Each year, OBJ recognizes the region’s rapidly growing firms with its Fastest Growing Companies awards. The aim is to honour the city’s top performers for substantial, sustainable and profitable growth. Recipients are ranked by their three-year revenue growth. They must have had revenues of at least $100,000 in the first of those three years under consideration. Revenues must have risen to at least $500,000 in their most recent fiscal year.
When Leam Hamilton first launched Highbridge Construction alongside co-founder Pat Violette in 2015, he saw it as a “fun project while we were doing other things.”
Six years later, that project has blossomed into a booming business.
Hamilton, who is also a principal at a local real estate agency, says the residential construction company owes its growth to its knack for hiring the right talent and a track record of happy customers who’ve generated buzz for the firm through word of mouth.
Highbridge also puts a lot of effort into generating new leads using an online system that flags hundreds of new potential opportunities every month.
While COVID-19 initially slowed the construction industry to a crawl, Hamilton says the pandemic ended up benefiting the company.
Unable to travel, homeowners began spending more time and money on their houses, he explains. Housing values have skyrocketed in Ottawa’s red-hot residential real estate market, he adds, allowing people to “refinance their homes and do the renovations they never got around to doing.”
He says Highbridge plans to expand its operations across Ontario and eventually Canada. The company is already working on a few projects in Thunder Bay and the Greater Toronto Area.
Hamilton says now that Highbridge has created an established, repeatable process for generating leads, it can quickly and easily establish itself in new markets.
“Like a McDonald’s with a fry guy and a burger guy, a lot of our back-end systems are structured similarly,” he explains. “We have people performing in specific roles and honing their skills to the point where it’s a well-oiled machine.”