Qualified Remodeler Magazine

FEB 2019

Qualified Remodeler helps independent remodeling firms to survive, become more professional and more profitable by providing must-have business information, namely best business practices, new product information and timely design ideas.

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IN 1972 NEAL HENDY set out to establish his own remodeling company aƁer working in the family business of new home con- struction and renovation throughout the '50s and '60s. He did not have any expe- rience in carpentry, but the new entrepre- neur sensed an opportunity for remodelers who could offer homeowners project design, product selection and construction in one seamless process. "He was ahead of his time doing design/ build in the early '70s," says Alan Hendy, one of Neal's three sons and now CEO of Neal's Design Remodel, the company his father created out of their house nearly 47 years ago. "That's how he started it—and that's how we've done it ever since." Alan and his brothers, Neal Jr. and Steve, learned the family business from the bottom up, toiling in the field and doing their best to help skilled carpenters. They eventually settled into similar roles, selling projects to keep the company busy once their father re - tired; but he leƁ a leadership void. During strategic planning in 2012, the three equal owners agreed the business needed a change. "My two brothers asked me to become the CEO," recalls Alan, who joined the organiza- tion aƁer Neal Jr. and Steve. "We looked at our skillsets and what we're good at, and we decided we need somebody to lead the busi- ness as we grew. With all three of us trying to be the leader, we didn't have a leader. If you wanted a different answer, then you would just go ask one of my brothers." They sought to create a singular vision so the company could attract exceptional people who would stay at the business for a long time. Neal's Design Remodel aspires to be one of the top 20 design/build remod- elers in the country, and the organization clearly outlines how employees can achieve their individual goals while also helping the business advance toward that primary am- bition, Alan explains. "Around here our internal customers come first; our external clients come second," he says. "We want to make sure the culture is great, that we treat each other well and surround ourselves with people with great skills who know how to do this kind of work really well. The internal clients are focused on making sure the external clients have a great experience—we do it in that order. "When I was busy working on projects every day and inside the details—in the weeds—I didn't have enough time to find the greatest people out there that we could bring into the company," he continues. "I didn't have enough time to sit in a review meeting or a quarterly check-in meeting with somebody and just listen to them. Where are they heading? And how well are we aligned?" Developing proficient managers within the organization has enabled Alan to over- come many of the challenges facing design/ build remodelers. The company solicits input from workers on how to improve their expe- rience and make them more comfortable with their expectations and training. Once set, these employee pathways assist Neal's Design Remodel in its future business planning. "Are we just chasing more volume, or are we producing the volume the way we want to produce it, at the margins we want to make?" Alan asks. "If you're strictly worried about volume, you're going to lose; volume is just a number. Earned revenue is more important than sales volume. The top-line revenue [on a P&L] is vanity, profit is sanity and cash is king. That's how we look at it." The company has grown wisely by tak- ing on projects that best fit the abilities of its workers and paying attention to details. Just a few years ago, Alan and his brothers wrote a charter defining family, business and ownership, as well as how a relative can join the company. Alan's nephew Mike, son of Neal Jr., oversees the sales and design staff and will assume CEO duties in the next six- to-eight years, Alan notes. In fact, each owner has written a personal vision for the company that must align with the overall goals of the business. Aileron, a small-business management adviser near Dayton, Ohio, continues to assist Neal's Design Remodel with its long-term planning. "We know there's a lot of tactical work, but we really like the strategic work too," Alan explains. "That's what we're trying to do is grow in a smart way and make sure each employee recognizes how important they are, what we're working towards and how they can contribute to that. We're not afraid to try things, but we're not going to try things without a good plan." Family Planning ALAN HENDY, CEO COMPANY: Neal's Design Remodel LOCATION: Cincinnati, Ohio DESCRIPTION: Design/ build remodeler TOP 500: No. 193 REMODELING SALES: $7.3 million No. 193 Neal's Design Remodel relies on a written charter as well as accomplished employees to promote smart growth for the company. by Kyle Clapham "WE'RE NOT AFRAID TO TRY THINGS, BUT WE'RE NOT GOING TO TRY THINGS WITHOUT A GOOD PLAN." Alan Hendy, CEO 66 February 2019 QualifiedRemodeler.com TOP 2 0 1 8 PROFILE

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