EPISODE 76 – The 4 Pillars of a Successful Building Business
EPISODE 76 – The 4 Pillars of a Successful Building Business |
Hey folks and welcome to another episode of Builders Business Success Podcast!
So this is our first experiment. We’re going live into the Builders Business Success Forum. So that’s the free Facebook group for this episode.
So Builders Business Success Forum is the Facebook group. If you haven’t ever participated, watched, listened to this podcast before the Builders Business Success Podcast is all about addressing the common and often costly problems that pretty much every builder experiences.
And looking at possible, probable or proven solutions to be able to fix them because I am a man on a mission.
And my mission is to significantly impact the building industry as a whole, because there’s a whole bunch of common practices that are just fundamentally flawed. They are broken, they cause unnecessary pain and I would like to contribute to eliminating that unnecessary pain.
So the good thing folks is that the big majority of the problems, even the ones that you think right now while I’m saying this it’s, “There’s nothing I can do about it.”
There is something you can do about it. The majority of pain, the majority of problems, frustration, stress, overwhelm that builders, people running building businesses experience, can be fixed by themselves.
By you, you can change things. And many of those, much of those problems will just disappear. So as I said, but this is the first time we’re going live into the Builders Business Success Forum.
We will be attempting, so I’m giving myself a slight out where we’re attempting to go live into the Facebook group at 10:00 AM, that’s Sydney time, even though we’re in Hobart because we’re always in the same time zone as Sydney. So I just say Sydney time, every Tuesday morning.
So 10:00 AM, Sydney time every Tuesday morning if you wanna jump into the Facebook group and listen to the podcast live. Because then that gives you the opportunity to ask questions and make comments and all of that sort of stuff and make it a little bit more interactive.
Plus in a little bit more real time we can address what the specific things are that are concerning you, confusing you, frustrating you, making you happy.
We wanna learn about that as well so we can get to learn a little bit about what’s working, what’s not. What are your wins, what are you learning? What are the mistakes so we can all have a good laugh, share our mistakes.
And if you wanna make a comment, we’ve got our very first comment from good old Benny Johnston. He’s a up there in Queensland slaving away but he’s got time to watch us on Facebook. So good on ya Ben, I hope things are going well.
So as Ben has just demonstrated for me, my next point that I’ve got written in front of me here is ask questions and make comments. And what I’d love you to do is if you’re watching this live just put in the, in the comments #Live.
And if you’re watching the replay, if you’re watching this sometime later put in the comments #Replay, just so I can get a bit of an understanding, a bit of an idea of how many people are watching it live, how many people are watching the replay.
Plus if you make comments and ask questions even if you’re watching the replay, we can get back to them and we can point you in the right direction to give you some resources or guidance to overcome any of the issues that you might be challenged by right now.
Now here’s something cool and I’d love you to be on this journey, whether you’re watching it live or watching the replay.
I had, I don’t know if it’s a blinding flash of the obvious but it was a blinding flash of inspiration. And I’ve been, “Gonna, gonna, gonna,” you know, you’re familiar with gonna; to write a second book.
The second book is going to be what we might say from soup to nuts, from end to end what goes on in Blackbelt as far as the building business model, and then going to write a book about that.
And how I thought I would write this particular book so you can join me on the journey and even contribute to the direction of the book, is each one of these live podcasts going into the group is going to be a chapter of the book. It’s going to be focused on the chapter of the book.
So this book will unfold in front of you and then the transcript from these podcasts will be edited and there you have the book. So you’re going to be with us firsthand in creating our second book. You can even give us some suggestions for the title as we go along.
So today I’m just going to outline the Builders Business Blackbelt business model. So it’s gonna be like a 35,000 foot overview of the four major parts of the Builders Business Blackbelt business model.
And a bit of an understanding as to why we have a focus on specific things rather than looking at things in the traditional way.
So hopefully this will be super helpful and give you some inspiration.
Also gonna do a Q&A, we’ve got a question lined up that we get asked all of the time. So I wanna answer that in this episode of the podcast.
