Adam Beswick on How to Fill your pipeline, Starting a factory & more – Insider Chat Podcast Episode 3 – Next Level Joinery


Today we have Adam Beswick from Next Level Joinery in Auckland, New Zealand. We sit down with him and chat about how it all works, what NZ trades industry is like, and all about his workshop! Listen in for a killer of an episode!


[0:13] The spaceship on the desk symbolizes the company’s aspiration to reach new heights and find inspiration.

[1:19] The company values transparency and displays a vision board to keep everyone aligned with their goals.

[2:25] The business owner transitioned from being a trade qualified builder to specializing in joinery after gaining experience in various construction-related jobs.

[4:40] The company initially acquired jobs through door-knocking and has grown to secure large projects through repeat customers.

[8:32] The company focuses on building lasting relationships with clients, aiming to be their go-to joinery provider for multiple projects.

[11:01] Despite the competition, the company differentiates itself by promoting the benefits of timber joinery over aluminum options.

[14:49] The company invests in software called Woodman to streamline the quoting process and ensure accurate pricing.Key Insights

[0:13] The presence of a spaceship on the desk indicates the company’s ambition to achieve great things and find inspiration from extraordinary endeavors, like Elon Musk’s ventures.

[4:40] The company initially relied on traditional marketing methods, such as door-knocking and personal interactions, to acquire their first jobs and build a customer base.

[8:32] Building and maintaining long-term relationships with clients is a crucial aspect of the company’s strategy, as they aim to become the trusted and preferred joinery provider for repeat projects.

[11:01] By promoting the unique qualities and advantages of timber joinery, the company seeks to position itself as a superior choice compared to aluminum options, thereby differentiating itself in the market.

[14:49] The adoption of software like Woodman helps the company streamline the quoting process, improve accuracy, and enhance efficiency in pricing their joinery projects.


00:00 I think I think we’re getting so much repeat customers now that I really don’t sort of Chase new clients [Music] anymore hey I’m here with Adam bwick from um Next Level joinery trade qualified Builder Master joiners 2021 first Instagram post 2018 September you’re up to 4,000 followers now good  big operation you got downstairs for you guys in the office upstairs up here um for the future viewers the most important thing here what’s with the spaceship on the desk you trying to compete with Elon Musk or oh we’re here

00:48 to go for the moon so want to have some inspiration yeah yeah good stuff and um and Company culture as well so yeah uh thanks for letting me have some time with you today obviously you’re pretty active on um active on the gram you run a solid business and uh yeah just love talking to guys that are doing good and um yeah want to go around that vision board here explain that do you guys update that often how does that kind of come out um basically it started with um all the land manufacturing that we were doing um so we actually had a

01:19 consultant come through and teach us and show us the process and everything um and his goal was to do himself out of a job so that we continue on without the need for him and from there it’s just about keeping it transparent so the only way you know with the mine being a bit of a bit of a storm sometimes the only way to really do it is just to put it up on the wall get it up in lights and have everyone look at it yeah manifest day um what is your background and how did you sort of get into joinery obviously trade

01:49 qualified Builder and then how did you transition in Niche into into joinery uh the the short version is basically left High School straight into a jary prip back when I 16 and then did that straight into OE as soon as I got qualified where’d you go three years in Aussie and then three years in UK Europe um and then met my wife came back to NZ um and basically started building the moment I got back because I’d done such a wide variety of jobs since IID left I didn’t just leave and do Joiner I did

02:24 like anything construction related so then came back did my building appren ship with running Cruise LBP license yeah and then eventually it was uh should I become a builder or should I do something else and then um I sort of join her I was calling really yeah so just to have a workshop and have good Machinery like I spend a lot of time on site and I remember the rainy days and the hard times and not having nice gear and stuff and I just really wanted to have nice gear and do nice work and yeah well that sort of thing how did you like pick

02:58 Joiner was it through like did you just do like one window job as a builder did you just get asked to do it cuz I’m always like how did you people ask me how did you first get into Qing I’d obviously done it throughout company but was it something that you’d done through a building job or well I was a joiner so I know how to make the stuff and I have in in my past I have um set up some jiner shops work with mates in the starting processes and stuff so I’d actually had had experience with starting like in early day jiner shops

