Peter DiStefano believes that the best way to learn is by making mistakes. “I failed a lot in the beginning,” he says. “But I was willing to take chances.”
He also believes in education. When his wife found out about the 10,000 Small Businesses program aimed at entrepreneurs and launched by Goldman Sachs in 2009, DiStefano immediately signed up. The program combined online tutoring with a four-day tutorial that DiStefano describes it as “a mini-MBA, covering everything from negotiating to marketing.” He also signed on with Summit Services, a business coaching company for contractors that meets twice a year, at the regional and the national level.
His biggest lesson? Having a successful business is all about having the right people, which he learned by “tracking things and figuring out why we were doing well.”
- Because he believes that “we are business owners first, then construction guys, DiStefano signed on with Summit Services, a business coaching company for contractors that meets twice a year, at the regional and the national level. Brother Dominic DiStefano runs the numbers by the Summit coach monthly to see if the company is tracking on the 90-day plan put together for each quarter.
- Meetings of all personnel on Tuesdays “where everyone’s word is valued” begin with a safety report. “All the guys come in and have a sit-down,” Peter DiStefano says. “We talk about the projects and do some in-house training. But safety is the number one priority.” Typically, employee Justin is assigned to the safety talks and shows a three to five minute video. In summer that might be how to stay hydrated. In winter it might be safe driving in snow.
- Following the completion of a kitchen remodel—this company’s centerpiece project—DiStefano Brothers will set up a “mini-home show” at the client’s home. The company caters it, and potential clients are invited.
- This constant learner says that the biggest thing he realized was that having a successful business is all about having the right people, which he learned by “tracking things and figuring out why we were doing well. It was dumb luck in the beginning. I didn’t realize they were such great people.”