And I’ve got another Personal Productivity Hack for you also.
*Transcription of the show”
So I wanna outline the four major parts of the Builders Business Blackbelt business model.
The reason why I wanna outline it is, as I’ve already mentioned, the purpose of Builders Business Blackbelt for me is it’s fundamentally a laboratory.
So we’ve got builders that have been around for a long time that’ve been doing it the standard way. And then we put them in an environment where all we focus on is doing it this new way, doing things differently. And then we get feedback from them.
They share them feedback, they share their wins, they share their lessons. So they progress really, really quickly with change and refinement of how they run their businesses.
And it’s like a laboratory for us because we can get ideas and theories and we can share them with the guys.
The guys can give me their feeling about it, whether they think it would work, whether they think it wouldn’t work, but we go and try these things anyway, we implement them. And guess what folks?
Many of them work. The other side of that coin is many of them don’t. But the things that we talk about in this podcast at least, are the things that we’ve proven to have worked.
Like there’s nothing that we talk about in this podcast that is just my theory, that hasn’t been put out there in the real world by a multiple number of businesses.
Building businesses, different types of building businesses, and we figure out whether it works or not.
And if it doesn’t work, we figure out work arounds or refinements to make them work to overcome the problems.
So there’s nothing on this show that is just theory.
One of the main motivations, as I’ve already said is that the common business model that most builders use, and this is part of the problem, is when you come into the building industry you look around and see what other builders, what other seemingly, and if you’re just listening to the audio version of this podcast, I’m doing air quotes right now.
The common building business model, new builders come into the building industry and they look around and look at the seemingly successful builders that’ve got the nice car and all of that sort of stuff. And they look successful from the outside but the majority of them are a house of cards, they could fall over at any moment.
The internal workings of that building business model are fundamentally flawed and they don’t give the building business owner what they started their own building business for. They don’t give them the time freedom that they’d like.
They don’t give them the financial freedom they’d like and they certainly don’t give them the meaning that they’re after, the enjoyment, the passion.
And so that’s the reason that we do what we do to help you get all of those three things back. And so I wanna break our business model down into four parts. And the four parts are Attract, Qualify, Deliver Plus and Scale.
And I wanna just briefly unpack all four of those so you can understand what we’re going to be talking about in detail in future podcast episodes.
So the first one, we call it attract and it replaces marketing. In fact in Builders Business Blackbelt we endeavor not to even use the word marketing.
We do slip from time to time, but we endeavor to talk about attract because marketing, if I were to ask 10 builders, what do you do for marketing? All 10 builders will tell me what they do for advertising.
And advertising is only a very small part of marketing. Whereas if we change the word, the overall descriptive word to attract, what do you do to attract?
That changes the focus. And what we talk about all of the time are these three questions. Please tell me, get very, very clear on the types of projects you want to attract.
Please tell me and get very, very clear on the type of people that you want to attract. The people that you wanna work with, that you wanna allow into your business as clients.
And then the third and most important question, and this is where the power comes from by changing the word from marketing to attract is this question here, is after I know what type of projects and what type of people that I want to attract, I’ve got to ask myself the question, am I attractive? It’s not an ego-based question.
Am I attractive to people that I wanna attract with the type of projects that I wanna attract? You’ve gotta continually be asking yourself and your team, are we attractive to those types of people?
Then when you start to understand the answer to that question, are we attractive, has multiple parts.
So is our messaging, so that’s the normal advertising stuff, is our messaging attractive to the people that we’re trying to attract? But then are our processes, how we answer the phone the very first time that we get a contact from a prospect, is that attractive to the type of people that we’re trying to attract?
Then is the next conversation and the meetings and the procedures and the systems and the communication and the energy and the vibe, our ability to understand from their perspective, are all of those things attractive to the type of people that we wanna attract?
How we handover, is that attractive to the type of people we wanna attract?
