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Starting a business from scratch is an adventure.

In the episodes below we dig deep into the systems, secrets, and stories of remarkable people who dropped everything to start a healthy profitable business.

Feb 27, 2018

Our guest today builds houses. Really beautiful houses

Hardwood floors with deep velvety purple finishes, huge windows full of afternoon sun.  Each home is unique and, like any good builder, his finished pieces have a stunning signature to them.  Loren Wood and his team of builders drop their heart and soul into every new build.  They pour foundations, frame walls, run electrical, pop about a trillion nails into all of it, and finally when it’s all done, they take some pretty pictures, open the doors for the home's new owner, and move on to the next one.

We’re glad you joined us!

Here are some highlights:

loren woodWhat childhood memories led Loren to start a construction biz? (2:50)

Loren remembers being amazed as a kid by the fact that his uncle built his own house.  It seemed to Loren at the time like his uncle Rick hit every nail in by himself without any help.  He always thought that was awesome and wanted to do it himself.

What’s a story that stucks out as an example of what Loren builds for people? (4:10)

For Loren it’s not really one example.  He enjoys the process.  He’s proud that there are beautiful houses with his name attached to them but he’s more connected with the experience of it.  He likes helping people through the process, creating a great work environment for his employees, and honing the entire process.  The connection for him is a lot more with the doing than the result.

When it comes to building materials, there’s everything from toxic to materials cut down on the same property of the house.  Where does Loren stand on that scale? (12:40)

When he first started, Loren built his own house at the highest level of every environmental standard.  But he learned pretty quickly that it wasn’t always feasible, and his clients didn’t want or feel they needed that.  So now he builds putting the most important things (like high efficiency design) first.  From there he tries the help clients make smart and balanced decisions.

You do a ton of work supporting non-profits in Bloomington.  What role does that play in your business and your thinking? (16:30)

Loren didn’t start his business thinking he would be doing a bunch of giving.  He just wanted to build a couple of houses.  Once he started becoming bigger he started getting asked to do things, so he did them.  He started realizing that he really could use his role as a builder to contribute to his community.

loren wood builders How do you build a great staff? (23:10)

Loren remembers watching through his dad’s factory and his dad pointing out each employee and why that person was a key part of the process.  His dad was affirming his team and their value to the business.  Setting a positive work environment is key number one.  Being able to compensate people fairly is the second.  People have to have a living wage to make things work.  Employees are part of a profit sharing part of the business as well.  Finally, creating a culture where there’s room for advancement.  Professional and creative growth is key.  Putting all of this together with a positive attitude is the formula Loren uses everyday to keep employees and keep the whole team happy.

Where will Loren Wood Builders be in 5 years? (39:00)

Loren is really happy with where things are at right now.  If he was still humming at the same pitch five years down the road, that works for him.  Curiosity has changed and he’s sure it will change again but the premise, the structure, he’s good with it.

Special thanks to Loren Wood for taking the time to share the Loren Wood Builders story with us!

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