Great Article on Things to Consider regarding comparing working a job vs. being an entrepreneur. Written by the experts at Entrepreneur Magazine.
CTi would like to wish the following February startups a Happy Anniversary as Dealers for Concrete Technology Inc.:
Concrete Beautification Systems – NY – 14 years
CTi of Camden – GA – 5 years
Custom Concrete Solutions – GA – 3 years
SOS & Design – MN – 3 years
CTi Concepts & Design – TX – 3 years
Concrete Design of Central New Mexico – NM – 3 years
Concrete Magic Designs – TX – 2 years
Bruce Decorative Concrete – WI – 2 years
Seacoast Construction – NJ – 2 years
Executive Concrete Solutions – TX – 2 years
Inspired Concrete Designs – MI – 2 years
Soto Decorative Concrete – FL – 2 years
CTi of Southeast Texas – TX – 2 years
Panchos Concrete Designs – CA – 2 years
L&M Concrete Technologies – PA – 1 year
Guimor Construction – FL – 1 year
New Way CTi – PA – 1 year
North Texas CTi – TX – 1 year
Gulf Coast Concrete Technology – AL – 1 year
Blue Earth Concrete – WI – 1 year
CTi of Amarillo – TX – 1 year
Decorative Concrete of Augusta – GA – 11 years
Style – IL – 8 years
Designer Finishes of Louisiana – LA – 8 years
Triangle CTi – NC – 6 years
Knox Concrete – ID – 5 years
Concrete Technology Inc. is proud to support the United States military. Our network of Dealers includes a number of veterans who successfully operate Dealerships around the country. The article below offers great insight into why these folks succeed in so many areas of their lives once they leave the military.
Custom Concrete & Design in Knoxville, TN became a CTi Dealer in October of 2015. In their first full year of operation, they’ve rocketed to the top 50 list of the largest CTi Dealers in the nation. One fine example of this organization’s heart is in the article below.
Recognizing the people who have helped you in your journey and giving back when your business finds success are the hallmarks of a top notch person and organization. We recognize and congratulate Custom Concrete & Design and are proud to call them CTi Dealers.
CTi would like to wish the following a Happy Anniversary as Dealers for Concrete Technology Inc.:
Accent Innovation and Design – OK – 16 years
Personal Touch Home Improvement – CO – 14 years
CTi of the Dakotas – SD – 3 years
CTi Africa – Somalia – 3 years
Cool Concrete Surfaces – GA – 2 years
CTi of WNC – NC – 2 years
Tri Surface and Design – IN – 2 years
CTi of Nashville – TN – 2 years
Brendel’s Concrete Coatings – ND – 2 years
CTi of Northwest Georgia – GA – 2 years
Concrete Transformation Solutions – TX – 2 years
Surface Design Group – TX – 2 years
Phase II Concrete – TX – 2 years
S&S Concrete Designs – KY – 1 year
Radiant Flooring Solutions – GA – 1 year
Custom Concrete of Katy – TX – 1 year
Concrete Evidence – NJ – 1 year
Comal Custom Concrete – TX – 1 year
Top Choice Concrete Design – NY – 1 year
Overlay Concrete Doctors – KS – 1 year
Unique Concrete Solutions – CA – 1 year
Creative Concrete and Flooring Designs – KY – 1 year
LKB Services – PA – 17 years
Concrete Technology of Hawaii – HI – 11 years
Creative Concrete Solutions – KY – 10 years
Concrete Decor – FL – 10 years
Advanced Concrete Restoration – TX – 9 years
Advanced Concrete Transformations – NM – 6 years
Concrete Surface and Design – KY – 6 years
Concrete Designs – AR – 15 years
Having quality personnel within your Dealership is crucial to its success. To hire quality individuals, the first place to look is within. What we mean by this is that the commitment level and stability of your employee base will directly reflect the commitment you have to your Dealership. When you are interviewing a potential employee, think about what is going through their mind. Where are you meeting, what are you telling them about the position, how secure are they about making a living working for you? All these and more are flowing through their mind during your initial visit.
