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Commercial and Industrial Painter Safety Practices Everyone Should Keep In Mind

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Mon, Aug 14,2017 @ 05:00 AM

Commercial and Industrial Painter Safety Practices Everyone Should Keep In Mind


Painting is a great way to enhance the beauty of a home or office but it can also be a job that can result in some serious chemical contamination if you aren’t careful. Do yourself a favor and act to protect yourself while painting on a professional basis. As an industrial or commercial painter, you’ll want to follow the following steps to limit your exposure to unhealthy substances while doing your job.

Protect Your Skin

It’s bad for you to get paints, solvents and sanded materials on your hands when working as a painter, but you’ll be handling the substances daily. That’s why it’s important to get some long-sleeve shirts, some pants, closed sneakers and strong nitrile gloves (can be found online at websites like to protect yourself while working. Ensure that waterproof protective equipment is worn and that you are fully protected against all the risks that you’ll face while painting.

Dust MaskKeep Particles out of Your Lungs

Use a high-quality dust mask when you’re sanding or painting with strong substances. The mask will keep particles out of your lungs and help you stay in good health over time. It’s important to realize that even the best masks will miss some of the smallest particles, so keep the area ventilated as well when doing something like sanding down walls and other surfaces before painting the area.  Rather than a dust mask, a respirator may be required depending on the materials you are disturbing. 

Ensure Excellent Ventilation

When working with solvents and most paints, be careful to work in well-ventilated environments. This will reduce the risk of working with these materials and the health hazards that they cause. Open windows and doors and rely on fans or other devices to keep fresh air flowing through the space. This helps remove any harmful odors and chemicals in the air, keeping the space nice and clean.

Safety Glasses on floor-WR.jpgProtect Your Eyes

While painting there is always a risk of hurting your eyes, especially when painting up above the head. That’s why it is so important to invest in safety goggles to protect your eyes. Get a good pair of goggles or glasses to cover your eyes, or rely on a face mask to keep particles out. This will keep your eyes in good shape and you’ll thank the protective gear the first time that paint splatters or drips over top of your eyes.

Safety Doesn't Happen By Accident:

Follow the above steps and you shouldn’t have too many problems with your health while working as a painter. Always follow OSHA requirements should they apply to the work being done.  Just be careful that you don’t skip any of the safety precautions, or you’ll risk letting paint, solvents and other substances through all your protective measures.


Other related articles you might find helpful:

OSHA Compliance Checklist: Will You Be Ready If OSHA Visits You?

RRP Conundrum: To Test or Not to Test for Lead Paint.


Tom Masters


Guest Blogger:  Tom Masters has been working in the construction industry since he was a child. Lately he prefers the business end and writing about the trade. He is currently working with Contractors Today

Topics: Contractor Training, Guest Blogs, Paints and Painting, Tools and Supplies, Safety

Only For Contractors Who Want to Use Marketing to Help Them Make Tons of Money

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Sun, Jan 29,2017 @ 05:00 AM

Only For Contractors Who Want to Use Marketing to Help Them Make Tons of Money

JLC LIVE 2017In March I will be presenting two seminars for contractors at the JLC LIVE trade show in Providence RI.  Both seminars will be marketing related and although they certainly will have value individually, the two are very complimentary towards creating an effective web site for your business.  Additionally, both are offered on the same day making it easy and cost effective to improve your marketing knowledge all on the same day.  Below I share the seminar descriptions as well as why I am offering these topics.  If you want to get better qualified leads for profitable projects, from your ideal customers, I invite you to join me.  Better yet, think of it this way.  If you are not there you better hope your completion isn’t either!

Both seminars will be held on Thursday March 23, 2017 at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence, RI.


JLC Show seminars by Shawn MccaddenSeminar #1: 7:30-9:00 AM

The first seminar, titled “Web Site Bootcamp for Beginners” will be an overview of how to get started and what to include if you are planning your first web site.  I put this session together because I see way too many contractors get sucked into paying for worthless web sites that might look good, but don’t do a dam thing towards causing qualified leads or profitable sales.  It will also be very helpful if you are not happy with your current web site and or are trying to figure out why it doesn’t help create lots of business. At this JLC seminar I will also share what I consider to be the “secret weapon page” you should have on your web site.


