The Mill #2 – Seizing Your Moment
Our problem today is going to be the manufacturer’s problem tomorrow.
I’m ready to go. Hey everyone. My name is Taylor Poole with Rocky Mountain Forest Products. And this is Tye, and this is today’s episode of The Mill. So last night we went to the hashtag Keep Craft Alive Denver panel conferencing, keynote speech thing, override chat ish. Yeah, it was kind of fireside chatty.
It was also pannelly. There were lots of different things. It was beer, free food. So it’s over at trade craft industries there off of North Broadway. Basically what trade craft industries is, is a coworking space for small to medium contractors.
It was just about how the trades industry and things of that nature are starting to become less and less popular in the general public, but they’re needed more than ever, which is also why we need to teach our contractors how to market effectively, do sales effectively, and run their businesses. So that way they can stay in business longer, and also kind of protect themselves and protect the industry as a whole. Our subject matter today is kind of around seizing the moment in time. When you do have the ability right now, we’re in a great economy. So prepare yourself for when it’s a poor economy, whether that is making sure your brand is known on social media, reaching out to the community, staying in a niche market, or however is going to benefit your own company. Do that now while you have the security.
And just be prepared in general for when the market does either fall a little bit, or either way, if it continues to grow, then Hey, you’re set either way. The truth is people who don’t plan on this, like in the 2008 recession, I forget what the statistic is, but somewhere around like 20 to 30% of all lumber yards in the United States went out of business, just went straight up bankrupt. It’s not like people’s had startup lumber companies, they don’t exist. Construction trade typically will ebb and flow with the economy. As a company, as the economy gets better, you get more guys that try to break out through their own companies when things tank…those guys end up going and working for other people.
But the truth is they wouldn’t have to if they set up their marketing and sales and branding in a much better way. There were tons of conversations about that last night, staying in your niche. Staying within your specific market building, you know, word of mouth, that kind of stuff. And, a lot of it can be done through social media just on your cell phone so that way people can kind of see what you’re doing. The fact that you’re working every single day, because certain contractors do work every day. It’s an extremely easy way to build trust, too, because if someone can see what you’re doing every day, then, you know, “Hey, I just went and worked on this Hill or this house up on the Hill.”
Yeah, go look at my social media and you know, I’m not lying to you. Like it’s just a stupid example, but that’s just example. I mean, that’s a lot of the guys who were at the thing last night, some of them, the whole reason they were on the panels, because everybody gets to see these kick-ass custom builds.
They’re putting up for these really nice homes. I mean, they’re probably 8 to 12,000 square foot homes going up in the foothills and multimillion dollar projects. There’s full custom from the ground up and people, the whole reason they got on the panels, because they’re not just doing one of them, they’re doing 10 alone at the same time.
Supply is lower, so guys can charge two, three, four times what they normally would do. And all they have to do is call somebody back. People are just ecstatic when a dealer calls them back, when they’re looking for a specific product and you hear it all the time from our contractors coming in and they’re like, yeah, I got that job.
I got a pretty good quote on it. And honestly, the reason I won it was because I called five places on the only one to call them back. So they went with me. Yeah. It’s pretty easy to do, easy to win business when, you know, you’re the only one really trying well. And for the companies who do care for the companies who are a part of the industry and want to grow. This is a moment in time where you can grab that branding share of the market, because what happens during slow times is all the guys who are just grabbing jobs here and there, who aren’t calling people back, who aren’t doing quality work, who are cutting corners because they can right now, because there’s so much work going on.
They’re going to have to go work for the other guys who do quality craftsmanship and who are calling people back and who aren’t treating their customers like an extension of their family and taking care of them. Yeah, no, absolutely. At the end of the day, you’re not going to be too human to somebody because if you see dollar signs, if you just look at that person as another human and care about them, that’ll mean the world, give them a call, explain why you couldn’t make it out.
Oh, let me come in and do ‘XYZ’ for 20 bucks an hour. Well, then he doesn’t do it. Right. And he breaks something. He finishes it halfway and then leaves. And then, you know, quality, you know, quality guy. A company that all of a sudden they get called up and they’re like, Oh yeah, well we’re 125 an hour. And at that point customers willing to pay that because they tried the $20 an hour split after three days when he realized he couldn’t complete the project that he signed up for.
