Financial Management

Ep.122: Growing a High Volume Remodeling Business with Jake Schloegel

Many remodelers dream of one day building a high volume remodeling company. Others aren’t sure it’s worth the effort.

In this episode, we talk to Jake Schloegel about what it takes to grow a high volume remodeling business. Why build it? Who should be involved? What are the expectations?

Jake is the Founder of Schloegel Design Remodel, an award-winning Design/Build firm in Kansas City. He started out in 1980 as a one-man company and has grown it, with the help of his team, to an operation exceeding $14 million of revenue annually. The company is now managed by Jake’s son, Charlie Schlegel and his business partner, Chris Peterson.

Jake has been a facilitator, instructor and facilitator for Remodelers Advantage for years and is very active in the remodeling community, having served as president of NARI from 1990 through 1992.

Victoria, Mark and Jake talk more about:

  • Some background on Jake, his business and what prepared him for growth.
  • Who helped Jake in building the company.
  • The key components necessary for sustainable growth and the rewards.
  • Why Jake wanted to achieve high volume.
  • What Jake would do differently if he could have some do-overs.

This Episode Sponsored by: Builder Funnel

We are excited to have Builder Funnel joining us as a featured sponsor for PowerTips Unscripted. Spencer Powell and his team at Builder Funnel have been huge supporters of R/A and the remodeling community for years and it is great to have on board as a featured sponsor… Welcome, Builder Funnel!

Ep.121: Creating Your Own Economic Recovery with Wayne Ottum

Seemingly everywhere you turn these days, you hear the phrase “survive and thrive” as it relates to your business. But it takes more than a catch-phrase and a couple of tips to make it a reality.

In this episode, we talk to Wayne Ottum about how to get focused, get real, and get moving to take control and create an authentic plan to not just survive, but thrive, in uncertain times!

Wayne is president of Ottum Enterprises in Kirkland, Washington, and we’re excited to announce that Wayne is also the newest member of the Remodelers Advantage Consulting Team.

Wayne has over 3 decades of experience helping businesses and leaders be more focused, productive, and successful. His Lead from Strength methods and tools have guided those in the remodeling industry and other professional services firms to become extraordinary businesses and leaders.

In this episode, Victoria, Mark and Wayne Cover:

  • What drives you and your business? What are you passionate about
  • What “leading from strength,” means to a business owner.
  • Creating your own economic recovery.
  • What “Get focused, get real, and get moving” means.

Upcoming FREE Webinar:
If you would like to hear more from Wayne and our team of business consultants and coaches, we will be hosting a FREE Webinar on September 9th; Riding The Wave – Accelerating Pre-Production to Meet Today’s High Demand. Wayne will join Doug Howard, Tim Faller and Steve Wheeler for this 90-minute presentation about how to take advantage of this recent surge in business and preparing for success in 2021. Click Here for more and to reserve your seat.

This Episode Sponsored by: Builder Funnel

We are excited to have Builder Funnel joining us as a featured sponsor for PowerTips Unscripted. Spencer Powell and his team at Builder Funnel have been huge supporters of R/A and the remodeling community for years and it is great to have on board as a featured sponsor… Welcome, Builder Funnel!

Ep.120: Personal Wealth Building for Business Owners with George Kall

As a remodeling business owner, building wealth and financial security is something everyone wants to achieve.

Unfortunately, it’s something that many of us put off because the needs of today are more pressing, especially with the current market.

In this episode, Victoria and Mark talk to George Kall about tips and advice on planning for your future financial security today.

George is the owner of Metro Building and Remodeling Group, a Design-Build firm just outside of Washington DC in Ashburn, VA. George started the company seven years ago and now employs a team of 9 and was recently ranked #107 on this year’s Remodeling Magazines list of largest remodelers.

Victoria, Mark and George talk more about:

  • Establishing a company 401k and how you personally implement it for you and your family.
  • Setting aside money for your family.
  • Planning for uncertain times like we are in now.
  • Using credit cards and obtaining loans for the business.
  • One suggestion for personal wealth building

This Episode Sponsored by: Builder Funnel

We are excited to have Builder Funnel joining us as a featured sponsor for PowerTips Unscripted. Spencer Powell and his team at Builder Funnel have been huge supporters of R/A and the remodeling community for years and it is great to have on board as a featured sponsor… Welcome, Builder Funnel!

Ep.119: Creating Rapid Financial Results and Lasting Cultural Change with Steve Baker

“The high cost of replacing employees means it’s important to find ways to retain the best performers, and studies show that transparency from the top can be a solution, boosting employee engagement and motivation.

One way to achieve that transparency is to show employees the company’s numbers and teach them the business. Why not get them in the same game as the owner?

The strategy is to create a business of business people. Then and only then will they begin to make a connection to the numbers that measure their performance and talk intelligently about improving the business.”

