Ofcourse this is a very subjective point of view, however, in my 30 plus years of observing what I believe to be some of the most extraordinary people in the world, I am in a position to clearly see this distinction. I have also a profound respect for these individuals, whom in many cases went from selling and installing their first fence personally to market dominance.
I’ve read the biographies of Lee Iacocca, Steve Jobs, Henry Ford, John D Rockefeller, and Jack Welsch but I have been unable to read about the ‘titans of the fence industry’. I plan to devote considerable time creating content highlighting these leaders. My goal is to do this for the benefit of the industry and the hardworking people in it.
Let’s face it, we all need role models and road maps, and I am sure there are many start ups, sales reps, and installers that could benefit from the experience of shared by the titans of fence! I plan to put in the spotlight several of them in the near future with my up coming podcast and interview YouTube show aptly named; The Fence Show.
The Fence Show — Episode 1
Perhaps it’s relevant to define an extremely successful fence company. How about about this?
Profitable, Empowering, Sustainable, Efficient, and Relaxed. A business that certainly could (but probably won’t) be sold at a high valuation.
1. They believe in their reputation.
The extremely successful — “are impeccable with their word”.
This is evident with all whom they interact with; customers, suppliers, industry peers, and their employees. They understand the paramount importance of customer service, community, partnership, and the power of the good will that comes from it. When they commit to a service repair, it’s not optional. When the “check is in the mail”, it is in the mail.
2. They have a passion for their business.
They eat, sleep, and drink fence. It defines them. They love it. They talk about it….WITH EVERYONE. They slow down to look at fences as they drive by with their families. Their best friends are their suppliers, employees, and other people in the industry. They are constantly dreaming up ideas and looking for that next piece of the puzzle.
One more observation on this one; they are on offense; not defense. They focus on what their company is doing and where it is going. They don’t obsess on what the “other guy” is doing. They don’t let the competition control their pricing, happiness, or decisions.
3. They are visible and available.
Even as some of these company’s get very large and have set up a great operations team, the successful owner is there to add value. The owner supports his team and shows appreciation at every turn. He or she leads by example and in many cases is still setting the pace.
Upon reaching the pinnacle of business operational success, it seems that the best of the best owners, migrate to what they love within the business. Whether that be selling, buying, marketing, manufacturing, finance, or personal development, it is their way of doing what they want to do now that they have the choice.
4. They value their suppliers.
This is a big one as I have seen it from the supply side; they view these relationships as ‘two-way’. Very few successful companies intentionally use their suppliers as a bank. They look to add value to the partnership and rarely debate price. They visit the mills, the plants, and the warehouses. They offer solutions to challenges in the supply chain and play a role in increasing its efficiency.
Speaking as a supplier, I can assure you that many of these extremely successful fence company owners are not currently a customer of any of the businesses of which I am associated. Of course, I would like their business but in many cases, they may have similar relationships to which I am describing— and that is great!
5. They treat their employees like gold.
I am certain that the many individuals which represent this “composite” analysis have a significant amount of “long tenured” employees. They learned early on that they couldn’t do it alone. They pay well, they are generous with “perks”, they recognize achievement, they keep it fun, and they don’t let “bad apples” stay very long.
Rob Corrao — Jan Fence
Whether these extremely successful owners started from scratch, inherited, or acquired the company, their attributes remain obvious to me. They have weathered many storms, learning curves, and economic conditions. Some have done it in less than 8 years, others have done it in 20 or more, either way they saw not only the potential in this amazing industry, but in themselves, and the people they chose to take this journey with them. Cheers to the best in the business and all aspiring to join you!
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