Leadership

Strategy Isn’t Enough with Brian Gottlieb – [Best of PowerTips Unscripted]

A successful remodeling business isn’t only dependent on tactics or the larger strategy behind them. A company’s culture plays a crucial role in executing any business strategy. 

In this episode, Brian Gottlieb discusses the key steps needed for a business to implement their desired strategy with Victoria and Mark.

Brian Gottlieb is the founder and CEO of Tundraland Home Improvements, which serves all of Wisconsin. He started his business on a plastic folding table, with just $3,000 in cash. Today, Tundraland employs more than 220 people, and revenues  are in excess of $42 million. 

He defines strategy as an integrated set of choices an organization makes to position against the competition, add value to their customers, and add value to the company. Brian’s “a-ha” moment came last summer, when he understood that when a community is at its full potential, we’re all in a better place; and when an organization is at its full potential, we’re all in a better place.

He calls Tundraland a training organization — developing an employee to his or her full potential is a key point of the company’s  strategy. Brian describes the four ways to define your culture, and how to make it stronger, including:

  • How building a strong culture is like building a ship
  • How realizing potential depends on others
  • Examples of the wrong strategies
  • And more …

Everyone Should Think Like an Entrepreneur with Sean Castrina – [PowerTips Unscripted] S4 E4

Sean Castrina joins the program to discuss why everyone should think like an entrepreneur and the importance of developing a strategy for determining what business you want to start. He shares that when he lost his job, he found another one so he could take his time to figure out his next steps. 

Sean Castrina is the Founder of The Weekend MBA, host of The 10 Minute Entrepreneur Podcast (a top 10 entrepreneurship podcast), an author of 4 bestselling books, and a serial entrepreneur.

Sean, Victoria and Mark discuss:

  • Critical components of building a successful business
  • The top reasons why most entrepreneurs fail
  • Why you must constantly look for new revenue streams 

Using Kaizen to Improve Your Business with Michael Sauri [Best of PowerTips Unscripted]

In today’s episode of PowerTips Unscripted, we are featuring one of our more popular episodes. If you have topic ideas for an episode or a guest we should be interviewing, send an email to victoria@remodelersadvantage.com.  Enjoy!    

The Kaizen practice focuses on improving existing, standardized processes by eliminating waste and was first practiced in Japanese businesses after World War II.  Kaizen translates to “Change for Good,” and that can mean many great things for your growing remodeling company. The process of constant improvement, with every team member participating, allows your company to constantly raise the bar on its target metrics.  

In this episode, Victoria and Mark learn more about the Kaizen practice of process improvement by welcoming Michael Sauri, CEO of TriVista USA, to the show.

Michael and his wife Deborah started TriVistaUSA in 2005 with the goal of providing an outlet for creativity and a Ritz Carlton-level client experience. “Our Thoughtful Design Builds Fine Living,” is their mission statement and their mantra as they bring phenomenal, award-winning design to the Design/Build community in the Washington DC area.

Victoria, Mark and Michael talk more about:

  • The background of Kaizen and how TriVista got involved
  • Hiring and developing a team within the Kaizen structure
  • The differences between Kaizen and other process improvement practices
  • And More…

Building a Culture of Support in Construction with Steve Barkhouse – [Powertips Unscprited] S4 E2

Steve Barkhouse joins PowerTips Unscripted to discuss how to create a culture of mental health support in the remodeling industry. In the post covid era, Mental health has affected many employees and business owners, so Steve and his team created a framework for dealing with the added stress that comes from covid. This support framework includes a video and a full-day training session to help employees work on and improve their mental health. Steve talks about how this initiative of offering additional support has helped his company build a healthy culture.

Steve is the owner of the award-winning remodeling firm Amsted Design-Build in Ottawa, Canada. Over the past 33 years, Steve has grown Amsted into a 50-person team with over $20 million in revenues. He is a past Impact Award winner and a 15-year member of the Mentor group Remodelers Advantage Roundtables Peer Group.

Steve, Victoria, and Mark talk more about:

    • The impact of mental health on the employees
    • Why mental health is crucial right now
    • Mental health in the remodeling industry
    • And more…

Gauging Your Designers’ Workload Effectively With Jeff Talmadge-[PowerTips Unscripted] S4 E1

In this episode, Jeff Talmadge discusses how he and his team created a point system for his design staff to spread their workload.  Each designer is assigned a predetermined number of points, weighted by criteria such as permitting, scope, and complexity of the job.  The team tracks points weekly and has found that designers are less stressed, customers are given more accurate timelines, and production can plan their workload better.

Jeff Talmadge is the president of Talmadge Construction, a large, premium design-build firm based in Aptos, CA.  Jeff and his team pride themselves on their commitment to customer service, quality workmanship, and a strong team culture.  

Jeff’s five words of wisdom – patience, persistence, never give up.

