EPISODE 72 – The Key to Success for Builders
EPISODE 72 – The Key to Success for Builders | Builders Becoming Entrepreneurs?
Hey folks and welcome to another episode of Builders Business Success Podcast!
It’s the construction business podcast and I’m Mick Hawes. I’ll be hosting this here podcast and hopefully being your construction business coach. If you’ve never watched or listened to this podcast in the past, its focus is to simply overcome, eliminate, refine, change the common and costly, I suppose, mistakes and errors that are made in running a building business and the kind of the building industry norms.
And to jump right into the topic today, what I’m talking about is if you want to be successful, don’t do what the majority do.
And I was even having a discussion with a mentor buddy of mine. I get on the Zoom with him once a fortnight at 6:30 in the morning, he’s in Melbourne and I’m down near Hobart and we solve the problems of the world.
We have a chat about what his business is doing, what our business is doing, and we share ideas and help each other and we just happened to be talking about the statistical information which isn’t all of that accurate and clear and easy to obtain, but it seems to indicate that most businesses don’t succeed by far.
You know, there’s lots of statistics quoted and I’ve been guilty of quoting them before. Years ago it used to be 80% of businesses, small businesses would fail within the first five years and there’s a lot of talk that it’s closer to sort of 90% of businesses failing in the first three years now and that doesn’t surprise me because we tend to follow what the majority is doing and that’s really the topic of this podcast is if you want to be successful don’t do that.
I’m also gonna do Q&A and you want to hang around for that if you’re a little bit frustrated by prospects not responding to you after you’ve done a quote or something like that and then you get ghosted. If you want to have some answers about how to prevent that.
And, of course, we’ve got an idea of the week simply so we can show you a picture of our floating light bulb. No other reason but maybe the idea might be a value. I suspect it might be.
Before we get started, if you are watching this, please put in the comments, hashtag live. Brian has already done it. Brian is sitting behind me switching the switches so he can change all of the cameras and he’s watching us live. So he’s done the right thing but if you’re watching us live, I’d love you to put in hashtag live. If you’re watching the replay I’d you to put in hashtag replay.
There’s also a couple of other links. If you’re watching on Facebook there’s a couple of other links. One is, let’s just see who you are. Demier has just said hashtag live and because Demier has already hit the link at some stage that is the restream link, it shows me that Demier is Demier and Hugh is also saying hashtag live. And it shows me that Hugh is Hugh.
So if you want to ask to be able to know who you are when you ask questions, make comments, put in hashtags, what have you, I’d love you to hit the link in there that is, I think it’s restrained.io or something like that. And now the other thing, lots of instructions before we get started, isn’t that?
Hopefully, we’re gonna simplify that. We’ll have some news on that in future episodes that we’re gonna shift and move and shake and do things differently to simplify things. But there is a link, also a YouTube link in the Facebook chat there in the comments that I would like you to click and subscribe to the podcast on YouTube.
The reason that we’re asking you to do that is primarily that if you subscribe to the YouTube channel, you’ll get notifications of when the podcast is on, but also all of the other podcast episodes are all in one spot. If you’re doing this on Facebook, they’re all over the place and a little difficult to find and you’ve got to search and carry on. Well, they’re all just on one page in the YouTube channel.
So I love you to go there and I’d love you to share that YouTube link. If you’ve got Subbies or other builders that you think would get value from listening to this, if you share that YouTube link with them, then we’ll be able to catch up on all the past episodes and get notifications of when we’re live as well.
Plus if you’re watching via YouTube, instead of Facebook, you can also comment and we’ll still see your comments and ask any questions live, but we are sort of maneuvering to more YouTube than Facebook. I think you’ll find that in the not too distant future, we probably won’t even be on Facebook.
We’ll be on YouTube and a few other very cool platforms where I’ve just been plotting and scheming this morning before we went live about some major changes that we’re going to make in Builder’s Business Black Belt to simplify things for everybody, so you can get access to information really, really quickly. Ask questions and just simplify and not have all of the distractions of social media and so forth.