Seminar #2: 1:30-4:40 PM

Mccadden Seminars at JLC LIVE 2017The second seminar is actually a 3 hr. workshop with plenty of time built in for questions and interaction.  The workshop is titled “Choosing and Targeting the Right Customers and Project Types for Your Business”.  I put this JLC Marketing Workshop together to help contractors become much more strategic about the marketing they do and how they do it.  If you plan to do any marketing this workshop will help make sure you and anyone else involved has a clear understanding of exactly what you are trying to solve and or accomplish with your marketing.  That way you can make sure your employees and or marketing provider you work with can be held accountable to the purpose of the marketing they help you with, not just pay them for doing it even if it doesn’t work.  I’m even including a sample marketing plan in the handout so we can review and discuss it together at the workshop.

Scroll down to see the full description and learning objectives for the two seminars.

I hope I will see you there!


View JLC LIVE 2017 Show dates, location and hours

View the 2017 JLC LIVE Conference schedule

Register for JLC LIVE


McCadden Seminar Descriptions for JLC LIVE 2017

Web Site Boot Camp for Beginners (90 Minutes)

Every remodeling business can benefit from a well done website if it wants good customers to find and buy from it for reasons other than price.   If you have been putting off doing a website for your remodeling business because you have no idea where to start, this boot camp is for you.  Don’t worry if you don’t know what SEO means or you don’t know the difference between HTML and a URL.  This will be a down to earth presentation using language and examples every remodeler will understand. 

Learning objectives: By attending this seminar you will:

  • Identify what you need to know and consider before going forward with your website.
  • Learn to identify what you can and should do yourself and where you will need help
  • See how easy it can be to maintain and add to your web site if you have the right tools
  • Learn how to get the right people to find your website and tell others about it



Choosing and Targeting the Right Customers and Project Types for Your Business (3 Hours.)

Many remodelers and builders have come to realize that their businesses can no longer be all things to all people and that trying to do so makes it almost impossible to differentiate themselves in today’s marketplace. Smart consumers don’t want generic. They want different and they are using the internet to find, research and prequalify which businesses they will work with.

By strategically targeting specific customer types and project types your business can benefit in many ways and increase profitability at the same time. This seminar is designed to help you understand the many factors that you and your business can take into consideration if you want to successfully and profitably target, market to and attract a strategic niche.

Learning objectives: By completing this class you will:

  • Learn several powerful areas to explore and consider when identifying your target customer and niche
  • Learn how earning gross profit can depend on what you sell and how you sell it.
  • Find out how the internet and your website can help the right prospects find you and your business


Topics: Contractor Training, Differentiating your Business, Marketing, Web Site Related, Lead Generation, Marketing Considerations

Now Might Be a Good Time to Remodel How and Why You Do Marketing

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Tue, Jun 16,2015 @ 10:03 AM

Now Might Be a Good Time to Remodel How and Why You Do Marketing

marketing ideas for remodelersOn April 2nd, 2015 I presented a half day marketing workshop titled "Choosing and Targeting the Right Customers and Projects Types for Your Business". The workshop was billed as the keynote session for the Builders Association of the Twin Cities (BATC) annual trade show in Minneapolis.   At the workshop I shared new ways contractors can think about and do their marketing so they can attract their desired customer and job types. It’s what I call strategic marketing.   For those of you who missed the workshop here are some of the key points we discussed at the workshop.


BATC Builders and Remodelers Show information Take advantage of the timing 

The economy and residential construction are both picking up.  At the same time the majority of attendees agreed with me in that we are not yet confident that the pace of the current surge will be sustainable considering the uncertainties businesses and consumers still have about the economy.  With that in mind this is however a good time to take advantage of the surge to concentrate on developing market share in a strategic way.  It’s my opinion that most contractors would benefit from becoming a specialist in what they do and how they do it.  After all specialists typically command higher prices than generalists.  And, true specialists are always in demand, even in down economic times. Now is a good time to specialize, as long as you also work on branding to establish and maintain your position as a specialist in your desired market areas.


Here are some specific tactics contractors can consider and use to strategically build market share

Pick your customers, don't let them pick you:

marketing strategies for remodelersStop taking just any customers and jobs.  Be selective about who you will let become your customers.  For example why not only work with people who would say they are "working with" you, not those who would say you are "working for them".   Also, be selective about the project types you go after.   For example why not attract people who want high quality products.  If you sell using one markup across all cost categories the gross profit dollars earned on material intensive projects due to higher price point products is an easier way to meet overhead and net profit goals, both now and in the future, particularly when compared to selling and producing labor intensive projects.