Listen as Jeff, Victoria, and Mark discuss:

  • Increasing job satisfaction across the company by managing designer workloads
  • Improving customer service by managing expectations with accurate timelines
  • And more…

Helpful Tips on Hiring with Mike DiFabion – [Best of Powertips Unscripted]

Hiring is on everybody’s mind these days.  But, utilizing the proper tools in the hiring process is key to ensuring you’re creating a great team.  Guest Mike DiFabion is here to share over 20 years of experience in the remodeling industry and the tips and tricks to creating a smooth, efficient hiring process.

Mike started DiFabion Remodeling, Inc. in 2000, intending to become the best local mid-sized remodeling firm in the Charlotte market. By providing superior customer service and controlled growth, the company now boasts a reputation beyond reproach and is enjoying its 16th year in business.

Victoria, Mark, and Mike talk more about:

  • Hiring timeframes
  • Character traits to look out for
  • Experience Vs. Ability to learn
  • And more…

Growing a High Volume Remodeling Business with Jake Schloegel- [Best of Powertips Unscrpited]

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 in 1980 as a one-person company and has grown it, with the help of his team, to an operation exceeding $14 million in revenue annually. The company is now managed by Jake’s son, Charlie Schlegel, and his business partner, Chris Peterson.

Jake has been a facilitator and instructor 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:

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

Recession-Proofing Your Company with Dave Edwards- [Best of Powertips Unscripted]

It’s easy to be successful in a great economy. You can get away with a lot of bad habits, lack of systems, and high overhead when jobs are large and margins high. But when the economy contracts, job sizes shrink, and margins erode, those bad habits can have a huge affect on the health of your company. Focusing on the right things when times are good are key to recession-proofing your business.

In this episode, Dave Edwards talks to Victoria and Mark about the lessons he learned and the changes he made to create a healthy company following the last recession, and how that positions it to survive and even thrive in the next downturn.

Dave is the founder and president of Earth Bound Homes, a home-building and remodeling company in San Jose, CA. Before he joined Remodelers Advantage Roundtables in 2014, Dave spent 12 years learning all the different ways to not build and run a profitable construction company. 

His path to recession-proofing his company came after watching other remodelers and builders go out of business in the last recession. After his company almost went bankrupt in 2011, he joined Roundtables and also went to counseling. He talks about his path to success in business and in his personal life, and how he has built a company that can withstand an economic downturn, including:

  • His metrics for success
  • Recognizing when someone else has better ideas, and running with them
  • The Stop/Start meeting to improve the company
  • Making project management a source of income
  • Identifying bad habits and how to fix them
  • How unbilled labor can cut into your profits
  • Why he cut his field staff to boost his revenue
  • And more …

The Magic of Disney’s Customer-Service Strategies with Pete Blank – [Best of PowerTips Unscripted]

If you’ve ever visited any Disney theme park across the globe, you may think nobody does customer service and experience like Disney. Although the execution is complex, the baseline concepts are quite simple. 

In this episode, Pete Blank shares customer-service strategies from Disney with Victoria and Mark, and shows you how to apply these lessons to your remodeling company to boost your own team’s customer-service performance. 

Pete has been developing leaders and improving service levels of organizations for the past 25 years — 13 of those with the Walt Disney Co. and the past 12 in local government. He loves inspiring others with ways to enhance their organizational culture. You can learn more about Pete Blank at his website: www.peteblank.com, or on his LinkedIn page

Growing up near Disney World in Orlando, Pete says he knew he always wanted to work there. After a few years as a sportscaster in Alabama, Pete went to Florida and began working at Disney World. He, his wife and family moved back to Alabama and he took  what he saw as a temporary job in local government, where he still uses his customer-service strategies. The biggest challenges to providing outstanding customer service and experiences are speed and expectations. Technology has changed the speed and convenience with which goods and services can be delivered. You have to align your clients’ expectations with what you can actually deliver. 

Mark, Victoria, and Pete talk more about:

  • The difference between customer service and customer experience
  • How social media amplifies all experiences —good and bad
  • Making customer service part of you mission statement
  • Looking for what “above and beyond” looks like in the future
  • How emotional connections create relationships
  • How to measure your customer-service success
  • The power of follow-up surveys
  • And more …

Best of Powertips: Ep. 117: The Six Habits That Can Change Your Life with Laura DiBenedetto

 

The Six Habits are behaviors that we act out every day, minute to minute. These are the habits that define our relationship with ourselves, and our relationship with the world around us.”

 
Remodelers Advantage is dedicated to helping remodeling business owners become more successful, while creating an environment that allows them to lead a more balanced and satisfying life.

Victoria and Mark welcome best-selling author, Laura DiBenedetto, to the show to share the truths that reveal the pathway to the truest freedom a person can have.

TEDx Speaker and author of The Six Habits, Laura teaches us how to create the life of our dreams without sacrificing what we love. As Founder and CEO of Vision Advertising, she has helped hundreds of companies build and grow profitable enterprises. Laura lives on Maui with her husband.

Victoria, Mark and Laura talk more about:

  • How entrepreneurs can find the time to nurture, heal and grow themselves
  • The kind of habits that determine our journey through life
  • How we can begin to master those habits
  • What actions you need to take to begin to change your life
  • Building your business around yourself, not the other way around

Mentioned in this episode:
Laura’s Website
The Six Habits

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