Keep reading to learn how Build Brothers relied on open communication and balanced leadership to achieve this boom in business. For more insider tips, discussions, and resources delivered straight to your inbox, be sure to drop your email below.
The idea of a roofing and solar business was sparked by a particular childhood event for Ian.
"Our amazing step dad moves us into his house with four bedrooms, maybe 1,700 square feet. There were not enough bedrooms for six kids. So, my very first home improvement project was converting the garage of that house into a bedroom for me and my brother to call home," he says.
Soon after, Ian decided to skip college and get straight to work. He got a job with a general contractor where he spent six years remodeling kitchens and bathrooms. Right after he left this job, he decided to open a new chapter in his career by partnering with his brother at an insurance firm he had at that time.
However, Ian and Byron knew this wasn't their calling. Inspired by their childhood home improvement project, they wanted to provide "tangible" services for people. “I sincerely understand what a positive impact home improvement can have on a person’s life,” he explains.
"I realized very quickly that pushing paperwork around and selling this imaginary product was not for me. And so, it was time to get back to something real—providing a service, providing a product that would help people on a daily basis," says Ian.
Ian and his brother Byron, CEO of Build Brothers, decided to leave the insurance industry behind and start their roofing and solar business. Fast forward to today, they have amassed many satisfied customers and five-star reviews by delivering work with the highest level of dedication.
What Drove Their Recent Growth
With people spending so much time in their homes, remodeling their homes to fit their needs, making repairs, and saving money on energy became a must.
"As homeowners spend all this time at home, they realize that they're only using more electricity… 'Okay, I've been thinking about that solar. I've been staring at that stain, and it's been getting bigger for the last three years. Let's go ahead and get that roof job completed.'"
Luckily for Ian and Byron, roofing is considered an essential service which allowed them to keep working during the pandemic. They got to work and helped their customers make some needed changes in their homes.
"The business has been getting bigger for the last three years. It has been great for us. And I think most contractors, in general, are very busy with backyards, room additions, and remodels," explains Ian.
While Ian's business was growing, some of his family members lost their jobs due to COVID-19. But Ian invited them to join Build Brothers Inc. and continue to build a fruitful business together. "So, not only did I double in size, but I also did it by hiring a family," he says.
Managing Customer Expectations
No matter how great the project idea is, sometimes it doesn't go as planned. Small business owners know how important customer experience is for achieving growth.
Still, the truth is that most business owners don't know how to turn an unsatisfied client into the one who'll eventually leave a five-star review on Google—Build Brothers, however, found a process that works for them.
Ian believes that constant and honest communication between a contractor and a homeowner can save a relationship—even when a project doesn’t go as planned. According to him, delaying difficult conversations or changes only worsen the situation, leading to a customer's dissatisfaction with the service.
"If there's been no communication and then at the end of the project, an invoice goes out with an extra $3,000 in wood repair, well, guess what? You're going to have an unhappy customer on your hands," he suggests.
Ian also encourages his estimators, project managers, and sales reps to be involved with the customer from beginning to end. By keeping these open lines of communication, your company can ensure that all parties involved are on the same page throughout the project.
Opting for a Balanced Management Style
“My brother and I have a Yin and Yang management style.” says Ian.
In their case, having completely different management styles creates a perfect equilibrium that drives success.
"I'm the one that's pushing for growth, pushing to hire more people, sell more jobs, grow the company. And he's the one that says, 'Well, hold on. Let’s do it methodically and make sure the systems and processes are in place.'" he explains.
When family members do business together, you can’t always expect perfect harmony. But Build Brothers Inc. proved otherwise with strong leadership, honest communication, and utmost professionalism.
This article is based on an episode of the Small Business Blueprint podcast, a podcast for local business owners who sell services and manage their businesses on the go. Don’t miss our next episode by subscribing to our Blog.