MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -
Inside the Montgomery Chamber's small business incubator, you'll find suite 410. Nothing fancy here, just two people, a husband and wife team, quietly working their two businesses and quietly but steadily colliding with the recession and so far they're winning.
"You're at the mercy of the economy but you got to work hard. We've put in a lot of long hours here," said Al Carmichael from his spacious office.
A licensed contractor, Carmichael is running a construction operation and an office supply business. Two years and counting, two years and still standing. Carmichael gives much of the credit to his late dad, a high school principal in Monroe County who taught young Al all about respect and hard, hard work.
"He had the highest respect for people and when I interface with people, they see me but it's him coming out," said Carmichael.
Al Carmichael is fully aware that 80% of start-up businesses fail within 5 years in America, but Carmichael may be on his way. There is a list of current jobs being carried out by his painting and remodeling company, $140,000 worth of work and more work Carmichael hopes to win after submitting bids.
Carmichael learned a lot of lessons over 30 years, lessons accumulated during his time with Chrysler. Talk about good timing, he retired 2 years ago.
"Run this company right, treat people right, do the right things with your customers and you'll be successful. You must also be patient and humbled and trust the Man upstairs," Carmichael said.
Al Carmichael started small which is why he started with the business incubator, a 12-year old program that nurtures small businesses with the goal they'll bloom and prosper even more in the outside world.
"That's the whole goal of the incubator," said Carmichael.
One man's fight to beat the odds in business.. recession or not.