In a recent episode of the Kid Contractor podcast, Craig Sheller of Sheller Outdoor Living talked with Caleb Auman about the red flags he looks for in potential clients. Craig and Caleb both agree that if a client refuses to pay for a consultation, it's a red flag and they aren't a good fit. They believe that if a client is not willing to value what they offer as a company, it's not worth anyone's time, even if it's a $50,000 job.
Another red flag for them is when clients say they've received multiple bids. They prefer to work with clients who come to them directly and trust them enough to not have to shop around. They believe that building good referral partnerships and taking care of clients is the key to getting clients through referrals.
The podcast also discusses how to get to the stage of business where one can confidently turn away work and focus on the type of work and clients they want. For the full episode, listen here!
The CONEXPO 2023, the largest construction tradeshow in North America, was held recently, and it was an amazing event. Caleb and Brittany Auman shared their experience of the event in a recent episode of the Kid Contractor Podcast.
With 139,000 attendees, the event showcased 2.7 million net square feet of exhibits, taking up space equivalent to that of five or six state fairs. The Aumans attended the event and covered almost every bit of it, walking about 30 miles in three days. They met with several people representing different brands, including those they had never met before, and enjoyed networking with the community.
CONEXPO offered an abundance of fascinating exhibits and engaging activities that kept visitors busy and entertained. Attendees had the chance to explore impressive machinery and equipment, as well as attend thought-provoking panels hosted by prominent figures in the industry. With so much to see and do, it's no wonder that CONEXPO proved to be a truly exceptional...
Are you looking for ways to expand your business? Perhaps you can take a cue from Russell's Lawn and Landscape, a company that found a new and profitable niche in holiday decor.
In a recent episode of the Kid Contractor podcast, we talked with Andy and Russell Pugh, of Russell's Lawn and Landscape, about their transition from doing only lawn maintenance to now doing Christmas light installations. It all started when one of their clients asked if they could put up Christmas lights, and the Pughs decided to give it a try.
They quickly realized that there was a high demand for holiday decor in their area and decided to make it a core part of their business. They invested in high-quality materials and trained their team on installation techniques, and soon they were booking dozens of installations every holiday season.
Not only did they find a lucrative opportunity, but they also found that it helped even out their cash flow throughout the year. The summer months, which used to be...
As a landscaping company owner, staying up-to-date with the latest tools and equipment can significantly improve efficiency and output. One tool that has recently gained popularity is the tiltrotator, a hydraulic attachment that offers greater flexibility and precision in excavating and grading work.
In a recent episode of the Kid Contractor podcast, Caleb Auman discussed his plans to purchase a tiltrotator with three other owners who already have one, including Andy Mulder (Mulder Maintenance & Services), Jeremy Swihart (J Squared Outdoor Living), and Zach Tournoux (Tournoux Landcare). Although they shared varying experiences, they all agreed that a tiltrotator is a worthwhile investment for any landscaping business.
Caleb confirmed his plan to purchase a tiltrotator, which would likely be installed on a machine weighing under five tons. However, he's currently undecided on the brand and will need to research and determine which is best for his company, whether it be...
Starting a landscape business can be exciting, but it can also be overwhelming. With so many types of machines available, it can be challenging to decide what to invest in first. In a recent episode of Kid Contractor Podcast, three landscape business owners discussed what they believed was the best first machine to buy.
Owner 1 suggested a mini skid steer, which was met with agreement from Owner 2. As they both worked in the softscape world, they found a mini skid steer to be ideal for moving materials around. Owner 3 had a different opinion, recommending a dump truck or dump trailer as the first machine to invest in.
The exchange between the three landscape business owners sheds light on the importance of considering what type of landscaping work you will be doing before investing in equipment. For those in the softscape world, a mini skid steer may be the best option, while those in the hardscape world may prefer a mini excavator. However, investing in a...
In the world of landscaping, there are two main branches of work – commercial and residential. While both have their unique challenges and benefits, they can often require different approaches and skills. In this blog post, we will explore the joys and pains of commercial work, as discussed with our guest Chad during episode #321 of Kid Contractor podcast.
Commercial work refers to landscaping projects that are undertaken for businesses or public spaces, such as parks, schools, and government buildings. Residential work, on the other hand, is landscaping for private homes. While some landscaping companies specialize in one or the other, many offer both services. It all comes down to the preferences of the business owner and the type of clients they want to work with.
One landscaper, who was interviewed on the Kid Contractor podcast, shared his experience of moving from primarily residential to commercial work. The landscaper explained that he was drawn to...
In a recent episode of the Kid Contractor podcast, hosts Caleb sat down with two entrepreneurs, Alex and Jacob of the Turf Wars Podcast, to discuss what motivates them in their businesses. In particular, Caleb asked Jacob what gives him hope and gets him fired up. Jacob talked about how his faith gives him hope and motivates him to be a good steward of his business, rather than just chasing big contracts and flashy equipment. Meanwhile, Alex discussed how building something with his name on it, and doing things honestly, motivates him to be a good role model for his daughter and ensure that his business can survive even if something were to happen to him.
This conversation highlights an important aspect of entrepreneurship that is often overlooked: the importance of staying true to one's values and building a business that is sustainable in the long run. It can be tempting to chase after big contracts or flashy equipment, but if this is done at the expense of one's integrity or...
As the world becomes more focused on sustainability and preserving the environment, the need for qualified professionals in the arboriculture industry has never been greater. However, the lack of basic pruning knowledge and other arboriculture skills is becoming increasingly apparent in the modern landscape contracting industry.
In a recent episode of the Kid Contractor podcast, guest Austin Douglas of Ditch The Itch, suggested becoming a certified arborist through the ISA (International Society of Arboriculture) to improve the quality of tree care in the industry. Although it is not necessary to be a member of the ISA to become a certified arborist, joining the organization can offer many benefits, including discounts on materials and exams.
Moreover, being a member of the ISA means being part of a global organization dedicated to improving the arboriculture industry and urban forestry. The ISA not only focuses on how to better install patios and roads while preserving trees but...
Owning a successful landscaping business takes more than just having skilled workers and a strong work ethic. In a recent episode of the Kid Contractor podcast, Auman Landscape owner Brittany mentioned two factors that have helped her and her husband Caleb’s 7-figure landscaping company thrive: customer reviews and selective client screening.
Brittany shares how she has recently started asking their clients to leave reviews on Google, and the positive feedback Auman landscape is already increasing. Customers mention how Auman employees treat their property like their own, don't leave any trash behind, and quickly address any issues that arise during the project.
But Brittany mentions the success of the business also relies on an owners ability to select the right clients. While she can't guarantee that every client will be easy to work with, Brittany has a keen sense for picking up on red flags during the initial consultation. Whether it's the way they interact...
In a recent episode of the Kid Contractor Podcast, Caleb interviewed Aaron Witt, the founder of BuildWitt, a media company focused on the heavy civil and mining industries. Witt shared his story of how he got into the industry and how he built his company from scratch.
Growing up in a white-collar family, Aaron had no exposure to the blue-collar world of construction and heavy equipment. But he always had a fascination with bulldozers and other equipment that moved dirt. So at 18 years old, he cold-called the owner of a construction company in his neighborhood and asked for a job. He started right out of high school, not knowing what he was doing, but he fell in love with the industry and knew it was where he wanted to be.
Aaron went on to get an engineering degree and worked for five different heavy civil contractors while in college. After graduating, he went into road building with the goal of owning his own construction company. Then eventually, Aaron started...