Starting out small, local business man looks to future
Becoming a business owner in life requires those interested to climb the steps of life's ladder, gathering experience at each step before moving on to the next one. For Shane Baggs, owner of BEH Communications, each step on the ladder played a role in making a life goal come true.
Baggs, 47, was born in Ogden but spent a majority of his childhood growing up in Cedar City. When looking for work in his early 20's, he found jobs available in telecommunications. Baggs went to Job Services and an opening was available for a cable television line man so he thought it would be an interesting job. He went over to where the business was located, took an application and went back to his car and filled it out. When he returned the paperwork his boss told him 'I'll see you back here tomorrow morning at 7 a.m. with pair of gloves and a decent pair of work boots.'
"I went home and told my dad that I could probably make a career out of this job," Baggs said.
Baggs began his career in telecommunications career in 1983 working with E.A. Schenck Construction building cable television systems throughout the Wasatch Front. In 1985 he joined the Tele-Communications, Inc., the largest multiple system operator in the U.S. at the time, where he served in all aspects of the cable operation.
Baggs soon found out about an opportunity in Price. So he moved here in May 1990 where he served as the technical operations manager for TCI, managing for 20,300 subscribers in 41 systems in rural Utah and Northern Arizona. He quickly learned some valuable life lessons in his line of work, which to this day has helped him become more efficient and driven to succeed.
"When I first came out here I was running ragged working out here because there were not many skilled people working on these small systems," Baggs said. "I quickly learned that I couldn't maintain things all by myself. That was the best piece of advice my boss had ever given me. So I then started helping train others on the systems. That experience helped make things easier for me."
During his time in Price he has also worked for Peak Cablevision as a general manager and when the company was acquired by Precis Communications, Baggs started serving as director of operations.
The small town appeal of Price was something that drew Baggs in. He looks back fondly to his childhood growing up in Cedar City and thinks Price is very similar to the area he grew up in.
"Small town appealed to me," Baggs said of Price. "Some co-workers used to complain about driving out to Castle Dale or East Carbon. I told them 'try hopping on I-15 driving from Sandy to Salt Lake City to go do another job' because the traffic was awful. Around here there is a lot of wide-open country. In Salt Lake City it was stop and go the whole way."
In February 2009, BEH Communications was incorporated. Baggs applied for a small business loan but with the banking crisis and recession it took time and patience was not always easy to come by. Months began to pass and finally in July 2009, Baggs signed the last few pieces of paperwork.
"We fought tooth and nail to get the loan through. There were days where I didn't think we were going to get it to go through. But we stuck with it and by July we signed the final papers for the loan," Baggs said.
The name "BEH" comes from Baggs' wife, Monica, who used the first letter of their three children to come up with the business name. "B" stands for Brad, 23, "E" stands for Emily, 12, and "H" stands for Hailey, 9.
Hailey is convinced that her father works for her because it's her company because her name is on it, Baggs said.
"When she comes down to the office she makes herself at home," he said. "All of my kids get a kick out of seeing their name be part of the business."
Some of Baggs' most significant carrier achievements include building a $1.3 million Satellite Uplink Facility in Murray for the purpose of delivering the Salt Lake City broadcast stations to rural cable television companies throughout rural Utah, Eastern Nevada, Southern Idaho and Western Wyoming.
He also successfully deployed internet services in multiple markets throughout five states using both broadband and wireless technology, converted a 110-mile analog point-to-point microwave link to digital, built an 84-mile fiber backbone connecting 12 communities in Central Utah by collapsing six separate cable systems into one giant network and he was responsible for the development of a successful in-house ad sales operation.
Baggs is actively involved within the community and for many years he has served on many local and state board groups. In the past he has worked with Auto West Inc. and the Utah Cablevision Television Association Board. Currently he is working with the Southeastern Utah Micro-Enterprise/Business Growth Revolving Loan Fund Administrative Board, United Way, Downtown Alive and the Carbon County Chamber of Commerce, where he served as president in 2005.
"I just like to be involved and help out where I can because it's something I have always enjoyed to do," Baggs said. "Anytime you can get someone involved in the community it helps nurture our community not only for the businesses, but it just creates a better quality of life for our children to grow up in."
Being a business owner can bring about some interesting stories. Over Father's Day weekend, Baggs took his family on a camping trip. As the time drew close to midnight he got a call from someone who needed to turn in some important paperwork before midnight and was having problems with their internet router. Baggs dropped what he was doing and went out to fix the problem.
"It's a 24/7 job for me," Baggs said. "I'm on-call all of the time. I like to go camping but I try to stay within cell phone range in case something comes up and I have to go out and fix it."
Wireless internet service is one of the fastest growing internet service providers throughout the country, according to Baggs. He believes that superior development is key to the future of telecommunications services and he also believes wireless networks are the most effective way to provide the broad array of communications and entertainment services that consumers today demand.
BEH Communications offers services including local residential and small business high speed broadband internet service, local authorized dealer for DirecTV and Dish Network and computer repair, sales, technical support and accessories.
Word of mouth is spreading the information about BEH in the community. Baggs recently started running some newspaper and radio ads about his business but is keeping that to a minimum to keep things running smoothly. Lately, he said, some renters in the area have requested their tenants call BEH to install internet and satellite dishes because they know the work he provides.
With the business not even a year old, Baggs is already looking to the future. But he knows things go one day and one customer at a time.
"Our goal right now is to increase our network of customers," Baggs said.
"It's (BEH) like a garden. It needs nurturing and care to grow, survive and become successful. We'll be very happy to meet out first-year projections."