Stop competing, differentiate:

I don't understand why contractors think they have to compete and or be competitive.   For most construction business owners competing means bidding. Home owners who seek bids are typically like auctioneers, except they are looking for the lowest price, not the highest.  And, rather than try to be better than your competition, why not seek to be different from your competition.  Being different attracts attention and consumers who want different also know they have to pay more to get different.  
One key to being different and attracting positive recognition for it is to concentrate on how you do what you do to demonstrate your difference, rather than work on what you do to differentiate.  One example of potential differentiation could include offering true Design/Build as an alternative to the traditional design-bid-redesign and bid again game. Another example would be helping prospects develop project specifications with the agreement that you will come back to present your proposal and solutions, but you will not leave them behind unless they sign your proposal and give you the required deposit.  


Being different comes with pros and cons

If you decide to use these example strategies many prospects will go away.  However, the ones that see value in your differences will become cogs in your new referral generating machine and will pre-sell the value of your differences to their referrals so you won't have to.  I call those types of referrals "layups".


Think of how you do marketing in a new way

marketing for remodelersThe old traditional marketing methods of trying to find prospects who want your services now and interrupting them to get their attention no longer work.  Today consumers are the ones deciding how they will find and qualify their project ideas as well as the contractor they will work with.  Instead use inbound marketing tactics that help consumers find your business.  This should be one of the two primary purposes of your marketing and can be accomplished on your web site using SEO tactics and good content on your site’s pages as well as your blog.  The other primary purpose of your marketing, particularly at your web site, should be to help prospects decide if what you offer and how you do business are right for them.  In other words your marketing should help them prequalify themselves so they either want to contact you or know they shouldn't.


Final Thought- Marketing shouldn't just be limited to creating leads

At the workshop I also shared one more new way to use your marketing; to advance the sales process.  Consumers want to gather information and ideas about their project, but they want to be sure they are getting accurate and useful information.  Savvy contractors are now using the content at their web sites to educate consumers before they call to setup an appointment with a contractor.  This saves both the prospect and the contractor a lot of valuable time.  In addition to offering project and product related information, you can also educate them about how and why you do business the way you do. Sign up to join our mailing list  This can not only speed up the sales process, it can also help clearly differentiate your business and therefore improve the quality of your leads.



Topics: New Business Realities, Contractor Training, Success Strategies, Sales Considerations, Differentiating your Business, Marketing Ideas, Web Site Related, Marketing Considerations, Customer Relations, Business Planning

Three Reasons I’ll Be Attending The Professional Remodeler Leadership Tour

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Mon, Jun 01,2015 @ 12:35 PM

Three Reasons I’ll Be Attending The Professional Remodeler Leadership Tour

Eastern MA NARI MeetingMy Local NARI Chapter, Eastern MA NARI, will be hosting Professional Remodeler Magazine’s Leadership Tour this Wednesday night in Natick MA at the VERVE Crowne Plaza Hotel.   Always a good event with great food, this year’s tour is under the new leadership of Sal Alfano, the magazine’s new Editorial Director. Below are the three reasons I’ll be going again this year. I hope you will join me Wednesday night.




Reason #1: Great food, door prizes and networking all at a great price

Attending the event is only $15. There will be some great door prizes and the food alone will be worth the price to register. However the networking might be the biggest value. This event attracts remodeling industry leaders from the area. It’s a great opportunity to hang out and chat with other remodeling industry professionals including contractors, trade partners and vendors. By networking with other attendees you can find the information and resources your business needs to stay ahead as a leader in the marketplace. Depending on who you are, you can find other people and business to buy from or sell to.   I find it is a great way for me to spend time with my current clients and get introduced to their referrals.


Reason #2: Great Education

In addition to vendor displays, where you can see new products and speak with the manufacturers, the event this year will include two speakers and timely topics.  

David Mayer, Director of Marketing for Houzz will share how new tools, like Houzz, have changed the way homeowners find and choose professionals and vendors, and how you can use Houzz more effectively to market and build your business. I for one am curious on how Houzz defines a “professional” and how they keep non-professionals off their site.

Mark Richardson, well know industry speaker will present "Creating a World Class Team" Covering such topics as: People are your greatest assets; Culture eats strategy for lunch; Know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em; Become a magnet for talent; and Great businesses begin with great leaders.


Reason #3: Recognizing Remodeling Industry Leaders.