Running a successful CTI Dealership is a full-time commitment. If you haven’t made this commitment, don’t expect your employees to, you will constantly fight turnover and motivation problems if you do CTI as a sideline to your “real” work.
Once you have made this commitment, then it’s time to start figuring out what it will take in order to keep yourself and your new employee(s) busy. Start with an advertising plan, this will give you an idea of how much advertising or hustling you’ll have to do in order to keep your people busy and productive throughout the year. A good tool for this is the Advertising planner and worksheet located in this manual. This should give you an idea of how much to spend in advertising, how many jobs you will need to sell, and how to plan the applications to keep your crew busy year round. The biggest motivator and loyalty builder you can develop within your staff is their ability to count on you to afford them ability to make a living for themselves and their families.
Who do you look for?
Some tips for recruiting staff that has been shared with us from our Dealership network is
- Find someone who has a family to support.
- Find someone who has a mortgage vs. renting an apartment.
- Your new employee should have a relatively stable job history (no more than an average of one job per year for the last five years.)
- Criminal and credit history checks are becoming more affordable, contact PICA for criminal background checks (normally $50-$75 per check) and Equifax for credit history check (normally $40-$60 per check). This will give you a better feel for the personal habits of your new employee.
What do you offer an employee?
Again, our Dealers have shared with us what their biggest selling points are when interviewing potential employees about their positions.
- A stable, 40 hour per week job throughout the year.
- In a majority of the cases, the ability to work during the daytime only.
- Health care (check into associations such as the Chamber of Commerce or use of a staffing service to help keep these costs down. Also, figure these numbers into your overhead before you decide what to pay per hour for your employees. This should be considered part of their compensation.)
- Bonuses for weeks where the crew installs above average square footages, for keeping call backs below a certain minimum, or if the company does over a certain amount in revenues for the month. These bonuses could be cash, dinner out, or something as simple as a case of beer.
What should I pay an employee and how?
Although it is difficult to provide a generic number that works throughout the U.S. regarding hourly labor rates, below is an example that will at least give you a starting point:
Three crew operation
Lead man: $15-$20 per hour plus health benefits
Second man: $12-$17 per hour plus health benefits.
Third man (part-time in many cases): $8-$10 per hour no benefits.
Considering that you are paying your lead and second man throughout the year and your third man is working 20 hours per week on average, your labor cost for the year would range from $64,480 to $87,360 for their hourly rate annually plus the FICA, and other taxes associated with having employees along with their medical insurance. This three man crew, once semi-accomplished, should be able to install a minimum of 2500 square feet per week. Considering an average year having 45 weeks of installations, your annual production should be in the range of 100,000 to 125,000 square feet annually which means your labor cost per square foot with all items included would run 75 – 90 cents per square foot.
CTI Dealers are split on how to pay their employees. Some pay their employees an hourly rate while others will pay be the square foot installed. The argument regarding the square footage rate is that this will create an incentive to boost productivity since a crew is paid a flat amount regardless of how long it takes them to install a certain job. It also creates a “flat” overhead expense for the job vs. having the labor become a variable.
As a business owner your CTi Dealership can be a tremendous asset in your portfolio of investments. To see how your business is performing though, you need to see it from three different angles, namely, the income statement, cash-flow statement and balance sheet.
The Income Statement details the business’s cash generating ability. It projects such items as revenue, expenses, capital (in the form of depreciation) and cost of goods. You should generate a monthly income statement for the business’s first year, quarterly statements for the second year and annual statements for each year thereafter.
The Cash Flow Statement details the amount of money coming into and going out of the business – these reports should be generated monthly for the first year and quarterly for each year thereafter. The result is a profit or loss at the end of the period represented by each column. Both profits and losses carry over to the last column to show a cumulative amount. If your cash-flow statement shows you consistently operating at a loss, you will probably need additional cash to meet expenses. Most businesses have some seasonal variations in their budgets, so re-examine your cash-flow calculations if they look identical every month.
