Remodelers Advantage

Ep.17: Building a Sustainable Family Business with Wayne Rivers

According to the U.S. Bureau of the Census, roughly 90% of U.S. businesses are family-owned and the Remodeling industry is well represented by closely-held firms, typically started by a founder and then handed down through multiple generations.

Family-owned businesses often run into obstacles and challenges, usually driven by “soft issues” such as communication, emotions, past conflicts, bringing spouses into the business, etc. However, what many of these struggling firms lack is a common vision or mission from a business perspective.

In Episode 17, Victoria and Mark welcome Wayne Rivers, President of The Family Business Institute, to the show to discuss more about his unique approach in working with these types of businesses.

Wayne’s approach is very different and he talks about his tried and proven, step-by-step strategic planning method for maximizing BOTH the success of a business AND their family harmony.

Wayne is a well-known thought-leader, speaker and author on the subject of family-owned businesses; his latest book is Our Family Business Crisis: and How It Made Us Stronger. Wayne is a Wall Street Journal Expert Panelist and has appeared on the Today Show, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC and the Retirement Living Network.

Victoria, Mark and Wayne discuss the Institute’s unique way of working with their clients; topics include:

  • Identifying reasons why family-owned business struggle
  • Transitioning from one generation to the next
  • The importance of the founder establishing vision early and often
  • The dangers of working AT the business instead of working ON the business
  • “The Magic Bullet” – Business planning methodology and subsequent positive side-effects
  • Going in through the “business door” vs. “family door” when dealing with conflict
  • Dealing with and resolving “soft issues” families face when working together
  • Describing a few steps in the Institute’s 10 step process of working with businesses
  • And more…

A great episode regardless of whether your company is family-owned or not. Many of the concepts discussed about business planning methodology will apply to any business, regardless of ownership structure.

We loved having Wayne as a guest… and we’re even more excited to have him as a featured speaker at the 2018 Remodelers Summit in New Orleans in September.

If you are interested in working with Wayne, his Information is below:

Wayne Rivers
President, Co-Founder
The Family Business Institute
4050 Wake Forest Rd, Ste 110
Raleigh, NC 27609
877-326-2493
Website: www.FamilyBusinessInstitute.com

Ep.16: Keys to Developing an Impactful Leadership Team with Bob Gallagher

Can you define a good Leader vs. a good Manager? Are they the same, similar or completely different? How can having a strong leadership team affect the success or your business?

In Episode 16 Victoria and Mark welcome Bob Gallagher to the show to discuss how building the leadership team at Sun Design Remodeling Specialists has helped grow their business into one of the most successful firms in the Washington DC / Northern Virginia area.

Over the past 30 years, Bob has been instrumental in building and improving Sun Design’s operational procedures in all departments. Bob has been very involved in the industry, through his involvement in NARI, and has received four President’s awards and two Image awards from NARI National, as well as the Hall of Fame Award from the local NARI Metro DC Chapter.

Bob and his partner, Craig Durosko, are members of a Mentor-level Roundtables Group where they work with other large volume, successful firms from across the country.

Victoria, Mark and Bob explore the issue of not only identifying and hiring good leaders, but how to assemble them into a strong team that is focused primarily on making improvements within a company’s standards, systems and day-to-day operations.

Included in this episode:

  • Defining Leader vs. Manager – Improvements vs. Maintenance
  • Identifying leadership qualities, behaviors, etc.
  • Establishing goals for the team
  • Measuring the ongoing impact and success of the team
  • Building trust and working efficiently with open communication within the team
  • Facing challenges in building and training the team
  • Managing roles and personalities within the team
  • Developing leadership qualities into members of the team

Great insight from a very successful thought-leader among the remodeling industry… Don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about building the team that will help lead your company to the next level.

If you would like to learn more about Sun Design Remodeling Specialists you can visit their website: https://www.sundesigninc.com/

 

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Ep.15: Creating a Culture of Empowerment with Geoff Graham

Building a strong team can be a challenge to any business owner and creating a culture where employees feel trusted and empowered can be even more difficult.

