WHY CHOOSE US?
The team translates into our quality. We stress that if we want to be the best, we have to act like the best.
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Check back soon. We will detail a recent pavement maintenance project that we completed in the city of New Albany, IN. It was a success and photo’s and a detailed description will be posted ASAP.
In a continued effort to bring you the best paving and pavement solutions, we have decided to document some of our thoughts, processes, mentalities, and offerings so that you might be able to make an educated decision when it comes time for hiring a paving or pavement maintenance contractor. We hope that you will find our values to be a welcoming sight, especially in the construction and contractor world.
If you are looking to ADC Paving for pavement maintenance education, no matter the level of knowledge you are looking to obtain, the only place to start is with our history. ADC Paving has been serving the Louisville, Kentucky, Southern Indiana and the surrounding areas since 1959. Our current commercial paving services go well beyond the boundaries as, even within this last month we have performed large scale commercial jobs in both Evansville, Indiana and Clark County, Kentucky. We’ve traveled 600+ miles to Lancaster, Pennsylvania for a company that saw our values and presence in the paving community and they wanted to give us their business.
Up until 2017, ADC Paving was primarily serving Kentucky counties as a residential paving contractor. The company name was originally an acronym “Asphalt Driveways Company”. Jack Wood, started the company in 1959 and ran a successful paving operation until his passing in 1980. At that point, my aunt took over and she was my mentor and gateway into my career and newfound passion. I was able to learn much of the day-to-day operations of how a proper construction, paving, and pavement maintenance company should operate. I will be eternally grateful for the time, opportunity, and knowledge she bestowed upon me
Paving Louisville, Kentucky and Southern Indiana Since 1959
Perhaps the most valuable lessons I have learned as an asphalt contractor in Louisville stems from problem-solving as a worker in the field.
After a hard day’s work, a former employee once said to me that they, “can’t wait to drive around and sit in a truck all day.” In all honesty, I did not take offense. It was the middle of the 2019 summer and on one of the hottest days when this crew member observed our sales expert hop out of his truck. The worker understood that he was checking on a job deal that he had signed. I’m sure, correction, I KNOW it isn’t easy to be shoveling 325° asphalt during the middle of an 11 hour day. He was sweating himself a second layer of skin when he observed our paving sales expert hop out of his new ADC truck with a smile as if he just had a great snowball fight. Back to the story.
Learning this industry from the ground up sent me through every emotion known to any asphalt worker who has laced up his/her boots. In 2009, three years before we decided to purchase ADC Paving, I thought I might be able to start my mornings with a shower, throw on a polo and some khakis, and come home with clean hands and money flowing out of my pocket. That’s not how it happened and I couldn’t be more thankful. Whether it be a $3,000,000 commercial paving and pavement maintenance parking lot job or a $2,500 driveway, I can now make the correct call with confidence in myself and with the respect of my crew. They know that I have put in the time shoveling, raking, tamping, spreading, weed eating, blowing, and sweating. They also know I will be the first one to do it “right now” should we be short a worker that day.
Last year my time was split between working in the office and the field. Any business owner or manager who has put effort into their work has felt the difficulties of delegating. In that light, an essential aspect of ADC Paving is our employees and the ability to trust them. (If I had written that sentence two or three years ago, that would have been said in jest. Now, I mean it with genuine pride and honesty and it feels great.) We have hired difference makers in our office and on our sales team. They understand the asphalt industry and, as a result, every year we get more efficient. We run multiple paving and seal coat crews on a single day. We are more responsive, educational, and easier to communicate with.
I say all of this to simply say, “We belong here.” It is a fundamental desire for humans to feel deserving of their status and partnerships. I owe so much to countless people who had the patience to teach me about drainage, compaction, communication, trust, integrity, business, and the Louisville paving industry. I am proud of the mornings I spent before long summer days when I laced up my boots for ADC Paving. The only thing I am more proud of is watching each individual on my team work. We take pride seriously, and I am honored that they want to grow within ADC Paving. I want everyone within the company to have an opportunity they didn’t have before they arrived.
Give us a chance to earn your business and show you how we are changing the construction, paving, and pavement maintenance industries with our levels of pride and experience.
Paving Louisville, Kentucky and Southern, Indiana Since 1959
Asphalt paving is not necessarily a difficult concept to grasp. It is a compound of rocks, sand, and tar. You will, however, want to understand a few more things in depth if you have visions of providing a high-end, reliable product to commercial customers. Proper mixtures, the effects of ground and air temperatures, grading and drainage, weight and gravitational properties, protective maintenance compounds, and countless additional items only account for a portion. And though a faction of our business will always provide paving and maintenance services to residential projects of specific criteria, our knowledge base is grounded in commercial paving and property maintenance, and technology is now our vehicle.
Over the past few years, ADC Paving has become a leader in technological preparation for paving in the Louisville, Kentucky and Southern Indiana region. On large scale jobs, we plan for weeks by making site visits, identifying potential problems, utilizing survey programs, and viewing drone footage. Then, we discuss every aspect as a team before we ever get to the job. My favorite part of using these technologies is educating our customers. Even during the bidding process, we pride ourselves in giving thorough information that is easy to understand. Our presentation will answer most of your questions about time frames, phasing, and final procedures making it easy for someone new to paving to follow and even present to others.
Project design and property beautification have become an obsession of not only myself, but of the ADC Paving staff as well. We have customized parking lots and had the pleasure of working with a variety of real estate agents, properties managers and groups, facilities managers, business owners, construction project specialists, multi-location parking lot jobs, educational institutions, community-based realities and more. It thrills me to be excelling in paving services for a variety of causes as each situation is unique and the business relationships that emerge are built to last.
I invite you to check out our services, testimonials, and social media outlets if you want to see our pride in action. We are ready for business and your partnership and would be excited to discuss becoming your partner in paving.
Paving Louisville, Kentucky and Southern, Indiana Since 1959
Asphalt paving contractors have never been at the forefront of customer service. National giants and local paving companies alike have rarely even been considered “middle of the pack” when it comes to customer satisfaction. For the vast majority of us who are residential or commercial paving contractors, we are outside in the field and up to our elbows in bitumen. It can be hard to find the time or energy to provide a high level of customer service, but customer expectations are growing, and the asphalt paving industry is more than a sloppy patch job from catching up.
Traditionally speaking, a residential customer would look up a paving company in the yellow pages, see an ad in the paper, or ask the neighbors and family members for recommendations. A commercial customer might have a few more resources by requesting information from another business owner, connecting at a chamber of commerce event, or perhaps know of a good properties management group. All of these methods can still be very effective, and one could probably get by at that level of operation for another five years. But for many of us (myself included), we are looking to grow and succeed by conducting professional work and providing a growing number of job opportunities in our communities.