So they remember that for years and years and years to come and when their friends come around and visit and say, “What was it like, the building? What was your builder like?” They won’t walk around and say, come and have a look at these miter joints and the quality of workmanship.
They never talk about that stuff. All they ever talk about was how the builder made them feel. So is your handover, is that attractive to the type of people that you want to attract, you want to bring into you business?
After that, in fact a really great friend of mine, Ian Bosler, he runs a business called Intertype in Victoria.
Amazing guy, if you need any printing done then go and see Ian Bosler at Intertype. And he’s just a marketing genius also, there I’ve use that word.
But he once told me, he said that the selling begins after handover, for a builder the selling begins after handover. And that was so powerful. It’s like, so once we’ve handed over, what do you do to remain attractive and have your past client on your attract strategy team? Going around remarking upon your business and the experience they had and how you made them feel. So number one, instead of talking about marketing we talk about attract, and are we attractive? And what do we do to become attractive and more attractive and more attractive and improve that over time?
The second part of our four-part is Qualify. And this replaces sales very early on in the piece. We were trying to teach builders some sales processes and it was really like trying to push string. It was very, very difficult.
Most builders are really, really bad at sales and hate it anyway.
And what we found was by flipping the script and starting to talk to our builders about instead of selling, what you need to do is shift your mindset to become the prize.
And instead of selling and you being the talent and juggling and bringing your dog and pony show so you are hopefully chosen by your prospect, you flip the script and you become the prize and you become the judge.
They become the talent and you are now qualifying them to decide whether you wanna open the door to your business and allow them in.
So they get the prize, which is you, or you refer them on and you show them the door rather than opening the door to your business. And it is amazing, when you flip that mindset and you become the judge, they become the talent. Particularly if you’ve done this first bit correctly, remember we talked about attract.
If you are incredibly attractive and they want you to manage their project because of the value that you’ve given them through understanding and your communication and just the ability to build rapport and trust and connection with them. I think I might’ve said connection twice, but it’s important so we’ll say it twice.
If you’ve done that job well, then you move into the qualification process where you’re going, “Just cool your jets, I need you to just show me your form and jump over these hurdles here. And if you jump over these hurdles we will open the door and we will help you. We will work together as a team. We will have a fantastic experience.
You’ll get incredible value for your investment.
And it will be something that you will remark upon for forever. That needs to be the experience. And that happens when you switch from selling to qualifying, but you have to become the prize first, you have to be attractive.
And that’s why all of our Builders Business Blackbelt members get paid for their proposal. Because they build that trust, they build that rapport they build that connection.
They’re incredible at understanding the fears, frustrations and wants and aspirations of their prospects so their prospects want to become a client.
But one of the hurdles to becoming a client is you need to invest in a professionally prepared proposal. Is this sounding good? Oh, I just noticed that Matt Old has left a comment and given me the, are they shakas or whatever you call them?
There, you can see that I’m hip and I’m cool and I know all that shit. G’day Matt, be talking to you in 20, in 30, 43 minutes? Be talking to you in 43 minutes. In Blackbelt, we have a momentum call with our members every single day. Like how bizarre is that?
Our members show up every single day for an hour out of their day because they know that their personal and professional development is the most important part of building their business. Matt’s one of them, he’ll be there.
So that’s the second part, attract then qualify, that replaces sales. The third thing is what we call Deliver Plus. It’s two parts, the first part is deliver, the second part is plus, amazing.
So what do I mean by deliver? This replaces the build, right? I know you know what you’re doing when you’re building a house, I know that. But there is something that I find is missing with most builders, and that is they don’t deliver. Well what is it that I’m talking about that they don’t deliver?
They don’t deliver on the basic expectations. I cannot tell you how many times when we’ve had these momentum calls and conversations with our Blackbelt members, that they said, I was awarded the job.
We got this project, the people were over the moon and they told me that the reason that they were so happy that we’d taken them on is because we were the only builder that turned up when we said we would. And I just think that is so sad, that the industry is so poor at delivering on basic expectations.
