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"Be honest, work hard, and help others": 30 Years of NARI

Posted by admin on 5 June 2014 | 0 Comments

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Jim Marcotte Resized

Dovercraft Inc. and NARI have a long and successful history together! I had the pleasure of sitting down with Jim and Kim Marcotte recently to talk about it, in the wake of Jim receiving acknowledgement of being a NARI member for 30 years! Here is some of knowledge he has gained along the way:

 

Jim began his business in 1976 as a painting contractor. Shortly thereafter he morphed into a roofing contractor. His first big break came in 1980 when he answered a newspaper ad for This Old House. The project was a large shingled roof in Newton, MA.  Kim tells the story of Jim buying a new tool belt (and tools) and rubbing the belt in the dirt so it would look used! The project helped put Dovercraft on the map and is documented in the book “Bob Vila’s This Old House”.

Dovercraft also joined NARI in 1980.  They were looking for an organization that would bring recognition and professionalism to their new company.  At the time NARI was comprised mainly of roofing and siding contractors, but Jim was looking to expand his business into general contracting.  NARI helped him make contacts in the industry, provided referrals and assisted with finding quality subcontractors.  But the greatest value he found was learning from the other members, and later from the educational classes offered.  As Jim puts it, he “learned what not to do”.  Jim stayed with NARI and eventually became president from 1995-1997, as well as serving as Ethics Committee Chair for 13 years.

When I asked Jim and Kim what their favorite remodel project was, I received a most interesting answer.  They purchased The Stagecoach Inn in Waterbury VT (Kim’s home town) in 1985.  Many years before, when Kim and Jim were dating, Jim had said that one day he wanted to work on the building.  Little did he know that several years and $1,000 later (the deposit Kim put down on a whim) his dream would become a reality!  It took 3 years to restore the Inn to its original beauty, and the pair became innkeepers and restaurateurs in the process to help pay for the renovations!  These were busy times indeed, with 6 apartment rentals, 7 employees, 8 rooms at the Inn, a full restaurant and bar, and even an antique shop to sell the treasures they had found.  And on top of that, Jim was still receiving calls from home for remodel work.  This is the time when Jim says he learned how to be a project manager.  He had no crew at the time (he had set them up with their own businesses before he left for VT), and so he began to change Dovercraft’s business model.  He developed a Certified Lead Carpenter program to manage the work at home and still has 2 on staff to this day.

With all this business experience, Jim and Kim have some great advice to share with new remodelers:

  1. Know your numbers and believe in them.  Know what it costs to be in business.  Know when to walk away.  They recommend a book called “Markup & Profit: A Contractor’s Guide” by Michael Stone to everyone.
  2. Don’t let ego get in the way of your success.  “Drop the ego, you’ll make more money”.
  3. Don’t just join NARI, participate!  Seek out coaches and mentors, bounce ideas off of other members, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

The last question I asked was what Dovercraft’s guiding philosophies were (although I had already gotten my answer throughout our conversation).  Here is what Jim said:

“Be honest, work hard, and help others”.

Congratulations Dovercraft on receiving your 30 Year Membership Award this month-NARI is lucky to have you!

27da077Written by: Alison Stanley
Kohler
Senior Sales Executive

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