Monday, January 4, 2021

From manure to domes | Mike Hunter, Domtec International

Mike Hunter, Domtec Interntional
Based in Idaho Falls, Domtec International builds and sells domes all over the world, as storage buildings and as hurricane and tornado shelters. But the company's origins are in the dirt.

As a young, newly married man, Mike Hunter had purchased some farmland near Hamer. One day, while hauling manure from the feedlot pens and spreading it on the farm fields, he thought to himself there had to be a better way of making a living. He envisioned himself traveling the world making business deals. Hunter left the farm and tried his hand in sales, eventually finding himself working for a company that made dome potato storage units.

After the original owners decided to move to California, Mike and another employee of the company decided to break off and do their own business. They were successful, but within the first couple of years it was clear the partnership wasn't going to work long term.

His jumping-off point came when he was in Germany negotiating a deal. The German company wanted Hunter and his partner to be the general contractors, a role they had not previously played. When Hunter approached his partner about taking the role he said no. He decided to do it on his own, and Domtec International was born.

One of the biggest challenges that Hunter faces is finding, training and keeping staff to work on the domes, because they can be working on a project for months away from home.
When asked about whether or not a college degree is needed to have a successful business, he replied, “A university isn't the only place you can get an education if you're a hard worker, and if you really pay attention and if you're really observant. If you want to learn, if you're just naturally curious, and you'll try to learn what you have to learn, you can learn it.”

Domtec International frequently does work in foreign companies. The secret to success of working internationally is partnering with local experts. “If you know how to do it, it's not that hard. It was daunting but now that I've been through it several times it's not all that difficult,” Hunter said.

His advice to those considering self-employment is to believe in themselves and sell a product that other people need to solve their problems. “If you take the time and do the hard work to be an expert in that then it's just a matter of sticking with it and working it out,” he said.

He also advises business owners to embrace delayed gratification. Many of the profits that come from a business need to be reinvested into the business. Hunter likes to quote Dave Ramsey: “If you will live like nobody else then eventually you can live like nobody else.”

He admits he often felt like a fraud at the beginning of his business. “In time you start to get comfort in your own skin,” he said. In his own experience, and based on what he's heard from others, a little bit of fear is a good thing.

When asked what motivates him today, Hunter said, “I've met some great people in different parts of the world. That's probably what motivates me the most now.” He attributes much of his success to surrounding himself with amazing people that work for the company.

The future of Domtec includes bringing up new leadership. “As long as we are going forward and upwards that's all that counts,” he said. He admits that his days at Domtec are winding down and he's working on what his future days will look like on the golf course or in his backyard bird watching.
To find out more about Domtec, visit their website at https://domtec.com/.