Like if someone says, they’re gonna show up at two o’clock wouldn’t, you expect them to?
Or wouldn’t you expect them to phone up if they are gonna be late and let you know ahead of time? The deliver part is just the basic part. We need to find out what our prospects and what our clients’ expectations are and we need to bloody deliver on it. It’s that simple.
It’s not rocket science, but to be able to deliver on their expectations, you need to know what they are. What that means, you need to listen. You don’t talk, you listen and find out what their expectations are.
But the awesome sauce, the magic pill part of this that really makes the big difference for your clients’ experience is the plus bit on deliver plus. Deliver is just delivering on their expectations. You’ll find that just by doing that, people will be ecstatic.
But you can take them over the top by this little bit of plus. And that is becoming a detective, becoming a super sleuth, finding out what their interests are, what their passions are, what their concerns are. In their life, not just about this project.
And doing little things that show that you listen and you care. Like some of our guys have just done simple things like invited the client to the job. In fact, they got the client picked up in a hired car, got them picked up, bought them to the site. And the site was just the slab, there was no walls.
There was no framing, nothing. Just the other day one of our members did this. The customer came and helped chalk out just the chalk line.
Chalked out where all the walls were going to go. And then they put a table in the dining room, on the slab and they sat around and they catered for it. And the guys were there and the customers were there in the dining room having a good old time for an hour or so.
The customers couldn’t stop talking about it. That’s the plus folk. That’s the magic part, that’s the awesome sauce is when you give them experiences like that, that they can’t help but talk about.
So please don’t think that you’re doing a great job just by delivering on your client’s expectations, we’ve got to exceed them.
And how we do that is not talking about how much we care but shutting up about it and showing them how much you care. And there’s a ton of really simple, super cheap ways to do this. And it becomes a lot of fun and your customers become fans and they go out telling people about how amazing you are.
And then that sort of goes right back round to that attract process again. So even the deliver plus part, and I didn’t mention that the qualifier part, that that contributes to the effectiveness of your attract strategy.
The deliver plus part definitely contributes to the effectiveness of your attract strategy. The fourth thing is Scale. Not gonna talk a whole lot about that right now but the meaning of scale kind of isn’t how most people take it.
In fact when I talk to many builders about scaling their business they freak out because maybe they’ve had a bunch of staff before and it all turned to custard. And now they’ve gone back down just to themselves and an apprentice or whatever. But many builders are afraid to scale because what they think scale means is simply growth.
And I understand why they’re fearful of it is because if you try to grow a fundamentally flawed model that the shit fight’s just gonna get bigger, the problems are gonna multiply.
So of course you wouldn’t wanna do that. But what scaling is to us is identifying something that we wanna improve in the business. Let’s say it’s the financial performance.
And we know that it’s gonna take extra work, extra time, extra effort. We’ve gotta step outside our comfort zone to get that next click or couple of clicks up in the financial performance of the business.
So we’re adding to our daily action list, our list of things to do. We know we’ve gotta work some extra time, some extra effort to make that happen.
But once that happens, you shift your focus to how can I maintain that new outcome with little to no reliance on me? I can take things off my to-do list. I can get rid of them, I can automate them.
I can outsource them, I can delegate them so they come off my list of things to do every day. So you end up with a ratchet system and folks, this works.
You decide what the thing is that you wanna improve and you put the effort in, and that goes up. But your effort goes up, your required effort goes up.
But then once you hit it, and this is the important bit, this is why you’ve gotta select the outcome with specificity.
Otherwise you just keep doing this, and you’ll improve your outcomes and your performances but your efforts going up with it all the time. And at some stage, you’re gonna run out of effort. You’ll explode or implode.
And if you’re required to maintain these outcomes and your effort goes, pfft, I can’t do it anymore. And you go pfft. Guess what happens to the outcomes, they come down.
But if you go, I wanna get this to here and I know it’s gonna take me that amount of effort. So you do it, and you go, ah, like up to here.