03:28 and about three of them um um so that gave me a little bit of confidence and all you really need to do is find the work and get going so after sort of get a couple of jobs you go okay sweet let’s go BS deep and so bit of a sexual term there it’s always good for tradies when you were um in Aussie in the UK was that building related or joinery work the joinery the joinery and then did a bit of house relocation stuff as well is something different and I even came back to New Zealand at about a year of that yeah so all in all only did

04:01 about a year of house relocating but that was it’s probably low pay but just really really good fun for the time especially being a young father and keeps you fit and you know we’re up to all sorts yeah 100% um going on your first jary job did that come through obviously Instagram might have not been around there for you but how did you get your first job and then how did you start like what was your um goals behind marketing your first job and Instagram oh there’s probably a lot in there yeah how did you get your first

04:30 one F first jobs was um the person I was working for he had three jobs for R I like yep sweet and then a contact through him had another guy and during that process we s we signed up our fourth job and and that was easy um we did all of that work and then came to a screaming Hulk cuz I did no marketing cuz that’s that’s what you do right yeah um in the early days I literally printed off subs of or Club and I drove every street and I went on to every building site and I went hey my name’s Ed I do join get some join off me

05:07 and there were a lot of losses yeah well not losses but there were a lot of Nos and every now and again there was a a yes yeah and then in the first six months I secured about 600k with the doors and windows just from from two jobs driving around two two jobs I got 600k with um of two big big jobs just door knocking eh and then and then we realized we couldn’t actually do it in the Workshop that were’re in So within the first N9 months we moved to this place here yeah and you’ve been here ever since I’ve been here ever since

05:37 yeah cuz that’s the question we get heaps is obviously how do you get your first job and workflow coming in so I mean between your first job and your second job was there like a horrible 3 weeks yes delay starting starting is hard it very hard and I don’t think anyone will know how hard it is until you go through it yourself yeah for sure um and it’s what they say there are massive lows and when there are lows that’s literally where you do the most Hustle the most grind you work your ass off and you just get it done do do you

06:06 enjoy sales or do you get anxiety from it both um yeah like it’s it’s hard right like I I’m not a natural speaker or anything like I totally get nervous doing all that sort of stuff um it must be getting easier cuz I think about it a lot less so I’ll just say that but I definitely like um the chase in and I do actually genuinely like winning a really good job with a really good client that I know we’re going to absolutely knock out the park and be and be really genuine with it as well I think that that to me is the most solid

06:40 one I could ever have yeah I feel like uh a common thing in in building is obviously big building jobs and I’ve seen heaps of your clients that they’re probably you know on jobs for 6 months to a year y maintaining a relationship with a client can be hard work you all kind of yep in and out yes but like only recently we’ve we’ve had very very consistent large jobs where they are running over long time spans but regardless like I Oakland’s a small place I I want to have that relationship through them for years and years and

07:11 years on multiple jobs so lasting the distance over 6 months really should be easy and if it’s not easy well then there’s your problem so we try and keep it as easy as we can even over those long durations um because we we want to be consistent we want to be doing your next job and the jobs after that and we we want to be your number one Joiner that you rely on so yeah from like a new business perspective say um obviously your jobs one job might take you a month or a couple months how do you um manage

07:39 like what’s your percentage between existing clientele and new clientele like how many new clients are you getting say on a monthly basis oh well um bpack just for I think I think we’re getting so much repeat customers now that I really don’t sort of Chase new clients anymore um so I think it would be quite high for repeat customers because most of the people that use us become repeat um we definitely have huge amounts of people like getting us the price stuff and all that um but I would say the people who are using us are a

08:15 little bit less and less mainly CU you know trying to get our lead time in and that sort of thing once I get our first job in with people I know that we’re roll it off there keep coming back I think actually getting getting the first job done is probably the hardest part and then it just rolls a lot easier after that once they know us we know them you know that the it’s a lot easier yeah I know one I think your mic over there um and just just yeah it’s just have it facing up is that okay oh you’re

08:49 good yeah yeah it’s just what happens is just they they flop down on the tach good um Builders are obviously uh this whole quoting for free I don’t know if I sent you that quote pack is something I  around with a little bit um with trying to get clients to pay for quotes do you have like a same process in your business for for Builders like obviously if it’s an existing customer Happy Days new customers do you have like a process on how you deal with those oh we quite for everyone yeah uh it’s probably not