“Where to start?” can be a daunting question, but it does not have a complicated answer. Start with what you know, even if it feels like you are asking stupid questions. Now is the best time to have simple questions answered. So, if you have wondered what abbreviations like SEO or PPC mean, if you heard Facebook ads are cheap, if you feel like a particular old form of advertising is letting you down, the time is now to start investing or, at very least, researching.
Use the resources you have. Unless you are grimier than an old hopper at the end of an august day, you will know someone who has tried anything you are thinking about for improving your company. An idea might seem too crazy or cheap to work, but if you ask, an answer almost always appears with ease. Three resources I have used when upgrading anything pertaining to customer service or acquisition are: search engines, young people, and the doers.
I will be putting more time into explaining how I utilize those three research methods for next week’s thoughts, but I want to finish with customer service because business begins and ends with customer service. Learning new ways to present your customer information so that it is easier for them to make a decision, followed by that customer leaving you a great review is the fastest way to start your journey to bigger and better opportunities.
Self-dialogue about when to sealcoat a parking lot or driveway happens when you own or manage a property. The cost, time, and mess can push your good intentions months or years down the road. The job might seem easy enough to where you purchase the supplies at Lowe’s or Home Depot and tackle it yourself. For a more rapid solution, you may call on a sealcoating company or experienced handyman. For more significant properties, you may not feel like you have a choice. No matter your course of action (and we would love for you to call us), acknowledging the benefits and understanding proper time frames for applying asphalt sealcoating could save you big money.
Identifying if your asphalt pavement needs sealcoating is the first step. The first sign of too much wear is finding sand at the corners. If rocks or sand is showing, this means deterioration of your asphalt is occurring. The second sign is the color of the asphalt. If your parking lot is grey with sealcoat layers or striping beginning to peel, water will soon penetrate the surface. If there are cracks and potholes, water and other elements have already started to breakdown your foundation. Sealcoating significantly slows down the aging process in all three instances. If your asphalt is aged or the damage is more pronounced than we have described, it is time for milling, patching, minor paving, and replacement.
The timing of when you apply your sealcoat is more critical than the frequency. It would be easy to assume that you should apply sealant every 3-5 years. As described above, wear and tear, weather, or improper installment might warrant you to sealcoat sooner. No matter the timeframe, if your pavement is cracking or starting to fail, addressing the issue can save you a lot of money in the long term.
The mixture ratio is also vital, especially when dealing with sealcoating contractors. If you decide to tackle the project yourself, the responsibility is clearly on you. Read the instructions for proper mix ratios needed, and you are on your way. If you do not feel like spending your summer days using a squeegee or scrubbing sealcoating off of your skin, a contractor is often the way to go. Most sealcoating companies can provide you a finished product that looks decent enough. But if you want to know that your asphalt is protected and not just painted, we have supplied a video from our supplier of choice, Neyra.
Many new products are also manufactured for diverse needs. For the first time in 30 years, the sealcoating industry is starting to offer new products that make a difference. There are now products for dust control, removing oil spots, quick setting, and reducing heat, to name a few.
It is unfortunate, but often smaller companies and single-person enterprises do not invest in proper resources or continuing their education. Sealcoating is a trade in which it is easy to produce a subpar product without the client recognizing it until a year later. Watered down solutions, skimping on the product, and an overall lack of pride are present in most companies.
We have made a substantial commitment in 2020 to expand our services to add a full sealcoating division to ADC Paving. We have provided sealcoating services for years, and we are now dedicating tools and education to a specific team dedicated individuals. We are striving to be the best Asphalt Paving and Pavement Maintenance Company in Louisville, if not the region, if not the nation. We take this challenge with the utmost sincerity as asphalt longevity truly matters when building relationships in this industry. We are proud to offer our employees this opportunity because they have shown their pride in their work and are indeed professionals. We want to show that professionalism in sealcoating to the Louisville area and beyond.
Let us know if you have any questions.
Whether you choose to admit it or not, technology makes growing a business easier. Areas of your life are abundant where technology is a pain in the ass. Digital password resets, unrecognized user errors, internet speeds, and frozen computer screens can make you want to open a window and toss that modern marvel as far as possible. Just the amount of programs and resources can be overwhelming but finding systems that enable effective communication between your team and your clients are vital for financial and interpersonal growth.
Today I thought I would write about processes and two programs that have worked for us as a local paving company since our change to enhanced digital solutions began a few years ago. These items are for enabling better communication. There has been plenty of trial and error, but we have seen results in customer satisfaction, company organization, and turn-around speed.
The first and pivotal step I wanted to take in our digital rehabilitation was to make files available for all managing members of the ADC Paving team. Instant access to documents, proposals, notes, photos, and videos would reduce hassle. We tried sharing email threads, handwritten notes, and community file cabinets, but essential items and thoughts were either physically lost or lost in translation. Paper and pen were an acceptable method, at best, for years. As we began to grow and take on additional salespeople and expand our marketing efforts, paper-filing was no longer sustainable. Even when we started saving digital copies of valuable items, only one person in the company might have access.
Microsoft OneDrive has been a reliable file-sharing solution for us. Having files accessible and granting access to people within our company who might utilize the data has been a profitable time-saver. The number of emails, calls, and texts interrupting a foreman’s or manager’s day has been greatly reduced. Management now knows where to go for a specific proposal, project photos, notes for current leads, or something as simple as our official company logo. Each team member has access to their digital file system and can share it with team members and clients.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that clients have access to our files, but if an employee wants to pull up previous work, aerial photos, or supporting documents, they can. After some practice, putting a proposal together or looking up information can become a speedy process. Also, referencing sources or looking up historical data on a specific client or project has been more accessible.
The second piece of software that we have been utilizing is Go iPave. (I want say upfront that this company has not approached me to promote them in any way.) Go iPave has been a tremendous digital next-step in the sales and proposal process. At the very least, it is a dedicated platform for taking and keeping measurements, analyzing materials, and assisting in the overall proposal creation process. It gives our clients a better chance of understanding our proposed method, phasing, and pricing while being a consistent resource for our sales team and office staff.
Both Microsoft OneDrive and Go iPave will take some getting used to and, yes, cause a little frustration at first. These may not be the best asphalt paving solutions for you, but I encourage you to test out highly reviewed programs that could improve your digital processes. The sooner you explore that next potential step in digital technology, the better your chances are to get that next job and achieve overall financial growth in the commercial paving industry.
Whether you run an asphalt paving company, a local restaurant, or are a waitress serving at a local chamber meeting, you have heard the conversation about gaining customer reviews. Whether it’s a customer who clicked on the fifth star or one who wrote about the demise of her/his life because of the pebble found in their yard, customers are important, and so are their opinions on the internet. As a manager or business owner, it is vital that you take control of the conversation that is happening about your business on Google. Even if your website is shallow, understanding a few basics about search engines and customer reviews can boost your reputation.
