Dave Rowland is owner of Edge Electric, a residential and commercial electrical service and repair business based in Central Point. Jim Craven 3/21/2008 - Jim Craven

Edge Electric

Editor's note: This is one in a weekly series of profiles on locally owned and operated businesses in Southern Oregon.

What do you do and how long have you been doing it?

We do complete residential and commercial electrical service and repair. We've been specializing in that the past three years. We've been in business since 1993.

How long have you lived in the Rogue Valley?

Excluding the four years I spent (in the Air Force, I've spent) my whole life here. I graduated from Rogue River High School.

What inspired you to go into this line of work?

I had pretty good electronics training in the Air Force, working on F-4 fighter-bombers. I wanted to live in the Rogue Valley when I got out of the Air Force and this was the closest thing I could find so that I could stay in that career and live in the Rogue Valley.

What decision or action would you change if you could do it again?

If I could change anything at all, I would have started my business doing strictly service and repair and would've never done new construction. I think my business would be so much further along as far as having a clientele built up and my overhead would've been lower. By the time I changed to doing service and repair I already had a shop, van payments and employees in place. Chances are I would've been working out of my home and it would've been simpler.

What's the toughest business decision you've made?

To commit solely to service work and to say good-bye to some of the builders I had been doing business with for years. I have some friends in new construction and they've got a tough go of it. I was really fortunate to jump out of it when I did and start marketing to homeowners. It's forced me to get out and market my business. I joined a marketing group — Business Networking International — and I've been more visible through electronic media and print advertising.

Who are your competitors?

Some of the larger shops have service departments, but a lot of the smaller ones don't want to fool with what we do. They don't consider service and repair worth bothering with, but I think it is.

What are your goals?

To see the business slowly grow and achieve a top-of-mind-awareness in the valley, so when someone says you need an electrician my name comes to mind. I would like to see us operating up to six to eight trucks some day; right now I have three.

What training or education did you need?

In the state of Oregon there is a formal, four-year electrician's apprenticeship to get your journeyman's card. After you've had that card four years, you're eligible to get your supervisor's card. So you have to be in the trade eight years before you can be in business on your own. I was an avionics electronics warfare systems specialist in the Air Force. A lot of the work I did then was at George Air Force Base in Victorville, Calif., and I did my training Keesler AFB in Biloxi, Miss.

What's your advice for budding entrepreneurs?

Be willing to work for the toughest boss you've ever worked for because if you're not personally driven to put in the hours and effort to make the business, it won't. You have to be willing to go above and beyond to make the business work.

To suggest an idea for this column, contact reporter Greg Stiles at 776-4463 or e-mail

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