We’re very excited to have Jason Black of Artisan Signature Homes onboard with us for today’s podcast. In this episode, you’ll learn all about his humble beginnings and his journey to success!
How Jason Got Started
Jason grew up in Louisville, Kentucky. While his family was never involved in carpentry and home building, both his parents were definitely involved in business. His father was in the financial services industry, and his mother in the restaurant business.
He recalls wanting to be a professional golfer but he knew that only a handful of people could make it in the pro leagues. He also dreamed of owning a business someday – any business.
Like many folks, Jason went to college and got a degree. He also met his future wife in the same university he was in. After college, he got a job from a Fortune 500 company. Because he wanted to succeed, he went back to school and received his MBA degree. He got hired into another company and worked in corporate America for many years.
While it was exciting climbing up the corporate world, he realized that he could not stay in a cubicle for the rest of his life. He wanted to achieve his dream and be happy. He knew that if he wanted to start his own business, now was the time.
It was hard work for him. Jason spent months researching residential construction and architecture in the library. And he spent quite a bit of time learning from other custom home builders. By the time he started building homes, he had thoroughly educated himself on high-end period home design. He also went and joined the local home builders association.
To realize his dream of having a business, he forged a partnership with his high school friend. Together, they started a custom home build company.
Jason Talks About Business Partnerships
They ran the company for 10 years together. Like everyone else, he experienced hardships and difficulties as he grew his career in home building. He wasn’t completely happy with how the business was being run, and decided he would like to take a different direction. It came to a point where he had to dissolve the partnership with his friend. It took them 6 months to finally end their business relationship.
Through that period, he learned a lot of valuable lessons about partnerships. Here are a just a few:
- Have an exit strategy.
- Put everything in writing.
- Decide who gets what if the partnership is dissolved. (Website, Instagram channel, Tools…etc)
Artisan Signature Homes Is Born
Jason had to re-brand himself and create a business from scratch. he also took this time to network with other people and let them know he was starting on his own. After a few months, Artisan Signature Homes was born.
He ran the business as a sole proprietorship for a few months but at the back of his mind, he knew he needed a new team. He later reunited with his high school friend, Jimmy King, who was in the restaurant business. Because of Jimmy’s work ethic and customer service experience, it was a lot of sense to begin a new partnership with him.
For Jason, finding a partner is crucial and important. He stresses that when you find someone to collaborate with you, there should be trust involved. His advice: find somebody that shares the same values that you have.
The Business Processes For Artisan Signature
Jason knows that he cannot run the business alone – so he has a team behind his back. With Jimmy as his partner and two others as his employees, they are able to deliver the best service for their homeowner clients.
As far as business processes go, he has learned to document everything, especially when it comes to contracts and change orders.
When he meets with clients and does a quote, he asks for $15,000 up front to cover all the design and planning costs, as well as get the project ready to go. It also ensures that most, if not all of the decisions have been made beforehand. That way, there are very few change orders.
In order to ensure that the company gets paid for every job, he doesn’t allow the homeowners to move in to the house until all payments are settled in full.
He doesn’t like to keep all the money in his business either, so he looks for ways to diversify and spread it out. Such as:
- Investing in the stock market
- Developing rental properties
- Other investments
Hi Tech Builder
Jason loves using technology for his business. Here are a couple ideas he shared with us on how he is using tech in his construction company.
- Google Docs and Google Sheets
- Podcasting (He has a podcast for his local community. Very smart!)
He highly recommends this book for you business readers…
Unshakeable – Tony Robins
Work Life Balance and Keeping Priorities Straight.
In the past, Jason has tried to please his clients at the expense of his family, and then ended up not even get paid for it. Now he stresses that family is top priority for him, and he tries really hard to be at there for his family instead of prioritizing work all the time.
Learn More About Jason Black:
Jason’s parting words of wisdom:
“Do what you like, or do what you love”