Business Builders Blog

Category: Increasing Production Efficiency

The Final Chapter: Great Leaders in Construction – Meet Alison Heather

In the concluding episode of our “Great Leaders in Construction” series, I had the privilege of delving into a heartwarming conversation with a dear friend, and highly successful contractor, Alison Heather. Her leadership journey is both inspiring and enlightening, filled with valuable lessons for aspiring leaders in the construction world.

Who is Alison Heather?
Alison’s commitment to the construction world began in 1985, transitioning from a solo house painter in San Francisco to co-leading a flourishing painting business, Heather & French Painting, with her business partner Jill French. With a focus on high-end residential projects, Alison and Jill’s leadership has steered their company to notable success. Their team of 30 dedicated professionals, along with being an in-demand employer, is a testament to their consistency and dedication as leaders.

The Power of Authentic Leadership
Alison’s greatest leadership lesson is simplicity itself: Be Yourself. This approach has allowed her to accept her weaknesses and play to her strengths. That’s the kind of real talk that turns good businesses into GREAT ones.

Key Takeaways

  • Accept your limitations and seek out the support of others who can fill the gaps.
  • Leverage your team’s unique skills and talents.
  • Always be true to who you are and be authentic – it will take you far!
  • Being consistent in keeping your word builds a reputation of being a great company to work with and for.

Being Accountable: The Backbone of Leadership
Accountability and responsibility are non-negotiables in Alison’s business ethos. Doing what you say you’re going to do isn’t just a saying; it’s a practice. She makes sure her word means something, not only to her clients but also to her team.

Quick Points

  • Your word is your reputation.
  • Consistency in action sets an example for the team.

Building A Stress-Free Culture
Our industry is stressful; let’s face it. Heather & French manages to mitigate this by being relentless in having clear communication and precise scheduling—hats off to Alison’s business partner Jill and their bilingual field superintendent Francisco for nailing this aspect.

Why Employees Stick Around
Heather & French has an impressively low turnover rate. They check in with their team, listen to them, and value their input. People genuinely want to work for them because they feel valued, seen, and heard.

To Sum it Up
Alison Heather is a living example of how being authentic, accountable, and considerate can transform you into an effective leader. She and Jill are pros at placing the right people in the right roles, playing to people’s strengths. Make sure to watch or listen to my interview with Alison – you may just discover how to become an in-demand employer of choice like Heather & French are!

Great Leaders in Construction – a chat with Steve Rempe

Today, I’m thrilled to present a rich dialogue with a dear friend and seasoned professional in the construction industry, Steve Rempe of Rempe Construction. Our paths have intertwined for more than 25 years, and his unwavering commitment to leadership excellence and quality craftsmanship never ceases to inspire. Dive into this episode of our “Great Leaders in Construction” series for a firsthand look at Steve’s insightful approach to leadership.

Meet Steve Rempe: A Builder of Quality and Integrity
Over his 45-year journey in construction, Steve continually honed his skills as a builder and leader. He was intentional about some cornerstone elements in how he ran his business: be consistent in our practices; be excellent in our craftsmanship; and treat everyone with dignity and respect. This became the foundation on which Steve was able to grow a thriving remodeling business, and ultimately, successfully succeed it to his son Zac.

Core Leadership Insights from Steve

  1. Stay True to Your Ethical Compass: The foundation of Steve’s leadership was an unwavering commitment to ethics and quality. As businesses grow, it’s crucial to retain the heart, ethos, and core principles that you started with. It’s about consistency and ensuring your team knows what’s expected.
  2. Empathy is Key: One pivotal aspect of leadership Steve highlighted is empathy. Understanding how people perceive things differently is crucial. Not everyone will view things from a leader’s perspective. Taking time to understand someone’s viewpoint, especially when things don’t go as planned, can offer valuable insights. Whether you’re dealing with team members, architects, or clients, recognizing and valuing their perspectives can make all the difference.
  3. Discipline Equals Freedom: One of Steve’s cornerstone beliefs is that discipline in leadership can actually be liberating. By establishing a consistent routine or approach, you eliminate countless daily decisions, allowing you to focus on what truly matters. This discipline can become contagious, inspiring your team to adopt a similar mindset.
  4. Run Towards Trouble: Problems and challenges are inevitable. But instead of evading them, Steve believes in confronting them head-on. Addressing issues directly and swiftly showcases accountability and can often lead to faster and more efficient resolutions.
  5. Job Satisfaction Matters: While many work for monetary benefits, there’s an undeniable satisfaction in being part of a team that’s achieving excellence. Ensuring that your team feels that sense of accomplishment and purpose can fuel their drive and passion.

