[Podcast ]Episode 50: LIVE from the Extreme Business Makeover in Baltimore

For our 50th episode, we gathered a panel of industry experts and took questions from the audience at the Extreme Business Makeover in Baltimore at the the end of January 2019. It capped off an intense two days of learning, sharing, and networking among the remodelers attending and our Remodelers Advantage team.

In this episode, Victoria and Mark direct the lively discussions with our panel. We were joined by:

We talk profits and payroll, cash flow, the owner’s role in a growing business, margins, staying top-of-mind in your marketing, smart lead qualifying, planning and making decisions on your job sites, and the power of asking “why?”  

It’s an insightful and all-encompassing discussion of how to run your business to get bigger margins, more profits, and creating a real life/work balance. If you missed it, you need to listen to this episode.
 

Click Here to Listen to Episode 50 >>

 

[Podcast] Episode 11: Employment Law: The Good, Bad and Downright Scary, with Jen Cornell

If you are like most business owners, you don’t think about Employment Law until you’re faced with a complaint or potential lawsuit from a current or former employee. It’s inevitable… As you add employees and grow your company, the likelihood of facing a legal employment issue will increase as well.

When it comes to hiring, terminating and disciplining members of your team, there is so much to know and keep track of… You not only have state or territory regulations, but federal as well.

Our guest this week will tell you that anytime you run into a legal situation regarding an employee, the best course of action is to consult an expert… and that’s just what we did for Episode 11.

Victoria and Mark welcome Jen Cornell, an attorney at Nilan Johnson Lewis in Minnesota. Jen represents companies in litigation involving employees, including lawsuits, charges brought to government agencies, and investigations from government auditors.

Jen also specializes in preventive workplace audits and policy implementation, such as preparing employee handbooks, wage and hour audits, and immigration compliance.

Victoria, Mark and Jen uncovered so many different aspects of employment law in this episode, and they included:

  • Protecting your company from hourly disputes, lawsuits.
  • Timeframes to consider (2-3 years of records), penalties applied, etc.
  • Dealing with independent contractors transitioning to employees.
  • How laws apply to locations (jobsite, where the company is, where the employee lives, etc.)
  • Payment of employees, pay periods, minimum wages, etc.
  • How to handle discrimination complaints from current or ex-employees
  • Responding to charges from government agencies, document storage, etc.
  • Handling terminations and disciplinary issues the proper way
  • Importance of Employee handbooks and policies in place.

Don’t wait until you get that notice in the mail… Listen to this episode and start familiarizing yourself with some of the issues that may arise and derail the success you worked so hard for.
 

Click Here to Listen to Episode 11 >>

We would love to hear from you if you have questions or feedback about this topic, just use the comments area below. If you have specific questions regarding employment law, Jen Cornell can be reached at jcornell@nilanjohnson.com or (612) 305-7717.

 

How are we doing so far?

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.

[Podcast] Episode 9: Seven Steps to Earning Positive Online Reviews with Bryan Sebring

Online reviews can be the “Lifeblood” of any remodeling company’s business and marketing strategy and in Episode 9, Victoria and Mark speak with Bryan Sebring a very successful remodeler who has mastered the art of collecting online reviews from his satisfied clients.

Bryan is the Owner of Sebring Design Build in Naperville, IL and has quickly become a valuable resource and thought-leader for R/A and our Roundtables members.

According to Bryan he is a self-taught marketer who jumped in with both feet following a website re-design project that went sideways.

Bryan’s 7 Step process for driving positive reviews is more than just a marketing strategy. As Bryan describes, his firm’s process of asking for reviews and earning them with hard work, great design and a client-first attitude has become more of a company culture.

As Bryan, Victoria and Mark discuss the 7-step process, we learn more about:

  • Strategies around specific websites such as Houzz, Angie’s List and Yelp.
  • Infusing the review process into your sales/lead intake process
  • Dealing with bad reviews
  • How to encourage and educate your clients to read and provide reviews
  • Setting expectations with clients at project kickoff
  • How to work with client on project completion and walk-through

 

Click Here to Listen to Episode 9 >>

 

Free Resource

As Bryan describes his sales and lead intake process, he mentions that he provides his clients and prospects with information to educate them about online reviews: what to look for, good signs, red flags, etc.  Here’s the blog post he share’s with them, which also includes his free Remodeling 101 ebook.
 

…And Speaking of Asking for Reviews

We are receiving great feedback from our listeners and we have more great episodes like this one coming. If you’re enjoying our PowerTips Unscripted podcast, please spread the word by rating our show and commenting on iTunes, Stitcher, or whichever platform you use!

[Podcast] Episode 6: Behind the Scenes of an HGTV Pilot with John Huffman

Lights, Camera, Action! Getting the brand exposure of a TV pilot, aired on a national media channel like HGTV, can seem like every remodeler’s dream… But is it? What’s involved? Is it disruptive to your business? Do you get leads from it? Is it as exciting as it sounds?

In Episode 6, Victoria and Mark talk to John Huffman, CEO & Co-Owner of Black Door Renovation in Southlake TX. John runs Black Door with his wife, Elizabeth, and Rick Baker, a long time RA member, and together they focus on large-scale, high-end additions and whole house remodels.

John and Elizabeth, were approached by a production company in 2016 about pitching a show called “Lone Star Flip” to HGTV and their story of the ups and downs of that process is amazing and great insight to other remodelers considering a similar endeavor.