No matter the depth at which you choose to participate in the internet, your business is listed there, and it is where the overwhelming majority of customers are finding their next purchase or hire. Word of mouth can still be a strong lead generator, and there are plenty of community reference sites like Angie’s List or review sites like Yelp. However, Google is the most significant lead generator in the paving industry. I have our own ADC Paving statistics to back up my thoughts and some fundamental steps to digest if you agree with our findings.
ADC Paving has invested a lot of time and energy into developing the look and feel of our website and expanding social media presence. Social media, in particular, has been valuable in developing relationships within the paving and pavement maintenance industry. Our website won “Best of the Web” by Pavement Maintenance & Reconstruction Magazine this year (*link below). Though we are thrilled that those communication methods are opening doors, neither may be as important as great reviews from a customer. Even though we started advertising on Facebook and LinkedIn this year, and we place a great amount of emphasis on being genuine within the paving community on Instagram, 47% of our traffic still comes from customers who start with Google.**
That’s right. We started advertising on Facebook, and leads from that social giant are up 30% from this time last year. If you’ve seen our Instagram account, we have begun “swipe up” campaigns where we link to special offers or blog writings like this one. We are in community publications and resources, and attend chamber of commerce and HOA meetings. Not all web visitors used Google. 25% of people who visit our website went direct to “adcpaving.com” for one reason or another.
However, even with all of the advertising (zero of which is Google Ads), 46.7% of potential customers went to Google and typed in something like “asphalt paving” and clicked on our website.
So, what do reviews have to do with Google? The easiest way for a customer to leave a review is to simply visit the resource that they used to find your company, Google. Here are some stats that indicate how essential reviews are***:
82% of consumers read reviews for local businesses, including 93% of people aged 35-54
The more reviews, the better (even if some are negative)
48% of consumers only pay attention to reviews written within the past two weeks.
If you want to improve your Google rankings or want to get started with acquiring reviews, here are some action steps:
Go to or search “Google My Business” and claim your company so you can alter your company information and respond to Google reviews.
Respond to reviews, especially the negative ones. If it is negative, calmly and PROFESSIONALLY explain your answer from your business perspective and how you attempted to provide excellent service.
Ask happy customers to leave a review.
Set a reminder to check reviews left for your company, at minimum, every two weeks
Ask friends and family who have used your service to leave you a review.
The statistics are out there that you should take your reviews on Google seriously. If you don’t have the capital to hire help or have put off educating yourself on the importance of Google, the steps above are steadfast starting points. They won’t let you down. Regardless if you track how potential customers find you, they are currently looking for you on Google.
Standing on top of, or even being anywhere near, 300-degree asphalt while it is being laid down immediately supplies you with a healthy respect for what asphalt paving workers go through. Add 90 degrees of heat from the sun and a blanket of humidity and even the toughest humans and elite athletes might be ready to throw in the towel. Keeping my employees happy and healthy has been paramount, especially if we want to hit our goals for the year.
As a business owner, it can be hard to take my foot off the gas for a day that does not involve rain. In the Louisville, KY area, we see our fair share of all four seasons. Sometimes during ridiculously hot and long days, the thought of a cold, winter-weekend day doing absolutely nothing is what keeps us going, but that doesn’t mean we continue on and ignore healthy habits. Proper education and reminders throughout the year have been vital for me and everyone involved at ADC Paving.
Rain days can be treated as days of rest, but even as little as three of four days in a row of sweltering heat can cripple any paving company if not properly respected. When we see those hot spells in the forecast, we address it in our morning meetings. Part of our culture shift over the last few years has been to hold everyone accountable for everyone at all times, and this certainly cannot stop at the weather. It is a blessing to have work lined up but even more of one to have a solid crew who takes pride in their work.
Keeping an eye on the weekly weather reports, proper scheduling, healthy hydration (water, Gatorade, and vitamin waters), and breaks in the shade are essential for maintaining efforts for an entire year. For asphalt paving contractors, construction crews, or any work completed outside while drenched in sweat, hydration and rest are non-negotiable. Reminding yourself of the signs of a problem is a good first step, especially if you’re tired and in the heat. For information about staying cool, staying hydrated, heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and warning signs along with Louisville, Kentucky specific resources, see the link below.
Take Care of your crews,
Being a leader in these strange times can be overwhelming. With all of the resources, advertisements, and studies about workplace productivity and time management, the idea of holding meetings in the year 2020 is sited as being potentially detrimental to progress. As a paving contractor, our schedule and goals can change over the course of the day, but starting the day in our remodeled crew-quarters going over pictures and potential hangups for the day’s jobs has improved results from paving a parking lot to neighborhood streets and subdivisions alike. Holding these morning meetings has several advantages. So, I thought I would share them with you if you are looking to possibly refine your processes.
Being on Time:
Running an asphalt paving company is like leading many other businesses and teams. Every worker has a responsibility for the job and day, and if a person is missing, the rest of the group spreads thin and has to fill the gap. Having a morning meeting sets the precedence for what is acceptable for being considered “on-time.” It is easy for everyone to see who is there and ready to go.
These meetings are a great way for the team to communicate in an organized setting before getting tired for the day. Though some of the time might fall under the time-wasting category, this is a much better place for workers to vent, learn new things about techniques, and to show leadership. Though it takes years for people to learn foremen responsibilities, many workers have earned chances to step up by being fully respectful and present in these meetings.
Quality on the front end:
We have worked to improve all aspects of our company. Better preparation and information from our sales team to our paving crew has been a large piece of the puzzle. Our estimators are now responsible for not only giving accurate proposals, but providing our foremen and team with any potential problem areas before we get on site. The daily morning meeting allows all of our crew to see the day’s work and prepare as a single unit.
Many positions and working relationships do not need a daily update, and there are several reasons I would advise against daily meetings. But, with each new paving job comes unique challenges and every job is different. We aim to customize a smooth experience for both clients and crew members. Meeting to review weather, changes, potential problem areas and special requests from clients has proven useful for performance, morale and the emergence of leaders within ADC Paving. We hope everything we do translates to a quality paving job for each and every client.
Take care and keep moving forward,
Protecting your asphalt driveway is a great investment. The savings you can achieve through simple driveway maintenance will be noticeable in the long run. Plus, your property will look great. With simple crackseal and sealcoat applications every couple of years, you can more than double your asphalt pavement life, save money, and improve your property value.