The Balance Sheet paints a picture of the business’s financial strength in terms of assets, liabilities and equity over a set period. You should generate a balance sheet for each year profiled in the development of your business.
(The above was taken from the book Start Your Own Business by the staff at Entrepreneur media)
Remember, a stand alone set of books for your business will not only show you its real performance, it will also point out what is working well along with what needs to improve. In addition, a separate set of books for your business will make it much easier for a potential buyer to see what they are purchasing if and when you are ready to sell in the future.
As a small business owner, reputation means everything! It’s extremely important to establish and maintain a solid reputation in your local community. Be known as the local “Concrete Resurfacing Expert.” Know the competition in your area, and the products and services available to your potential customers. Keep up appearances, be honest, be professional and always be punctual for your appointments. Remember all the work involved to get those valuable appointments. If you must be late… call to reschedule.
Get the word out in your community about “who you are” and “what you do.” Try different things. Sponsor a Little League baseball team or become a contributing booster for local schools. Always continue to work on your reputation in the community. This will go a long way in building credibility with your customers. Another easy way to build your reputation and credibility is to speak at local public engagements. Take time to think about and research, where do local businessmen or home owners get together? What organizations are in your community? The local Chamber of Commerce will have information regarding Kiwanis Clubs, VFWs, Home Builder’s Associations, Home Owner’s Association, Garden Clubs, small business organizations, YMCA’s, etc. Join a few of your local organizations and ask to speak at more. All civic organizations need speakers for their luncheons and meetings. Most of us dread speaking in public. So, make it as easy as possible for yourself, come armed with as many visual aids as possible. Bring sample boards, portfolios, brochures, etc. Put yourself in a position to let the product sell itself. Essentially, you are building your network. Hopefully, the better your network the more credibility you will gain in your community. Remember, when speaking in public it’s okay to be nervous. Look at it as just another Home and Garden Show, but with a captive audience. Keep it simple, but make it fun!
A wise man once said, “actions speak louder than words.” So get the ball rolling and call your local Chamber of Commerce… find out who’s out there. If you don’t know who they are, they won’t know who you are!
Concrete Technology would like to congratulate the following Businesses on their December anniversary date as CTi Dealers:
CTI East Coast, FL – 26 years
Brak-Hard Concrete, KS – 19 years
D&D Concrete, PA – 16 years
CTi of Sand Mountain, AL – 16 years
CTi of Columbus, GA – 7 years
Concrete Complete, NC – 2 years
CTi of Central New Jersey – 2 years
Surface Technology L.A., CA – 2 years
CTi of Springfield, MO – 1 year
Concrete Design Techniques, MN – 1 year
Dreams in Concrete Realized, VA – 1 year
Concrete Made Perfect, IN – 1 year
Creative Stone Specialists, IL – 11 years
Custom Concrete Coatings, TN – 11 years
Livingston Building Company, NC – 8 years
Concrete Unlimited, Canada – 7 years
Fix Your Concrete, PA – 6 years
CTi of Atlanta, GA – 3 years
Fairfax Concrete Technology, VA – 3 years
Maybe you have a little extra time on your hands this holiday season and want to do some reading on running a business. Below are some titles we highly recommend, they range from general information on running a business to creating a vision to specific information on marketing, sales, etc. Enjoy the read:
- The E-Myth Revisited – Michael Gerber
- Sales for the Self Employed – Martin Edic
- The Complete Guide to Finance and Accounting for Non-Financial Managers – Steven Finkler
- Built to Last – Jim Collins
- Good to Great – Jim Collins
- Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
- The Millionaire Mind – Thomas Stanley
- Guerilla Marketing – Jay Conrad Levinson
- The One Minute Manager – Kenneth Blanchard