company culture

Ep.42: How and When To Hire a General Manager with Aaron Enfinger

As companies experience growth, there are tipping points where changes need to be made. One of those points is when you realize you need additional management for the organization. Many remodelers are considering adding a General Manager, but are unsure how it will work in practice.

The Cleary Company of Columbus, OH, reached this tipping point in the Development Department in the Fall of 2016. The company was changing rapidly, adding staff, and stressing the existing systems in place. Things were getting bogged down. Owner George Cleary promoted Aaron Enfinger from Production Manager to GM to step in the gap. He’s currently wearing both hats while searching for his successor as PM.

In this episode, Aaron talks to Victoria and Mark about his experiences in taking over his new role and what it’s meant for the company. While Aaron oversees the operations, George has more time for business development and long-term planning.

The decision to add an overlay of management was caused by three factors, says Aaron. The staff was stressed by the workload, they were having trouble getting projects through the different phases of the job, and steps were being skipped in previously reliable systems because of the rush to get jobs to production. He talks about what his job entails, and some of the challenges, including:

  • Keeping the owner in the mix
  • How to not overload a GM
  • Managing people outside of your own job experience, like designers or marketers
  • Creating new positions to help streamline processes
  • Why to hire from within (if you can)
  • Working with the owner (or CEO)
  • The benefits of a walking meeting
  • Small picture vs. big picture thinking
  • And more…

As promised in the podcast, here’s the link to Aaron’s appearance on The Tim Faller Show, where he outlined his approach to creating a master schedule to control the flow of jobs through the pipeline.

Extreme Makeover: Business Edition

As Mark and Victoria mentioned in this episode, the Extreme Makeover: Business Edition, Jan. 29-30, 2019, is filling up fast — and Super Early Bird Pricing ends this Friday, November 30th.
Click Here for More Information & Registration 

 

Ep.39: How NOT to Grow Your Remodeling Business with Judith Miller

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 has 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. She loves the challenge of helping good remodelers become better every day.

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…

You’ll also learn why “The Whale” projects takes too many remodelers down. Click here to go to the Growth Sustainability Calculator we discussed in the episode.

And if you need QuickBooks help, or want bring in Judith as a consultant for your business, you can email her at jfmiller@remodelservices.com.

 

Want More Ways to Improve Your Business in 2019 and Beyond?

We are excited to announce that we are re-launching and re-branding our annual January event, formerly known as the Master Your Remodeling Business Workshop. The Extreme Makeover: Business Edition Event has been re-tooled and re-focused on providing growing remodelers and renovators with the tools necessary to improve their businesses in 2019 and beyond.

In addition to Judith Miller, this 2-day event will feature well-known speakers such as Victoria Downing, Tim Faller and Mark Harari and bring in new faces like Doug Howard and the 2018 Fred Case Award Winner, Michael Sauri. For more information and to grab Super Early Bird discounts, CLICK HERE.

Ep.27: How I Quadrupled My Revenue with Todd Jackson

Growing your company requires thinking big, developing innovative strategies, and taking risks. If you do it right, the results can be huge. Todd Jackson did it right, and quadrupled his revenue.

In this episode, Victoria and Mark talk to Todd about how he achieved that success, and the details and work behind the big numbers.

Todd is the CEO and president of Jackson Design & Remodeling in San Diego, CA, and a long-time Roundtables member. During the recession of 2007-2009, he developed and adopted strategies that got the company these amazing results in the next decade.

Learn how Todd not only weathered the downturn, but put systems in place and doubled-down on his marketing to power his company when the economy bounced back. He talks about the importance of creating a culture that celebrates success, as well as:

  • The key advice he got from another Roundtables member
  • Why his salespeople love their lower commissions
  • How his showroom drives profits
  • His strategy to cut the design process from months to weeks
  • Financing vs. cash
  • The awesome power of wearing slacks
  • And more…

There’s no one magic bullet, but a cohesive mix of strategies, calculated risks, and goals that will speed a remodeling company toward exponential growth. Click through to see more about Jackson Design & Remodel.

You don’t want to miss this episode!
 

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Ep.25: Open Book Management with Ken Kirsch

The thought of showing your financials to your employees may be unsettling. We’ve known remodelers who are so leery of sharing their numbers, their field crews don’t even know their project budgets.

But it doesn’t have to be that way, says Ken Kirsch, a proponent and practitioner of Open Book Management. In this episode, Ken tells Victoria and Mark that showing your numbers will engage and motivate your team — while helping your bottom line.

Ken is the president of MAK Design+Build Inc. in Davis, CA. Drawing on his experience as a carpenter and an artist, he and his wife Ellen started MAK Design+Build in 2003, out of an Airstream Trailer in their driveway. Ken’s a member of Roundtables group Krypton, and was introduced to the concept of Open Book Management at his very first RA meeting.