The Joy of Achieving Together
Steve’s journey, transitioning his business to his son Zac and maintaining an unwavering commitment to quality, is truly commendable. His leadership lessons emphasize the importance of consistency, empathy, and discipline. But what stands out the most is the emphasis on job satisfaction and the joy of collective achievement. When your team knows they’re making a difference and are valued for it, it instills a sense of purpose that money can’t buy.

To all my readers, I urge you to watch our conversation. It’s not just a chat between two friends but a reservoir of insights that can guide you in your leadership journey. Dive deep, learn, and always remember to lead with authenticity and empathy. Your team will thank you for it!

Great Leaders in Construction – a chat with Jenny Rios

Being a great leader doesn’t mean having all the answers or never making mistakes. I loved my conversation with Jenny Rios, of Jenny Rios Home. We talked about the gift of making mistakes AND how to have an attitude about it that still lets life be fun and interesting in the process. This is another amazing interview in our Great Leaders in Construction series that you don’t want to miss!

Mistakes are a Gift…
In construction, success doesn’t come without its challenges. How we face those obstacles and overcome those challenges is what defines our journey. It was refreshing hearing how Jenny handles those ups and downs, and how she uses those moments as growth opportunities.

It’s Okay to Have Fun
So often we think that we must be serious about the business of running a business. As Jenny spoke about her “cornerstone habits” for success, she shared how when the teams she works with are having fun, they are often more productive and engaged. Bringing levity and joy into our work can make it better for everyone.

Tips and Ideas from a Seasoned Leader
These interviews aren’t just stories; they’re brimming with practical advice. Jenny’s tips and ideas could be the key to unlocking your potential and building a better business. Imagine how applying some of these insights in your day-to-day operations could make a difference! Check out what she says about how to attract the ideal client – it’s eye-opening.

You’re Not Alone
Being a business owner can feel lonely. We often don’t have someone else to bounce ideas off or ask questions to. Jenny was so open and honest in sharing her experience. Anyone watching this will appreciate the “insider perspective” we don’t always get from our peers, and help you feel a kinship to this fellow business owner.

Take the Time to Watch This
I genuinely enjoyed my discussion with Jenny, and I’m thrilled to share this interview with you. Her wisdom about growing a business you love is something that I believe can benefit all of us. We’re on a continuous path of learning, growing, and striving for success.

Watch the video. Use the insights, share them, and work smarter, not just harder.

Great Leaders in Construction – a chat with Everson Perez

I was inspired by my conversation with Everson Perez from Perez Construction as we talked about his approach to leading his team, and what’s shaped him as a business owner. As we dug into the foundational elements he relies on to guide his team and his business, he shared some great nuggets on how he’s built a solid foundation on which he’s been able to successfully grow. I can’t wait for you to watch this next video in our Great Leaders in Construction series!

A Series of Inspiration
The reason behind this series is simple yet powerful. Often, we find ourselves stuck in our routine, facing challenges, sometimes even feeling defeated. It’s at these moments, hearing other people’s stories, their struggles, their breakthroughs, and how they managed to overcome, can inspire us.

Learning from Leaders
Each leader I interviewed brought unique insights, tips, and ideas that helped them along their journey. The wisdom Everson shared in this interview was not just about building better businesses, but also about leading a better life.

What made this interview so impactful:

  • Personal Struggles: We all face them, but it’s overcoming them that makes us grow. Hearing how Everson broke through his barriers can let you know you’re not alone!
  • Valuable Tips: Ever wondered what that one secret tip from successful leaders is? Well, there’s more than one, and Everson shared a few great ones!
  • A Journey Worth Sharing: Success is not a solitary journey. Learning from others and sharing in their triumphs is what builds a community.

I genuinely enjoyed this interview with Everson. The fun part was not just hearing his story, but feeling connected with his experience.