In Episode 15, Victoria and Mark speak with Geoff Graham, Founder and CEO of GuildQuality, an award-winning firm based in Atlanta, GA.

More than 2,500 home builders, remodelers and residential construction firms currently rely on GuildQuality’s survey, measurement and marketing tools and they have recently been named a “Best Place to Work” in Atlanta for the 6th year in a row.

Geoff Graham started GuildQuality back in 2002 and now employs more than 100 team members, both full and part-time. Geoff’s firm has established a culture of empowerment, which starts as soon as an employee accepts a position with the growing firm.

Victoria, Mark and Geoff explore more about how to build a culture of empowerment, including:

  • Allowing the team to work remotely if needed
  • Building trust from the moment they join the company
  • Hiring and onboarding the right team members to support the culture
  • Sharing goals, objectives and results that are openly communicated
  • Identifying and measuring key metrics
  • Sharing financial statements and company performance metrics with the team
  • Offering a results-based vacation and leave policies

A great episode for any business owner looking to strengthen and improve their company’s structure and culture.

If you would like to learn more about GuildQuality, you can visit their website: https://www.guildquality.com

 

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Ep.14: Exploring the Seven Truths with Peter DiGiammarino

In episode 14, Victoria and Mark change gears and welcome a well-known author, professor and CEO, Peter DiGiammarino, to the show.

Peter grew up in the Boston area and after attending University of Massachusetts and then MIT, he served in executive leadership roles for more than 30 years.

Peter is an adjunct professor in the Organization Development program at the University of San Francisco School of Management and Golden Gate University School of Business.

Peter authored, Manage to Lead: Seven Truths to Help You Change the World, and uses the workbook to teach a course he developed on Organization Analysis and Strategy. Peter currently serves on several boards and advises leaders as CEO of IntelliVen. He is based in San Francisco, California.

Victoria, Mark and Peter walk through some of the concepts of “The Seven Truths” and Peter provides some insight on his educational and professional achievements that helped him develop the approach that he covers in his book.

This episode covers:

  • Determining what you provide, to whom you provide it and why they buy it from you
  • Creating demand for what you are selling
  • Identifying skills needed to grow your business
  • How to deploy strengths within your team to achieve a common goal
  • Types of leaders and being conscious of what type of leader you want to be
  • When and how to seek outside perspectives (advisors, peer groups, etc.)
  • And more…

Peter does a great job with the “Lightning Round” and “Five Words of Wisdom” segments. Some great insight and advice shared by an organizational development thought-leader. Enjoy!

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Ep.13: Buying Out Your Business Partner with Rick Goldstein

Business partnerships are a foundation that so many of our R/A Roundtables Members have built their remodeling businesses on… Whether it’s a family or a group of professionals coming together to form a business, each has its own story along the way.

In episode 13 we take a closer look at a scenario where one partner wants to buy another out and take sole ownership of the business. Victoria and Mark welcome Rick Goldstein of Mosaic Design + Build to the podcast and discuss the process that Rick went through recently to buy his partner out of their firm in Atlanta, GA.

Rick has been the Co-Owner, and now sole owner, of Mosaic for more than 12 years and has been an avid member of the Remodelers Advantage family for many years. Rick and his partner made the decision to move toward a buy-out years ago and Victoria and Mark discuss and ask about the challenges they ran into and lessons-learned along the way.

Victoria, Mark and Rick talk more about:

  • Developing a shareholders agreement – covering ownership transitions, scenarios, exit strategies, etc.
  • Obstacles to overcome (timing, emotional steps, valuation, etc.)
  • Bringing in consultants such as a business valuation firm to get an agreed-upon base line
  • Factors that are calculated in the valuation process
  • How roles and responsibilities play-in to the buy-out process
  • Getting accountants and attorneys involved to hammer out how to physically make the transition
  • Communicating to the company’s leadership and team regarding the process
  • Top three pieces of advice for any owner looking to make this transition

Whether you are considering this move for your remodeling business or not, Rick’s story is fascinating and definitely worth a listen!