~ When you fill out the form linked here (or at adcpaving.com/contact), someone from the ADC offices will get back with you shortly! ~
Identifying if your asphalt pavement needs sealcoating is the first step. The first sign of too much wear is finding sand at the corners. If rocks or sand is showing, this means deterioration of your asphalt is occurring. The second sign is the color of the asphalt. If your parking lot is grey with sealcoat layers beginning to peel, water will soon penetrate the surface. If there are cracks and potholes, water and other elements have already started to breakdown your foundation.
Sealcoating significantly slows down the aging process in all three instances. If your asphalt is aged or the damage is more pronounced than described here, it is time.
If you live in Louisville, Kentucky and would like a bid for your driveway, simply visit the link, fill out the form, and an ADC representative will get back to you shortly!
President ADC Paving
I have never been one to accept the status quo or be okay with coasting. Even when relaxing or spending time with my family, I find myself looking for ways to be productive or researching the next best way to improve myself or the well-being of my family and friends. I do not say this to act superior in any way. This insatiable characteristic has often led to exploring bad habits or has taken my attention away from what is truly important. In small doses, this persistence does come in handy when owning a company. It allows me to think about the future and all of the positives that could come from doing things with trustworthiness and forward-thinking. With nearly a decade under my belt of owning a paving and pavement maintenance company in Louisville, Kentucky, I have learned that the reason this industry is so far behind is that very few paving companies (and even contractors in general) look to secure their future through integrity, and even fewer through innovation.
After winning a bid, performing exceptional work is hardly a requirement for paving contractors. Most contracting industries fall under this umbrella. You can get away with performing low quality work while hoping the client will not notice the difference. If they identify problems, you can chase paychecks all day and, in today’s age, hope they do not leave a bad review. If this happens while you are in the growth stages, it is okay. You can get better. I have found, though, there is no way for me to grow a company based on that type of foundation.
To someone working in a traditional blue-collar setting, change and forward-thinking can often be met with some confusion and denial. When you walk into a meeting and aim to provide your first pep talk to your crew that things will be different going forward, you will hear murmuring and see inattentive eye-rolls. (Most of those people are no longer with us… the company… they are still alive.) The shift from rude behavior, routinely lazy and late employees, and subpar standards to a values-based approach focusing on Passion, Respect, Integrity, Dedication, and Excellence will be undermined in the whispers behind your back. I have always been one to give second chances, but once you decide to change your culture, it is truly for the best that you uphold these standards in both your work and crew. One cannot work without the other. There are plenty of companies that will take a physically-abled body with lackluster standards.
“Working smarter, not harder.” Has always been a bit of an awkward balancing act for me. In my first years owning and operating ADC Paving, I took on every job that called our office and went hunting for more in my spare breaths. We completed jobs at a blistering pace while eroding morale and spending significant time correcting our mistakes. As painful as the transition was, stepping back and analyzing what was wrong with our approach and looking at the industry as a whole was the catalyst for changing the trajectory of ADC Paving. Not to mention improving my quality of life and the lives of our crew and staff.
The first thing I did was to look at how the process for the customer works. I want to take this time to remind you that, when I started as President of ADC Paving, we were operating by all of the traditional standards, the ones I have been seeking to change now for the last three years. When I was starting out, I would stop to ask, “Why are things done this way?” and then never give the question a second thought. Finally, I did stop to ask the following questions:
~ Does the attitude of an employee really matter on-site in the paving industry?
~ Does a good culture really mean a better experience for the customer?
~ Is there a point in improving our brand and competing when the top local paving companies own a quarry?
~ Are properties managers, facilities managers, and business owners sitting down with five quotes on paper in front of them and simply choosing the cheapest one?
~ Would improving our marketing really help get better, higher dollar customers?
There were many ways for me to self-inspire when looking into why and if I wanted the answers to these questions. When I needed a push, I turned to Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin and Shackelton’s Incredible Voyage (still my favorite book of all time). However, most of my energy relates back to that insatiable characteristic I talked about at the beginning. The motivation was high, but I was not doing was taking a moment to stop, step back, and be brutally honest. I eventually realized that there was simply no way to achieve my goals if they were not based on an attainable future and an honest evaluation of where I am right now.
Whether or not any of these goals come to fruition, I have determined that they are guiding principles. If followed, they would help me create a company I am proud of, an environment worth working in, and opportunities otherwise unavailable:
~ Establish a base of men and women who take pride in their work and actively provide and assist them with opportunity
~ Make it easy for decision-makers to find and approach ADC Paving
~ Provide decision-makers with quality work and become their full-time partner in Paving and Pavement Maintenance
~ Stand by my words and guarantees
~ Create a company and culture that I would be proud to hand to my sons
It is not my goal to change an industry, but without change, this is an industry I would not want to be a part of. If I don’t challenge the standards and stop to ask, “Why?”, what are we as a company really working towards?
President ADC Paving
I thought I would give you a break. A majority of people in this country are sitting on pins and needles while shouting and waving an ax above their heads. Maybe I shouldn’t say a majority of people, but many of those who care to share their opinion are certainly doing just that. I wanted a vacation from those related thoughts sneaking into my head, so I decided to think about the politics of being an asphalt paving contractor and what being a business owner means in both my personal and business lives.
A paving company might seem like a straightforward business, but there is no doubt that it takes a particular set of skills and certain bulldogged determination for growing year after year. Even simply maintaining or breaking even requires finding good help and showing up to guide those trusted people every day. We are in year three of a promising culture change within ADC Paving, and I feel putting on my boots and leading from the paver is necessary.
About this time last year, I decided to let go of our long-time foreman. This opening meant that I would completely forgo 97% of sales calls and high-dollar meetings and rejoin the crew in 2020. Even though we did very well last year, I had to adjust and make a best decision for the company as a whole. What we sell is founded on the product we provide, and a season of decline in quality would be detrimental for years to come. Many quality workers and qualified leaders wear the ADC Paving logo to work every day, but even a single year of being with the crew hopefully forges integral attitudes and strategies that will last until our leaders gain experience. That decision was difficult to make and that foreman was hard to let go.
My office staff is incredible thanks to some existing leadership that continues to step up and embody and shape the growth of ADC Paving ~ Thanks Cindy. They are almost always the first and last people who talk to our customers and they govern the heck out of our operations. Sometimes letting people do their work while getting out of their way is the best way to lead. I have also received the hint that a wall and door should be between us at some points as well.
When thinking about my family and business politics, I dare say that when in the moment, it seems every bit intense as any discussion or talking point ever. My wife and I purchased ADC Paving from my wife’s family (my family) as third-generation owners. My brother-in-law was raised on blacktop and he has come back to very successfully head our sealcoat division. There isn’t a dinner, barbecue, vacation, or swim day with my family that doesn’t involve decision making and the sharing of business ideas. Some people find this to be too much shop talk. However, I have that bulldogged determination and always seem to be thinking about how to improve the asphalt paving industry.