– Steve Baker

Steve Baker joins Victoria and Mark to talk more about the benefits and advantages of open book management, as well as some of the challenges that business owners face.

Steve is Vice President of The Great Game of Business, Inc. and co-authored Get in the Game as well as the update of the number one bestseller, The Great Game of Business—20th Anniversary Edition.

Known for his engaging and irreverent style, Steve is a top-rated, sought-after speaker and coach on open-book management, strategy and execution, leadership, and employee engagement.

Victoria, Mark and Steve talk more about:

  • The best reasons that a business owner should teach their people business
  • Common perceptions that employees have of ownership when there isn’t open-book transparency
  • How employees can benefit from an open-book policy
  • How you can get started
  • And more…

Resources mentioned in this Episode:

The Great Game of Business

Download the Get in the Game Audiobook

R/A Lumber Yard Run Calculator 

This Episode Sponsored by: Wellborn Cabinet

Wellborn Cabinet is the featured sponsor for this episode of PowerTips Unscripted. Thank you, Wellborn Cabinet!

Ep.112: Discovering New Revenue Streams With Chris Landis

We are all so busy running our businesses that we often don’t realize that there are other potential revenue-generating investments that align with our present and future business needs.

Chris Landis thinks you should consider helping businesses that lease their office space as an added revenue stream.

In this episode, Victoria, Mark and Chris talk more about this innovative revenue source.

Chris is a Principal owner of Landis Architects/Builders in Washington, DC and is a member of the AIA, with 28 years of experience in residential architecture. Landis Architects/Builders is one of the top Washington, DC renovation and remodeling firms and is co-owned by Chris and his brother, Ethan Landis.

In this episode, Victoria, Mark and Chris cover:

  • The benefits, opportunities and challenges of owning your own building.
  • Offering space in your building to other business.
  • What is involved in becoming a landlord.
  • How these deals are structured financially and timelines involved.
  • How you can pass this knowledge onto other business owners.

Ep.107: How to Know When to Trust Your Gut

We’ve all had a gut instinct at one time or another. But do you trust your gut? Do you often rely on your intuition when making decisions? How do you know when you should follow your gut, even if the data suggests another approach?

In this episode, Victoria and Mark discuss what intuition is and how to know when you should follow your gut when making important decisions. The guidelines they discuss will help you understand more about decision making and how your brain creates the patterns that guide you.

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Ep.104: [Unscripted Back-Up] How to Hit Healthy Net Profits in any Economic Climate with Mike Medford Sr.

Editor’s note: We’re all working from our homes, away from the friendly confines of the office and its podcasting studio. So we dug into the virtual vault to bring you this episode. We’re in an uncertain time for many remodelers, so here’s some advice that will help you weather any business climate.

One of our core principles is that remodeling companies should make a good net profit, after paying the owners an above-average salary. When the economy’s booming, you can get away with a lot and still hit those goals, sometimes by accident. But the goal is to get those healthy net profits consistently, year after year, even in a downturn.

In this episode, Mike Medford Sr. talks to Victoria and Mark about how to do just that. Before seeing the metrics of the Top Ten Roundtables members a few years ago, Mike says his financials were always in flux. But then he took those figures and made them hard targets.

Mike Medford Sr. has been a home remodeling contractor for over 40 years. In 2007, he partnered with his son, Mike Jr. to form what is now Medford Design Build, with offices in Colleyville and Arlington, TX. Mike Sr. is the president of Medford Design Build.

Mike challenged himself and his team to hit the new fixed targets. He refined their processes and challenged his team to hit those targets. By the next quarterly meeting, the company’s profits were rising. He talks about how he and his team made it happen, including:

  • Creating a profit-centric culture
  • How net profits will help you beat the labor shortage
  • Focusing your staff on gross profit
  • The importance of open books to the process
  • Setting up a bonus structure
  • Building time in to plan
  • And more…

Mike also talks about getting back to the art of contracting and how important that is to your margins.

Time to Give Back

After more than 30 years of working with some of the finest Remodelers and Renovators in the business, we are facing new challenges in our industry. We want to give back to an industry that has supported us through good times and bad, and so we’ve created Build Aid, a free event to help support our members, associates, and friends in the remodeling community.

Join us on April 1-2 as we explore various ways your business can navigate these tough times, and position yourselves as a leader when the world begins to recover and re-build.
Click Here to Learn More & Register >>

Ep.103: Positive Growth in Difficult Situations with Kathy O’Brien

We talk about the J Curve a lot around here — picture a lower-case J. When you apply change principles to your business — new people, systems, and processes — they can initially send your business on a downward trajectory before soaring with your success. If you want to grow your company, listen carefully!

Our guest today breaks this process down into four stages of development:

  • Forming: The getting to know you stage
  • Storming: When conflicts arise (the bottom of the J)
  • Norming: Common goals are defined, an agreement is reached
  • Performing: Working toward a common goal and looking forward

In this episode, Kathy O’Brien talks to Victoria and Mark about how to manage your growth strategies and the importance of being a strong leader in challenging times.