Victoria and Mark talk with Ken about the positives, and one surprising negative, he’s experienced since embracing Open Book Management. They discuss:

  • What to show and what to avoid
  • Focusing on the Big Picture 
  • The importance of your team being financially literate
  • When and how to discuss your numbers
  • Engaging your employees for lower turnover
  • And a whole lot more…

Transparency in business is much more than a buzzword, it’s something your employees will seek out more and more. Find out how Open Book Management can make your business better. Click here to see more about MAK Design+Build.

As promised, here is a shot of the AirStream that Ken got started in

 
 

Ep.21: How Powerful Beliefs Can Transform Your Business with Ari Weinzweig

Stepping outside the world of remodeling for a moment and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome a an entrepreneur, author, speaker and a visionary to Episode 21 of PowerTips Unscripted.

Ari Weinzweig is a founder and co-owner of Zingerman’s– an amazing company that started as a single location deli 36 years ago and has grown into a $60 million dollar organization based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Rather than replicating their deli through the franchise model, Ari and his business partner chose to develop new, independent businesses, all rooted in their local community that work together as one organization.

The Zingerman’s Community of Businesses (ZCoB) is a family of ten businesses, each operated by one or more managing partners who share ownership and put their particular expertise to work in the day to day running of their business.

The idea for the ZCoB was laid out in Zingerman’s 2009 vision, written by Ari and Paul in 1994 and highlighted in Bo Burlingham’s 2003 article for Inc. Magazine, “The Coolest Small Company in America.”

Victoria, Mark and Ari touch on many of the things that make Zingerman’s known for their unique culture, for company growth, and for their ability to bring out the entrepreneur in every employee.

In addition to a quick summary of Ari’s background and overview of the different businesses within the ZCoB system, Ari covers just a few of the philosophies that have built the unique culture at Zingerman’s:

  • Visioning, getting clear about the future you want to create.
  • Servant leadership – leader’s job is to serve the organization, treating employees as customers
  • Teaching everyone to think like an owner and the practices used to drive that mindset
  • Open book management, open meetings, etc.
  • Treating people as intelligent individuals and asking their opinions and getting input

“When you are an owner, your personality and your values, if you live them, become the culture of your business…” – Ari Weinzweig

If you are looking to improve your business, change your company’s culture or simply want to hear from an experienced and dynamic thought-leader, don’t miss this episode.

If you would like to learn more about the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses you can visit their website: http://www.zingermanscommunity.com

 

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Ep.18: Adapt or Become Irrelevant with Mark Richardson

In Episode 18, Victoria and Mark Harari welcome author and industry adviser Mark Richardson and talk more about the changes that have impacted the remodeling industry and how companies today need to either adapt or risk becoming irrelevant.

Mark Richardson is the Former President and Co-Chairman of Case Design/Remodeling, a Senior Fellow at Harvard and the author of 4 books; 30 DAY Remodeling Business Fitness, How Fit Is Your Business?, Fit to Grow and Control Your Day; 7 Steps to Time Mastery. Mark is also the host of the Remodeling Mastery Podcast.

The hosts explore Mark’s background and the various ways he has been involved in the remodeling industry. From pioneering the Design + Build concept from the early days with Case, to the challenges and obstacles they were able to overcome when growing their business.

Mark talks more about how he and his firm were able to learn from others and from experience and how Case’s founder, Fred Case, created an environment where team members were free to test and try things to improve the business. “Most successful people are students of success,” said Richardson, and went on to explain and encourage today’s remodeler to “put in the time to learn, read, observe, think, etc.”

Victoria, Mark and Mark dig more into some of the different ways the industry has changed over the past several years, including:

  • Time; from the time needed to adapt and change to the response time now expected and demanded by clients
  • How technology is now an integral part of doing business vs. being optional in the past
  • The level of transparency now faced by businesses, where the client’s knowledge and cost of products may outpace your own and they have full access to your past performance, reviews on your business, etc.
  • How clients perceive or envision a project and how you sell or get them to commit
  • How companies can learn and know which ways to adapt themselves

How have you adapted or changed your business?

We would love to hear some constructive feedback on ways you have adapted your business to meet the changes in our industry. Use the comments section below to share your experiences.

We love the feedback we have received so far!

As always, if you have a topic that you would like us to cover or know of an industry contact, author or thought-leader that you think others would like to hear from, let us know.

If you’re enjoying our PowerTips Unscripted podcast, please spread the word and post reviews on iTunes and Stitcher.

 
 

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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As always, if you have a topic that you would like us to cover or know of an industry contact, author or thought-leader that you think others would like to hear from, let us know.

If you’re enjoying our PowerTips Unscripted podcast, please spread the word and post reviews on iTunes and Stitcher.