Sal Alfano


After some food, drinks, education and networking a good friend of mine, Sal Alfano, will be recognizing the local winners of the Professional Remodeler Market Leaders Awards which identifies the top remodelers in the major markets in the nation. Winners are selected through a combination of research by Professional Remodeler staff, publicly available data, and information provided by the remodeling firms.


The event starts at 5:30, or come early for the Kohler Bold Experience Tour!

The main event starts at 5:30, click here to register. Come at 3:30 PM and hop onboard the brand new Kohler truck in the parking lot to see their world-class products, including toilet innovations and performance showers with Choreograph Shower Walls and accessories. While there be sure to enter their drawing to win a free Kohler Moxie Shower Head or Touchless Toilet Kit.



Topics: Remodeler Education, Contractor Training, Trade Associations, Leadership

Thoughts on Choosing a MA CSL Renewal Class and Instructor

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Mon, Mar 02,2015 @ 08:26 AM

Thoughts on Choosing a MA CSL Renewal Class and Instructor

Best MA CSL renewal classesChoosing your MA CSL renewal class simply by price or location may not be a good investment for some MA CSL license holders. Sure, you may get the credits you need, but why not also seek to increase the return on investment of your hard earned money!

Here are a few things to consider before you choose which class you will sign up for.


Different trainers offer different classes and subjects.  

Some trainers offer classes that concentrate on trade skills. Others offer classes that concentrate on building code and or energy code requirements and amendments. On the other hand we have decided to concentrate our classes on helping contractors charge and keep more money by helping them with the way they run their businesses and how they manage construction. One of our 6 hour CSL Classes titled Estimating, Pricing and Producing Successful Construction Projects covers ways contractors can be accurate about pricing their projects, write proposals that help sell work and assemble job packages crews can build from on their own so the owner can concentrate on selling another job.

I find it amazing how many attendees don’t even know what topic will be covered when they get to the class they had signed up for. Before you choose a class to renew a MA CSL first consider the topic being offered. As a business owner you may want to take a business related class but send your licensed production employees to a different class.

Cheap MA CSL renewal classes

Make sure you get the right number and categories of credits you need

Depending on your license type you will need either 6, 10 or 12 credits to renew your MA CSL. Check out this link for a full explanation of how many credits each CSL License type requires.

Although the number of credits needed differs by license type, all three license types require the license holder obtains credits in certain topic areas called categories. The list of required categories is different the first time you renew than subsequent renewals. Make sure the class or classes you take will give you the right credits to renew.   Check out this link for clarification about the required CSL Credit hour categories.


Some trainers have more experience than others

Two things to think about regarding the trainer you choose.

Shawn McCadden CSL classesThe first is whether the class instructor is experienced as a teacher and can effectively help you and or your employees learn the topic at hand. Some trainers have degrees in education and lots of previous experience actually teaching.   Other trainers lack the skills and or experience needed to help you actually understand and then apply what you learn in class in the real world. I suggest you choose a trainer with a proven educational background. If you don’t already have past experience with the trainer and his/her abilities, referrals and or testimonials from past attendees can be a big help when making your selection.

The second important consideration about choosing a trainer is the level of actual practical experience that trainer has had using and or performing the skills being taught.  In my opinion too many trainers have read the book on how to do something and then decided to teach about it. If the instructor lacks practical experience he or she may actually be misleading the attendees. We are seeing a lot of this now that contractors and workers are renewing their RRP certifications at our RRP Refresher classes. Many attendees share they are very disappointed when we tell them the information and guidance they got form a previous instructor was incorrect and has cost them a lot of money and or put them at risk for potential fines.


Renewing your MA CSL takes up a lot of your time.

Cheapest MA CSL Classes

If you have to do it anyway why not maximize the value of your time and the money you spend by being strategic about the topics and instructor you choose? By doing so the money you spend will be an investment, instead of an expense.



Topics: Remodeler Education, Contractor Training, Worker Training, Earning More Money

Why January Is Great Time Of the Year for Me and My Contractor Coaching Clients

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Sat, Jan 31,2015 @ 09:00 AM

Why January Is Great Time Of the Year for Me and My Contractor Coaching Clients

Working with a contractor coachOne of my goals when working with my contractor coaching clients is to offer them new ways of looking at and doing things than they may have already experienced in the past. At this time of the year we debrief how well they did last year putting changes in place. Our interactions typical include review, celebration, planning and commitments. Using this process proves to be very rewarding for them, and for me as well.

