Episode #80 – Nick Ramirez
Mike and Brian are joined by Nick Ramirez, President of Just Contents, Inc. Starting as a driver and mover at a local business in the San Gabriel Valley, he eventually struck out on his own. Now with around 30 employees, Nick values above all else the people that work with him and for him. Because he hires such quality people, ALL of their business is gained via referral. no need to put money in the standard marketing budget because his people essentially are the marketing budget!
Episode #79 – John Cefalu
Mike and Brian are joined by John Cefalu, CEO of both JJ’s Landscaping and The Buildsters. With no real prior experience in the contractor industry and needing to make some money, John and his business partner, Derek, came up with the idea that if they each made $200 a day, they would each be able to make $72,000 and they’d be satisfied. So, they did exactly that. They did whatever it took to make $200 a day – whether it was at the Roulette Table, or selling the fish they caught that day, or marketing for other companies, or… mowing lawns. Mowing lawns turned into clearing landscape which turned into hardscape and then all of a sudden, they were making much more than $200 a day. In their first year – $300,000 in revenue. Now, in their 2nd year – $4.5 Million. Yup… MILLION! And that’s just the contracting side. They’re turning the contracting industry on its head with their new marketing catalyst – The Buildsters. This episode is a special one and I promise you’ll understand why after you listen!
Episode #78 – Martin Whitmore
Mike and Brian are joined by Martin Whitmore, President and Founder of US Window & Door in San Diego. Growing up in the gas station business, Martin learned what it meant to run payroll, inventory, and manage employees. Moving into the contractor business eventually, Martin was fired from the company he helped turn around by the new CFO a week after his son was born. And what a blessing that was – desperation can often inspire creativity and execution. In addition to that, he has a gift for creating systems and efficiencies while also able to recognize new trends in the industry. As a result, their business is booming breaking records year over year. If you’re in need of fresh perspective on running a contracting business, Martin is your man.
Episode #77 – Mike Price
Mike and Brian are joined by Mike Price, Owner and CEO of Bay Area Concretes & PolishedCrete. As a young man, he explored several options – from being a fighter pilot to moving to the beautiful beaches of Southern California, he made the decision to go to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and studied Financial Management. Upon graduation, he went to work for Bay Area Concretes, the company his father founded in the 1960s and started in marketing, then estimating and sales, then into the CFO position, then Vice President, and now President. Back during the 1990s, the company was around $2 million in revenue and today, they’re at $20 million! You’ll quickly learn, listening to Mike’s story, how this trendsetting company in the concrete contracting space has become so accustomed to growth. Sidenote: Mike Price is a legit SAG Actor. So, if it sounds like he’s more polished than Mike and Brian, it’s because he is! Thanks Mike for joining us!
Episode #76 – Margaret Goking
Mike and Brian are joined by Margaret Goking, Chief Operating Officer of Pacific Commercial Property Services, Inc. Her parents, who started the company, won a vacuum cleaner in a raffle back in 1989. However, unlike most people who just won a vacuum cleaner, they saw an opportunity and opened up a janitorial company with that vacuum cleaner as their first official piece of equipment. The janitorial business grew to property maintenance as they took on new customers. In addition, they’ve learned to streamline their operations and processes and cover all of Southern California with just 19 employees. If you’re looking to make your company more efficient and increase the bottom line, this is your episode!
Episode #75 – Gregg McKay
Mike and Brian are joined by Gregg McKay, President and CEO of NU-VUE Window Films, Inc. Starting 36 years ago, he saw his brother tint his car and thought “I can do that!” Immediately going to the store, he bought tinting and tinted his mom’s car without her knowing and it went from there. He opened his first business in 1991, and immediately learned and felt the struggles of what it means to be a small business owner. Now, with NU-VUE (since 2008), they’re the largest window tinting company in all of San Diego County!
Episode #74 – Matt Darienzo
Mike and Brian are joined by Matt Darienzo, Owner of Solar Art. Originally from New York, Matt went to school and went straight to the entertainment industry in New York City working at 30 Rock for shows like Rosie O’Donnell and Martin Short. But after questioning his calling in entertainment, and looking up to his entrepreneurial father, he opted to come back to Southern California and buy an automotive window tinting business. Growing that business, he eventually moved to the residential and commercial side and purchased Solar Art. Starting with one location in LA, they’re now in both Southern and Northern California. His business model has proved to be effective – starting from one small acquisition in 2000 to now several operations all over the state worth millions of dollars! And now, as an avid lover of all things pizza, he’s added Sal’s Pizzeria to his business portfolio… and trust us, it’s amazing pizza!
Episode #73 – Jay Valentine Martinez
Mike and Brian are joined by Jay Valentine Martinez, President and CEO of JVM Landscape Construction, Inc. After graduating from college with a major in Philosophy, he went to Law School. But after that first year, he decided he didn’t want to sue people for a living! But throughout school, he was working side jobs for his dad, who was a landscape contractor and after Law School, they made the decision to go into business together and open up JVM Landscape Construction in 2013. With plans to grow, they have a focus on not only their product and service they offer, but a very specific focus on their team culture to make it a welcoming place to come to work every day.
Episode #72 – Alex Rodriguez
Mike and Brian are joined by Alex Rodriguez, CEO and Founder of Bay Cities Construction in Torrance, California. Starting in 2004, Bay Cities was primarily based in real estate investment – involved in real estate development and flipping homes until the Great Recession hit. With a ton of success in those first 4 to 5 years, they hit the bottom with the crash and that continued for several years. Alex decided to go back to school and get his MBA and learn how to not only avoid future economic pitfalls, but to market and build a business and a brand. Bay Cities Construction is now a full stop residential contractor and more importantly, they have a very, very steady flow of new customers. As a result, he’s turned a failing and floundering business into a thriving and booming residential construction empire!
Episode #71 – Mark Karch
Mike and Brian are joined by Mark Karch, President and CEO of The Rain Drain. Mark’s father started the company back in 1983 and he went to work for him in 1988 and by 1998 took over the company completely with a sole focus on residential rain gutters. Mark goes into detail the struggles that come along with running a small business especially during COVID when employees would rather stay home on unemployment. Through it all though, they’re still working. Especially with people staying home and seeing what needs to be fixed around the house!