Now, we are in a new age of technology. If you think you can successfully operate a business without dedicating time to technological issues and advancements, you simply aren’t passionate about surviving in the long term. From paving technology that allows for higher quality work, to digital communication, digital marketing and google reviews, it’s all a part of being a good business owner today, especially in small businesses. If you want to be at the top of the list, you have to meet customers where they are. Once you get there, you have to impress them and convince them to give you a chance. For sustained growth, you have to convince them that you wish to provide them continued support and education while showing up when they need you.
No matter how this election goes, I am still proud to lead the hard-working men and women who show up to ADC Paving and give their best every day. It is in their integrity and enjoyment of a job well done that inspires me to lace up my boots. As long as I still have a business to run and jobs to provide, I will wake up tomorrow and do both of those things to the best of my ability.
“The best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”
~ Theodore Roosevelt
Thanks for your time,
As a business owner, once you get to the point where you can release the reigns on your sales team, execute from your Director of Operation’s plan, and trust your guys in the field, you afford yourself the responsibility of thinking about growth. Being in this position, you can see possibilities, opportunities, and relationships as potential game-changers instead of necessities to stay in business or keep up with the competition. The caveat is that, in paving, you are only afforded the 3-month off-season to think about growth in-depth. The remaining nine months of the year are focused on finding rapid, practical solutions to problems. So, taking advantage of this time to step back, disconnect, and return with fresh eyes has been different this winter. This year is not about fixing problems. It is about growth through imagination, innovation, and synergy.
Imagination and visualization
From improving the customer experience to using existing products in new ways, imagination and visualization have been a consistent conversation amongst myself and the team this winter. By allowing ourselves to think freely (that which can’t often be done during the season), my sales team, marketing team, like-minded companies, and I have a developed a variety of techniques to reach out and introduce ourselves in these new markets. We will be evolving to meet previously ignored or unidentified clients’ needs and confidently handing them a full maintenance plan with more detail and better customer service than any other paving company. The imagination required to challenge an industry’s decades-old practices is something we see as a separating factor and one that should place us well ahead of our competition.
Many ideas never take flight, and for good reason. However, ideas that have merit but no previous trailblazer requires innovation. In the past, the call for innovation would lead to overcommitment. That is why exploring these thoughts during the three-month offseason is much more efficient and effective. Each idea has time to breathe and materialize instead of being forced into a lackluster existence. This upcoming season we look to solve several pain points through custom techniques. Some of those pain points include: prequalifying potential residential clients more efficiently, advertising in new ways, integrating video into our sales process, and providing customized services for companies and industries throughout our local Kentucky and Indiana markets. Learning the best practices and techniques from paving companies around the United States and world, along with the thought of improving the paving industry as a whole, is also curiosity and exploration I enjoy undertaking. In that spirit, we conducted The Paving Industry Report (releasing mid February) and are looking to raise standards through education and knowledge sharing.
From inside the walls of ADC to business and community partnerships, the energy and momentum felt by each individual we communicate with have been addictive. Associates and ADC employees aren’t merely tired of sitting around this winter and ready to work again. They’ve been working hard all winter and are preparing to put what they have learned into practice. Confidence between office, sales, management, and crew is infectious, and our people are ready for the season’s challenge. Smaller and smaller are the gaps between the customer and our office, a great future employee and our application process, a frustrated properties manager and a custom asphalt lifecycle plan, and (most importantly) the crew and a top-notch paving job every time.
Anticipating the beginning of the season this year is the most exciting mind frame I have experienced in business. I am prepared for the season while feeling energized that our company is ready to thrive. The imagination, innovation, and synergy roadmap are in place, and we are ready to move forward. My crew, everyone representing ADC Paving, and I, are dedicated to providing unequaled service. We look to make the jobs and lives of the people we serve better, and we aim to make it as stress-free (and even enjoyable) as humanly possible. We hope people will want to remember us and even look forward to working with us again. It might seem ridiculous to look forward to working with a paving contractor, but we enjoy and take pride in our craft. That joy and fulfillment applies to the customer experience every bit as much as the pavement we put on the ground and that is the way we are choosing to grow.
Thanks for your time,
I knew nothing about marketing two years ago except for two things: I spent money on it, and people were always trying to sell me advertising spots. Pamphlets, coffee newsletters, in-mail inserts, directories, google ads, commercials… I spent money on all of these things. Most business literature agrees that the 10% rule is the closest tied metric to a proven marketing strategy. To an asphalt paving contractor, what is a marketing strategy? There was no blueprint for our industry and after 60 years and three generations, our business, ADC Paving, was ready to gain a more significant share of the Louisville, Kentucky and Southern Indiana markets.
I updated my logo, started flying my drone for content, created new inserts and folders for customer packets, and purchased some advertising space with a few new local publications. Needing a larger presence on the digital side, we fired up social media accounts and started posting what we thought the public might like. In observing company accounts in parallel industries, we at ADC thought the next step was to invest in video marketing. For what? I wasn’t sure, but Instagram, Facebook, and TV seemed to provide an opportunity.
I had listened to a lot of Gary Vaynerchuk and Andy Frisella and was beginning to explore how ADC Paving could use their theories. I have a passion for understanding motivation and I agreed that marketing could mean much more to our company than blindly applying the 10% rule. We could be more than a basic provider of services. I felt confident I knew enough about asphalt paving and the product I was offering, but the question of marketing in a different way or even where to start was something I explored with trial and error quite expeditiously. I had no clue what I was doing, but I wanted to be a more significant part of the paving industry and social media seemed like an avenue. Now, after two years and an invite to take part in the World of Asphalt panel titled “Ask The Contractors – Panel Discussion with Instagram’s Most Popular Paving Minds,” I have a few thoughts for those who are looking to increase their social media presence through marketing in a similar way.
An excellent first thought is to determine the platforms on which you want to grow. This might seem like a no-brainer but most of us in the contracting space must be on our phones and computers all day. Those are powerful computing and messaging tools, but an additional reason to use them might seem overbearing. So, begin on a platform you will enjoy observing or taking part in.
Whether you take on marketing yourself or hire someone, you will need to interact and respond as yourself on at least some social media outlets. I wanted to be a part of a platform on which I enjoy communicating and that fits my style so that, when I get a notification, I become excited, not have the feeling of another work task being added to my day. Also, ask yourself which platforms you enjoy learning from or the ones that fit your personality instead of forcing yourself on the platform. It will also make the process of growing so much easier.