My coaching strategy is to help them explore the options they have to improve and grow their businesses so they can make their own informed decisions about how they want to move forward. I really enjoy working with them in this way because it helps them discover and experience how to think and act on their own. I purposely do it this way so as not to create a dependency on my assistance and so they won’t need me to help them over and over again with the same things year after year.

My calls and interactions with them during this time of the year focus on reviewing the successes of the past year’s efforts. They also include identifying the goals and actions they will commit to in the New Year to continue moving forward on their defined path to personal and professional success. We also agree on how they want me to hold them accountable to achieving those goals.


Here is a taste of what we do in January and why it is so rewarding for me

Working with a mentor for contractorsFirst they share with me their excitement about their personal and professional progress, and how much more time they have to work on their business, not just in it.

We then review their financial reports for the previous year to see how they did and make sure all transactions are in the right places within their chart of accounts based on the financial system strategy we designed together. This helps get things ready for their accountant and simplifies filing tax returns.

I celebrate with them and point out how much better they did financially than the previous year because of the changes they put in place. Then we discuss budgeting and pricing/markup for the New Year using their historical information as our guide and as a reference. With the economy improving most of my clients are willing to sell at higher prices to help increase volume in the New Year, rather than just sell more work.

I encourage and support my clients in accomplishing a combined total personal compensation and net profit of 20% of produced volume.   This compensation strategy gives them the money and the confidence they need to use some of those profits for investing back into their businesses to continue growing them. That level of total compensation also provides money to build their retirement funds and or finance other investments.

If we have worked on their marketing plan and strategy over the past year we also do a year end review of their results.   After doing so most tell me they want to invest more on marketing this year because of the result they experienced last year.


David Agnew“Before, when I was working with other people, I felt like I was on a trampoline. Now, when I work with you Shawn, I feel like I’m on a concrete floor.”
              David C. Agnew, Custom Home Renovation Solutions, LLC

contractor coaching for remodelers

I actually love what I do!

The business owners I work with are great people. Although they all have different motivations for seeking my assistance, they all share the common desire to remodel their businesses to make them better. As a bonus for me, when they give me the opportunity to help them, I also get the opportunity to help change the lives of their employees, trade partners and the customers they serve.

And, these are just some of the reasons I really love what I do!


Topics: Contractor Training, Earning More Money, Mentoring/Coaching

Breaking Past $1M At Your Remodeling Business: The Set Up

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Tue, Jan 06,2015 @ 09:59 AM

Breaking 1 Million in Remodeling


(Note: This is the seventh article in a series of articles written specifically for remodelers who want to successfully break past doing $1M/year in installed sales. Click here to see a list of all the articles in the series that have been published.)

As a remodeling business seeks to grow past the $1million a year threshold things can very difficult for most business owners.  Taking the jump can even be fatal for the business. I call it the “Take-Off Stage” because either the business takes off successfully, or it doesn’t.

The typical challenges most owners experience during this transition include having the right skills to make the jump successfully and getting it done quickly enough.  The growth has to happen quickly enough so the increased volume produces the gross profit needed to cover the additional related overhead expenses required to first make the jump and to sustain it.

At the doorstep of approximately $1M remodelers must make a decision

How to be a $1M RemodelerWill they remain contractors or will they become construction business owners? 

Either is a good choice, but being a construction business owner is much more involved.  It can also be much more profitable.

In January this year Mark Paskell from the Contractor Coaching Partnership and I will be offering a Construction Business Owner Education and Peer Group Program created specifically for remodeling business owners looking for help making the $1M jump.  We purposely decided to target this volume demographic of contractors. It’s the best time to introduce the structural and behavioral changes the business and the owner will both need to make.  


Growing past the $1M mark without putting significant changes into place is a huge risk

The reason most small businesses fail is not because they are not profitable, but rather because they grow faster than the business can successfully implement the systems needed to manage that growth.

Want help making the $1M Jump?

If you what help here is what I am setting up to help you.  Over the next two weeks or so I will be publishing blog topics specifically written to help remodelers who want to grow past $1Million a year.  In the next article I will share the typical characteristics of the Take-Off Stage.   After that article I will share some important considerations for the business owner and a list of goals the business and the owner should consider committing to and working on to get ready for the growth. 

Then, following those articles I will post a series of articles.  Each article will specifically discuss one of the seven business systems I have identified as critical to the successful and profitable growth of a remodeling business.  Again each one will be written for the purpose of helping remodelers with what they will need to consider and put in place to help them break $1M profitably.


