Lance Bertrand is no stranger to the amount of diligence required for building a new company— particularly in a field that isn’t one’s expertise.
In 2013, without any formal training in construction and design, 27-year-old Lance Bertrand started Turn Key Design & Construction Inc., a home improvement general contracting business that offers reconstruction and redesign services for private homes and commercial spaces. Based out of Bushwick, the Brooklynite grew his Minority Women Business Enterprise (MWBE) company into a $500,000 business — with focus and endurance.
Bertrand, born and raised in Bedford Stuyvesant, came from humble beginnings. “Growing up in a working-class family gives you thick skin, but it also teaches you about persistence and patience,” he says.
The entrepreneur began his home improvement journey at Ikea, where he first worked in the kitchen department. It was there where Bertrand built connections that eventually landed him a position in real estate. And it was the real estate sector that inspired him to launch his own home improvement business, Turn Key.
“I was working at my job for a long period of time and I felt stagnant,” Bertrand says. “I felt like I hadn’t grown and that my time was worth more, which is when I decided to start Turn Key.”
In 2013, Bertrand invested all his personal funds into Turn Key and landed his first few design gigs, which consisted of various cabinet installations, plumbing and electric services in private homes. Since then, he has partnered with IKEA, using the retailer’s appliances and installations in most of the homes that he redesigns, with a special niche in Ikea kitchens.
Last year, his company grossed $330K in sales—tripling its revenue average since 2013. Today, Bertrand and his team have successfully completed over 200 jobs—grossing over half a million dollars in sales. This year’s goal is to bring in at least $700K.
Despite the company’s financial growth, it wasn’t always easy for Bertrand to grasp a full handle on his goal. He attributes his success to the help of his team and securing Turn Key’s MWBE certification, which allowed him to obtain more design and construction opportunities through the city. These days, Turn Key is in a comfortable place: Bertrand’s employees are confident and skilled, and the company is steadily growing.
“It’s really about building your team, building camaraderie and systematizing the business,” he says. “I couldn’t have done it without my team.”
The growth of Turn Key is a testament to what hard work and dedication can provide, Bertrand believes. Through his journey from retail employee to CEO, he has learned to look at the positives in every situation and to trust his vision.
“My goal is to make that ‘Forbes 30 under 30’ list. People often lack vision but I truly believe in affirmation,” Bertrand says. “Big things happen once in a while; little things happen all the time.
“If you can be happy about the little things, then you’ll always be happy.”