English   Spanish

English   Spanish

The Mill #1 – What Your CMO Should Know About Building Empires

Home > The Mill Podcast > Episode #1

Last Updated Apr 22, 2022

Also listen on one of these platforms:

Spotify icon 2


iTunes Logo


Facebook Logo


Also listen on one of these platforms:

Spotify icon 2


iTunes Logo


Facebook Logo


You Can Read the Podcast Here

Hi everyone. I’m Taylor and this is Tye and this is the RMFP Mill.

Welcome to the show! So today we’re going to talk about some stuff… I don’t know what, because he’s the lead here. So, uh, yeah. What do we got today?

So recently we started sending out a bunch of sponsorship decks on a conference that we’re trying to put on next summer. And apparently we’re not doing the best job of building the actual value to the whole reason why this thing exists. So, rather than whining and complaining, we decided to start recording a bunch of videos until people start to understand why this is such a big deal.

Well, that works up the mayor until they want to respond, I like it.

That’s part of it. The truth is, every industry in the United States and in the world for that matter is just getting disrupted across the board – companies like Amazon and Google and Uber, they’re shutting down all kinds of major companies. People just think that this is just a little snapshots in time, when in reality, it is the start of a major, major shift in our world economics. We’ve got companies like Sears and IHeart Radio and Toys’R’Us…Claire’s, the little kids jewelry companies, they’re all filing for bankruptcy, completely. Massive billion dollar companies, some of them hundreds of millions, filing for bankruptcy because of the fact of things like Amazon or siphoning business away.

With Toys’R’Us, it’s a little bit wrong, they’re coming back out.

They are coming back out, but the reason they’re coming back out is because nobody wanted to buy their model because their model sucks. It’s that simple, nobody wanted to buy it.

But to me, buying a toy, like when I was a kid, it’s always more fun to go look around and say, mommy, I want that, this, this, and then get one thing.

Right. But, here’s the thing. It was fun for you. It wasn’t fun for mommy. No. I have kids, my kids running around the entire freaking store playing with every little thing they can get their hands on..

And it’s fun for them, it’s the experience

Yeah, for them. You know, what’s fun for mom? What’s fun for mom is sitting in her slippers and her bathrobe with her nice Starbucks coffee in her bed… while she’s got the news or Netflix on. And she’s like, Oh, it’s Christmas time. Oh, it’s a little Susie’s birthday. I’m buying Susie the new Barbie doll, or the LOL doll or whatever, something doll that’s wrapped up in a little ball that we’re going to unbox on YouTube.

People don’t buy toys at the malls anymore. It doesn’t happen.

I agree with that.

Like it does even, even, I don’t know if anyone’s seen this, but recently Amazon came out with a new program, I forget what it’s called, like Amazon Wardrobe or Amazon Closet, where you can pick out any clothes of any brand that is sold on Amazon. You can buy them, ship them to your house, try them on, and whatever you don’t want, you send back to them and they pay for shipping.

That’s good, that’s real good.

Like, like malls are going to go away.

Malls are already going away.

But the indoor ones, now we’ve got these new versions where they make it like a, an event where you get to go up to walk around the outside and you get to, play in the fountains.

Malls aren’t really a thing anymore, especially where I’m from. Like, there’s one big mall that’s like an hour from where I’m where I lived, and 50% of the stores were always either just empty or coming soon. And then the other ones would go out.

But the whole point of what I’m trying to get down to is all these things are changing, and people believe that in the construction industry, or in the building materials, that we’re just, we’re invincible, we’re not opposed…we’re shielded from all of it and that’s not the case. It’s going to take longer than other industries, but eventually, building materials companies are going to be able to go direct consumer. And there’s going to be many people who completely utterly disagree with me. And you know what, that’s fine. I appreciate your opinions on this subject, but it will change. It could take 10 to 15 years, 20 years, but eventually companies like Trex or companies, like All Weather Wood, are going to forget about lumber companies like Rocky Mountain Forest Products. It will happen. I don’t know what time, but it will happen in our lifetime.

It has to, because you’re going to get your margin back. It is that simple. And as far as the contractors go, it is getting harder and harder and harder to find good labor. Most people… I don’t even know if, I don’t know if you know this, you probably most, cause I say this crap all the time, but according to the Department of Labor Statistics, skilled trades are in the top 10 hardest positions to fill in the United States.

And it’s only expected to continue for the next 15 years, years. You know why? Because Ms. Susie and Mr. John were told in high school, you need to go get a business degree, that you’re learning how to code or go do this. No offense to Tye here. Prime example, Tye’s a few years younger than I am. Tye has a PR degree, which is great because he’s using it getting paid at Rocky Mountain to do, but it probably wasn’t worth all of the college debt that it took on.

