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Controlling the Destiny of Your Remodeling Business

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Sun, Jun 24,2012 @ 05:00 AM

Three Considerations for Controlling the Destiny of Your Remodeling Business

Growing a remodeling business

Many remodelers start their business with little real planning or consideration for the future other than to grow the business and make money.   For many this tends to work out alright, particularly during a good economy.  But the current recession has definitely exposed to remodeling business owners some of the natural consequences that come along with a lack of a long term vision for their businesses. A couple of obvious examples might include the current cost of excessive overhead accumulated when work was strong, and the overwhelming workload and responsibilities the business owner had to absorb due to staff layoffs.   However, an anticipated improvement in our economy offers an ideal time for businesses owners to rethink how they will move their businesses forward as the economy eventually improves.  Planning for the future now can definitely put you on a much better path and using what you have learned in business so far makes that planning much easier and more likely to protect your business when the next recession shows up.

This summer I will be participating in several Remodeler Summits sponsored by Marvin Windows and Doors to be held at their training center in Warroad MN.  As part of the Summits I will be presenting seminars to attendees to help them strategically grow their businesses.  Here are three things I will be asking the attendees consider about themselves and their businesses before new opportunities for business growth appear as the economy and the remodeling market improves.

Wm. S Marvin Training & Visitor Center


(1) Are you an Entrepreneur or a Craftsperson?

Practice or a growing businessThis should be your first consideration.  Be honest with yourself.  Do you really want to be a business owner running and growing a business where your role is to develop your business so it creates the opportunity for employees and subs to perform the work, or is your love for the tools and craftsmanship what motivates you to go to work each day?  Either one can be a good choice, but the business you build will be dramatically different depending on your choice.  If you choose the craftsman route be sure to consider your age and health; now and in the future.   Will your body be able to handle the work type your business sells as you get closer to retirement age?   Also, as you age, will you be able to maintain the productivity required to earn the money you need to live and eventually retire?


(2) Will you hire to complement your skills or to maintain your authority?

Strategic hiring for remodelersRegardless of your choice to the consideration above, few business owners can know and or do everything needed to run a profitable business and still have a life outside work.   When seeking to add new employees, consider how you chose your previous employees.   Did you hire people who required constant supervision and instruction, or did you hire people who added skills and knowledge to your business that you didn’t have yourself?   Who you hire going forward will make a big difference in regards to what you will have to do yourself and how much of your time will be spent where.

Hiring strategies for remodelers



(3) Will yours be a Practice or a  Growing Business?

A business that is a practice depends on the participation and the skills of the owner every day.  If the owner is on vacation or can’t come to work for any reason the business stops operating very quickly.  If you plan to run your business as a practice keep this reality in mind.   Your ability, as well as your employees’ abilities, to pay the mortgage and feed the kids can quickly become compromised.   Be sure to consider options like disability insurance and a reserve fund to protect yourself.  If you plan on growing your business be sure to take the two considerations above very seriously.  Also, make sure you choose employees with the cognitive abilities and desire to grow with your business.



There are two schools of thought regarding destiny

Destiny is often seen as either a fixed sequence of events that is inevitable and unchangeable, or that individuals choose their own destiny by choosing different paths throughout their life.  Marvin Windows and Doors is helping contractors shape the destiny of their businesses.   How about you:

Will you let destiny happen for you and your business?

Are you shaping your destiny on your own?

Are you getting help shaping your destiny, and if so, who's helping you?

Please share your comments and thoughts.   Other contractors looking for options could benefit from what you have to offer!


Topics: New Business Realities, Hiring and Firing, Success Strategies, Retirement Planning, Business Planning

Harsh Realities About Retirement for Remodelers and Their Employees

Posted by Shawn McCadden on Sun, Jun 17,2012 @ 05:00 AM

Harsh Realities About Retirement for Remodelers and Their Employees

The harsh reality I am pointing out in this blog post is the fact that for most remodelers and their employees a comfortable retirement is really just a fantasy. 

Retirement planning for remodelersFor these individuals, ignoring this fact so far during their careers is the reason they are lacking adequate funds to retire and my prediction is that they will continue to ignore this fact.   However, remodelers are not alone.  Most Americans are in this same predicament.   When they reach retirement what will their lives be like and who is going to pay for their living and medical expenses?   One answer; the next generation of working tax payers, assuming they have jobs.  With such a financial burden on the next generation, they too may be destine for the same harsh reality.

underground economy working for cashBusiness owners are obviously too busy running jobs to even think retirement.   Employees are often living and thinking day-to-day, often working for cash.  This is a huge mistake.  While you may love what you do, your body may not allow you to do it forever.   Consider the day when you will no longer be physically able to work in the field and or your declining physical abilities will result in lower productivity and therefore reduced compensation. 


Just the facts  

Here are some harsh facts that I hope will wake up those who are currently sleeping when it comes to retirement planning.  These facts and others can be were found in an article on the Fiscal Times web site titled 5 Shocking Predictions about Retirement in America”

  • In the U.S. seventy-seven million baby boomers are slated to retire in the next 20 years, with approximately 10,000 reaching retirement age every day.  At the same time 401(k) accounts have been drained by the recession, pension systems are strained, and Social Security coffers are near a breaking point.
  • Retirement for remodelersAccording to a study by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies 54 percent of workers in their 60s said they haven’t saved enough to sustain themselves for the rest of their life.
  • The Employee Benefit Research Institute recently found that just 14 percent of those surveyed were very confident they will have enough money to live comfortably in retirement.  Even more shocking, sixty percent of workers reported that the total value of their household’s savings and investments (not including the value of their home and any official retirement benefit plans) was less than $25,000.
  • Another report from the financial industry think tank LIMRA, found that 49 percent of Americans aren’t saving for retirement at all. 
  • The Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) reports that for those who are 10 years away from their planned retirement age, more than a third have saved less than $25,000.  That’s $875K away from the EBRI’s suggested $900,000 that a typical person would need to live out his or her years.

Retirement plan for remodelers


Will your children be able to support you?

Oh, and if you are assuming that the government will be footing the bill for your retirement, that doesn’t look very good either.  The latest annual trustees’ report for Social Security predicts that the program’s trust fund will be depleted by 2033, three years earlier than they estimated last year. When the fund runs dry, the government will only be able to pay 75 percent of the promised benefits to retirees.  This of course assumes our children will have jobs and earn enough to generate the taxes the government will need to meet the 75%.


  • Retirement for remodelersAre you confident in your abilities to earn enough for your own retirement?
  • Are you confident that the government will be able to finance the lifestyle you want to live when you can’t work any longer?
  • Are you motivated to do something before its too late?


Don’t fall into the trap of running your business to the point that it runs you and your employees into the ground!


Topics: Financial Related Topics, Retirement Planning, Business Planning, Shawn's Predictions