The relationships you develop will be those of like-minded people in similar or connected industries. As those relationships grow, you will notice a natural, genuine feel to your messages because you can envision the people who consume your information. It doesn’t have to be Instagram but that is the platform I chose because of how the Instagram community interacted with the artistic posts and how Instagram stories have a behind-the-scenes feel. The platform caters to my interests and I enjoy the way people communicate positively. Find a venue you like, make sure there is a community, and find a way to present your vision as your company.
If you feel awkward or like an imposter when you start, that is natural. However, to get you through that stage, I think an everyday comfort-phrase needs a bit more explaining. “Fake it till you make it.” can offer you the courage to get past a hurdle but be sure to stay true to your personality and mission as a company or individual. People will be able to tell if you are emphatically faking it. When starting, I would sometimes wonder what the hell I was doing, but I wasn’t going to offer knowledge pretending to be someone else. I went into our marketing push knowing that our core values were in practice, my vision for the industry and company were progressive, and that taking care of my employees was the motivation, not impersonation or my desire to be like someone else. There is something about vulnerability and the work-in-progress nature of business that fosters growth and support when you find your best platform. Getting in front of the camera or stating your mission in a traditionally different way takes courage, and the people who will respond positively are either energized potential customers or like-minded and supporting members of your industry.
Marketing is opportunity at scale and I chose to go deep instead of wide. The reason I have received better opportunities in the past two years is not because I am omnipresent and on all social media outlets and digital real estates. It is because we have focused on reaching both customers and the paving community with a well-thought-out message for the platforms where they enjoy receiving information. This is really why I have chosen my specific marketing partner. We have spent real time and effort in creating thoughtful material that provides educational or entertainment value, followed by designing that material for specific purposes and outlets.
There are companies that use generic marketing material to hit every media outlet, and most people can tell which companies those are. The material is lackluster and it comes across as an interruption in your day, like a spam-risk call or a beeping fire detector that needs to be changed. Make no mistake that the law of numbers will provide you with more opportunities with customers the more you spray your message. However, your favor with the social media algorithms will decline due to fewer people liking and interacting with your post, and you will spend more money on ads and time posting than you need. Though the opportunities from social media (like participating on the World of Asphalt panel) might seem like a personal reward and not one for my company, the dramatic increase in profitable opportunities for my business has come from the genuine, personal messages and not blast-messaging for underqualified leads. If you are sincere, patient, and enjoy the research on gaining the right eyeballs, you will grow.
Whether it is the law of attraction or just the way it turned out, I want you to know that at least a part of marketing should be fun. Marketing and your dreams for yourself or your business should always be partly intertwined. The way you decide to promote yourself should reflect the best in your daily business, as well as display how and why you provide a better option for your customers. You should feel excited talking about your discoveries and methods, and it should reflect good business as a personal decision. When you decide to spend the extra effort and put thought into marketing, you also allow yourself to think about the legitimacy of your dreams. When those dreams are placed in a proper channel, the opportunity for your own personal and professional growth comes more quickly than you can predict.
Lastly, I would like to provide a few people and companies whom I think are doing a great job. First of all, I would like to recognize the other participants invited to the upcoming World of Asphalt panel. Bill Stanley Jr. and American Pavement Specialists do a fantastic job with their photography and video imagery and have a great brand in Raised on Blacktop. Keith Callaway Jr. of K & L Industries provides an insightful view of their why and industry-leading work quality. Marvin Joles with Wis-coat gives us an audio format to improve our paving industry skills through quality conversation on Blacktop Banter. Brian Hess has several outlets for information and motivation and I encourage you to check out his accounts through his personal pages, Top Contractor School, or The Pavement Group.
For those interested, I look forward to seeing you at the People, Plants, & Paving Digital Conference presented by World of Asphalt. Our panel discussion will begin at 1:45 EST on Thursday, March 11, 2021. Tickets for the entire event are available now by clicking this link: People, Plants, & Paving Digital Conference
Thank you as always for the opportunity to communicate and for your time.
We learned from talking with homeowners that they only feel like they have two residential paving options. One option is to pay an inflated price to a company that does not want to travel from a centralized location. The other was to give the job to a low-bid company with no previous work history or track record of integrity if things should go wrong.
We were also surprised to find out that our competition was not providing services that we define under basic information the customer should have. Other companies do not offer customers load tickets. Every property owner should have the option to see that the amount of the material they want on their property is the amount being purchased and laid down. More surprising is that other paving contractors do not offer a two-year warranty.
The essential sealcoat treatment for any asphalt surface should be applied one-year after new pavement installation. If you choose to wait longer than that one year, you are taking years of life off of your pavement down the road. Every manufacturer, dealer, and product agrees that the single best thing you can do to preserve your pavement is to lay the first coat a year later. Therefore, when signing up for a paving job with ADC, if you choose to have us sealcoat one year following your paving job, we offer a two-year warranty. The first sealcoat is a process that most paving companies consider an essential strategy to maximize a homeowner’s investment, but there aren’t many contractors with the capability to offer a two-year warranty. We at ADC specialize in it. We have designed both our paving and sealcoating fleets to serve that expectancy of property owners who take pride in their land.
The purchase of asphalt pavement should also provide a return on investment for the customer. We provide custom lifecycle plans for each client and supply resources they can access at any time. We update our customers throughout the entirety of the job, and our foreman reviews each project upon completion, providing easily accessible material on what to expect and when they will hear from us next.
When you love what you do and where you live, work with people who consistently show respect, and enjoy meeting your neighbors, you feel lucky to own a paving business.
We look forward to meeting you and assisting you with your asphalt paving needs.
Happy customers that lead to opportunities and long-term relationships should be the goal of every paving contractor. We all know that is not the case with a good number of asphalt paving companies. However, if you are reading this, you have some desire to learn. Whether you be another contractor, looking to get into the industry or even a customer yourself, you have a desire to understand what constitutes a quality paving or sealcoating company that is looking to prove their quality work and values to their customers.
Over the last three years, we have formally and informally studied the benefits of seeking and gaining more customer reviews on Google. The process started off feeling a bit tedious having to add a task to the ever-growing list of things to do. But, as someone who has decades left supporting his workers and is also a father in a third generation company, some things come up too often to ignore. When interacting with other businesses, you can tell they are making a concerted effort into growing their popularity on the Google search engine. The paving industry will not be an exception and I did not want to miss out on opportunity to get more people finding ADC Paving on the internet.
Below are three quick piece of advice if you haven’t started with Google Reviews
Think of The Customer
When someone is looking for your product, a great majority new customers are going to simply search Google for an industry professional. There are other outlets such as word of mouth, neighborhood guides, and mailbox fliers but more that 50% of our leads at ADC Paving come through search engines and 95% of that traffic is from Google. Customers are going to Google to look for your services. So, it’s best to let Google know you are there and to show Google that you are making customers happy.
