Articles & Updates
Consumers National Bank Customer Success Story: First Choice Electrical Solutions
An Interview with Mike Oakes & Scott Fellers
Two longtime coworkers and friends, Mike Oakes and Scott Fellers, often talked about starting a new business. But it was never the right time until they finally decided to jump in, say goodbye to a company that they no longer aligned with their values, and venture out on their own. As a priority, Mike and Scott vowed to treat their team members and clients with the respect and appreciation they deserved. With the help of Consumers National Bank, these friends and partners found the capital to turn a dream into a reality, and First Choice Electrical Solutions was founded.
Why does the ‘First Choice Electrical Solutions’ Exist?
To foster an environment where our core values and commitment to our families, clients and community enables us to provide electrical solutions for a brighter, more powerful tomorrow.
Our mission sends us to residential, commercial and industrial clients seeking the services and solutions we are equipped to supply. Whether its installing a light switch in your home or assisting in the design and installation of a large power upgrade in your facility we have the solution.
Below, we share interesting nuggets of this dynamic duo’s story and their relationship with Consumers National Bank.
Consumers National Bank: What roles do you play at First Choice Electrical? Mike
Mike Oakes: I operate as the CEO, overseeing accounting, marketing, and long term planning. manage day-to-day activities, estimate new projects, provide design services and solve field issues that arise. I am always ready to roll up my sleeves and take on a new company challenge
Scott Fellers: I operate as a field representative. My role includes working with our estimating team to relay information to our site locations, assist in quoting small projects and provide customer care.
Consumers National Bank: What was it that initially got you banking with Consumers National Bank?
Mike and Scott knew that they needed help getting capital to get their business off the ground. The team at Consumers National Bank helped them understand how SBA loans work, including the documentation needed to secure funding through this program. For example, to obtain SBA loans, the partners had to build a business plan and the bank put them in touch with the consulting company that works with small businesses struggling to get off the ground.
Mike Oakes: CNB was able to supplement our initial personal investment and supply the additional capital we needed to support our first growth period. It was so comforting to know someone had our back. As we swiftly approached our next scaling period I was able to explain to Scott Lawrence (our loan officer at Consumers) that our opportunities were limited again and we needed additional capital moving forward. CNB was able to support us once again and because of that support we have been able to continue our growth plan without hesitation.
Now, First Choice Electrical Solutions has over 20 employees and is actively seeking to fill both electrician and office role positions. Following their positive experience with Consumers National Bank, Mike and Scott have recommended that friends go to the bank for help with all their banking and capital needs.
According to Mike, there are many advantages to working with a hometown bank like Consumers:
- They call you by your name.
- Your money stays local.
- The bank does the right thing for people, viewing not as just consumers but as partners in our business.
Mike Oakes: "If small businesses in our area aren’t banking with Consumers, they are at a clear disadvantage".
Consumers National Bank: How did a Consumers National Bank Lender provide your business with the help it needed to succeed?
Scott Fellers: Scott from Consumers went above and beyond to continue the bank’s relationship with us. We weren’t completely confident when our original loan officer left CNB but Scott has elevated our relationship and he is our guy. Now, handling our needs is fluent and predictable.
Consumers National Bank: What are some of the challenges your business has faced over the years, and how have they been overcome?
Scott Fellers: Material delays and lack of available skilled labor have been our biggest challenges. The pandemic definitely slowed our growth for a period but Scott Lawence and the CNB staff were terrific in assisting with the available PPP loans.
Consumers National Bank: What are some of the exciting opportunities that are ahead for you and your business?
Mike Oakes: We have established our Mission and Purpose and look forward to establishing new relationships along with solidifying our current client relationships . Through strategic promotions and restructuring we are primed for another scaling period. We will be resolute as we enter new venues, we will require support and additional capital. I sleep easy at night knowing CNB is our partner.
Where can you find First Choice Electrical Solutions?
Feel free to reach out to First Choice Electrical Solutions via their website or social media links below:
The company has undergone a new business remodel and would love for people to come in and visit.
Would you like to have your own business success story? We can help! Contact the ConsumersNational Bank team or visit a local branch office.