Businesses: Pioneer Pole, Alpine Building Supplies, Pioneer Metal Roofing
When Bob Green set out to start his business, 23 years ago, it wasn’t because of his incredible construction skills or a lifelong dream to be in this industry. It was because of a series of events that led him to an opportunity. Of course, hard work, imagination, and some risk tolerance played into it too.
At 29 years old, Bob had a job with a steel roof manufacturing company and he had created a niche for himself by learning how to build a pole building kit with the lumber and steel and footings, etc. The kits though were creating unwanted competition with other local wholesalers though and so his company decided to step away from selling any lumber and went back to selling just steel. Bob jumped on the chance to buy their lumber inventory and go out on his own with Pioneer Pole Buildings.
Like most new business owners, there is a fair amount of naivety that is required to make this sort of leap. In fact, if we knew what we were getting into, we might never do it.
The good news is that it worked out for Bob. In his first year of business, he sold enough buildings to keep it all going and into year 2. Now, 23 years later, the company has built over 30,000 buildings and equipment rental, metal residential roofing and a building supplies and hardware store have been added to the group of businesses!
Bob credits his amazing success to a number of different things.
- Positive attitude
- Great employees and taking care of them
- His family and especially his sons that now work with him
- His hands-on leadership style, described as “fair, but demanding”
- Intentional work – from how the trucks are packed to how customers are treated
Bob was my midget football coach and was one of my first clients when I started off on my own in business growth coaching, consulting and training. Bob recently joined us for a business builder Q&A session and one our newer Business Builder Camp members asked Bob, “Has the growth you’ve had been on purpose and prepared for or did you just organically grow and add employees as you’ve needed them?”
This is a COMMON question – How should you grow? Should you have a Plan and build infrastructure to handle the growth first…then sell your product? Or, should you sell and market your product first and then do whatever you have to do to keep up with the new demand?
Bob’s answer – “Yes. We’ve done both. And,in both cases it’s hard work.”
As Bob talks about the evolution of his businesses over the years, he reflects on his own change. He describes the long hours or hard physical work throughout the years and now knows that he has moved to less of a work longer and harder attitude to more of a work smarter approach.
“I hire people that are way smarter than me and try my hardest to let them do the work they are great at. Sometimes I jump in and we work through why we’ve done things in the past and I have to really listen to their ideas. But I’ve seen some really good improvements come from that process.”
It is very important to Bob that the employees at his companies are well cared for and compensated. His favorite memories are of trips that employees and families have gone on to be together and celebrate growth and hard work, and feels so great about giving bonuses to reward their great work.
Now, as Bob looks to a “someday” retirement, he is working hard to develop the knowledge and relationship with his sons Brian and Matt. Knowing that they are well-equipped to take over AND that he has good relationships with them is top priority for Bob.
Bob is a wealth of knowledge and he generously shared it with our Business Builder Camp members. Thanks Bob!
You can find Bob and his economical pole buildings at http://pioneerpolebuildings.com/