When a lucrative business owner of over 30 years asks you to buy their company, there’s no choice but to give that offer some serious thought, even if you have no idea how you’ll afford it, and you are less than 30 years old. In 2004, that’s exactly how J.H. Hiers Construction got its start.
While today J.H. Hiers has more than 160 employees and the supporting equipment to provide site work services for large-scale projects in and around South Carolina simultaneously, we started a lot smaller.
How It Started
Since before his graduation from The Citadel in 1997 with a Civil Engineering degree, Jeff Hiers (the founder of the company) was surrounded his entire life by heavy equipment. His father was a farmer and his mother’s family operated a successful construction company.
Through these experiences, and so many others, Jeff’s passion became operating heavy equipment and he quickly fell in love with the smell of dirt and diesel fuel. Over the years, his path would cross with a small site work company, Nettles Sand Company, located in Walterboro, South Carolina. He and the owner, Johnny Nettles, worked on several projects together and became friends. Mr. Nettles must have seen something unique in Jeff, because unexpectedly one day he asked him to purchase his company.
Palmetto State Bank only offered to finance a loan equal to the appraised value of Nettles Sand Company’s equipment. Mr. Nettles agreed to finance the remaining portion of sale value. One thing was missing, which was a crucial component, operating capital. With no other option, Jeff cashed in his 401K from his previous years of employment and J.H. Hiers Construction was born. There were 12 employees, and all stayed on.
With the incredibly selfless support of his wife and children, site work officially became Jeff and Michelle’s life.
Growing Slowly Over Time
The newly founded company began completing the small commercial projects under contract while pursuing future work. The opportunities to bid work slowly began to increase through local General Contractors, Engineers and Developers. The focus now turned to providing a great work environment and a quality product to sell.
Fast forward and J.H. Hiers is proud to be working with some of the most well-known residential builders in the area and is providing three different South Carolina office locations for its employees.