Then once you’ve reached that, it’s essential, this is the ratchet scaling system, that you then focus on what I need to do to get my requirement for this back down here again.
And then you pick something new and you go, ah, and then you go, what do I need to do to get my requirement back down to zero? And so can you see this ratchet system? And it absolutely works.
So you can scale your business without it getting out of control, and without it eating you up and stealing your life away which is what happens to most builders. So I hope that all makes sense.
So we’ve got Attract, we’ve got Qualify, we’ve got Deliver Plus, we’ve got Scale. These are the topics that we’re going to unpack in future podcast episodes, going live into the Builders Business Success Forum.
So if you wanna be part of that you just need to be in the Builders Business Success Forum and you can jump in and ask questions and make comments and join in on the journey.
So I hope all of that makes sense. I hope it’s got you a bit inspired, a bit curious to start to pay a bit more attention to this stuff.
Q & A
So we’re gonna have to do a Q&A right now.
So a question that we get asked all the time, “How do we compete with volume builders?” And it really frustrates the small independent builder. How do we compete with these volume builders?
Let me first answer this by unpacking the meaning of compete. So I want to change your mindset about this question to start with.
The meaning of compete actually means to conspire together. So competing is what we do in Builders Business Blackbelt. All of the builders in the group help each other.
They share their mistakes, they share their wins. They share their processes that they’ve proven to work to speed up the progress of improvement for every other member.
That’s called competing. We are conspiring together to help each other. I think what most people mean when they use the word compete is oppose, the opposition.
So the volume builder is the opposition. We’re not competing with them, we’re not conspiring to succeed together with them. We’re opposing them. And I would say to you, don’t.
Like the simple answer to this question is don’t oppose them.
Don’t try and get into the price war with them.
The secret to this, and we kinda touched on it with what I was talking about before with the qualify process and the deliver plus process is offer something that volume builders simply can’t deliver.
And that is a quality, intimate customer experience. Because you’re small and maneuverable, you can do that. The volume builders can’t, they are full of staff who really don’t give a toss.
Many of them are just there for the paycheck.
Maybe there’s some volume builders listening to this or staff listening to this that are pissed off right now.
Sorry, that’s just the way I see it. But if you’re a small agile builder you can do all of these thing
.And I say, you can, because right at the start I said I’m not gonna tell you anything that hasn’t been proven. And our Builders Business Blackbelt members are small and nimble and agile and can change fast.
And they can implement these things and they can deliver a quality, intimate customer experience far, far more valuable than the experience that any customer gets with a volume builder.
There’ll be plenty of people around that say the volume builder was good.
There’s a difference between good and remarkable. They’ll never become remarkable, but you can. And therefore you don’t join them in the price war, you don’t try and compete.
And I know I’m using the word inappropriately after my last explanation of the word compete. But don’t get into price war competition.
So I hope that answers that question. If you wanna ask some more questions about it you know where to find us.
Personal Productivity Hack
Personal Productivity Hack time. I’m trying to get through this real fast because I’m noticing I’m over time already.
We’re trying to keep this to 30 minute.
But I don’t do very good with that, it’s one of my, Achilles heel, is keeping things to time because I wanna share so much with you.
Personal Productivity Hack is this, that how do I get more done in less time? What’s the best time management tip?
I get asked all of the time, and here it is. It is your language, and I’m pointing to my head because there’s language up here, your thoughts.
The words that you use to speak to other people and the words you use to speak to yourself. I’ve always said, change your words, and it will change your life. I’ll guarantee you this, that if you stop saying, “I don’t have time, I didn’t get a chance.”
If you change that language which puts you out of control because you’re blaming this thing out there called time. It’s got nothing to do with time. It’s got everything to do with the choice you just made.
So if you start to take back control with your language and instead of saying, “I didn’t have time,” say “I chose not to do this and I chose to do that.” I mean, you’ve gotta pick your battles if you’re gonna start to speak like that.
Imagine saying to a client or a family member, “Well I chose not to come home and have dinner with you because I chose to do this.” ‘Cause that’s the truth folks.
