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Behind the Scenes of a Startup, Quarter 2
I launched a new business on January 1st, 2023. Here’s how the second quarter went.
I’m chronicling a new business startup, Trinity Builder Solutions, and I’d love for you to join me on the journey. (Click here to read from the beginning…) I’ll be providing quarterly (originally monthly) updates, and this is an update for quarter two. Want to receive these updates in your email? Here you go!
Do you know how “they” all talk about how hard it is to start a business? How many hours it takes? The blood, sweat, and tears? The ups and downs?
Well, if Trinity Builder Solutions (TBS) were a movie, Q2 would be the trailer.
Some huge wins, some significant losses, and as always, many lessons learned.
My biggest takeaway from the quarter is the importance of knowing my team. In Q2, a key TBS teammate resigned, and the post-resignation revelations were startling in both the way they resigned and subsequent facts that emerged after they left. I was left feeling rather foolish, as I pride myself on the ability to “read people” and felt I should have sensed some of the issues earlier.
As always, the question is, “Based on what I know now, what will I do differently?”
And that, folks, has been a blessing. Because now, after six months, Brian and I have a much better idea of what we need in our 3rd teammate. When recruiting for this role late last fall, we made many guesses about what we needed. But now? We have a much better idea.
I’m pleased to say that three weeks into our recruiting efforts, we have multiple fantastic final candidates for the Estimator/Project Manager role at TBS. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.
Here are the details:
Wins from the Quarter
We defined our Core Focus (Purpose and Niche) and 10-year Target within the EOS framework. This took 4-5 weeks of consideration, debate, and “visioning,” and I love where we landed. (I’ll share the results in an upcoming newsletter.)
We were awarded our first two multi-unit contracts: three units in Modesto and 38 units in San Pablo. It was a great feeling to secure this work after more than six months of pursuing this project type.
Our work as a fabrication subcontractor for a tile & stone company is going well, and the opportunity is accelerating. We’ve built a spreadsheet calculator allowing them to price their fabrication independently from us, reducing the duplicate work required in the old system.
Our network of general contractors and developers sending us bid opportunities grew tremendously in Q2. Our estimating goal is $2M/month, and we’re getting very close to receiving the necessary volume of bid requests to meet this goal.
What worked last quarter?
The recent resignation required me to pop back into estimating and business development. The former helped me improve and document our estimating process for when the new team member starts in August. The latter reminded me of how much I enjoy building relationships and gave me excitement for getting back to this once the new estimator is trained.
What did not work last quarter?
While I’m convinced it was proper and necessary, being pulled back into kitchen & bath CRATE significantly in Q1 and Q2 stunted TBS’s growth. I think it also contributed to my blindness regarding the team member who departed.
What do we need to keep doing?
In Q3, TBS needs to double down on estimating and business development. Like nearly all businesses, I’m learning that the commercial subcontract world is a simple numbers game. We need to generate bid opportunities and then quickly and accurately produce estimates. Over and over. Day after day. So Q3 is about really dialing in this machine.
What needs to improve?
Once a job is awarded, our hand-off processes need to be improved. We’ll borrow some tactics from kitchen & bath CRATE to ensure the field team has the information they need to produce remarkable installs.
Financial Goal Tracker as of 06/30/23
Value of Proposals Generated YTD: $4,192,463
Value of Projects Awarded YTD: $312,094
Award Rate: 7.4%
Revenue Goal for 2023: $2,225,000
Revenue YTD: $137,238
Percentage of goal: 6.2% (That’s still not much!)
Books of Note: If someone asked me for a playbook for building a network, Keith Ferrazzi’s Never Eat Alone would be the recommendation. His suggestions for weaving relationship-building into the day-to-day are exceptional. The author, a talented speaker, reads the audiobook, so I’d suggest that format for this particular book.
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