Well, I mean, really it’s just like going to dollar tree, buy, you’re buying an Allen wrench set and it snaps on your first, you know, twist well or a flashlight and anything from dollar tree. Really not, I don’t hate you. Dollar tree. I shop there all the time. But your tools aren’t great. But then you go to like Sears or JC Penney’s and you get an actual brand.
Don’t be serious. Or toys R us. Yes. And they’re coming back though. So we thought about this last night, do we need to fight about tying episodes together? I disagree with Tye on the Toys R Us, the only reason they’re coming back is because nobody wants their model and they don’t want to give up the little bit of money that they do have before they go bankrupt fully. I mean, if they want to be the largest in the world, just up the McDonald’s motto just buy land everywhere. And then, you know, start selling food and put your toys in there. Right now we’re in a great climate for the guys who really do want more work. And the guys who do want to run a reputable business for them to continue to grow their companies, and the one thing that I would say as far as those contractors go, just make sure that you’re making as much money as possible. Put that cash away, there will be another recession… but we don’t know when it’s going to come. Some people think it will be sooner than later because of some of the things that are going on on the stock market right now. I tend to think that it probably will hold off for a couple more years because you do have big companies like Sears or like Toys R Us falling out.
So that kind of helps keep the market stabilized. The stock market doesn’t always have to deal with the economy. You know, some of those things are actually quite separate. There are certain things that tie together.
It’s extremely important to try to teach these contractors. You know, last night we sat in a room with over 120 different people, contractors from the Denver area to discuss these topics. Some of the contractors in there have tons of work. Some of the guys in there don’t have enough work. And the truth is the guys who don’t have enough work, really just need to be building their actual business rather than working on the projects. Something where they need to hire a guy or two and work on training them. Maybe they can’t afford the guy who’s been a journeyman carpenter master carpenter, who’s been working for 15, 20 years and is a true craftsman. Maybe they need to hire the guy that can pay 15, 20 bucks an hour and have them do more basic things, hanging doors, just changing out light fixtures, things of that nature.
If you showed face in that guy, being able to learn, guess what? He’s probably going to stick around and buy five. If he’s got five years of experience under his belt and he’s as good as anybody else out there, that’s when you can actually develop.
One of the topics of last night was that they’re dealing with problems with loyalty from guys because somebody else will pay them a substantial amount, more to jump over to another job. Once again, I think every person needs to capitalize in their moment in time.
If they can make extra money, go make an extra $10,000. But at the same time, Tye makes a very valid point. If you start with somebody who is completely green and you do have the time and the ability to give them attention and do the proper training when the recession does tank, that guy’s going to be way more loyal to you.
During times of recession, even though the market jumps back, typically that’s when some of the biggest companies are actually started and grab the largest market share because while everybody else is trying to just go into reservation mode and reserve and just kind of hold tight to try to weather the storm, the guys who were prepared for who had the cashflow who have quality craftsmen, They can start grabbing massive percentages of market share and actually build a dynamic company at that point on, at the same time, if you invest in people and you train them and then they develop loyalty for your company, guess what?
The person that stockpiled money during the good times isn’t going to have the people to work through the bad times where you guess what you got a person that was five years experience and yeah, it hurt you a little bit then when it was good, but guess what? You’re making money when other people are going out of business.
Take the chance when times are good. Hopefully that person sticks around and pans out. And then guess what you’re going to have, a decent team whenever bad times do come. So I looked at it anyway, once again, maybe we’re right, maybe we’re wrong, but these are all conversations that should be taking place.
Most companies in the construction trade look at themselves as a hundred percent over, which is true, but it’s also something where we need to kind of band together as a community and teach each other and at least talk about these different things as what we’re trying to do with building empires.
I was going to say there were multiple aspects to this thing, but that is one of the breakout groups that we definitely want to have, also teaching guys sales and good sales and good marketing brain, things of that nature. But once again, we need sponsors for building empires.
