Business Owner

Why You Should Have a Personal Vision Statement with Dave Bryan – [Best of PowerTips Unscripted]

A personal vision statement charts your course — in life and in business. If you don’t have one, you might as well be lost at sea when you’re making decisions.

For Dave Bryan, his personal vision statement serves as his North Star, allowing him to plot his course through his life. “There are a million ways in any given day to get knocked off course,” he says. “Everything you do should be in support of your life, and having a personal vision statement can help you stay on the path and keep on track.”

In this meaningful episode, Dave talks to Victoria and Mark about the genesis of the idea for him, how he did it, and gives tips for how you can write your own. Most importantly, he shares his reasons why you should.

Dave president of Blackdog Builders, with offices in Salem and Amherst, NH. After starting his business in 1989, he’s built Blackdog into a strong, consistently profitable business, with several diversifications under its umbrella. Dave is an entrepreneur who is known for the discipline and care with which he runs his company. Dave is also one of our popular Roundtables facilitators, where he shares his story with the groups.

Being an entrepreneur can be lonely, with no one to keep you accountable. Planning your life and using a personal vision statement can help define your goals. Dave’s path to writing his own statement began with the recession in 2008. “It was brutal,” he says. But defining the goals and intentions for his life going forward was a turning point.

You’ll hear Dave’s personal vision statement and learn why he won’t share it in written form. But you have to do the work yourself for your own, he says. Dave covers how to develop your personal vision statement, and what it can do for your life and business, including:

  • Creating a vision board as a first step
  • Why work is only a tool to build your life
  • How far out to plan
  • Working gratitude into your plan
  • What you learn when you look back

How to Structure and Run a Profitable Design Department with Chris Landis – [Best of PowerTips Unscripted]

Jobs are won or lost during the design process. With so much on the line, it’s clear that your design department should be running at peak performance. But there are so many ways the process can get derailed.

It all depends on how you structure your design department, and what metrics you use to hold them accountable.

In this episode, Chris Landis discusses about how to build and run an efficient design department with Victoria and Mark.

Chris is a partner (with his brother Ethan) in Landis Architects/Builders in Washington, DC, and is a longtime Roundtables member. He’s a registered architect in four states (MD, DC, VA, NY). Chris graduated from Vassar College, and earned his M.A. in architecture from Columbia Architecture School. Chris is a member of the American Institute of Architects, and has 28 years of experience in residential architecture. He is a current member of the DC Historic Preservation Review Board and past president of the DC Metro area chapter of NARI.

Chris has a design department of nine people after 30 years in the business. When the company got to the point of having three designers, Chris hired a manager for that department to ensure that the work was standardized and high quality. He talks about how to set up your own design department for success and create a quicker process, including:

  • The metrics to gauge success
  • The designer’s role in his company
  • Recruiting and hiring for the department
  • Working back from net profit
  • When to hire a design manager
  • His three-phase process
  • How he charges for them
  • Figuring out a healthy close ratio
  • Taking on a design-only project
  • Why to conduct a feasibility study — sometimes
  • Working with design sub-contractors
  • And more …

Design can be a profit center, not a loss-leader, and you have to know how much you should be charging for it — even if you don’t.

How to Compete Against BIG Competitors and Win with Mark Harari – [Best of PowerTips Unscripted]

You shouldn’t have to slog through a dry, term-laden textbook  to successfully market your business.

So in this episode, Co-Host turned guest, Mark Harari takes a deeper dive into his book, “Lobster on a Cheese Plate,” a practical handbook that shows how to effectively market your business. Or, as the book’s subtitle states, “how to stand out, attract the best clients, and win every sale that comes your way.”

Mark is an accomplished speaker and writer, as well as the Vice President of Remodelers Advantage, President of R/A Marketing Inc., author, and co-host of this podcast.  He provides strategic direction for Remodelers Advantage’s internal and external marketing and communications programs, in addition to being responsible for the company’s brand identity, and ensuring marketing alignment across all channels.

Victoria and Mark talk more about:

  • The “six stones”
  • How narrowing your focus can broaden your appeal
  • Marketing plans VS. marketing budgets
  • And more…

Links from this episode:
Lobster on a Cheese Plate on Amazon
Lobster on a Cheese Plate Audiobook on Amazon’s Audible

What Dealers Say Behind Your Back with Bradley Hartmann – [Best of PowerTips Unscripted]

Learning the best way to work with purchasing managers can help create great outcomes for both sides of the remodeling business.  With over a decade of experience in operations and purchasing for a national homebuilder, Bradley Hartmann has researched and found the importance of having purchasing sales teams devote their time exclusively focused on the specific needs and opportunities for remodelers. 

Bradley, founder and CEO of The Behind Your Back Sales Co., goes in depth about what suppliers really say behind your back on this episode of PowerTips Unscripted.

Mark, Victoria and Bradley talk more about:

  • Why it may feel like Remodelers are second-class citizens in the eyes of lumber and building material dealers
  • What suppliers are saying behind remodelers backs
  • The sales fundamentals missing from most remodelers
  • How Remodelers can best position themselves to get the best pricing and service from dealers
  • Questions Remodelers should ask to determine if they are the best fit for a specific supplier

How NOT to Grow Your Remodeling Business with Judith Miller – [Best of PowerTips Unscripted]

The Great Recession gobbled up a whole slew of remodeling companies, but more of them fail during an economic expansion than during a contraction. Growth is great, but it’s risky, and knowing how not to grow will put you ahead of the game.