Kathy was the founding CEO of the St. Louis Alzheimer’s Association for over 25 years and then served as Senior Vice President of the National Office in Chicago. She received numerous awards and recognition for her work. Kathy now volunteers as a mentor/consultant to 5stone Construction in St. Louis, MO, helping with business growth strategies — she first got to know the company as a client. She was so impressed with the quality of the work and the people, she has worked with 5stone for the last several years, developing systems and processes, determining annual goals and individual employee performance indicators, hiring to get “the right people on the bus,” and managing fast growth over the last four years.

Kathy says those four stages of development apply to making positive growth in professional development, organizational development, and personal development. You go through the stages in every business relationship, personal relationship, and client relationship. She breaks down the stages, and how they present themselves in the remodeling business, including:

  • How it plays out with employees
  • Why it’s a continuous process
  • Getting through the storming stage successfully
  • How one person can cause a storm
  • Why leadership and core values are important through all the stages
  • Making it okay to disagree, and fostering honest dialog
  • What to do when you’re still sinking
  • And more …

If you’re finding yourself stuck in the storming stage, Kathy says there’s great value in having support with other leaders, by networking or in peer groups. She also recommends three books to read to boost your leadership skills: 

Ep.100: The Drivers that Make for a Successful Exit with John Warrillow

It’s our 100th episode, and to mark the occasion, we’re welcoming back our first guest ever to talk about how to leave your business behind happily.

On average, 75 percent of founders who exit their company have regrets within one year of leaving, and only five percent are actually happy with the net proceeds of their exit. 

In this episode, John Warrillow will discuss why this happens with Victoria and Mark, and how business owners can better prepare for an exit that will leave them with no regrets.

John is an entrepreneur and author with more than 20 years of research into the small- and medium-sized business market. He’s the founder of The Value Builder System, which aims to level the playing field for business owners as they approach their exits. 

When you sell your company, there are factors that will dictate how happy you are after it’s no longer yours, says John. The first is that the business is ready to sell. The second is a little less clear-cut — the seller has to have done the psychological work that sets them up for success. John talks about what that means, and how to get to the point where you can make a successful exit, including:

  • Why there can be regrets
  • Being clear on what’s next
  • The “push factors” vs. the “pull factors”
  • Selling and staying or going
  • Why it’s not about the money
  • The biggest fears that come with selling
  • Dealing with private equity groups
  • The pitfalls of financing your buyer
  • How to treat your employees during the transition
  • The top three things that determine if your business is ready to sell
  • And more …

If you’d like to hear more about the first part of successfully selling your company — getting it ready to sell — listen to Episode 1. And to learn even more, go to John’s website, builttosell.com

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Ep.99: Adapting and Leading Through a Health Crisis with Jef and Monica Forward

Being able to adapt and lead through a crisis — personal or business — is a critical skill for any business owner. 

After their best year ever in 2018, Jef and Monica Forward were gearing up for an even stronger 2019. Everything was on course until two key players were diagnosed with cancer. One of them was Monica, who was the company’s only estimator at the time. The other was their lead designer.

One year later, everyone is alive, and despite all the difficulties, they also hit all of their business goals.

In this episode, Jef and Monica talk about the challenges with Victoria and Mark, and share insights into how they kept it all going.

Jef and Monica are business partners at Forward Design Build Remodel in Ann Arbor MI. Jef has participated in every level at Remodelers Advantage Roundtables and is a member of our MentorFor group. Over the last four years, Jef has focused on improving his coaching and leadership skills, resulting in improved client satisfaction, planned healthy growth and a positive team culture. Jef was recently a semi-finalist for the Fred Case Entrepreneur Award, and for the Remodelers Advantage Impact Award. Jef credits all of this success to his collaboration with Monica, their team, and Roundtables.

The team culture at their company was a key component of the company coming together and adapting to the emotional and business changes, Monica and Jef say. When her diagnosis came, they were about to implement The Great Game of Business, which empowers every employee to act like an owner and share in the profits. But then everything changed. Jef and Monica talk about how they got through the year, including:

  • Being prepared for the unexpected
  • Developing a strategy to get through
  • How to deal with work absences
  • The importance of cross-training
  • Figuring out who takes over the extra work
  • Tapping into the strength of your team
  • Being open about your tough times
  • Leading through vulnerability
  • Maintaining a positive attitude
  • Handling the emotional components
  • And more …

The company continues to perform at peak levels due to the strength of the company culture, and their proven processes and systems.

Cool Gear, Great Cause

If you’re looking for cool gear and apparel to show your Roundtables pride  that also supports a great cause, check out our Shop. All of the proceeds go to our partner, The American Cancer Society. It’s a win-win!

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