Today’s guest is Joe Macaluso from Modern Room Remodels. He’s got quite a story of how he lost his job on Wall Street, and is now doing tile and remodel work in the family remodeling business. He has a brilliant mind, and it was fun to have him as a guest on our podcast!
From “Wall Street” to Family Business
Joe was “living the dream” as an asset manager. He was in a high-paced environment – he managed 20 people across the country and reported directly to the vice president of a Fortune 500 Company. He also did lots of traveling, drove a Tesla car (an electric car) and was living a comfortable lifestyle.
Things didn’t turn out well for Joe when the financial crisis started. It was tough and scary and everyone in the financial industry dropped out. Eventually, he was let go and from there, he started looking for jobs – doing interviews for other positions and industries. He admits that it was a difficult time for him.
It took him two years to get back to work full time again. During those difficult times, he managed to scrape off of whatever savings he had.
Since Joe’s father runs a family business (specializing in artist and tile work), he started working part-time. He did some carpentry work, doing odd jobs here and there. Because his father’s business was not spared from the financial crisis, work really slowed down. In fact, there were certain projects (remodeling and construction work) that were stopped. Still, the slow work was manageable and it was enough to support everyone in the family, including himself.
The Beginning of Modern Rooms Remodels
With enough experience in the construction industry, plus knowing the financial side of things, Joe started a sister company and a separate brand, Modern Rooms Remodels. They control 100% of the tile aspect but they also include lots of remodeling. They have a crew that handles bathrooms and kitchen remodeling.
Joe stresses the importance of knowing the value of a home, especially for homeowners. A lot of clients don’t understand the bigger picture and what is the true return of investment for homeowners. For instance, an addition has a big expense up front, but pays dividends as a long term investment.
Another thing Joe notes is using applications to make the job go easier, efficient and faster. He uses web-based and mobile apps to streamline budgets, proposals, and expenses.
Here are the best apps that he uses:
- Home Depot pro app: To record all your receipts.
- Google Drive: To create and save documents, spreadsheets, and reports online.
- Quickbooks: For accounting and record keeping of your income, purchases, salaries, expenses. You can also hire a bookkeeper if you need to.
- Excel: Also a way to create your budgets and expenses.
- Email & Text: For communication purposes. He suggests using Call Recorder and save everything on Google Drive.
Online Marketing Strategies
“If you’re not on social media, you are behind.”
Joe says his business has been using Facebook for the past 2-3 years. He stressed the importance of knowing your audience, to targeting specific audience, community and towns, and making your page verified and localized. Through this social media platform, he started gaining many leads and prospective clients.
Here are the 5 aspects of a perfect business page on Facebook:
Facebook knows what you like, and what you are interested in. For instance, if you like Mercedes, then BMW can use that interest of yours to show you ads.
By using the Pay-Per-Click ads (PPC ads) on Facebook, their online advertising has lowered their costs of advertising.
Another thing Joe used for his business is keyword tagging via Google Adwords. Again, he suggests knowing your target audience and use the right keywords before narrowing it down.
If there’s one thing he learned from utilizing social media for his business, it is simple:
- Do good work.
- Do good by the clients.
- And your business will grow.
Don’t be afraid to ask clients for recommendations on social media. That is free advertising for you and your business.
Here’s What Joe Would Tell a Contractor Who Is Just Starting Out.
Stick to the basics. As an entrepreneur, you have to be thinking about the next move. Stay humble and motivated. Don’t give up. Just be patient.
Joe Recommends This Book?
Grit To Great. It talks about how some people are set up for success, but hard work and hustle will get you much farther.
Follow Joe Macaluso and His Business Here:
Joe’s Parting Words of Wisdom:
“Don’t give up. If you are passionate. Keep your head straight and your vision straight. Take it one step at a time.”