So actually, and the thing is in reality, I wanted to go to school for carpentry, but there was nowhere that offered even a two year degree for carpentry or just anything like that. And I didn’t want to go be an apprentice or anything like that. So maybe partially on me, but yeah, no, I love woodworking and I always did, and I was really good at it, but I didn’t see a future in it and I was wrong. It was extremely wrong.

Like the core fundamental shifts of our culture. Everybody wants a white collar job, but the problem is it’s pure, basic economics. As demand goes up and supply goes down, guess what’s going to cost more the skilled trades, guess what? We’re going to have harder and harder time to fill because of all these basic things where everybody wants to be a YouTube star. Everybody wants to learn how to write code for a website or develop their own app. These jobs are going to be harder to fill, which makes the contractors, you guys, more important to our industry than ever. It is time. It is time for the, the lump of the suppliers, the vendors to the contractors and the big brands and the manufacturers to all come together.

Because if we don’t, somebody like an Amazon is going to come in and disrupt the entire industry. We’re shielded from it because it’s primarily services in this big, massive distribution network and how like, you know, the big lumber companies, they actually own the trees and own the land. And so there, there’s a few nuances in there that are logistics.

Logistics is what it boils down to.

Well, to a point. But it’s also those relationships, like a company, like Warehousers, like they have a hold on the market because they’re the largest region in the United States. Like if you own 3% of the land in North America, you have some control, some shielding from the whole system.

The ex CEO of Home Depot came on, uh, Gary Vaynerchuk. If anybody knows who he is, came on his, uh, his ‘Ask Gary V’ show a couple of weeks ago. And when they were talking, as far as what they were worried about were like, you know, what, what is one of your biggest concerns, what was one of your biggest concerns when you were running Home Depot? And he said our biggest concern was Amazon, because Amazon is selling all their little tools, and selling all their light bulbs and their little gadgets. And they’re siphoning that money out of the system. You have Home Depot, a hundred billion dollar company, and they’re worried about their little bits and pieces of margin from here and here and here, because those bits and pieces of margin, they’re running on such thin margin as it is, can literally put them under, if they’re not careful, they set it up.

Well, okay. So little bit of an offshoot, but kind of the same respect. So I get ads for an air filter company that just ships it every three months directly to your home. Somebody who doesn’t always remember, “Oh, Hey, it’s been three months since I last got my air filter and I need to put a new one in”, that’s a really appealing thing to do. And maybe I have to pay them an extra five or six bucks for shipping and handling and whatever. But to know that it’s going to come every three months, so I have clean air…it’s actually something that I’ve thought about.

Okay. But that was a company. I guarantee you, just like your coffee, just like your cereal, you can get right on Amazon, and check the little box, and do the exact same thing that air filter.

Yes. But Amazon didn’t market that to me, this was put in front of me through a Hulu ad.

And the reason they did it is because they feel like they’re grabbing some portion of the market. By default, you’re going to do it. The only person taking major swings at Amazon is Walmart. The only ones currently that are taking major swings. And they have something that Amazon doesn’t, which is a global distribution network that’s already in place and funded. My whole point is that if we don’t as a community, start figuring out ways to build our group up together, we’re going to be the next industry or one of the next industries that are disrupted by the Amazons and the Googles and the Facebooks of the world.
It’s going to happen. So like, that’s one of the reasons that was why we came up with this, this, this conference, our Building Empires Trade Summit. I’ve sent this deck out to 3000 different individuals from all over the United States and everybody has looked at me and they’d be like, Taylor, the sponsorships are too expensive.

I know they’re expensive, okay, this event is a lot for us to put into it. The Pepsi Center in Denver is only given us a limited number of spots due to fire code. But the thing is, this isn’t just an event that we’re trying to put on for recognition. We are trying to set this up to where we can start teaching contractors and vendors and manufacturers and suppliers, how to market their business better, so that way the little guy like us, doesn’t get shoved out in the entire industry. I call us little, but we do more than $20 million a year in sales. But in the world of lumber, in the world of building, we’re nothing. Okay. There are plenty, plenty, plenty, plenty, bigger companies out there that exist in this industry, anybody who’s actually in this world understands what I’m saying. And the truth is if we don’t come together, and start educating each other, and creating actual events, not, not trading events where you can tour around some of these nice little halls and show off your little “Oh yeah, here’s my new deck board, or here’s my new light bul that’s gonna change your world.” No, it’s not. The problem is that the entire industry is going to change. We will all become a hundred percent neutralized as companies, if we don’t start building up everything as a whole together as one industry, as a whole. It has to happen.

