Qualified Remodeler Magazine

AUG 2016

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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Page 43 of 99

says Michael Strmac, owner and co-founder of Universal. "We have been blessed by low turnover and have been able to promote from within our company." In growing from $11 million to $13.9 million last year, San Diego's Jackson Design & Remodeling, No. 77, has also built a bigger platform for future topline expansion, says CEO Todd Jackson. e firm has gone from 44 to 65 employees in just one year. "We've added a human resources administrator who developed several integrated resources — including advertising, social media, indus- try networking and college recruitment — for finding talented team members," Jackson explains. MORE FOCUS AND CONTROL Perhaps the most noteworthy difference between today's remodeling peak and the one experienced a decade ago is two-fold. First, while today's underlying demand for remodeling and home improvement is strong, it is not an obscene, cash-out, refinance-driven bubble. Second, the winners today are long-time pros who, chastened by the downturn, are managing and controlling their up- side. With numerous regulatory and staffing headwinds, today's market is tough, even punishing on the average Chuck-in-a-truck. Gary Allen, owner of No. 338 company, Allen Kitchen & Bath based in Madison, Wis., typifies today's remod- eling market winner. His company is up to $3.6 million in sales from $3.3 million, and he's doing it via a very nu- anced marketing mix that includes home shows, Facebook advertising and uber-targeted postcard mailings, Allen explains. e postcard effort is backed by specific digital landing pages for each card in a three-mailing series. It has given the company a 30 percent increase in appointment requests from its revamped website. Ray Wiese, owner of No. 375, e Weise Company in Sherborn, Mass., is seeing growth in job sizes post con- tract signing. "Clients are adding onto projects before and during the budget process and upgrading many allowance items," Wiese says. "We are experiencing growth and have elevated our team internally to allow for a scalable plan that maintains our quality experience. As business picks up, more remodelers should focus on the projects at hand without grabbing too much work. at can easily create slippage and mean less profit for more work." Even fast growers like NewSouth Windows are enjoying the opportunity to grow in a methodical fashion. e com- pany breaks ground on a new 232,000-sq.-ft. factory this fall with plans to open locations in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in 2017; Bonita Springs, Fla., in 2018; and Jacksonville, Fla., in 2019, says Earl Rahn. "Controlled growth is the name of the game for NewSouth Windows for the next three to four years. We are growing geographically and we must make certain we can keep up with the demand for our products." | 500 FEEDBACK: BIGGEST CHALLENGES IN 2016 500 FEEDBACK: BIGGEST OPPORTUNITIES IN 2016 Finding and hiring qualified employees Generating leads for new business Finding and hiring qualified trade contractors Keeping up with increased demand Reduced profitability due to operational inefficiencies Increased regulation from government Economic weakness in your service area(s) Increased competition Other Retaining key employees Higher material prices Scaling back operations due to lower demand Overall higher volume of leads for new business Higher demand for bigger projects Increased business from overall marketing Adding a new or expanded service area Increased throughput without adding more overhead Increased business from Internet marketing Adding a new high-demand product or service Better opportunity to hold or increase pricing Increased sales training and effectiveness Eliminating unprofitable products or services Mining existing customer base Other Eliminating B and C players 167 33.4% 97 19.4% 87 17.4% 47 9.4% 45 9.0% 42 8.4% 32 6.4% 30 6.0% 30 6.0% 28 5.6% 22 4.4% 15 3.0% 15 3.0% 10 2.0% 103 20.6% 69 13.8% 68 13.6% 20 4.0% 19 3.8% 17 3.4% 13 2.6% 9 | 1.8% 9 | 1.8% 3 | 0.6% 3 | 0.6% Reflecting an ever-growing problem, finding and hiring qualified employees and trade contractors is overwhelmingly the biggest challenge facing remodelers. Source: Qualified Remodeler Top 500, August 2016 Companies cite higher volume and demand to be opportunities as the economy stabilizes and consumers invest in their homes once more. Source: Qualified Remodeler Top 500, August 2016 44 August 2016 QR QualifiedRemodeler.com

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