So a bit excited about that, but let’s get into today’s topic and that is…
*Transcription of the show”
If you want to be successful, don’t do what everyone else is doing. And there are some reasonably successful people. People like Walt Disney you’d put him in the category of reasonably successful. And he was known to have said, “If you want to be successful, look around and see what the world is doing and don’t do it.”
That was Walt Disney’s advice. Look around and see what the world is doing and don’t do it. And if you look around your world and we look at it at a few different areas, so we could look at money, we could look at health, we could look at relationships, we could look at business success. And the evidence is fairly clear that if you do what most people are doing you won’t be successful.
So if you look at money, the majority, and I think it was… It was over six or seven years ago, I remember watching the news or listening to the news and an economist came on and said team we’ve finally done it. And he was being facetious and sarcastic. He was basically saying as a population, we finally spent more than we earned as a group.
Okay, the population had spent more than they had earned. Now, what happens when you spend more than what you earn? Not good things. I can tell you that much. There was a very, very famous guy. You probably know if I can remember his name, but I can’t. It might come to me, but he was an absolute sales guru in the real estate space in the United States, many, many years ago.
Many, many decades ago. And I was listening to a live presentation of his a long, long time ago and he just kept building up this whole curiosity scenario about I’m gonna give you the key to financial wealth and financial security and he just kept building it up and building it up.
And you felt like you were moving closer to the front of the seat. He was going to give you this incredible bit of information to make sure that you would be a financial success in the future. And he built it and build it and build it until he finally said, “Here it is.” He said, “Earn more than you spend.” And kind of most people go, “Oh, is that it?” But, yeah, it is. It kind of is.
And so the majority of people are in debt. They are struggling and even yesterday there was this economist on the radio basically saying because of COVID and people not spending money traveling and being in their houses that they’ve spent a lot of money and hock themselves up.
There are some massive, massive mortgages because housing prices are going crazy and people are putting themselves under a lot of financial strain. And he said, “Just the upward movement of somewhere between 1.5% and 1% in interest rates is gonna cause massive, massive problems for a lot of people. So my point is that we don’t do very well financially.
It might seem like we do until the shits the fan like interest rates go up or what have you. Our very first mortgage I remember back in the day we were paying 19% interest. Okay, it’s not far off 1% now so things do change folks and you’ve got to be prepared to do what most people don’t do so you can protect yourself financially. What about health? We don’t do too well health wise either.
The majority of people are overweight and the majority of people die of absolutely preventable diseases. So what are we doing? If you do what everybody else does you’re gonna die of preventable diseases. You’re not going to have a healthy life if you do what everybody else, if you do what the majority does you’re not gonna be successful in the health steaks.
Relationships, I remember we used to talk about this back 30, almost 30 years ago and we would talk about Walt Disney and don’t do what everyone else does. And back then I would talk about relationships statistics and back when I first started to talk about it was one in every three marriages just fail, so 1/3 of marriages were failing back then.
And as the decades went past the statistics changed and now it was 50/50. Flip a coin, whether your marriage would succeed or not. Now it’s much worse. It’s flicked over to 2/3 of marriages don’t last. And so if you do what everybody else does, if you do what the majority does in relationships, how you see relationships, how work your relationship, you probably fail.
And there’s a massive cost to that emotionally, financially, all sorts of bad things. Business, and as I said I was talking to my mentor buddy this morning and we were talking about those statistics and the bottom line is the big majority of businesses fail. Don’t worry about whether it’s 90% in three years or 80% in five years or whatever it might be.
The majority of businesses fail than those that last. And I talk to a lot of builders that have been around for a long time. They’re not really financially secure. They don’t have a lot of time freedom.