Respond to All Written Reviews
When a customer takes the time to leave you a review they are going beyond the business dealings. They have paid you (or the relationship has ended) and the transaction is complete. Therefore, they are making an extra effort in spending time writing a review. Thank the happy customers and, for the negative comments, explain how you tried to resave the issue in a polite way. Even if you are infuriated by a negative, illegitimate comment, a professional response will go a long way to the next person seeing the review. Most people understand that not every customer is rea
sonable and if you take the time to give an honest, detailed response it could actually work out in your favor.
Google My Business
If you don’t know the first thing about the internet or how to attract customers on it, no worries. We all know the power of word of mouth when we are starting and it can carry a company for a while. I would encourage you to
at least claim your business on Google. You do this by signing up for Google My Business.
Whether you choose to take an hour or two of your time or ask someone who is internet savvy, submitting your company information helps Google identify your business as a legitimate business and they want to put legitimate businesses and on the top of their list. You can find plenty of YouTube videos and articles on how to set it up and the effort will be worth it.
With a ton of different companies for customers to choose from, it can be hard to stand out against competition. However, this massive digital informational network called Google does provide a human aspect. People are writing and reviewing companies knowing their names and photos will be listed next to their words. If you provide quality work they will say kind things about you. If they say kind things about you, the next prospective customer on Google will see it. Happy customers sharing their positive interactions means more opportunity for your company.
As a small business owner, just like any human, you can often have sequences of demanding tasks that can derail enthusiasm. Concentration, dedication, planning, and hard work are more-than-acceptable substitutes and accomplices as enthusiasm alone is for people outside of the arena. You have to first show your team that you can stick to a plan and even alter plans with confidence for enthusiasm in business to work, especially if you look to foster happy, long-term employees. However, performing daily tasks is much more enjoyable when you can share your job and life enthusiasm with your coworkers.
Downplaying the role of enthusiam can be easy considering that there isn’t a line on any of our invoices that charge for eagerness, joyful outlook, or positive energy. But let’s not solely think of enthusiasm as a Richard Simmons goofiness or a highly-caffeinated lead cheerleader either. You can turn someones day or the tired energy of a demanding job around by practicing positive reinforcement and showing an energetic willingness to improvise.
You may find me singing a John Prine song or quoting the movie Step Brothers on both good and bad days. Still, enthusiasm to me is much more than playing air guitar when we are kicking ass. Even if you don’t consider yourself a motivator or extravert, one of the most important ways I show enthusiasm to my employees is by simply listening. By observing when an employee wants to communicate and then listening with intent, we become closer. Both of us feel more comfortable being ourselves and bringing our personality to the job site. Intently listening can also help a leader learn what type of enthusiasm a specific employee might respond well to. As you spend more time listening and learning about someone, a camaraderie will develop between you that can motivate a group of employees through a tough time and even allow more people to enjoy victories, both small and large.
I am very aware that enthusiasm can be overdone and that overdoing it leads to extended highs and therefore extended lows. I don’t think there are many people who would mistake my enthusiasm for lack of professionalism. However, providing evidence to my team that genuine enthusiasm can lead to our peak potential, as a company and individuals, resonates. A proactive and positive attitude mixed with hard work seems to create an atmosphere of personal and professional growth that is sustainable for us. When it comes down to it, when you see enthusiasm, you see someone enjoying what they are doing. There is no greater joy and responsibility to me than providing and fostering a workplace full of people who choose to bring that to the table. I am grateful for every one of them.
When thinking about this article, two people kept coming to mind, and I wanted to provide those names for you:
@John Wooden and The Pyramid of Success
@Jesse Itzler: Build Your Life Resume (all about living life to the fullest, mind, body, spirit, family, experiences)
Thanks for your time,
As someone raised in Woodford Co, there isn’t a better day on the job than when we get to pave and meet with the residents, horse farm owners, business owners, and properties managers who live or work in Central Kentucky. It is truly a dream of mine for ADC Paving to work outside of the city and into the rolling fields. The people and the views are hard to beat and we are excited to tell everyone that, both financially and from a peace-of-mind standpoint, Central Kentucky is a place we are now equipped to serve and are making it our goal to be the most dependable, reputable, and consistent paving company in the area.
What’s wrong with the paving companies in Central Kentucky? Nothing, but I grew up around machines and road equipment and have always paid attention when road work was being completed. As someone who loves cars, it pains me to think about restoring or buying a new car only to purchase a poor asphalt job shortly after. The asphalt’s edges are rarely set property and the driveways and connecting farm roads look like someone simply dropped different amounts of asphalt on the ground and rolled over it. There are no straight lines. Material is everywhere and is often laid way too thin.
So it isn’t necessarily about the paving contractors in Central KY; it’s about the reputation of paving contractors everywhere. For years, this industry has gotten away with shoddy work, a lack of professionalism, and a lack of responsiveness if something goes wrong.
So why not just live and conduct business in Central Kentucky? Life has a strange way of determining your path, and when my wife and I decided to purchase her grandfather’s company, we were embarking on a journey for not only my household but for family tradition as well. I began to work with ADC in 2009, and my wife and I decided to purchase the company after her aunt first fell ill in 2011. If we did not buy the company, it would be sold, or the doors would be shut for good. As I said, I have always loved construction. To carry on the family legacy, serve the area I love most, and have my sons now experiencing both has been my dream since my first opportunity.
We are very excited to be serving Central Kentucky and look forward to speaking with you about any pavement or pavement maintenance needs for your large driveways, farms or horse farms, business lots, or properties.
We will be at the Versailles Twilight Festival in Woodford County as part of our celebration and reintroduction to the area. Come see our family! We look forward to seeing you there!
Date: Saturday September 25, 2021
Time: 3:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Location: Main St. Downtown Versailles, KY
Information about the Festival: https://www.woodfordcountyinfo.com/twilight-festival
There are many actions a company can take to earn the business of a customer. To this day, word of mouth is still one of our leading ways of attracting new residential clients and property management relationships. Among all of the improvements a business owner must make, a guiding goal is knowing what jobs we are best suited for and who our ideal client is. Over the 10 years since my wife and I bought the company, this has guided our major business decisions including equipment purchases, hiring strategy for estimators and foremen, and training for large scale and precision work.
Our process of doing business is why properties managers and large residential driveway owners trust us. Both are expecting a certain level of service and we give it to them. From initial scheduling to finalized parking lot, farm drive, or driveway we aim to complete proper asphalt paving work that has a professional feel. Both clients want the job completed correctly the first time, knowledge for the future, and partner to refer to in their files should they have a question or problem.
The technology we have invested in to supply our clients with a quick and visually appealing surface also matches our process. We are ready to accurately complete your job with precision and professionalism.
