By: Grant and Katie Klumb, owners of Unite Utility
What does Unite Utility do?
Unite Utility is an underground construction contractor that specializes in the installation of fiber optic mainline.
How and why did you start Unite Utility?
We started Unite Utility because it has always been a dream of ours to own our own business. We decided to take advantage of our 25 combined years of utility construction and came up with a business plan to turn our dream into a reality.
What sets Unite Utility apart?
Our experience not only in the fiber optic arena, but the natural gas and electric sector with clients such as We Energies, Alliant, MG&E, Peoples Gas, Nicor and more has given us a diverse background not only in the types of projects we can perform but also the high safety and quality standards we strive towards. High expectations from natural gas and electric utilities have molded us throughout our years in the industry and we bring that focus and standard to the fiber optic and communication sector.
What are your biggest challenges as a small business?
Resources – being a small business, we don’t have the same amount of equipment and support staff as the larger players in our industry. We all have to wear a variety of hats and always make sure we are optimizing efficiency and usage.
What have been your biggest successes?
Our team. We have a great group of people and their willingness to be part of a startup and be involved in bringing new ideas to the table to set us apart has been wonderful. It is a very hard market to find great people, but we have been very lucky. Our success starts and ends with our team.
How has the Waukesha County Center for Growth contributed to your success?
We were applying for a loan from the Small Business Administration, and we were referred to the Center for Growth for help with financial projections. The Center for Growth also helped us with our business plan and market research. The support they offer and their vast areas of expertise have been extremely helpful, especially in the startup phase.