The list of systems to be discussed will include:

  1. Financial
  2. Marketing
  3. Design
  4. Sales
  5. Production
  6. Personnel
  7. Communications.

If you haven’t already done so subscribe to my blog so you won’t miss a single article.

Subscribe to the Design/Builders Blog

Topics: Remodeler Education, Contractor Training, Success Strategies, Business Growth, Earning More Money, Business Planning, Breaking $1Million

Invest In Your Remodeling Business Now, Or Pay Forever

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Mon, Jan 05,2015 @ 05:00 AM

Invest In Your Remodeling Business Now, Or Pay Forever

Business improvements for remodelers


The New Year is here again. For many it’s a time to plan and make commitments for the changes and improvements needed to make the coming year better than the last.  Then there are the remodelers who say they and their companies are too busy working to take the time to remodel their own businesses. What they may not know is that if they don’t invest now to either train employees or restructure their businesses, they will be paying for not doing so for a long time to come.

What am I referring to?

  • I'm talking about proactively taking a look at how efficiently you run your company in order to get better returns on your investment of time, money and focus.
  • I am talking about assessing your company's cost effectiveness and taking into account if employees are properly trained to do their jobs so you don’t have to micromanage them.
  • I’m also talking about creating the ability to actually be “present” when you sit down to have dinner with your family or attend your child’s soccer game.

Retirement planning for remodeling business ownersYou can invest now to train managers or employees and to rework structural shortcomings within your business.  Or you can pay forever by running a shoddy show that won't give you the financial returns that it takes to stay in business and retire before your body eventually gives out.

If you don't do it now, how much profit will you possibly lose until you do set a plan into action?  If you don’t do it now how much will your procrastination cost you over the coming years you are in business; including the compounded interest you could have earned each year towards your eventual retirement? 

I know many remodelers who have no retirement funds at all.  How about you?

Don’t forget about lost opportunities

By sticking with the status quo many business owners are also missing out on opportunities they could have concentrated on if they were not constantly dealing with and fixing the same problems over and over again. For example, at a recent workshop for remodeling business owners I broke the attendees out into several groups and asked them to assess their business’ current status. One group of eight remodelers agreed their production slippage problems hurt them financially at a cost of at least 10% of total volume each year.

I then asked them to reference that in the point of view of being a $1 million/year company. They agreed this 10 percent production slippage loss would equal a $100,000 deficit each year. Would you want that to happen or keep happening at your business?

Here is a tough question to ponder

Does your spouse or significant other know you have such opportunities to make and keep more money?   Or, are you hiding that fact from them and others so you don’t have to recognize and address the shortcomings of your business and or your business acumen?

It's up to you. You can pay now, or you can pay forever.

Topics: Remodeler Education, Contractor Training, Worker Training, Careers in Construction, Business Growth, Retirement Planning, Earning More Money, Production Considerations, Business Planning, Leadership, Sage Advice

3 Considerations Before Working With A Construction Business Coach Or Mentor

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Tue, Jun 10,2014 @ 06:00 AM

3 Considerations Before Working With A Construction Business Coach Or Mentor

Contractor Coach


Working with a coach or mentor to improve your construction business can help you avoid potential challenges, particularly those you might not know to watch for yourself. It also can help speed up your path to success while at the same time reduce the cost to get there, particularly if your "go it alone" path ends up being the wrong one.


Click here to read about the difference between a coach and a mentor.

Here are three considerations for contractors looking to work with a coach or mentor


Be cautious of who you choose to work with

A business coach or mentor should have proven success in their areas of claimed expertise.  However, there are many consultants and coaches out there who failed at their own businesses or may have never actually reached success with their businesses before becoming a coach.   Check the business history and actual level of success achieved by your prospective coach or mentor before you commit and invest in hiring him or her.  Also, if you are not sure of the coach’s reputation, check with his/her current and previous clients about their experiences.  As with other business investments, your best bet may be to ask for a referral from other contractors you respect who have already worked with a coach or mentor.  The reality is if you work with the wrong coach and or mentor you own the responsibility for that decision.  If it’s not working out with your coach first be honest with yourself about why, then either change your approach to working with him or her or find a new coach to work with.


