Tips for Building a Strong Foundation for Work-Life Balance

Operating a contracting business can become a 24/7 endeavor—and a recipe for burnout if you’re not careful. While your healthy ratio of work to personal life may differ from someone else’s, the keys to achieving work-life balance are the same.

1. Set boundaries.
Avoid bringing work home with you and set your business phone aside when spending time with family and friends.

2. Get organized.
Keep paperwork, electronic files, and your schedule in good order. This will help you manage time more effectively, boost your productivity, and reduce stress.

3. Delegate tasks.
While you may feel like you have to control everything, remember that you’ve hired capable people with the skills and knowledge to lighten your load.

4. Prioritize self-care.
Look out for your mental and physical health by carving out time to do something (e.g., work out, pray, read, etc.) that fulfills and relaxes you.

Why Customer Follow-up Is a Must

While following up with customers after a project takes a little time, it can provide significant benefits for your business.

Why check in with homeowners to ensure they’re satisfied with the results of your work and the experience of working with your company?

It will help you:

  • Demonstrate that you care about your customers, thus earning their trust—and their repeat business.
  • Gain qualified leads through positive word-of-mouth referrals from satisfied customers.
  • Get feedback that will help you improve aspects of your business and address issues promptly.

Moreover, post-project follow-up can set you apart from your competitors AND pave a natural path for asking your satisfied customers if they’ll consider leaving an online review on Google or social media (where many people go first to check if a contractor is reputable).

So, consider reaching out to your customers after completing the job! By showing that you welcome their ideas and observations, you’ll win their loyalty, build long-term relationships, and achieve a reputation for running a responsible and trustworthy business.

Selling is about offering solutions, but are you solving the right problem?


According to author Daniel H. Pink in To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others, clarity is “the capacity to help others see their situations in fresh and more revealing ways and to identify problems they didn’t know they had.”

While in the past, salespeople had privileged access to information about their industry’s issues and solutions, buyers now have access to much of the same through the Internet. Without the expertise to determine what’s accurate or relevant to their situation, customers may misdiagnose their problems and incorrectly identify what will solve them. That means today’s sales professionals must be problem-finders as well as problem-solvers.

Cut Through the Clutter and Create Clarity

Buyers need your help! By creating clarity through curating relevant information (and weeding out what’s irrelevant) and sharing your expert insight, you can empower customers to understand their needs and the solutions that will meet them.

  • Ask questions to narrow down their preferences. For example, don’t show them gray samples if they want a tan deck color.
  • If you believe the customer’s preferences will not yield the best results, offer your informed opinion. For instance, if they want a tan deck but you believe gray would provide a more cohesive look, explain why and show them samples of the hues you recommend.
  • Before ending a customer meeting, provide clear expectations for both parties. For example: “I’ll send you a quote in a week. In the meantime, you’ll decide which color in the Sanctuary line you want and verify if rod railing meets your HOA’s rules.”

Next, look for Part 5 in our series: Pitch. If you missed them, read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 now.

Product Spotlight: Rod Railing by Keylink

Photo courtesy of Keylink—American Series

Keylink’s rod railing (with horizontal rather than vertical balusters) offers customers a unique aesthetic and contractors unparalleled ease of installation.

Available with the American and Chesapeake aluminum railing series, Keylink rod railing comes in a variety of colors (including custom hues) to seamlessly complement the other features of any outdoor living space. It’s an ideal choice for a modern look that’s on-trend yet timeless!

Reach out to us to learn more and place your order.

Joist Tape: A Must-have for Decking Projects

We’ve all heard the saying, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”

But the small stuff—like joist tape—can make a big difference when installing decks made with pressure-treated lumber. Joist tape seals the tops of joists, beams, ledger boards, and stringers to prevent moisture penetration and rot.

Why Use Joist Flashing Tape?

  • Protects the deck’s structural integrity
  • Minimizes future maintenance needs
  • Fortifies screws and fasteners
  • Extends the life of the deck

Compared to the total time and cost of building a deck, joist tape requires minimal effort and adds very little expense. In return, you get peace of mind and satisfied customers!

Business Building Breakfasts Delivered Much Food for Thought

Thank you to all who attended our 2024 Business Building Breakfasts! We enjoyed seeing you and giving you an opportunity to learn from—and ask questions of—knowledgeable product representatives from some of the most respected brands in our industry.

Here are some highlights:

  • January—Fiberon® announced the expanded color options available for their Promenade decking.
  • February—Wolf® introduced the grooved deck boards for their Serenity™ line.
  • March—Superior™ Outdoor Products shared information about their 400 Series vinyl cable railing.
  • April—Key-Link™ presented its rod railing and Discovery Series railing.

All speakers shared helpful best practices for installation and tips for avoiding common pitfalls. We appreciate their insights and expertise.

We’re already looking forward to bringing everyone together again at our 2025 Business Building Breakfasts!

Tips for Staying Resilient After Rejection


In To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others, author Daniel H. Pink describes the importance of buoyancy, the ability to stay afloat “in an ocean of rejection.”

Selling doesn’t always have a successful outcome. Rebuffs and rejections come with the territory. So, how can you maintain optimism in the face of refusal?

Tips for Boosting Your Buoyancy   

  1. Try Interrogative Self-talk: Rather than tell yourself, “I’ve got this,” try an interrogative approach instead. Before a sales call, ask yourself questions like, “How is what I’m selling valuable?” and “What do I bring to the table to close this deal?” Using this approach can yield more genuine confidence than a mere “pump up” talk.
  2. Project Positivity: Demonstrate your belief in your product and services not only in what you say but in how you say it. Show enthusiasm about the opportunity you have to help the customer achieve their goals.
  3. Look Back and Learn: After a sales call, identify what went well and what didn’t quite go according to plan. Don’t let emotions cloud your judgment. View the call with an objective lens so you can determine what you want to continue doing and what you want to change going forward.

Sales is a lot like baseball—a player with three hits in ten at-bats is doing quite well. Selling, by nature, will result in some swings and misses. The key is to stay positive and strive to improve your technique after a setback.

Next, look for Part 4 in our series: Clarity. If you missed them, read Part 1 and Part 2 now.

Product Spotlight—Wolf® Serenity™ Decking Available in Grooved Boards

Wolf® Serenity™ Decking—already a fan favorite for its low maintenance, weather resistance, and enduring curb appeal—has become even more of a head-turner. Now available in grooved boards (with grooves channeled into both sides), it enables installers to use hidden fasteners
(Ninja™ clips are highly recommended) for a seamlessly aesthetic deck surface. The grooved design also allows for fast, easy installation.

Homestead Outdoor Products has all Seaside and most Tropical colors in stock. Contact us for more information!

See You at Our FREE Business Building Breakfasts!

Breakfast is on us as product reps from our top manufacturers share helpful tips and info.

Thursday, March 28
Topic: Superior™ Plastic Products

Thursday, April 25
Topic: Key-Link™ Railing Products

Where: New Holland Coffee Co., 832 W. Main St., New Holland, PA 

When: 7 to 8 a.m.

Reserve your seat: Email Jill at or call our Sales department at 717-656-9596.