Jason McLaughlan is the President of Western Fence, Inc., a company serving the greater Salt Lake City area in Utah. The company provides temporary and permanent fencing for properties of all sizes. The company uses a wide variety of materials for its fences, including chain link, wrought iron, wood, vinyl, and aluminum. As Utah’s oldest fence company, Western Fence is prepared to help businesses and homeowners secure their properties with attractive and sturdy fencing.
Jason McLaughlan takes customer service seriously, and he listens to the input of all of his potential clients. A fence is an important purchase for businesses and homeowners alike, and McLaughlan’s team helps people create the best and most secure outdoor area for their needs.
What was your best/favorite subject in school?
My best subject in school was business. I was lucky that my high school had a robust business program so that I could learn the basics of running a company before graduation. I have always wanted to be a business owner, and I found that my skills were best used as a company president.
What was your first job?
My first job was working in construction. It was backbreaking work, but it was very satisfying to see a building go up that I had worked on. I came away with huge respect for people in the construction business. This helps me to treat my employees well in the present day.
Where and how did you first get into the industry you currently work in?
I became the President of Western Fence 25 years ago in the spring of 1994. Before I was in charge of the company, I started in an assistant manager capacity a few years prior. I have spent nearly all of my career at Western Fence, and I am thankful for the many opportunities I have received through working there.
How have those jobs prepared you for what you do now?
My construction experience helps me understand my employees’ thoughts and concerns. I understand the demands of working outside in all kinds of weather. Salt Lake City can be a hot and demanding climate at times. I also feel that I came up through the company in a way that helped me learn the ins and outs of all the jobs below me in the company hierarchy.
Describe the best day of work you’ve ever had.
The best day of work I have ever had was when my company signed a huge new contract. I felt like we had truly “hit the big time” and that we were finally coming into our own as a major fencing company. These large commercial projects helped us build our company reputation. We had to hire new employees to keep up with the demand. It was truly an exciting time, and it was only the beginning of good things for Western Fence.
How do you keep yourself motivated?
My primary motivation is my family. I do everything for them. Work is important, but I always connect it back to the needs of my family. Working in fencing means that I have long hours, but I enjoy relaxing with my family at the end of the day. My family will always be my number one priority, and the job is a close second.
What kind of business ideas excite you most?
I am excited by new kinds of businesses. I believe that the sharing economy is making a huge impact on local business. Housing and rides have already been shared, and the market is ready for more great ideas to increase the sharing economy. I am also interested in businesses that offer great service to customers without compromising themselves.
Have you ever tried any unorthodox techniques to attract attention to your business?
Our business has been in operation for 65 years, so we really don’t need to do outrageous things to draw attention to our company. It is nice to have that firm of a footing in the community. That isn’t to say that we have ever grown complacent with the amount of work we have. We are always looking for new projects and new styles of fencing. We put just as much care into a home project as we do into our largest commercial projects.
What personal achievement are you most proud of?
I am very proud of becoming the President of Western Fence and of keeping the job for the past 25 years. Western Fence is like a family to me, and we work together through obstacles and problems. With my long-standing dedication to the fencing business, I have been able to develop a strong level of expertise.
What wisdom would you have liked to share with yourself when you first started out?
If I could go back and share wisdom with myself when I started out, I would be encouraging about working for Western Fence. I think that my past self would be impressed that I have worked there for so long and that I have been able to bring the company to such a high level of success.