09:16 the way it should be or the way I want to but it is the market and it is you know if you’re going if you if you’re doing what we’re doing and it’s hustling um to increase what we are capable of um we are willing to quote yeah whatever comes our way yeah um I’ve got another Qs on board so it’s not me doing the pricing anymore um it was in the very early days but it’s gotten a lot more uh dialed since then so we’re we’re fairly happy with um knowing what we can price we’re getting better at saying just no

09:50 that’s not us um and that’s probably the best thing is just going hey that’s not a job that would be sort of an our range yeah yeah I think uh with Tim maoury like obviously I mean we would probably use no offense to Tim majour but we would probably use one in every five jobs would be a Tim Joiner job most of it’s Tim Joiner is 3% of the market yeah crazy so there you go so I feel like you’re almost not selling when people come to inquire with you if it’s so Niche and do you find you have a lot

10:21 of competition um in joinery or in your Timber n you’re in a very specific n yeah definitely there’s um there’s always competition especially within a niche so there’s other Niche guys out there who are who are gunning for it I mean if anything they’ve been around a very long time and here we are trying to russle the feathers you know so um and we’ve been doing that quite successfully for a while so um it is a very established industry so it’s not something that’s just sprung up or

10:50 anything yeah um but it is definitely somewhere where I saw an opportunity and thought go well anyone getting yeah I just feel like anyone getting uh Timber Joiner is it’s either a high-end renovation or brand new build people got cuz you’re I mean for a stacker you’re looking at Double the cost like 62k for aluminium T 12K EA definitely I find that um I’m trying to compete well my attitude about around it all is trying to compete less with other joiners and actually go hey Timber joinery is you

11:23 know very very good all on its own right so we are actually trying to make it so that people are choosing to joinery over um aluminium Joiner for example so absolutely and that’s where our marketing and everything sort of going y um staffing issues is something we always get head up about and obviously it’s a huge problem in any industry you obviously your existing clients is a good base how do you deal with building like a good culture keeping good guys around and do you hire off no experience or experience only um or it just depends

11:53 where you’re at um yeah we love experience especially with if you’ve been doing it the New Zealand way as well um there’s a lot of people who know Woodworking and you know can build and stuff but doing our Niche is quite uh a rear find um so yeah our ideal is to have actual experience um ideally working currently doing that and coming over to us or the next one after that is just having a little bit of experience and then we sort of show you the rest so yeah nice um was Finding Qs is hard I feel like Qs is in any industry is

12:29 always quite hard to find you don’t find qss you Trend them yeah okay yeah so we’ve just taken our guys and turned them on Qs yeah nice basically how did you look at pricing your first s of jobs like how did you go about it so we purchased the software that is specific for Timber Joiner and to be honest a lot of guys out there are using it so not everyone um and it’s worked really really well for us um our first Qs he actually had some experience with us already yeah so um and after that we’ve

13:03 been training q’s and he’s turned into a really professional looking offer that we have so it’s the software is actually really really good and we leverage it as much as we can what’s the software called Woodman Woodman and does it just do literally like when you drag like a measure over it is it does it kind of just give you no it’s do measure in line it is like using pre Windows 95 it is old school have to like clink clink clink clink and type it all in um so it is a bit clunky like that but what it

13:35 does is it spits you out an amazing calculation yes sweet um you have all the backgrounds to change like so all your materials and your what hours you’d put to each item and then basically you go through choose a unit and you build it up for what it is and then at the end of it it spits out the price and then after that you can go backwards through to see how it came up with that yeah do you have a paint pain uh do you have a paint Windows joinery here or after install last thing to do we we have a so we’ll send it out pre-prom okay cool so

14:07 we’ll do that here um but then after that it goes to site and it’s the site painter us yeah uh shoot me if it’s a dumb question D glazed here or glazed on site either or either most Builders don’t want to lift glass so yeah yeah so um one thing they really want to do and it’s in our uh guidelines is to paint the rebates before the glass goes in yeah um so that actually needs to to happen but to be honest you want to have the glazing go out site um without glass it’s easy to install it goes and our