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Ep.12: Growing a Strong, Successful Family-owned Remodeling Business with Dolores Davis

Building a business can be both a challenging and fulfilling adventure; Hard work, long hours, doing the little things behind the scenes to help grow the business, etc.

Many remodelers out there have not only built strong and profitable businesses, they have done so with the help of family, often spanning multiple generations.

Episode 12 covers both topics as Victoria and Mark talk with Dolores Davis, General Manager of CG&S Design-Build, a very successful family-owned remodeling business in Austin, TX.

The CG&S success story spans three generations of the Guerrero family. Dolores has been with the firm for 25 years, starting as a Production Assistant, learning the business from all areas and working her way up to her current role of General Manager. Dolores is a R/A Roundtables Member and is very active in industry associations such as NARI.

Victoria and Mark discuss 3-4 keys to success with Dolores and delve further into what has made CG&S so successful, not only a remodeling business, but also some of the challenges that working in a family-owned business can bring.

If you are a remodeling company that wants to take their business to the next level, this episode offers great insight into how to get there.

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Ep.11: Employment Law: The Good, Bad and Downright Scary, with Jen Cornell

If you are like most business owners, you don’t think about Employment Law until you’re faced with a complaint or potential lawsuit from a current or former employee. It’s inevitable… As you add employees and grow your company, the likelihood of facing a legal employment issue will increase as well.

When it comes to hiring, terminating and disciplining members of your team, there is so much to know and keep track of… You not only have state or territory regulations, but federal as well.

Our guest this week will tell you that anytime you run into a legal situation regarding an employee, the best course of action is to consult an expert… and that’s just what we did for Episode 11.

Victoria and Mark welcome Jen Cornell, an attorney at Nilan Johnson Lewis in Minnesota. Jen represents companies in litigation involving employees, including lawsuits, charges brought to government agencies, and investigations from government auditors.

Jen also specializes in preventive workplace audits and policy implementation, such as preparing employee handbooks, wage and hour audits, and immigration compliance.

Victoria, Mark and Jen uncovered so many different aspects of employment law in this episode, and they included:

  • Protecting your company from hourly disputes, lawsuits.
  • Timeframes to consider (2-3 years of records), penalties applied, etc.
  • Dealing with independent contractors transitioning to employees.
  • How laws apply to locations (jobsite, where the company is, where the employee lives, etc.)
  • Payment of employees, pay periods, minimum wages, etc.
  • How to handle discrimination complaints from current or ex-employees
  • Responding to charges from government agencies, document storage, etc.
  • Handling terminations and disciplinary issues the proper way
  • Importance of Employee handbooks and policies in place.

Don’t wait until you get that notice in the mail… Listen to this episode and start familiarizing yourself with some of the issues that may arise and derail the success you worked so hard for.

We would love to hear from you if you have questions or feedback about this topic, just use the comments area below. If you have specific questions regarding employment law, Jen Cornell can be reached at jcornell@nilanjohnson.com or (612) 305-7717.

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Ep.10: Higher Profits Through LEAN Process Improvements with Doug Howard

If there is one take-away from more than 30 years of working with R/A members, it is this: Successful remodeling companies are constantly looking for ways to improve themselves and subsequently are able to achieve a higher net profit.

In our 10th episode of PowerTips Unscripted, Victoria and Mark welcome back Doug Howard, Director of Consulting for Remodelers Advantage, to talk more about his experience with LEAN process improvement.

LEAN is a system aimed at continual process improvement. Born out of the Toyota Production System, it became a common tool used in manufacturing and over the past 20 years, it has found its way into government, healthcare and service industries, including our remodeling industry.

Since joining R/A last year, Doug has worked directly with several Remodelers on using LEAN to improve their businesses and will lead a Masterclass on LEAN For Remodelers coming up in April.