They’re not really enjoying the benefits of running your own business, at least compared to the dream when you started your own business where you could kind of decide when you’d work and who with and you’d be able to earn a lot more money. That’s not the reality for most people.
So even if your business makes it past five, six, 10 years, very few are what you might call successful, where you have time freedom and financial freedom and choice. Very few.
So my point is look around and see what the majority is doing and don’t do it. Now many, many moons ago, 30 years ago, Tony Robbins was one of my mentors as well.
I would listen to a lot of his stuff ans went to… Attended a bunch of live events with Tony and met him and he’s a huge, big tall man and he’s amazing and his take on this was doing the opposite of what the majority do is probably a good place to start because it’s all well and good for Walt to say, “Hey, look around and see what the world is doing and don’t do it.” Well, what do I do?
Well, Tony has gone that one step further and he said, “Probably the opposite’s not a bad place to start.” It’s not always, but it’s not a bad place to start is to look at the opposite. And so in the building game, what are some of the things that would be the opposite? If we talk about profit, most builders use a hope strategy.
They think their margin is their profit there’s a whole lot of things that most builders do when they’re managing and measuring their finances that cause them to always struggle, always have cashflow problems, always have money stress.
That if you implement something like profit first, which is what we teach in blueprint and then obviously maintain that and refine it in Builder’s Business Black Belt, things change. We’ve had people come in that have got $250,000 worth of ITO debt, 18 months later they’ve got no debt and $100,00 cash in the bank.
Talking to one of our members after a couple of years of doing this she’s got over $250,000 cash in the bank and all the bills paid. Me personally, I was following the normal accounting process going to see our accountant and looking at the balance sheet and the profit and loss sheet and it didn’t affect me.
I still did dumb things and really did a bad job of managing our finances and made poor decisions. Did profit first process, which is basically the opposite. Like you do things the opposite of how most people do things and it makes a massive difference, is that easy? Absolutely not. Meaning is it hard?
Absolutely, in the first sort of 90 days the shifts are really, really challenging, really challenging, but is it worth it? Absolutely, no question. Free quotes, we rabbit on about this all of the time. Free quotes suck.
They suck for the builder, they suck for the prospect and the customer. It’s just bullshit. Like if you’re doing free quotes in this day and age you’re a bloody idiot and it’s about that simple. Most builders still do free quotes. Some morons are still saying, “Oh, you’re won’t have a business if you start charging for quotes.”
Well, that seems really strange to me saying that we’ve got a whole bunch of builders in blueprint and black belts who charge for quotes every bloody day and not only do they get the work the customers love it.
So if you want to be successful, look out around and see what everybody else is doing or the majority of doing and don’t do it. Maybe do the opposite. Maybe instead of doing free quotes, you charge for them. Now, it’s not that simple, you just don’t offer. Say, “You have to pay for that quote because you’ll get ghosted.”
All right, and that’s the question we’re addressing today about being ghosted. There’s a process you need to learn, but if you learn that process it simplifies things. I think I mentioned the other week, we’re chatting with one of our Black Belt members in our morning momentum call and we do wins and lessons and the guy said, “Oh, yeah, I got another paid proposal yesterday.”
And I sort od pulled him up. His name’s Jason and I said, “You don’t seem overly enthusiastic, but…” Enthusiastic is what I said. I didn’t struggle like I did then. I was able to get it out fairly effortlessly.
And I said you don’t seem overly enthusiastic about that and he sort of thought about and said, “Oh, yeah, now I am, but it was easy.” He said and those were his words and I said can we use that in our promotions to oppose these people who think it’s hard because once he learned the process and implemented it, it was easy and the customer loves it.
So why wouldn’t you do it? Another example for builders is that most builders think that the building, the extension, the renovation, the new home, the whatever is the product. It’s not the bloody product. It’s the commodity. Your product is how you make your prospects and clients feel. That’s your product.