Our normal contractors, our average contractor is, is a guy who runs about a single crew, or maybe two crews a week. He’s got 10 guys that work for him, maybe a mechanic and maybe a front desk person, secretary, something of that nature, maybe one extra salesperson. That’s our average guy. We have, we have like two or 3000 of those contractors. All of them are going to go away. They’re going to go away. Okay. And the way that they’re going to go away, is they’re going to continue to pay companies like HomeAdvisor. Yes. HomeAdvisor can great service, you’re keeping the little guy in business, but they’re paying you for the leap, which is fine.I get that. Okay. You’re giving them the business, but the problem is, is that over time HomeAdvisor is going to continue to do what’s good for HomeAdvisor. Not what’s good for the little contractor. Amazon’s coming in with Amazon services, Yelp, and they’re tied to their, and then Google’s coming in with their new stuff. These little contractors are going to end up getting pushed out because they’re not going to be able to compete with all the new digital things that are coming out.

And if they don’t learn how to market for themselves, or at least understand where the trends are and where they need to go, they’re going to continue to pay a company like an Amazon or a HomeAdvisor, which is fine for the time being. But 10 years down the line, 11 years down the line, 15 years down the line, Amazon’s going to have a home services company that does everything that the little guy does.And then they’re going to go away, or they’re going to go work for Amazon, and they’re going to come to your house and they’re going to put your baseboards in and paint your walls, and all that money is going to go to another big, massive corporation.

We want to help educate. That is our goal. I want to bring in big speakers, massive speakers guys, who are some of the biggest names in the trades of marketing and then sales and then leadership. And then expansion, like that’s the goal. I want to teach everyone how to build their business up in the same way that we’re building. We’ve tripled our income. Excuse me, not triple that. That was a lie. We’ve doubled our income in three years. We have doubled our top line revenue in three years. And it’s all on the back of understanding these different things and that, like I said, this is the whole reason why we’re having these conversations. The whole reason I want to talk about it. But my thing is we’re going to be doing this on a fairly consistent basis.

We talk about this stuff daily in our office. We’re one of the few lumber companies. Like small retailers, let alone big manufacturers actually have an in-house marketing team. We’ve got a five person team, we’re gonna be hiring three more shortly. The truth is, we are trying to start preparing for these different changes and things that are coming about because it is going to happen. And the people who get on board nowadays are going to be the ones who are a little bit more insulated. But if you don’t make the change and you don’t educate yourself and you don’t learn these things, you’re going to end up like the ‘Toys R Us’s, or the iHeart’s or any of those other ones, you will end up going bankrupt because it’s going to happen.

Nothing. I got a whole lot of nothing. I, like I said, it’s, you know, this is the first video of many that we’re gonna, we’re gonna put up. Like I said, Building Empires, we are in need of sponsorships that start from $50,000 and go up to 1.3 million. If you want to be one of the presenting ones. We need people to help us get this information out to the general construction industry. And I realized there’s other trade shows. Okay. There are other trade shows. We’re like, Oh no, we have this little side group and you can go learn about social media. Okay. But you’re all here to learn about social media from, you’re learning about from a little, nobody company out of the middle of nowhere. They’re like who they’re like, Oh yeah, I do social media. My agency does $5 million a year. Great. That doesn’t matter. There are. Probably a hundred to a thousand companies who specialize in social media in the United States who are doing North of five figures or not five figures. Excuse me. That was, that was eight figures, eight to nine figures a year. And many of these guys are in their twenties, thirties. There’s only a handful of them that are in their forties. And these are for lack of a better term, these are kids. In the world of business who just get the power of these things. And that’s why it’s important for all these companies to learn this.

Like, I don’t want to see these companies like ours. We’ve been in business for 45 years. The guy I work for is the son of the original founder. I don’t want to see many companies with the history that Rocky has go out of business all because of either being scared to learn something, or because they think because I decided to head down to the big trade show down in Florida, the real big one.

Let’s just be real. Okay. I don’t want companies going out of business because they’re getting the wrong information. If you get the correct information and you’re presented the actual solutions and maybe choose nothing, like not to do anything about it, that’s on you. But I am calling out for the actual leaders in this industry.

Those companies, no matter what part that you’re in, whether you’re a tradesman, whether you’re a retail dealer, like we are, whether you’re a manufacturer distributor, I’m calling out the big names in this industry to help actually support a conference. That’s going to do something and teach people valuable skills to keep their business running and in the correct direction.

So that way we are able to hold off some of these large, massive conglomerates. I mean, I support that. We’ve always been one to, you know, stand by the little guy. So, no, sounds good to me. You can’t tell he’s a little passionate about it.

Once again, that’s (303) 625-6442. We’re looking for sponsors that are willing to help us out with this. The sponsorship starts at $50,000 and they go up to 1.3 million. And this is an event that we’re going to be putting on here in Denver next summer, potentially early fall. So thank you for taking time to watch The Mill today.And, uh, we wish you guys the best of this last week of October. Have a great Halloween.

Home > The Mill Podcast > Episode #1