We’re not making it up, that’s the truth. But we protect ourselves by saying, “I’m sorry, I wanted to be there but I couldn’t be there because …” What a load of horse shit.
Let’s start to take some responsibility, start to tell the truth, at least to yourself in the beginning and saying, “I’m choosing not to do that. And I’m choosing to do this.”
Everything is a choice. And if you don’t believe me, throw some comments at me, throw some scenarios at me that you believe aren’t a choice.
There are a couple, death I guess. You can prolong it through some better choices. You can put it off through some better choices but it’s gonna come.
But I don’t know that there’s much more than that. So throw some at me, but just start saying I choose to do this and I choose not to do that.
Get rid of the language that says I have to do this and I couldn’t do this, and I didn’t have time. And I didn’t get a chance and all of that.
So get rid of that stuff and tell me what happens.
That’s your Personal Productivity Hack. It works folks.
Takeaway & Jump On A Call
So what’s the takeaway?
The takeaway from this is, I think is best summed up by Zig Ziglar, who’s no longer with us.
And he says, “If you gonna keep on doing what you’ve been doing, you’re gonna keep on getting what you’ve been getting.” And the current model is flawed.
And if you keep using the current business model the same as all businesses, all builders do, many builders do, most builders do, nothing’s gonna change. If you’re gonna keep on doing what you’ve been doing you’re gonna keep on getting what you’ve been getting.
So we need to do different. We need to think different. We need to believe different and we’ll get different outcomes.
There is a better way and it’s proven. In Blackbelt we’re proving it all of the time.
And so I’m not gonna share anything with you that doesn’t work when it’s implemented. And you might try it and it doesn’t work for you, maybe you’re just not doing it right.
Maybe you need to ask us some questions so we can help you do it right, and that’s what we’re here for is just to help you to do it right.
So that is my takeaway. If this has all made sense to you but it’s brought up some questions and you need to ask some questions, you want some guidance.
You wanna be pointed in the right direction, we’re here to talk to you. All you need to do is jump on the phone or schedule a call.
There’s a button underneath the video, if you’re watching this in the replay. What I will do is I’ll put a link in the comment section underneath this video after we get off the air, after we’re not live anymore. I’ll put a link in the comment section that will take you to a form, fill it out.
That tells us a little bit about you, about your business, about where you wanna go, about what’s in you way. And then once you’ve submitted that you can book a call.
It’ll take you to a calendar where you can book a call, we can jump on a call. You don’t need to worry about your credit card.
There’s nothing to buy, we’re not selling you anything. We just wanna help and point you in the right direction.
It’s a 17 minute call so we can point you in the right direction. Get you going further and faster with the right resources. And basically there’s no harm, no foul.
If we can’t help we’ll let you know straight away. So is it worth the investment of seven to 10 minutes to find out whether we can point you in the right direction or not? I think so.
So all you need to do is click the link in the comments.
When we get off air I’ll put it in there. If you’re watching the replay it’ll already be there. If you’re watching this on the blog, there’s a button underneath the video.
If you’re just listening to it on Spotify or iTunes or what have you, all you need to do is navigate to buildersbusinessblackbelt.com.au and right there in of your face there’s a bunch of Schedule A Call buttons. Hit them, goes through that same process. So hope that’s helpful.
I’m super pumped, really excited to see how these lives go to see if we can get a bit more interaction as well, ask questions and so forth.
So again, if you’re watching this live I wanted you to put a #Live in the comments. If you’re watching it as a replay, put in the comments #Replay and ask any if your questions, make any comments, start an argument if you want to.
That’s cool, I’m always up for a good argument. And we’ll be seeing you again next week, 10:00 AM, Sydney time, in Builders Business Success Forum for our second and a little bit more organized and professionally put together episode of Builders Business Success Podcast.
So super excited, I hope this is helpful.
I’m Mick Hawes, Builders Business Blackbelt. That is all, bye for now.