In this hot market, there are so many opportunities, you can get ahead of yourself too quickly for the health of your company. And that’s where remodeling company owners get into trouble by growing the wrong way. There are potential downsides, and to avoid them, you have to keep you basic best practices — and customer satisfaction and net profits lie at the center, says Judith Miller.

In this episode, Judith joins Victoria and Mark to talk about the ways to grow your company the right way.

Judith recently retired but before that she been a facilitator for Remodelers Advantage Roundtables for more than 15 years. She’s a QuickBooks expert, the author of The Remodeler’s Ultimate Guide to QuickBooks, and has been a columnist for Remodeling magazine for more than 10 years. Judith isn’t just a financial guru, she’s a high-level strategist who understands that numbers prove your strategy. 

When trying to grow, the biggest stumbling block is a lack of control, preparation, and not focusing on the best practices. Judith tells you what those best practices are, and how to grow the right way, while explaining the details, including:

  • The critical need for leadership
  • Why your financials have to be in order
  • The Top 5 things you need to do to build a strong, profitable company
  • The predictable stages of growth — and which is best to grow in
  • How large you can get
  • Why hiring a sales force is the riskiest transition
  • How to build a company you can sell
  • Why growing over 20% may be crazy
  • And more…

How Technology is Impacting Your Mental Health, Relationships & Productivity at Work with Rob Krecak – [Best of PowerTips Unscripted]

As a society, we spend nearly four hours daily on our smartphones, a 59% increase compared to just two years ago. The total amount of time each person spends in front of all media per day is 12 hours and 21 minutes, up 11% over two years, and the amount of time we spend socializing each day has dropped 18% compared to 2003. 

So, if we extrapolate these trends, where will humanity be in just ten short years?

Guest Rob Krecak is on a mission to positively impact the lives of one billion people with his company, Humans First, which aims to show people how technology impacts their mental health, relationships, and productivity at work.

Victoria, Mark, and Rob talk more about:

  • How technology impacts us in ways we are unaware of
  • Technology’s role in our relationships
  • Being more mindful of technology usage
  • And more…

Behavioral Finance: The Psychology of Financial Management with Jay Wheeler – [Best of PowerTips Unscripted]

It’s not about the money, rather the feelings the money can bring.

In this episode, Jay Wheeler dives into the psychology of financial management and investing in order to provide listeners with the potential reasons behind the way they may manage money. 

Whether it’s business or personal finances, Jay describes how to better manage your behavior surrounding spending.

Jay is the President of Wheeler Financial and while he provides traditional financial planning and investment advice, he believes the best value that he provides his clients is helping manage their behavior when it comes to money.  He also believes that there is a lot that goes into the decisions we make around our finances and that many of those decisions are based on emotions.

Victoria, Mark and Jay talk more about:

  • How behavioral finance differs from traditional financial management
  • Using behavior and emotions as a guide for choosing investments
  • How behavioral finance applies to investing
  • And more…

Why It’s Critical to Invest in The Next Generation with Andrew Schmidt – [Best of PowerTips Unscripted]

The labor shortage has been a frequent topic on this show, and this episode is going to join the ranks.  Guest Andrew Schmidt is here to talk about AMEK’s apprentice and internship program, and the importance of investing in future generations.

Andrew and his twin brother started their business as roofing installers in 1996, and have grown into a leading design-build firm in Minneapolis and St Paul. They have vacillated over the years, from employing and training carpenters to using all subcontractors. Currently, AMEK operates a hybrid model of carpenters and subcontractors when the job dictates it.

Victoria, Mark and Andrew talk more about:

  • Hiring the right people
  • The training and development process
  • Creating an engaged culture
  • And more…

How to Make Huge Profits Without Clients with Andrew Schroeder – [Best of PowerTips Unscripted]

Welcome to another episode of PowerTips Unscripted. This week, we go into the vault for an informative episode. Victoria and Mark talk to guest Andrew Schroeder about using your remodeling experience to grow your business by profitably flipping houses, minimizing the risks and maximizing the benefits, and the challenges of acting as your own client.

Whether you’re a seasoned professional in the remodeling industry or just starting, this episode is for you! Victoria and Mark dig deep with Andrew to uncover all the tips and tricks for success in the lucrative world of house flipping.

 

Andrew joined the Schroeder Design/Build team in 1999 and became owner in 2011. In addition to running SDB, Andrew volunteers time with the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI).

Victoria, Mark, and Andrew talk more about:

  • Where to invest your time and money to get your best returns
  • How to fill your production pipeline without getting new clients
  • Determining your profit margins in real estate
  • And more…

Estate Planning 101 with Thomas Croessman – [PowerTips Unscripted] S4 E15

Today on PowerTips Unscripted, Thomas Croessman joins the show to discuss the need for small business owners to plan for their company’s transition in their estate plan.  While your business might be humming along now, how will it perform if you’re not around? Unfortunately, most small businesses only survive the first generation because of estate planning and communication failures. Thomas explains Wills, Powers of Attorney, and Trusts, when those documents become effective. He also gives some practical tips to help the transition go smoothly.

Thomas Croessmann is the Managing Partner of Croessmann & Westberg, P.C., a construction law firm in the DC area. The firm is a full-service law firm for construction contractors.

Thomas, Victoria, and Mark talk more about:

  • What is an Estate Plan?
  • What is Power of Attorney, and when is it used?
  • And more…
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