Often in business, timing is everything… and John talks more about how this opportunity occurred at about the same time as their merger with Rick Baker’s Stately Design & Renovation company.

John walks us through their experience and along the way Victoria and Mark cover:

  • How disruptive was it to your business?
  • How did this experience effect your brand and messaging for Black Door?
  • Did you see leads from it and were they qualified?
  • How did you handle the influx of leads?
  • How did you handle the pricing expectations we see mentioned on these types of shows on TV?
  • Knowing what you do now, would you do it again?

A great episode, not to be missed! Enjoy!

Click Here to Listen to Episode 6

If you would like to know more about Black Door Renovation visit their website and they did an amazing job of documenting their HGTV experience on Instagram and Facebook.

Do you have a similar experience with any other media efforts? Cable shows? Radio broadcasts? We would love to hear about any of your experiences, positive or negative, in the comments section below.

Are you loving PowerTips Unscripted Yet?

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

And 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.

[Podcast] Episode 2: Building an Effective Emergency Succession Plan with Philip Anderson

In our second episode of PowerTips Unscripted, Victoria and Mark spend some time with Philip Anderson, a long-time Remodelers Advantage member and well-respected industry leader.

Philip Anderson is the President of HDR Remodeling, a successful Design + Build firm that he founded over 30 years ago in the Berkeley / Oakland / East Bay Area in California.

The topic of this episode is Emergency Succession Planning, or how to plan ahead in the instance of a short or long-term absence of the business owner or key personnel. Philip discusses how his firm was able to build an effect succession plan, not only for the long-term once he retires, but in the case of a sudden departure from the business.

Unfortunately, Philip’s plan was put to the test when he suffered a stroke a few months later and his business was able to continue during his extended leave.

Some great advice shared by Philip:

  • Don’t limit the plans to just the owner, include key personnel in sales, production, finance, etc.
  • Develop separate plans for short-term, intermediate and long-term or permanent absences.
  • Develop Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for each position so those stepping up have some direction and documentation to follow.

Philip does a great job with the “Lightning Round” and “Five Words of Wisdom” segments. Some great advice shared by one of our industry’s finest. Enjoy!

Click Here to check out Episode 2 and download a copy of Philip’s ESP Document.

[Podcast] Episode 01: How to Create a Valuable, Sellable Company with John Warrillow

For our first episode of PowerTips Unscripted, we’re thrilled to have John Warrillow as our inaugural guest. John is the author of Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You, and in this episode he shares tips on how you can build a high-value company. Even if you’re not thinking about selling today, you can’t afford to turn a blind eye to the process.

Topics covered include:

  • Action steps to developing a sellable company
  • The hub-and-spoke manager vs. the apple picker
  • The Switzerland structure
  • How to sell “air”

Plus, John helped us kick-off our “Lightning Round” and “Five Words of Wisdom” segments. All that and more for our first episode. Enjoy!

Click Here to Listen to Episode 1

Introducing PowerTips Unscripted

We are excited to announce the launch of our latest effort to bring relevant content to our members, subscribers, industry friends and associates.

PowerTips Unscripted, a weekly podcast airing new episodes each Wednesday, will complement our existing PowerTips initiatives by providing in-depth and fun interviews with industry leaders, successful remodelers and other thought leaders from fields such as Marketing, Finance, Logistics and more.

We will continue to provide the PowerTips Blog on Tuesday, Podcast on Wednesday and PowerTips TV on Thursday (New Episodes returning next week), with e-mails promoting and supporting all of this great content.

This weekly podcast will be hosted by R/A President, Victoria Downing and co-hosted and produced by VP & CMO, Mark Harari. Episode Zero is currently available and Episode 1 debuts on January 24th. PowerTips Unscripted is available on Apple iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher and on its own website as well, PowerTipsPodcast.com

The launch of PowerTips Unscripted will be accompanied by a give-away. We want to thank our first listeners and members for downloading and tuning in so, we’re going to give everyone a chance to win great prizes… The more that listen, the greater the prize so spread the word!

What are we giving away? Click here to listen to Episode Zero to learn more, or you can also visit the PowerTips Unscripted page to get the details.

Pass the Baton and Delight Your Clients While You’re At It!

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Being the savvy business people that we are, we all know that our money is made in the planning stage of a remodeling project, not in the production. By this I mean, that the more organized and complete our planning process, the more quickly we complete high quality projects for delighted clients–and the more profits we keep.

In today’s tough economic climate however, it’s more common than ever for business owners to slash preparation time in half so that the job can start quickly. However, when enough time isn’t dedicated to planning, mistakes happen, orders aren’t complete, and the client can experience a deep sense of frustration instead of the delight that we all want.

I know that planning time means additional costs and no homeowner is beating down our doors to pay more, but I also know that the companies that are going to stay strong are those that are delivering top quality client experiences — those that I referred to before.

Remodelers Advantage business coach, Paul Winans, earned his stripes as the owner of a remodeling company for many years. Through the school of hard-knocks, he learned how to delight his customers and build a strong, highly profitable business because of it.

One of the processes he used to set expectations, keep clients informed, and avoid misunderstandings was the Pass The Baton process. This isn’t a process that he went into unprepared. Instead, he planned this meeting carefully. He was a true believer in the idea that planning is essential to profits.

Listen into a recent teleseminar as Paul explains how to use this essential process to set your company apart from the competition.