Toronto contractor Paul Gallop on why he joined a Peer Group (VIDEO)
"Most of us were undercharging in this industry, at least when we started," Paul says. "We didn't realize that it's possible and necessary to charge properly to stay in business."
Paul Gallop was the cover subject of the January 2019 issue of CANADIAN CONTRACTOR. Paul started his firm, Men At Work Design Build, almost 30 years ago – as a one man show. These days, he and his wife, Sherret Nosanchuk, have built an impressive organization with some 40 staff – and the firm is stable, well-financed and still growing.
We suggested to Paul that he must have had a mentor to achieve all this.
“A lot of it has been from the seat of my pants, honestly,” Paul replied. “Like probably the majority of your readers and viewers, I stumbled into this industry by accident; I needed work! But probably the best source of mentorship, training and education has come from my local homebuilders association (BILD) and a peer group (Remodelers Advantage).”
What is a peer group?
“These organizations bring contractors in similar industries together – people from non-competing markets,” Paul says. “We’re getting together with people from other cities around North America. There are usually 8 to 10 people in the group. There is usually a facilitator who is an experienced veteran of the industry. We share all of our data and our information in a structured format… and then we review each others’ material and critique it. We come away with great insights on how we are doing compared to each other.”
Comparing prices, too
Of course, this creates a great opportunity for contractors like Paul to see how they are pricing their firm’s work, compared to similar firms in other markets. Sometimes this is an exercise in humility. “Most of us were undercharging in this industry, at least when we started,” Paul says. “We didn’t realize that it’s possible and necessary to charge properly to stay in business. That’s a big part of what these peer groups bring to the table.”
NEXT VIDEO (April 5, 2019) How Paul Gallop accessed government funds for training his renovation staff.
TO READ THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH PAUL GALLOP IN CANADIAN CONTRACTOR, please see the Digital Edition at the bottom of our Home Page.