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Behind the Biz: White Sage Enterprises

Ramona resident David Baker talks life behind the construction biz.

In 1994, David Baker bought 10 acres of land in Ramona on the Barona Mesa. Now, 18 years later, he's put his experience and land to use with his own contracting business White Sage Enterprises.

Prior to being self employed, Baker worked for contractors in both industrial and commercial settings, civil engineering companies; he has closed landfills, rehabilitated water treatment plants and even repaired the walls along lengths of the California Aqueduct.

White Sage Enterprises is licensed by CSLB (Contractors State License Board ) and started out with residential remodels but now primarily targets light commercial tenant improvement in the the North County, typically from Poway to La Mesa and all the way up to Oceanside.

The company's latest projects include some work at the Ramona Airport for Chuck Hall Aviation and a remodel for the La Mesa Business Center.

Baker answered some questions about the privately-owned construction biz and gives the best advice he's received that pertains to both business and life.

Patch: Why did you decide to start this business in Ramona?

David Baker: I had purchased property here.

Patch: What distinguishes your business from others in the same industry?

Baker: Well, size for one, we are small and growing. Quality of work for another, as a small business I am personally supervising every aspect of the project.

Patch: Any current challenges you face as a business owner?

Baker: All nano/small businesses are being adversely impacted by the economy. Material costs, in some cases have doubled. The use of "unlicensed contractors" and "under the table" labor by building/home owners has increased tremendously.

These laborers aren't covered by workers comp, unemployment insurance, nor do they have taxes taken from their cash wages, hence they can be paid half of what I end up spending (wage plus burden) for my laborers.

I am seeing an increase in the number of projects I've been asked to bid, so this indicates a turnaround in the way people are "feeling" about the economy... keep your fingers crossed!

Patch: What's the best business advice you've ever been given?

Baker: Not necessarily business advice... "pay attention to what you are doing."

Patch: What's the most rewarding part of your business?

Baker: The happy response from clients.

To contact Baker about his services, email white.sage.enterprise@gmail.com and check out his business's Facebook page, complete with pictures of projects White Sage Enterprises has taken on.

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