Ep.124: Applying What You Have Learned with John Lessick

Conferences, blog posts, podcasts, webinars, roundtables peer groups, consulting, coaching… information is everywhere.

But, just because you’re opening yourself up to these opportunities to learn, it doesn’t mean anything will ever change.

The hard part is what comes after you get the information. John Lessick joins Victoria and Mark to discuss how to take what you’re learning and applying it to make you and your business stronger.

John Lessick is the President and Owner of APEX Wood Floors, Inc. in Chicago, IL. In 1985, John joined APEX as an apprentice and spent nine years learning every facet of the business before purchasing the company in 1994. Thanks to his expertise and vision, the business has blossomed and evolved, growing from 5 employees to nearly 25 over the last 25 years.

Victoria, Mark and John cover:

  • How outside resources and advisors have helped.
  • How the 3-5 year plan that John has put together has helped his business.
  • Learning about and implementing LEAN process improvement.
  • Specific examples of how John has implemented changes in his business.
  • And more…

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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.

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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.

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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

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

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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.

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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.

Tell everyone you know about PowerTips Unscripted!

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9 Ways to Protect Your Business from COVID-19 Scams

Unfortunately, with any national or global crisis, the individuals and organizations that take advantage of individuals and businesses don’t take a vacation… they become emboldened and target those who are otherwise distracted and perhaps more willing or vulnerable.

This COVID-19 pandemic is no different; the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center has received more than 3,600 complaints related to COVID-19 scams, many of which operate from websites advertising fake vaccines or cures, fraudulent charity drives, or simply attempt to deliver malware or viruses to your computer.

From our friends at the US Department of Justice, here are 9 ways you and your staff can keep your business safe:

  1. Independently verify the identity of any company, charity, or individual that contacts you regarding COVID-19.

  2. Check the websites and email addresses offering information, products, or services related to COVID-19. Be aware that scammers often employ addresses that differ only slightly from those belonging to the entities they are impersonating. For example, they might use “cdc.com” or “cdc.org” instead of “cdc.gov.”

  3. Be wary of unsolicited emails offering information, supplies, or treatment for COVID-19 or requesting your personal information for medical purposes. Legitimate health authorities will not contact the public this way.

  4. Do not click on links or open email attachments from unknown or unverified sources. Doing so could download a virus onto your computer or device.

  5. Make sure the anti-malware and anti-virus software on your computer is operating and up to date. Keep your operating system up to date as well.

  6. Ignore offers for a COVID-19 vaccine, cure, or treatment. Remember, if a vaccine becomes available, you will not hear about it for the first time through an email, online ad, or unsolicited sales pitch.

  7. Check online reviews of any company offering COVID-19 products or supplies. Avoid companies whose customers have complained about not receiving items.

  8. Research any charities or crowdfunding sites soliciting donations in connection with COVID-19 before giving any donation. Remember, an organization may not be legitimate even if it uses words like “CDC” or “government” in its name or has reputable looking seals or logos on its materials. For online resources on donating wisely, visit the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website.

  9. Be wary of any business, charity, or individual requesting payments or donations in cash, by wire transfer, gift card, or through the mail. Do not send money through any of these channels.

If you think you are a victim of a fraud or attempted fraud involving COVID-19, call the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 1-866-720-5721 or email at disaster@leo.gov. If it is a cyber scam, submit your complaint through https://www.ic3.gov.

Leading Through Crisis

While you may have emergency plans for your business in place, it’s pretty long odds you had anything prepped for a business disruption caused by a global pandemic. 

Even in the best of times, being an effective leader is challenging — no doubt about it. For those of you who’ve had to put your business put on hold, and those who are preparing for it, it’s even harder. 

With that in mind, this article from the Harvard Business Review, “Are You Leading Through the Crisis … or Managing the Response?” has some insights and inspiration you can use right now. 

The authors have studied crisis management for almost 20 years, and say that crises are often over-managed but underled. They’ve put together four traps a leader might fall into during turbulent times.

1. Taking a Narrow View

Your brain is hard-wired to hyper-focus on only the threat. However, leaders need to be able to pull back and see the whole field — what’s happening right in front of you and all around you. Take a broad view, including near-term and long-term challenges. 

2. Getting Seduced by Managing

Managing a crisis can give your adrenalin a boost and be thrilling. The authors liken it to your kids’ sugar high, though. That surge is followed by a crash. Instead, keep taking that long view, and anticipate what’s to come in the next week, the next month, even the rest of the year. You need to delegate, support, and trust your team as they also make tough decisions.

3. Overcentralizing the Response

In other words, you can’t control everything. Instead, seek order rather than control. Order means people know what’s expected of them and what they expect of others. 

4. Forgetting the Human Factors

A crisis is a crisis precisely because it affects people — but that human factor too often can be eclipsed by numbers and spreadsheets and emergency measures. 

Lead your team by helping them all understand how they can contribute — and recognizing that effort.

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 >>

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