Learn How to Manage the Ups and Downs of Entrepreneurship – Daniel Felt￼
Daniel Felt shares the challenges and successes of being a business owner. Building a business from scratch is far from easy, but it’s definitely a worthwhile challenge.
Meet Daniel Felt. Daniel is the Founder and CEO of Kura Home, a subscription-based home maintenance business that originally started in Daniel’s garage and now operates in 4 states as well as offers franchise opportunities. Growing up in an entrepreneurial family, Daniel started learning the basics of business very early on.
He grew up watching his parents build their dream home on the farm, learning everything from concrete pouring to siding installation. After studying business at Bethel University, he worked for several years in the business and home service industry where he identified the need for professional home maintenance services. He then went on to establish Kura Home which led him to become a successful entrepreneur with a lot of practical wisdom to share.
Daniel is a big believer in lifelong learning. He says he wouldn’t be where he is today if he wasn’t so hungry to continuously learn and evolve.
In this episode of the Think Business with Tyler podcast, we talk about the importance of knowing your numbers, the power of an enjoyable customer experience, why as an entrepreneur, you have to keep going even when times get tough, and how to stop your emotions from getting involved in your business.
💡 Name: Daniel Felt
💡 What he does: He’s the Founder & CEO of Kura Home.
💡 Noteworthy: Kura home originally started in Daniel’s garage and now operates in 4 states as well as offers franchise opportunities.
💡 Key Quote: “I strongly believe that I’m where I’m at today because I’ve always had a hunger to continue to learn. And every single person that you meet, they know something that you don’t know. You’ve got to ask the right questions and pull that out of them.”
💡 Where to find Daniel: LinkedIn
Know your numbers in business. If you’re an entrepreneur, you already know how much work goes into running a business. From accounting and financials to customer relations, there’s so much you need to be thinking of at all times. But one of the most essential things you should do is know your numbers. Knowing your financial numbers will allow you to make better-informed decisions, identify potential problems in your business, and eventually turn a profit.
Daniel is all about tracking and analyzing numbers. He explains his process. “You have to analyze the numbers and no matter what business you are in, you’ve got to analyze your numbers, you’ve got to look at it. You’ve got to make sure that money is going where it’s supposed to be going in your business and the margins are correct, right? Set the margins. We follow a bucket system, a profit-first mentality of money comes into a depository account and then you spread it out into five accounts from there. And so you start to notice these things very quickly when the numbers aren’t adding up.”
Customer experience is key. Your customers will not always remember what you said but they will always remember how you made them feel. And even if your product is better and more innovative than all other products on the market, it’s how you treat your customers that will set you apart from others. If you want to build a strong bond with your customers, focus on creating the best customer experience there is.
Daniel believes that little things make all the difference. He explains, “I would for sure say that we’re extremely focused on the customer experience. And what that looks like, and there’s so many details that go into it, I’ll give you one very small example and that’s when my guys come and they ring your doorbell or knock on your door, they take about five to six steps back just to make you feel welcome. And they’re always smiling. […] Just these little things on the customer experience, the way they’re notified, the way you give a bid, the way you confirm the price, all these things. We’re really, really hyper-focused on what does that customer experience look like.”
When times get tough, keep going. The entrepreneurial journey is full of ups and downs. And it’s not all sunshine and rainbows as some people might believe. Every entrepreneur has to go through tough times at least once in their journey. That’s just how life and business work.
According to Daniel, those difficult moments are inevitable but you must keep going. He says, “Entrepreneurs get worn out and so easy. So you need to surround yourself with people that are going to be cheerleaders for you and yell at you when you’re not doing a good job and hold you accountable because it’s really easy to get worn out.
We’ve been in business for six years and I would be lying if I said there are not days where I wonder what would it be like to be a W2 employee again. But you have to keep grinding and not every day is awesome. On the outside, it looks really great. But you have to keep on grinding through even the tough days.
Stick to the facts and don’t let emotions get involved in your business. One of the hardest truths to accept is that no one will care about your business as much as you do. So the next time you get into a disagreement with your employee, remember to stick to the facts. Don’t get caught in an emotional swirl but try to be rational.
Daniel talks about how he creates a healthy and productive environment at work without letting his emotions get a hold of him. He says, “You can’t let your emotions get involved because people are going to come and go. No one cares about your business as much as you do. It’s your baby. And so you have to get these people to buy-in.
Why do we care? Why is it important for me to be on time? For some people, they don’t even realize it until you explain it to them. They didn’t grow up the way you did, or they don’t value the same things that you do and some people don’t value being on time.”
“I’ve always said I’m really, really fortunate to grow up in a family where I always knew I was loved. I was encouraged to go out and do things and any parent that’s listening, encourage your kids to go out and take a safe risk. Fail carefully. And I think it’s okay to go and do that.”
“I respect the business owner out there that says, ‘I’m just going to do sheetrock and I’m not going to tape and mud because they sheet rock really, really well and taping money is a completely different skill set, even though it seems like it would come hand in hand.”
“You’ve got to focus on your numbers at the bare minimum. As a business owner, I would say that I would never let my numbers go more than a month without diagnosing them.”
“Entrepreneurs get worn out and so easy. So you need to surround yourself with people that are going to be cheerleaders for you and yell at you when you’re not doing a good job and hold you accountable because it’s really easy to get worn out. We’ve been in business for six years and I would be lying if I said there are not days where I wonder what would it be like to be a W2 employee again. But you
have to keep grinding and not every day is awesome. On the outside, it looks really great. But you have to keep on grinding through even the tough days.”
“Usually what it takes is we sit down in my office and we have a conversation and my approach is always that there’s two sides to every story. And there’s always something that someone’s going through that you don’t understand. And so it’s asking a bunch of questions.”
“Stick to the facts. Don’t say, ‘Hey, you’re really making me mad because you’re late.’ It’s so much easier to say, ‘Hey, you know, according to the deploy handbook, we’ve asked you to be here at 7:15. I’ve noticed that you’re co consistently clocking at 7:25. Therefore you’re 10 minutes late. How do we correct this issue?’”
“Another thing that we do is we use a software that automatically follows up with customers. That helped us increase our close rate from 23% up to 43% by automatically following up. And then it’ll send a text message or an email, a prerecorded voicemail and then after about four days, it dings our client care coordinators to send another phone call. And just that alone increased our goals. We didn’t change our script or anything like that, but just pinging the customer a few more times automatically really, really helped our business.”