You can be the best builder on the planet and I’m sure that somebody here listening, I’m sure many of you are great builders. You build quality stuff. You even in your heart, you want the best for your client but the processes and focuses that you have don’t make that happen the way it should.
And there are plenty of builders who do great stuff. They build quality. They sweat bullets for their client yet their client still isn’t happy. There’s still friction. There’s still argument and the builder goes, “Well, what an ass? He didn’t appreciate all of the effort and our quality and everything that we put into this project. What a prick?”
That happens because the focus is on the building and I’m not saying that you take the focus off the quality. I’m not saying that remotely. I’m saying you need to change your focus and your priority and do the opposite of what most builders do and understand that your product is how you make your clients and your prospects feel.
And there are so many benefits to the building business and obviously the client when the builder makes that shift and prioritizes the focus on things that make their customers feel great.
I mean that at the end of the day I have to hand over and I say this all of the time. People don’t remember. They don’t focus on the quality of the build, how great the mitres are and how straight the plum and things are. They don’t focus on that.
When somebody comes down to their house two years after handover, and they say what we’re thinking of building, what was your builder like? They don’t go, “Man, like the mitres are… Come and have a look at the mitres.” They say how they made them feel.
They say he was a great builder because he did this and he did that. And all of the things that made them feel good or bad. They’ll will say maybe he did a great job of building but he didn’t turn up and didn’t do this and blah, blah, blah and I will talk about the things that made them feel either good or bad.
So if your product, if you understand that your product is how you make your clients feel or your prospects feel, and I purposely said prospects and clients separately because through the quality client pathway bit you’ve got to have a focus on how you are making them feel by understanding their fears, frustrations, wants, and aspirations.
That’s the thing that causes them to feel like they can trust you and move from being a prospect to becoming a client. And then when they become a client, you can’t drop the ball then either you’ve got to go absolutely gangbusters in over-communication, under promising, over delivering and blowing them away with other things that are just so memorable that they cannot forget them at any stage in the future and whenever they’re asked what was building like, all they’ll do is rave about you. But they don’t give us stuff about your miters, about the quality. They expect it, they want it, but it’s not something that they’ll remember.
So do the opposite of what most builders are doing. So I hope that made sense. Now, if any of that stuff resonated with you, if you want to do any of that stuff, implement it into your business, we’d love to talk to you. There’s a link in the comment section, ends in BBB-go just click that link and organize a chat with us.
We will jump on and have a real quick chat with you, find out where you are, where you want to go, what’s in the way and see if we can find a pathway that’s going to suit you. What we do doesn’t suit everybody, but there’s no cost and no harm in having a chat to see whether what we do is gonna help you or not.
So hit that link and jump on a call as soon as possible and don’t fall into the trap. And I said this last week of thinking it’s coming up to Christmas, I can’t think about that, you know? A big mistake guy, that’s just a big mistake.
You’re coming into a place where having a process that allows you to get more done in a day is gonna be really valuable and it’s quite quick and simple to learn, so I’d have a conversation about that if you’re getting busier and busier and not to mention you will be taking some time off and the worst mistake you can make and most people do it, and this is the thing of what we’re talking about today, don’t do what everybody does.
And that is, “Oh, I’m starved, I don’t want to think about anything. I’m just gonna take a couple of weeks off and do nothing.” Error, massive, massive error because it’s gonna continue. It’s gonna keep going. In fact, if you’re not improving you are going backwards.
So what I would suggest to you is jump on a call so if it all works out and we can give you some resources that you can start to wrap your brain around when you’re out of your normal routine, over any sort of holiday that you might be having, it’s absolutely the perfect, the most opportune time to start to make some changes in your thinking and your process of your business.
Not when you’re doing it. Sometimes you need to do that, but the best time is when you’re not doing it. When you’re on holidays, in a different environment, in a different routine, don’t let that opportunity slip through your fingers, jump on a call, the links in the chat.
Q & A
The Q and A!