Make sure to have a way you can both measure success

Remodeling business coach resultsTo make sure you will get a return on investment make sure you and your coach agree on how you will measure results.   Help with soft skills like leadership and people skills will be challenging to measure because changes and results may be seen as subjective and might be measured differently by different people.  However many changes can be measured in an objective way.   For example when I was first growing my business I worked with a coach on a financial system and the related QuickBooks setup required to support it.   Although he seemed to have the right experience he couldn’t offer me a reference specifically from a construction company.  After some discussion we agreed his compensation would be conditional on results and we made a list of desired outcomes to measure.  After several months we mutually agreed his system didn't serve the intended purpose and I got the majority of my money back.   Unfortunately I lost a lot of valuable time.   I assume he did too.  However we both learned a lot from the experience, I minimized my risk by agreeing on how he would be compensated, and I still had the money I needed to hire another expert to get it done.


Decide whether you want to remodel your business or do a tear down and start over

The business owners I work with as a coach and or mentor typically already own businesses that have been around a while and most already have pretty good business systems in place. These business owners come to me to help them remodel and improve their businesses so they can increase profits and or grow to the next level.  

remodeling franchiseIn addition to working one on one with remodeling businesses and their owners I have also worked in the corporate side of franchising. Joining a franchise can be a great option for the right business owner. For example, if you’re an entrepreneur who wants to carve out your own path and direction and evolve your business systems on the fly a franchise might not be a good option. On the other hand if your just getting started, or need to tear down what you have and start over again, and you want to adopt an established and tested business model, and you are willing to actually follow it, not question it, a franchise can be a great way to go. 

Most franchises offer some level of business coaching, just be sure it will be enough for you to achieve your desired level of success. Before joining a franchise I recommend you look into how much one on one support and coaching you and your new franchise can expect and will receive from the franchisor. If they offer a system, but not enough training and support to help you adopt it, you might want to keep looking.

Topics: Contractor Training, Business Growth, Mentoring/Coaching, Sage Advice

Eastern MA NARI Chapter to Help Contractors Remodel Their Businesses

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Sun, May 11,2014 @ 06:00 AM

Eastern MA NARI Chapter to Help Contractors Remodel Their Businesses

Remodeling a construction business

Consumers remodel their homes when things get outdated and or systems no longer serve their purpose.   Properly designed, new systems and modern technologies can make living at their home more enjoyable and lower ownership costs.  Done well remodeling can also help make the home last longer and weather any storm.   The same can be true for a contractor’s business. Outdated business systems that used to work when the company was smaller and the economy was better should be replaced if the business owner is not enjoying adequate profits and a desirable quality of life.  Bringing new technologies into the business can also lower overhead costs and streamline business processes.

Many remodelers can help home owners design and remodel their homes.  But how many remodelers know how to design and remodel their businesses?   If home owners seek the advice and expertise of a professional remodeler because they can't do it on their own, perhaps contractors who need help remodeling their business should follow their lead and get the help they need as well.

If you think back to all the reasons you decided to start your own business, are those things actually happening?  And, are you prepared to take advantage of an improving economy?


Eastern MA NARI ChapterHelp is available

If you need help designing a remodel for your construction or remodeling business the Eastern MA NARI Chapter will be offering some help to get you started.   Through a partnership with Professional Remodeler Magazine they will be offering my seminar titled "Designing and Remodeling Your Company to Last, Today and Into the Future".  


The learning objectives for this seminar will include:

  • Understanding the seven core business systems that your business can't live without and which ones your business should be concentrating on to achieve improved results.
  • Identify important considerations and organizational chart options your business can use to foster sustainable growth.
  • Using what you will learn to anticipate the coming changes and start preparing yourself, your business and your employees for successful and manageable growth.
  • Click here for a full description of this seminar


Professional Remodeler Leadership Your 2014 logo wrEvent and registration information

The seminar will be part of the Professional Remodeler Leadership Tour 2014 event being held at Bentley College in Waltham MA on Thursday May 21, 2014.  Both EMNARI members and non members are invited to attend.   Several other educational seminars will also be offered.  Speakers include Patrick O'Toole, Mark Richardson, Vince Nardo and several others.


Patrick O'Toole at Professional Remodeler asked me to get the word out that this event is not like others they have hosted in the past.  He promises a LIVELY and UPSCALE event. There will be some great prizes and the food and drink are all expected to be top-notch.

  Click here to view the event schedule and for attendee registration information.



Topics: New Business Realities, Remodeler Education, Contractor Training, Success Strategies, Business Growth