, graduating with a construction management degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stout and working for a general contractor for 15 years. While he’s always had a love for construction, there was one thing that bothered him: he began to notice how the only people who truly profited in the industry were those at the top.

“I became very disenchanted with how construction companies were run,” says Tim. “I felt that in most companies- particularly in construction-the owners were the only ones who were really benefiting financially.”

Unsatisfied with the status quo, Tim wanted to do something different. So, in 1998 he decided to strike out on his own and form his own company, Wyatt Management.

“I wanted to start a company that would benefit everyone- a company that would have a team atmosphere,” says Tim.

While headquartered its own office building in Minneapolis, the company was doing 60-70 percent of its business in Texas. Tim developed a strong base of loyal customers, including Arby’s, Red Wing Shoes, Wendy’s, Green Mill and McDonald’s. Wyatt Management was doing well.

Then, in 2008, the recession hit. Business practically slowed to a standstill. Tim closed his office building and decided to head south to try to keep the company afloat.

And that’s when he met Jeannette.

JEANNETTE’S STORY Jeannette spent the majority of her career in healthcare marketing. It wasn’t until 2008, when she met Tim, that she discovered a penchant for construction marketing. When they first met, Tim handed Jeannette his business card; she took one look at it and told him the first thing he needed was an overhaul of his branding and a comprehensive marketing strategy to revive the business. It was a match made in heaven. While Tim had mostly relied on word of mouth to land new clients, Jeannette immediately set upon an aggressive marketing effort that included mailing hundreds of direct-mail letters to construction managers at top retail and restaurant companies. In addition, she called upon her creative expertise to implement out-of-the-box marketing strategies (which she won’t reveal).

“I used a variety of unique tactics-things that helped us get our foot in the door with new clients, so to speak,” explains…