We get asked this a little bit and people just get off with it and I can understand why is… You’ve done your quote, generally, it’s a free quote And you reach out what’s going on and all that sort of stuff and they just ghost you. They don’t return your calls. They don’t return your messages, emails, and all that sort of stuff.
It’s a pain in the butt and there’s not… There’s nothing you can do about it all the time but there are some things that you can do that is going to reduce this from happening. Number one, have you been paid to do the proposal is one really good way to eliminate this?
So if you go through… If you learn the quality client pathway, so you too can charge for your quotes, if it doesn’t happen. And one of our Black Belt members this happened just last week He got paid for the whole proposal and all that sort of stuff and then the people decided to do something else or just didn’t get back to him or what have you proof that we don’t have an answer to completely eliminate this but at least we can prevent it from happening all of the time or reduce how often it happens.
But he got paid for his time and his effort and he’s intellectual property and knowledge and so forth. And it didn’t go ahead and when we unpacked it, it was good that it didn’t go ahead. It ended up as it should have but he wasn’t out of pocket because he got paid to do it.
So that’s the first thing I would say is be paid to do the proposals. If they don’t do anything after that, well, at least you haven’t donated a few $1,000 to their course for nothing. You’ve got to establish the relationship dynamic also and the whole paid proposal on the quality client pathway that we teach establishes the relationship dynamic.
And it doesn’t… It eliminates this whole mindset that many prospects have that they can just ask you to do all sorts of things for nothing and then now they’ll get back to you or they won’t or basically they’re treating you like a peasant, like a plebe.
But if you’d use the quality client pathway then you don’t get treated that way because they are prepared to invest in your time and your intellectual property and knowledge and so forth.
Never present the proposal, never posted it out or whatever send it to them, email it to them, always the best way to do this is face-to-face and I would suggest you always do this. If it’s a smaller thing, maybe you could do it on Zoom but if it’s a big extension renovation or a full home build you would always do this face to face.
And there’s a whole choreography. It’s choreographed process on presenting the proposal, but you do it face to face. That’s number one priority. If that’s not doable, go for Zoom.
If Zoom isn’t doable for whatever reason and I can’t think of a reason why you couldn’t do it on Zoom, go for the phone and then text an email is last, but it seems to be the first choice for most builders and no wonder people don’t get back to you like shit gets lost in email and texts and texts and all that sort of stuff because you don’t have that immediacy of that face-to-face and the commitment of the conversation.
Yeah, I’ll get back to them and then something happens and then I lose momentum and lose focus and get distracted.
So you’re asking for if you’re giving them the proposal and then only following up by email or text you’re asking to be ghosted. And the last tip on this is always have the next step scheduled at the last interaction.
Okay, so if you’ve had a meeting and you’re gonna go away and do the proposal, schedule in the presentation date face-to-face or Zoom, however you’re going to do it before you leave that one. Always have the next thing scheduled, do not do what most traders do and builders do. I’ll give you a call when it’s finished or give us a call when you’ve I’ve read through it and all of that sort of…
All of that shit is asking to be ghosted. You’ve got to take control. You’ve got to build that relationship dynamic, established it at the start and make sure that the next step is scheduled and like the dentist or your lawyer or anybody like that.
Be professional, don’t say I’ll call you next week or anything like that. Lock it in time, date, reminders, just checking in to make sure we’re still good for that date, more or less sort of thing and don’t waste your time.
So I was about to say I apologize for getting fired up about that but I don’t because it shit me and a lot of it can be fixed by you and by your approach. So I hope that made sense.
I hope you change your ways if that’s what you’ve been doing. Just a quick reminder if you’re watching this live, if you haven’t already put in hashtag live, if you’re watching the replay put in hashtag replay.
Idea Of The Week
Time to have a look at our floating light bulb. To give us a reason to show you the light bulb we have a thing called the idea of the week. And the idea of the week this week is the thing called the instant assessment and it’s…
If you read the profit first book, it’s just a sheet. It’s just a print out if you like a PDF. But when I read it, I thought, Mike, I think that can be turned into a spreadsheet because there are things that need to change. The percentage targets need to change based on what your real revenue is.