It’s a conference that we’re putting on next year here in the Denver area, it will be nationally marketed. We’re currently looking at putting it on at the Pepsi center. We’ve gotten quotes as far as getting that rented out sponsorships start from 50,000, go up to 1.3 million bucks.
If you’re looking to kind of get a part of, or be a part of that conference, you can get a hold of us by deeming us or calling us set three zero three six two five six four four. To just ask for the marketing department, they’ll get you to the right place.
So if you’ve watched this video all the way through, and you’ve gotten to this point, you don’t have to like us, but if you care about this industry and you care about the future of, you know, this whole big thing, we’re doing take a look at this because honestly it may be, maybe you don’t care for Taylor or myself.
Maybe we annoy you, whatever it may be. Maybe you don’t like the company. Maybe you don’t like what we do. But the thing is, if you care about this industry, give this a chance just because it is going to help. People just with future development of this industry. So take the chance on that. Maybe, maybe they don’t like us.
Whether it be in marketing, social media, finding people, just general awareness of where the market is going so that way you’re prepared here really well. And that’s my whole point of this is the reason we want to, the whole reason we’re wanting to do this conference in this trade summit. Isn’t necessarily for us.
Like we make our money by selling material to contractors. If contractors go out of business or they don’t know how to run their business, guess what happens. We go out of business by default. And so the best way that we can kind of give back and ensure our longevity is helping all of you guys helping the contractors.
This is my next point that I was going to get to is the problem. So one of my biggest things that I struggled with last night at the keep craft alive event was that we had locked. Like as far as I’m aware, there weren’t any massive contractors in that room. I could be a hundred percent wrong. But I don’t believe that there were any major companies there and yes, some of the sponsors of the event were some manufacturers, but the event that went on last night, although it was great, it started different conversations that needed to be had.
It was not done at a local level, but a very grassroots level. This is not going to, that’s not going to start any kind of a movement. It’s not going to no, I’m not. I’m completely in agreement.
There was nothing to walk out of there and say, I’m going to go do this unless it’s Hey, I should make a Facebook page. That was about, it was basically talk to people, call people. That’s what I took away is, Hey, make sure you have a Facebook page or Instagram and just call people.
That is honestly what I took away. There was nothing tangible to actually go off of like, Hey, how do I set up a social media account? And how do I tie all the, like, everything? There were no teachable things in there. It was basically a bunch of people sitting around and talking about the things that they struggle with.
The industry, but with no hard tangible actions, actionable steps, there were no solutions. It was just a bunch of problems and we need to do this better. Okay. But what do you do to do better? And I agree. Yeah. Yeah. That’s why, what do we need to do to do better? We do things like building empires. We give people the education, we bring it to them, to their face.
My biggest struggle with the event last night is that it was like we had all these contractors in the room. Okay. Over 120 people as a whole. Awesome. Okay. There were a couple manufacturers who were like, Oh, I’ll give it some time. But my concern that the manufacturers don’t get is that if the contractors go away or the contractors end up working for an Amazon home service where those things are already in the works, they are beta tested.
It hasn’t worked out well because of their approach. But if the contractors end up working for those bigger companies are going to go to these manufacturers and they’re going to beat them down on their pricing. The quality of their products and they’re going to buy with like 0% margin on it.
If they don’t help these contractors stay in business, they don’t help these contractors, maintain a good market share and provide quality craftsmanship. These guys are going to get swallowed up by other people. And I got to have a relationship with the contractors down on the streets, putting in the product, but there really is no connection between. The bigger manufacturers, whether it’s windows or doors or roofing lumber companies who are producing the studs that are getting put in buildings.
But if this guy doesn’t have the tools, he needs to sell the jobs and actually get the jobs, then this guy here doesn’t have the ability to sell product. Then this guy here doesn’t have the ability. To make product. It is. And with how big these companies are, it is their job. It is their sole responsibility to make sure that the person installing their product is still in business.
It is there, it is their job, their responsibility. Like I said, we sit right in the middle. And so I get it, which gives us a unique opportunity to see both sides as well. We get to hear it from both sides and I’m like, these guys are like, we have to do this, but. Our community is too small and nobody has enough time to put into it.