Victoria, Mark and Doug dig further into the benefits of LEAN process improvement and along the way uncover:

  • Examples of using LEAN in Remodeling
  • Driving profit through process improvement
  • Identifying instances of waste in remodeling production
  • Implementing change resulting from LEAN results
  • Doug’s Process of working directly with companies to implement LEAN within their organizations
  • How LEAN impacts the client and their ultimate satisfaction

Where Can You Learn More?

As stated above, Doug will lead a Masterclass on LEAN in April and that class is filling up now.

We have a website dedicated to LEAN For Remodelers, called LeanRemodeling.com and as Doug mentions in this episode, there is a FREE download available on the website; a Process Mapping Template that will help you get started with your own effort to improve.

As always, Doug is available to answer any questions you may have and is looking forward to working with more companies this year. Doug@RemodelersAdvantage.com

Ep.09: Seven Steps to Earning Positive Online Reviews with Bryan Sebring

Online reviews can be the “Lifeblood” of any remodeling company’s business and marketing strategy and in Episode 9, Victoria and Mark speak with Bryan Sebring a very successful remodeler who has mastered the art of collecting online reviews from his satisfied clients.

Bryan is the Owner of Sebring Design Build in Naperville, IL and has quickly become a valuable resource and thought-leader for R/A and our Roundtables members.

According to Bryan he is a self-taught marketer who jumped in with both feet following a website re-design project that went sideways.

Bryan’s 7 Step process for driving positive reviews is more than just a marketing strategy. As Bryan describes, his firm’s process of asking for reviews and earning them with hard work, great design and a client-first attitude has become more of a company culture.

As Bryan, Victoria and Mark discuss the 7-step process, we learn more about:

  • Strategies around specific websites such as Houzz, Angie’s List and Yelp.
  • Infusing the review process into your sales/lead intake process
  • Dealing with bad reviews
  • How to encourage and educate your clients to read and provide reviews
  • Setting expectations with clients at project kickoff
  • How to work with client on project completion and walk-through

Free Resource

As Bryan describes his sales and lead intake process, he mentions that he provides his clients and prospects with information to educate them about online reviews: what to look for, good signs, red flags, etc.  Here’s the blog post he share’s with them, which also includes his free Remodeling 101 ebook.

…And Speaking of Asking for Reviews

We are receiving great feedback from our listeners and we have more great episodes like this one coming. If you’re enjoying our PowerTips Unscripted podcast, please spread the word by rating our show and commenting on iTunes, Stitcher, or whichever platform you use!

Ep.08: Zero Punch List Production with Tim Faller

If you are going to have a podcast about the remodeling industry, it’s a no-brainer to have Tim Faller on your guest list, and I suspect he will be a frequent contributor to PowerTips Unscripted.

For the past 17 years, Tim has worked with remodeling companies, large and small, to help improve profits by creating smooth, efficient production systems. As a Senior Consultant and “Master of Production” for Remodelers Advantage, Tim’s field and business ownership experience is vital to his additional role as facilitator for Owner and Production Manager Roundtables Groups.

In Episode 8 Victoria and Mark welcome Tim Faller to the show as he covers a topic that he has been working on for the past 5-6 years as he tours the US & Canada, providing on-site production consulting – “Zero Punch List Production.”

Tim provides a great overview of the zero punch list strategy and describes in detail how he has seen companies successfully implement this process. According Tim, all-too-often remodelers put the onus or responsibility of completing a punch list on the client, thereby creating the perception that the job is being presented as incomplete.

As they explore the zero punch list theory and strategy, Victoria, Mark and Tim discuss:

  • Steps to successfully implement this within an organization
  • How this effects sales process, contracts, payment draws, etc.
  • Production Techniques & Checklists
  • How to handle Backorders
  • How to handle the final walk-through
  • Getting rid of Head Trash

…And then a Big Announcement!

As they wrapped up Episode 8, Tim announced that he and R/A’s Steve Wheeler have launched their own podcast, The Tim Faller Show … Episode Zero is online now and they will post new episodes starting on Monday, March 26thGo Check it out!