And so I created a very simple spreadsheet from Mike’s PDF and I was talking to Mike some years ago about it and he said, “That’s a fine idea. Why didn’t I think of that? Can you send that to me?” So I sent Mike the spreadsheet for the profit for a system, and he thought that was a great idea.
Now, the instant assessment is a fantastic tool to understand what your profit first targets are but also it’s a great tool to do some scenarios and so you could go, “Well, what if I increase my prices by that, what would be the impact?” Or, “What if I was able to reduce my expenses by this, what would be the impact?” And you can see the impact and it’s very, very motivational.
So not only can you use it for the real time, what are my current figures and what needs to be changed and what are the targets for profit and tax and expenses and so on and so forth. You can also use it for scenarios, so I encourage you to get a copy of this. Now, if you want a copy of it, I’m more than happy to send it to you.
It’s just a shape and what you can do is just put it in the comments either in Facebook or in YouTube and just say instant assessment and we’ll find you and get you a copy or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Ask for a copy of it, I’ll shoot it out to you.
Happy day as you’ll have that and you can start to use that to manage and measure your financial situation. Again, something that most people don’t do and it fits with the theme of today’s podcast is don’t do what everybody else does, do the opposite.
Takeaway & Jump On A Call
So most people don’t reach out for help, so do the opposite of that and book a call. Have a conversation with us just so as I said before we can find out where you want to go, where you are now, what’s in the way and we can see if we can help.
I’m not saying we can, we’re not for everybody. We don’t suit everybody. Our processes don’t suit everybody but it might suit you, we don’t know. So let’s have the conversation and find out if we can help, if we can, we can sort of show you what the options are.
If we can’t no harm, no foul, and as I said and got a bit uppity about it earlier in the show, don’t make the mistake of thinking I’m too busy with the lead up to Christmas and all that sort of stuff. There isn’t a better time.
The busier you are and the more pressure you’re under that’s the absolute best time to jump into this and start to look at what things you can do because it can help immediately.
And as I said, you’ve got holidays coming up over the Christmas, at least a few days a week or what have you. Best time, absolute best time. Primo time to be thinking about implementing some of this stuff because it will save you time, it will save you money. It will reduce stress, all of the good things.
It’ll prove all the good things. It’ll reduce all the bad things as you start to implement it as you come back after that holiday break. So please jump on a call and we’ll schedule a call. You can do it by clicking the link where it says BBB-call in the comments or on YouTube it’s in the description.
Or if you’re listening to the audio only version on Spotify or Apple Podcasts or wherever, all you need to do is navigate to buildersbusinessblackbelt.com.au and there’ll be a schedule a call button right smack bang in the middle of the screen and you’ll be able to press that and follow the prompts. Too easy we’ll be talking before you know it. We’d love to help. Hope this has been useful. I hope it’s stimulated your thoughts.
I hope it has got you start to thinking about, I need to look around and see what everybody else is doing in the areas that I want to be successful and I’ll need to stop doing that and maybe I need to do the opposite.
And if you want some guidance as to what that might look like, how you might not do what everybody else is doing we’re here to help enough. I’ve just given you the directions as to how we can have a conversation and help you with that.
So that is it for this episode of Builders Business Success Podcast, episode 72. Only another 28 before we were up to 100. That’s only 28 weeks away, it’ll go like that. It’ll be Christmas next year before you know it. That’s how fast time seems to be flying. Have a great day. I hope this was worthwhile.
We’ll be talking to you again with another episode, episode 73 next week, 10:00 AM. Currently on Facebook and on YouTube, I love to see you there, I love to talk to you. I’m Mick Hawes from Builders Business Blackbelt. That is it for this episode. Bye for now.