There’s companies like us who see it from both sides where we’re like, well, these guys can do this and these guys could do this. And all we can do is try to connect them, the best as possible, and then we got these guys up here who are like, I don’t want to talk to that guy because I don’t have the time to talk to every single one of them.
But the problem is we have to learn how to scale the unscalable here. We have to, if, if this guy feels connected to his brand up here of the product that he’s installing, then guess what? You’re gonna buy more of your product, more traction.
I feel like in our industry and people can correct me if I’m wrong, leave comments down below. I’d love to debate this with you. But I feel like our company is right in the middle and it’s like not selling their product the way that they want it sold.
And we don’t want to ruffle too many feathers down here because the contractors are our bread and butter. But the problem is, if we don’t get these two guys together, we disappear. Like we have to come together as a community. We have to. That’s how that’s all the whole thing. Absolutely the whole thing will work long term.
Once again, like I said, building empires, the whole reason that we’re doing it is we’re trying to get good quality information out to the guys, installing the material. Also try to get the bigger brands actually connected with these guys by passing by my product. Everybody knows the big brands exist because you can walk into Home Depot or Lowe’s or any other employee, any other retailer of goods.
They can find the stuff because they’re because of the info, the infrastructure and the distribution networks and all those other things, which is great. But if this guy down here doesn’t actually know how to run a business, he can only sell so many Mowen faucets. He can, they sell only so many pillow windows.
There are only so many Trex deck boards because he can’t keep his business and family to put food on the table for the family. Got it. Thank you. We’re good. Yeah. So once again, maybe it seems like rambling that, you know, like I said, everybody, there was, there was a full thought in there somewhere.
Five to 10 years at most before our industry gets massively disrupted one way or the other two, they’re going to be on the product side or it’s going to be on the contractor side. And one way, one area is going to eat the other. But the truth is, it’s going to happen. Or at least somebody is going to attempt to come after it.
I can believe you about staying in hotels because now they can go pick out these nice houses and pay the same amount per night and they have a whole house and they don’t have to deal with all the uncomfortable things that hotels and resorts, elevator smelly people. Yeah. It’s just like it hasn’t happened in our industry yet, but it wouldn’t take much for somebody to come in and come up with a singular idea.
And the only people trying to gain access to our industry currently are a company similar to Home Advisor and you have tackle. There’s a billion of those Legion companies, but once again, they’re marketing themselves, positioning themselves like they’re helping the contractor.
But in reality, all they’re doing is grabbing the top end funnel of what these guys should be doing as marketing better. Charging them for the leads, whether the leads are quality or not, that’s up for debate. And then at that point not only is he having to pay for his lead that he doesn’t always get, then he’s got to do his job and his infrastructure is going up as he’s having problems, bringing in quality workers.
Like it’s just, it’s just going to exacerbate exacerbate, exacerbate. There you go. The whole system and where dealers and manufacturers have the ability to help the contractor. We’re not stepping in and we’re not. And the truth is, is if they go out of business, everybody else goes out of business too.
Our margins get eaten up by new disruptors in the industry. So that’s it for us today. Once again, if you want to learn more information about building empires, you can give us a call at (303) 625-6442. Ask for the marketing department, Either one of us can help you. Or like I said, you can DM us on our LinkedIn, on our Facebook, Instagram, any of those different things.
And we can give you more information. I could send you out the deck. We’re looking for companies, whether they’re in the construction trades industry, supplemental services like insurance. Or if there are manufacturer products, things of that nature distributor really for anybody more or less, if you have any tie to the general labor industry, feel free to reach out to us.
Absolutely. So we’re only taking on somewhere between 40 and 45 spots. According to fire code, sponsorships range from $50,000, upwards of 1.3 million. That’s what we’re shooting for. So give us a call, help us get this set up to where we can affect a much larger change in the industry and start teaching in protecting our contracting trade, for generations to come. Once again I’m Taylor poole with Rocky Mountain Forest Products. This is Tye Dynda, and this was today’s The Mill.