organizational development

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 …

Will Your Personnel Files Survive a Legal Trial with Jody McLeod – [PowerTips Unscripted] S4 E5

On this episode of PowerTips Unscripted, Jody McLeod joins the show to answer legal questions, including whether companies are set up to withstand a legal challenge. Jody discusses the best way to ensure having a complete personnel file for each employee, including documentation of conversations and key facts,  so that you can support yourself and your company during a legal trial. Jody also advises business owners to help them avoid lawsuits through a complete onboarding process and proper training for all managers.

Jody, an attorney, and former Fortune 500 legal executive is the Founder and Principal of McLeod Legal Solutions (MLS). MLS partners with business owners to protect their business during HR and employee relations disputes with direct access to litigators, employment lawyers, and legal executives from Fortune 500 companies.  Jody specializes in employment law, litigation and litigation management, compliance, investigations, and training.

Jody, Mark, and Victoria talk  more about:

  • Complete personnel files 
  • Best practices to avoid legal trial 
  • Inappropriate or incomplete personnel files 
  • 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…

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…

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.

Best of PowerTips: Creating your Business Exit Roadmap with Ashley Micciche

Did you know that 81% of business owners want to stop working in their business in the next 10 years?

Yet, most business owners are paralyzed and doing nothing about their exit, because the process seems overwhelming to the point that they don’t know where to begin.  So, how does one focus on their business while planning an exit?  Guest Ashley Micciche has the answer.

Ashley Micciche is the co-owner and CEO of True North Retirement Advisors in Clackamas, Oregon. She specializes in designing, building, and implementing custom-designed exit plans to help her business owner clients secure their final and most important business decision – the exit from their business.  

Victoria and Ashley talk more about:

  • Understanding how to pick an ideal successor
  • Determining post-exit financial needs
  • Establishing a target departure date
  • And more…
 
Finish Big, by Bo Burlingham, is the book Victoria referenced during the show.

This highly celebrated event is the remodeling industry’s premier educational conference, and it sells out EVERY YEAR!

Join over 700 high performing remodeling professionals and experience the Power of Summit, including:

  • 3 Distinguished Keynotes
  • 40 Visionary Speakers
  • 36 High-octane Workshops
  • 28 Industry Leading Success Partners
  • A Legendary Welcome Party. This Year it Will Have an 80s Theme!
  • And Much, Much More…

Ep.185: Getting To An 8-Figure Remodeling Business With Ben Juncker

Special guest Ben Juncker discusses the lessons he learned and actions he took to go from a roofing employee to the owner of a multimillion dollar business and a best-selling author.  After being in business for a while and buying out his partner, he realized that profits are more important than revenue and that he needed to start looking at his business at the macro level.  He started focusing proper staffing and creating processes, which led to meaningful growth.

Ben started his company, Craftsman’s Choice, in 1998 and became a James Hardie siding contractor in 2000. Since that time Craftsman’s Choice has grown continuously to become one of the nation’s top James Hardie Remodelers, completing over 175 jobs per year. They have won James Hardie’s prestigious President’s Club award every year since its inception in 2015.

Ben, Victoria, and Mark discuss the importance of:

  • Knowing what is happening on job sites
  • Building accountability into all processes and systems
  • Leveraging technology, specifically Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools
  • And more…

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.98: How to Structure and Run a Profitable Design Department with Chris Landis

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.

MasterClass: Design Process

You can learn how other successful companies manage their design business, and you’ll go home with new ideas to exceed your clients’ expectations and boosting profits on every job. We’ll be holding our next class here in Baltimore, May 18-19. You can find more details and register here: Building An Effective Design Process.

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