14:38 glazers are awesome yes they’ll come to site install it Happy Days yeah nice so including guys on the ground building and office stuff how many how many’s in the team here we will we will be 14 off in J so we’re 13 now another guy starting in June sweet and what’s the goal for 24 48 months um to be honest we’ve we’ve had a a few highs this year and rather than just carrying on growing out of control the guys that we have we just need to get really um trained up and happy with with that so if you just

15:11 keep hiring you’re just going to make silly mistakes and that’s s of not the way forward so my mindset is to hire a bunch of guys and just let them have some time to yeah exactly and actually know what our product is inside and out so we’re sort of at the stage now where we want to do that we just want to R like humming um just either have those incremental increases versus just blowing small winds every couple of days or every week 100% yeah um who taught you just around like um business structure like hiring like do you have a

15:43 general manager here or do you kind of Prett much me I you figured it out yeah no no no one teaches you anything um you just kind of think of it um as methodically as you possibly can and what you need to do and go ahead and and set some goals if you’re not setting goals you’re not achieving anything so I’m always a Target driven type person so even when I was building what do you want to achieve during the day do you want the floor down do you want the walls up like simple like stuff like that um but then

16:14 you go well what do I achieve in a month and six months a year five year so I’ve always been quite a go driven person and then now where we’re at we have a 5year goal and we’ve actually working back from that to say well if we’re going to be here and 5 years what are all the things we need to achieve to get there and then every every week we sit down and talk about that Y what have you seen uh in regards to like last year and what’s your forecast for this year in regards to like busyness work coming in

16:42 we’ve been full steam this year um which has been great and um yeah we’ve just been so busy snowed under I feel like the last year has been everyone doing renovations yeah definitely the new builds and the development and the group houses have all died off um Builders seem to be chasing the same jobs and they tend to be more Renovations yeah um so lead times on most things have dried up but not Timber JY because everything we do hasn’t slowed down at all yeah um there’s a lot of noise for next year so

17:19 we’ve got fairly healthy workload coming into next year there’s a lot lot of stuff still pricing and a lot of things still happening yeah so my hope I’m banking on it continuing is the same so I don’t think it’ll increase I don’t think it’ll do anything silly but um maintain I think I think Renovations are still going to be a thing yeah y um you mentioned group group home builders there you’ve never been asked by surely not a group home builder they don’t have the budget eh oh it’s just it’s just not

17:48 what it is yeah you know it’s it’s not that type of product if people want it then hey cool but it tends to have never been that sort of thing so most kiwi have a fairly set mindset yeah at the moment they are lot there’s a reason why we’re 3% of the market I see it it’s my job to try and change that yes sweet do you deliver outside of Oakland yep where’s the furest you’ve gone py py north um yeah Beauty did you go down we’ve we’ve gone up no we did the whole thing on it all over emails oh sweet um

18:19 just because we do draw everything in CAD and we do have outstanding Jin schedules that we send out and we can do remedial work like changes because there’s always changes in a job on the Joiner schedules and they are we can go pretty detailed with that and we’ve done um great Barry Island actually yeah who was that uh do you know who that was through Builder do you know here no I don’t I know I know we that both of those well that job there was through the through the architect and he was just breaking out onto his own yeah oh

18:53 so um the job’s gone really well yes so there’s lots of back and forth um really good communication and once we drew up everything that we needed to build we’ve made it we’ve sent it over and it’s gone in nice how do you deal with um have you ever had any Builder sort of come back and kick up a fuss on no this is wrong that’s not right blah blah blah yeah all the time yeah yeah do you physically do you guys go out to site and do changes there um we can do either other so like yeah we can definitely do

19:23 it over email if you want to make a change and we can tickle things up and send it back to you um we we tend on like sort of a small or medium siiz job have the one site measure and once we do that we you know definitely do like to communicate via email because everything is written down and there is no heesy cheesy um but then on those bigger job especially with stages you you might go out you might measure stage one stage two stage three yeah so yeah yeah and if there’s major changes you can we can come out and work through those as well

19:52 so and redo things yeah yeah I’ve always find like managing um expectations and managing changes variations is such a killer on all jobs like we had so many problems with that in our early days that that’s pretty much the Catalyst for us getting really good at the admin and me having so many guys in the office because if you don’t then you’re just chasing your tail and you’re just making stuff UPS all the time and that’s what people don’t want so our our goal is to have it right first time and I know