Give us a call at 502-964-1415. We are from down the road and love this area of the country we live in. We don’t mind driving into Central Kentucky and Southern Indiana for the a jobs that require our level of service and professionalism.
We look forward to earning your trust for your commercial lots and residential asphalt paving needs.
I could not be more thrilled to have been asked by the National Pavement Expo to lead a class on Marketing. It has been a goal of mine to educate and share our learnings beyond the walls at ADC Paving, and to lead a class is truly an opportunity I am not taking lightly. Joining me for the class will be Phil Metzger, the content creator creator for our ADC Brand, to explain the theory and action steps behind the three year marketing plan that took us from a middle of the pack asphalt paving business to the top brand (that does not own a quarry) in our mid-major market.
National Pavement Expo brings vendors and contractors together who make their living from asphalt and concrete paving, sealcoating, striping, sweeping, crack repair, pavement repair, and snow removal to network with other paving professionals and attend industry workshops.” (NPE website)
We went as a crew to the Pavement Expo in Nashville in 2020 and had a great time. My crews took various courses in field management, paving techniques, and sealcoat applications. The class sizes have varied in the past, but regardless the platform or class si we look to bring data and strategies that will have a lasting impact on you as the leader of an asphalt paving company you care so much about.”
We are going to cover a lot in our 90 minute session, so grab a leader in your company that believes in your mission and come ready to learn. This session should be perfect for asphalt paving business owners and leaders who are looking for the following:
Ideas on how to build your company for your ideal local market
Methods to improve company strengths to find better customers
A basic understanding of content marketing
A first or stronger social media strategy and presence
Dialogue about shaping their work culture and the benefits
More purpose to their daily leadership
The benefits of Culture, Marketing, and Operations working together
There is much more to come beyond this presentation but this is a truly unique opportunity for Phil and I to share that goes beyond social media posts, blogs, and videos. We look forward to meeting you if you can join us at the National Pavement expo in Charlotte, NC.
Here are the details:
National Pavement Expo
Charlotte, NC ~ Charlotte Convention Center
February 23, 2022 – February 26, 2022
Our Class: “Video and Values: How Documentary-Style Marketing Changed my Business”
Class day/time: Thursday, Feb 24th 1:00 – 2:30pm
Prices: varies depending on how close to date of event you purchase
Link to National Pavement Expo Website: https://nationalpavementexpo.com/
Link to Tickets: https://nationalpavementexpo.com/attendee/register-to-attend/
Change starts with the leader and we will continue to provide those leaders in the paving industry information that we have found helpful in our business and in the businesses we look to help. If you would like to be notified of future reports, findings, industry thoughts and discussions, sign up for our newsletter:
(Our first Pave It Forward Newsletter will be sent first quarter of 2022.)
Thank you to the National Pavement Expo for this opportunity and we look forward to meeting and talking shop with those who can attend.
All right, Mr. Gray. Good to go?
Last week I spoke of the importance of making the purchasing process easy for potential customers. Technology and time is something we all seem to have more of these days. And if you are ready to scratch the game-plan or perhaps even start a new business, there are three resources I recommend you look at, especially if you have overlooked them in the past.
Three resources I always look to when upgrading anything about customer service or acquisition are: Search engines, young people, and doers.
Here they are in no particular order and, chances are, you will want to use two or all three to find an answer.
We all know the importance of getting ranked on Google. But do you?
Cold calling is less and less effective. References can provide the highest conversion from a potential customer to an actual customer. But how many leads are you missing out on by not being on the first page of google? Your first research assignment is to type into google, “How important is being on the first page of Google?” But before you do that, let me convince you to stick around first.
All of these can be no-brainers, but if you take the time to understand how they all work, it can change your business and life.
One deceptive thing about both age and success is that the more you have, the more you think you know how things work. Of course, you want to have core values and principles to build on, but when it comes to running a successful business and supporting yourself for another 20-30-40 years, you will need some help. Children, young adults, and twenty-somethings seem to have a natural ability to learn much more quickly and without fear. Because they are not afraid to get it wrong, they attempt more challenges. And because they do not know the old way of doing things, they only have the present and the future with no distractions from the past.
Youthfulness can be a blessing and a curse, but I challenge you to be curious. When a younger person talks about or is doing something you might think is related to a question you have, ask it with genuine curiosity. I understand that this can be a hard task, even an intimidating one to ask a younger person for advice. I promise it will pay off if you use your questions wisely. The fact that you might be afraid is also the very reason you should be asking more questions. Young people aren’t always used to getting respect and from an elder, but connection means a lot to all of us.
Tip: No matter what the first question is, a good second question is, “How would I learn more about that?” If the person gives a short or blasé answer, thank them, and you have your answer. You may want to think about developing a relationship with that person if the person responds with enthusiasm. Synergy is the most exceptional gas pedal for any business.
Most people seem to hesitate when approaching doers. It is why so many $97, $297 and $1,997 online courses are available from these doers. The access is secure, and there is no intimidation about travel, presentation, time, etc. Those courses are excellent. You can learn very general or concentrated information in a short amount of time. What happens when you reach out to these small or big-time experts for a specific purpose or question? Even if it is someone local whom you admire for her/his ability to do a job well, approaching a mutually beneficial and potentially synergistic relationship should warrant some time, attention, and enthusiasm.
So, how do you approach these people? It is not as hard as you imagine. Most people have at least one digital outlet in which they participate. There are several ways to figure out the best way to ask someone a question, and the first may be the resource on which you first digested their information.
1) How did you first find out about this person?
The platform or method in which you first discovered this person might have provided resources or links.
2) Check to see if they have a website.
Use google to see if there is an official website. Most all sites have links to social media networks or perhaps contact forms.
3) Social Media Networks
Whether you already follow this person or are taken to their social media accounts through their website, find the most active network for him/her and write them a private message.
4) Ask for an interview
Many people are happy to accept an interview request (even a zoom or phone call). If you provide them the 6 – 10 questions you want to ask along with a request for 20-30 minutes of their day, you’ll be surprised at the quality information you can obtain in a short amount of time. Make sure you can share their knowledge and offer reciprocation or exposure for their time.
5) Write them a letter.
Handwritten letters are considered a thing of the past, but the time and thought required to write a genuine letter are almost always appreciated.
No matter your first step, the most important thing to understand is that you are asking for her/his time, and you should be gracious and respectful in your requests. If they do not reciprocate your respect, that is fine. You either have your answer or can cross a potential relationship off the list. Who knows? You might have planted a seed for future relationships, even if that seed is a single email and response.
If you meet a young person who is technologically savvy in ways that could propel your company and she/he has the attitude of a doer, synergy and appreciation could be your next steps.
Search engines, young people, and doers.