Mike Beirne is a seniot editor of Custom Builder magazine. A Jesse H. Neal Award winner, Mike has tallied 26 years of journalism experience plus numerous news and feature writing awards, including honors from the Society of Professional Journalists, Hoosier State Press Association, and Indiana Associated Press Managing Editors. He also operated a masonry restoration business for more than two decades,

Wise Counsel

The ability to step back and look at the big picture is a luxury, particularly for anybody running his or her own company. 

A common anecdote I hear from builders who finally hired a strategic planning consultant or dove into a deep self-assessment exercise is that they had been nudged for years to do so, but they just didn’t have the time because they were too busy working in their business to work on their business.

Some builders gave me that same explanation as to why they hadn’t joined a Builder 20 Club sooner. Others told me that they hadn’t joined because they didn’t know the networking program even existed, something that Kimberly Bailey, who administers support services for Builder 20 Clubs through the National Association of Home Builders, says she hears all too often when promoting the program at trade shows and conferences. But once onboard, builders found the experience so valuable that they wondered how they’d ever gotten along without their group. 

The men and women I talked with for this month’s business management feature (click here to read "A Think Tank for Builders") gushed about how the 20 Club gives them access to a tremendous wealth of knowledge and talent that’s just a phone call or email away. Indeed, occasionally when members of the 20 Club called the Highenders discuss whether they should invite someone from the speaker circuit to their next meeting, the response is: What can any speaker bring to our group that we can’t already do ourselves?

“There are guys in the group who have been doing business for a long time now,” says Ed Mahoney, president of E.B. Mahoney Builders, in Bryn Mawr, Pa. ”They run a good operation and have procedures in place so their employees can take care of clients. Those are the kind of guys you want for role models.” 

Heather Dosch, president of Buchan Homes, in Bellevue, Wash., has been in the Highenders for three years and boils down her club experience to three attributes: inspiration—fellow members are a talented group who offer much from which to learn; support—the builders are genuinely interested in one another’s success; and, finally, accountability. About the latter, she says, “I know I’m going to be accountable when I go to the next meeting to say I took your suggestions and here are the results, or I did it and there are still some challenges. You just know that when you go to the meeting and see the group that you’re going to have to let them know how things are going. You couldn’t ask for a better group of consultants.”

Thursday, November 12, 2015 - 06:00

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