20:20 that’s an easy thing to say but we really do try and change things and tickle up our process all the time just so that we’re can continually improving to get to there yeah and like with leads coming into the office does like does each Qs or person in the office deal with sort of x amount of jobs each so it’s not like is it one communal inbox or does a league come in and get filtered out to one person like how does that work um it’s a progress in development at the moment because um we’ve just the types of jobs we’ve got

20:52 on at the moment and where our guides are at but basically there is a communal inbox um and our lead Qs is actually running quite a lot of the jobs so he has less time for it and our uh more Junior Qs is basically he’s doing most of it all all the stuff that he feel he can tackle and then obviously asking lots of questions and there’s a lot of uh communication between the guys yeah um and that’s pretty much how we fig it out we talk about it every week so we know what’s going on so basically the moment you

21:23 make an inquiry we make a folder so we start making a folder we put all the information in there and it goes from that because if you keep talking about it you’ve got to keep filling up that folder because if someone’s away or you’re sick or naturally we’re on a holiday at some stage um you still have all that information there in one Hub yeah is there a good like um company culture with winning work like sales Rel does anyone have a bell that ring when everyone someone oh we’ve got a good

21:46 booze cabinet I don’t know if you seen always so a few the builders have mentioned that when they come in so yeah definitely it’s you got to have a day like you got to have a good vibe sometime and you got to celebrate the wins man there plent of times when you know you’re face you’re doing an uphill battle so you got to celebrate the ons yeah yeah it can be tough um I had a couple more I just wanted to go through um have you ever had this is a big one obviously payments and cash flow is a killer for Builders and that have you

22:14 ever had to maybe not spren but physically say hey I’m going to come take my joinery unit back unless you pay the rest of your invoice no no not not that definitely that’s sort of not my style but we are full payment before delivery yeah so we’re 50% deposit 50% before H the TRU yeah well 50% before we start okay so before we come to site and measure and then 50% before delivery um so that is the main driver um where we aren’t in that position we are a supplier and I know that Builders are used to having

22:50 you know payments on the 20th of the following and and going through Merchant people can go through the merchant for us if they want yeah so that is an option and then they get their payment terms but you know they obviously pay a margin through the m so yes um otherwise yeah we pretty much collect before delivery so I’ve got one job at the moment that’s out the back that’s hasn’t been paid for and we’re not releasing it so and and the job’s gone you know terrible yeah do you see many of

23:16 that at your level obviously 3% of the industry everyone’s kind of got money at that like no um I don’t see a lot of it um sometimes there’s you know you get a bit of a delay or something but it always comes through in the end yeah um I’ve only had one job that’s been B okay so that’s not bad yeah and that’s um me and the homeowner actually came to an agreement because the building bust a so it was very nly and I feel for the homeowner and stuff too but um thankfully that’s the only time

23:45 that’s happened to us yeah yeah I feel like every other week There’s a liquidation or someone goes bus and they have no idea the Trail effect for that it’s massive yeah it’s I don’t know we dealt with a few uh We’ve obviously done some cost estimates and then Builders gone bus and we’ve had to go and once they’ve gone you know their 70% of the way of through the job and it’s like what’s it going to cost to finish and it always is just so much more than what they what they think but

24:10 um but yeah um sorry in regards this might be a Qs question um rates of Timber and stuff over the last year do you stockpile a lot of stuff here or where’s your main supplies um we we run a lens shop so we buy in only what we need when we need it um so we pretty much run stock of all of our standard stuff so when we start a job they just pulling it out of the rack ready to go if it’s job specific we order it yeah okay so like internal doors we have less control over because they are all parts and all of the parts

24:54 arrive and then we assemble it and it’s out the door yes um so we do have a lot of people saying oh you know where my stuffff but it’s actually like what we’re constrained from when you signed it off yeah true to Parts arrival whereas Timber Jo the exterior Timber jery we just grab it off the shelf and we’re into it yeah I see so most most of the stuff we have in stock we run a really good ordering system for our standard stock Timbers and hardware and all that other stuff yeah um so it’s just basically the uh

