Today Brad speaks with Nick Schiffer, owner of NS Builders, where he leads a team to renovate homes for private clients in and around Boston. Nick is also the Co-Host of The Modern Craftsman podcast alongside John Hourihan and Tyler Grace where they interview a variety of professionals involved with the trades.
NS Builders started out as a one-man carpentry company with relatively small ambitions. That was, until Nick began to hire and discovered the power of leveraging his time while scaling the business. He also started to become active on social media through which he built his brand. He continued to express his affinity for entrepreneurship as he grew his audience, accepted a wider variety of jobs, and looked to influencers outside of the construction industry (such as Gary Vaynerchuk) for tips and strategies to keep expanding his ventures.
Today, NS Builders is made up of 20 people and counting. Nick has fully embraced his role as entrepreneur. He spends his days looking to expand on the company’s existing systems and processes to be able to free himself up even more and focus on his vision going forward.
Listen in as Nick shares how he vets clients, the right time to hire and how to support the payroll, when to be more aggressive with your markup and when to taper back, why he actually enjoys self-performing carpentry jobs whenever possible, and how paying attention to his competitors allows Nick to further define his branding and sales process.
- 02:49 – What made you become an entrepreneur and home builder
- 06:50 – Nick would like more flexibility on job site with team
- 10:32 – High level budgets for clients
- 18:41 – A vision and dream to build homes
- 21:01 – Sticking to a specific aesthetic and style
- 24:44 – What makes a “modern” home?
- 27:13 – Hiring and bookkeeping best practices
- 33:51 – Justifying your annual budget
- 56:57 – Self performing
- 01:09:13 – Investing in the company: Beyond the balance sheet
- 01:22:33 – Progressive Marketing
- 01:26:38 – How much Nick, as the face of his company, involves himself in projects
Connect with Guest:
Connect with Brad Leavitt:
Resources & People Mentioned:
- Gary Vaynerchuk
- Steve Baczek
- Shawn Van Dyke
- Monday Software
- Asana Software
- Slack Software
- Hub Dock
- Receipt Bank
- Revealed on YouTube
- Tyler with TRG Home Concepts
- John Hourihan of Vintage Builders
- The Modern Craftsman Podcast
Key Quotes from Episode:
- As builders, it seems like we’re expected to know more about a project’s potential problems than doctors are expected to know about a patient’s problems.
- What’s the number that scares you? Let’s figure that number out first, because if we can figure out the number that scares you, then we know what your real budget is.
- People oftentimes try to portray something as modern, when it’s just not. It’s more than style or features. There have to be moments in the home. It has to be an experience.
- When you understand what it takes to run your business and equate that to what you need to do in sales, you’ll be able to better decide on which jobs to take and which to turn down.
- When you’re operating at such a high level, it’s so much easier to spot mistakes.
- Choose to be the loudest person. If I’m not going to share how we do something, someone else is. And if that someone else happens to be the guy down the street, guess who gets the call.