Why you will want to watch this interview…

  • Real-life Insights: This is the experience of a real contractor who started out just like you, and who through, trial and error, built a great contracting business.
  • Actionable Advice: Every tip shared is something you can apply in your business today. It’s practical wisdom that has been proven to work
  • Inspiration to Move Forward: Sometimes, a little motivation from fellow industry leaders is all you need to take the next big step in your business.

So, without further ado, here’s the interview with Everson…

Ready to Plug Those Profit Leaks? Here’s How!

We’ve just wrapped up our eye-opening series on “Plugging the Profit Leaks in Your Contracting Business.” If you’ve been following along, you’ve got a clear picture now of the blind spots that can suck the profitability right out of your operations.

But knowing is only half the battle, right?

Now, let’s get down to the brass tacks. I’ve assembled a set of rock-solid, FREE tools designed to do one thing—help you identify and plug those pesky profit leaks in your business. This is about turning insights into real, tangible action.

In this video, I walk you through the two steps that will provide you with a clear roadmap for where to begin, and then provide the tools to move forward.

  1. Your Business Health Assessment – A Detailed Overview

Take the time to evaluate key areas of your business using my FREE “Business Health Assessment” tool. This tool allows you to rate vital areas such as marketing, estimating, production, sales, finance, and project management, helping you identify where profits may be leaking.

🔗 Access it FREE at:

  1. The Profit Bleed” – A Must-Read Book (FREE for a Limited Time!)

I’ve written a book that delves into the areas of your business where managing margins can make a significant difference in your bottom line. Told through a story of a contractor’s journey, it offers practical insights and actionable recommendations.  AND, it includes a number of proven, no-cost, tools, and resources you can download and use right away.

🔗 Secure your copy:

Your Path Forward:

Here’s how you can get started:

  1. Assess Your Business: Use the free tool at to understand where you might need to focus.
  2. Learn from Experience: Get the free book at and apply the insights.

Time to Grab the Reins of Success

Drawing from three decades of working side-by-side with contractors like you, these resources are crafted to equip you with the precise insights you need to bolster profits and relish the work you do.

Don’t let this chance slip away. Dive into these tools, implement the strategies, and begin forging a path toward a thriving and prosperous business.

Plug Profit Leaks & Master Cost Control – Exclusive Insider Interview!

Today’s video is the grand finale of our “Plugging the Profit Leaks” series, and we’ve saved the best for last!

Get ready for an enlightening interview with Aaron Gordon, a seasoned general contractor with over 20 years of experience in the construction industry. In this episode, we’re diving deep into the crucial topic of how to control project costs and meet those bid-day profitability goals. You won’t want to miss this powerful finale!

In the fast-paced construction world, project costs can spiral out of control, causing headaches and lost profits. With Cost to Complete (CTC), you gain real-time insights to spot and address potential cost issues early on, allowing you to make smarter decisions and maximize profitability.

When you implement CTC, you’ll have found the secret to plugging the profit leaks on jobs and discovered how to build a stronger team, and a more profitable business.

Picture yourself confidently communicating with clients, backed by accurate budgets and a clear understanding of your project’s progress.

In this interview, Aaron shares his own journey with CTC, and trust me, his experience will hit home for you.

If you’re looking to take your operations to the next level, boost profitability, and build a thriving contracting business, this is the interview you don’t want to miss!

At the end of this video I’m sharing a special offer to get my book, The Profit Bleed – How managing margin can save your contracting business” for FREE – you just pay shipping & handling.  Why am I offering the book for free? Because I REALLY want you to have all the tools you need to generate HUGE success in your contracting business!

The book is not just another generic guide; it’s packed with real stories of contractors who faced and conquered the challenges of building profitable businesses. Inside, you’ll discover valuable insights, tips, and strategies to achieve bid-day profitability goals and build a thriving contracting business. AND, there are lots of proven tools and resources you can get at no cost to help you implement your learning!  Download links are in the book.

Watch the video and grab your copy of “The Profit Bleed now and see how you can take control of your bottom line.

Claim your FREE book now and start building a brighter future for your business! Just cover the shipping and handling, and let the journey to success begin: Go here to claim your copy: https:/