25:26 ordering in jaw pafic nice What’s um if someone was put an order in for one window on 12 what’s like the average lead times on both units there ballpark no one’s going to hold you to it oh well way um well at the moment we at shock block till about March till the end of March so we’re just absolutely boss the wall yeah um yeah look we try and do our best especially with our regulars because you you do have to look after your regulars um% man and you know we have no there’s one thing I’d really

25:56 like to get out across everyone we we have no control over the building jobs that we are involved with TimeWise so we can book we could have the best scheduling structure ever but actually the five jobs leading up they could all be delayed into the time where your project is right and vice versa we could have a like a massive Chasm could open up and we could have heaps of work and it all come flowing in and we might need lots of work yeah so we don’t have a lot of control over what’s happening on the

26:27 building site so I have tried vigorously to try and get a good pricing structure a good timeline structure but it’s um it’s hard that’s the hardest part of the job yeah managing expectations can be a absolute nightmare yeah yeah but for me we’re just slowly and surely building capacity yeah so if we can build capacity that means we have room for you yeah uh you’re a numbers guy obviously I’d love to know how many windows you delivered on a yearly basis but how do you look at that as a metric like are you a monthly

27:00 guy quarterly third how do you look at delivery of Windows um we don’t really because the price ranges so wildly Revenue Focus yeah you could yeah definitely more Revenue CU you could do like a $1,000 toilet window and then we could do a 30k front door or massive slider out the back and that’s not even that expensive like we’ve we’ve done more expensive what’s your most expensive window or unit probably people love money man probably somewhere between 30 and 40K would be an easy one I don’t have one that’s on top of my

27:34 head I know with priz Heats we T 60s and 70s haven’t won them no someone must be winning them though or would you reckon they just back out of that stage one of them one of them was a real expensive one it got died right back a so just cuz they were dreaming but yeah that’s yeah we would love to do them that’ be awesome so how like uh what’s what’s your biggest meterage on a door and how heavy are these things by the time you finished um we’ve done 4 M High pivet Doors 2 m wide um done a 2 and 1/2 M

28:03 Square door last year um so those big pivot doors you really don’t have um too many limits yeah and they get really heavy they are obviously hundreds of kilos yeah how are you how are Builders dropping those in like frame no no bed we wave could buy them on the truck so we good to know ourselves now lot of Manpower really so um they have Steel frames and tumber all that sort of stuff so they are very very heavy doors and not a lot of they might be flat but not a lot of places to hold on to so well there’s a lot of logistics with I mean

28:36 stuff with Heights like you look at anything um yeah Portal frames or big doors or even bigger kitchen cem units or Granite bench tops I’m like usually windows and doors are going in once cladding is pretty much done interior’s done but sure I mean 100 200 kg so front doors at easier because at the front of the house so like your big entrance so big pivot doors and stuff tend to be the front of the house yeah whereas your big sliders tend to be around the back and if you’ve got a little tight sight um that’s where it

29:04 gets interesting so we can def like the big slid is if you don’t have excess we can flat pack it in which case we’ll come to a site to assemble sweet and then you’ll be ready to go so we’ve had some sliders go right through the like if it’s a villa right through the front door down the middle of the hallway out the back no problems don’t scratch those floorboards mate yeah exactly well I mean that’s middle of the Rena so it’s to bad so yeah true that’s all good um have you had the 2023

29:30 staff party yet Friday just gone Friday just gone yeah are you always trying to beat it every year does it get out of control or are you guys pretty well behaved not for camera um yeah yeah um we try and mix it up to be fair like we used to do the races all the time but it’s pretty stale so yeah we’ve definitely been mixing it up so I think we where you had a good one on Friday yeah nice what’s your plans over Christmas and New Year do you take a break or do you does everyone to two to three weeks wrap that up yeah we do have

30:00 people coming back on the third of June so yeah we’re coming back to a very busy Jane I’ll be back on the eth um but the wife definitely tells me to stop working that period and that’s fair enough given enough throughout the year yeah 100% so we’ll be down to huls Bay because that’s where I’m from yeah good stuff where’d you go to school St John’s St John’s oh we always had um top eight against nap boys from boys but yeah not all good sweet I’ve pretty much got all my

30:27 questions cover thanks very much for coming in today mate and um I’m sure we’ll get some comments below and yeah see how we go good catch up appreciate it dude Legend

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