This newsletter is for you. This section is about you! Every month we feature a contractor, business, or success story. Cheers to learning from others in this unique business.
This month we’re pleased to introduce you to Larry Hogshead, owner of Dovetail Log Home Services in Nashville, Tennessee. Dovetail is a full-service log home maintenance and restoration company that specializes in long-term maintenance, coatings, restoration, and log replacement. Larry began in the log home industry in 1982, while still in high school. “My dad was a log home manufacturer. By 1987, when I graduated from college, I recognized that log homes needed to be sealed. There was a big opportunity in the coatings industry,” Larry explained. In fact, Larry told us that when he began, people were using a brand of vegetable oil as “stain.” Opportunity, indeed! Of course, Larry has come a long way since the days of “vegetable oil stain”. We asked Larry, “Of all the projects you work on, what’s your favorite?” “I love heavy restoration projects,” Larry said. “There’s nothing like taking a home that’s been severely neglected and bringing it back to look like new. That’s very rewarding!”
Larry has found success in expanding his service offerings to help "complete the job" for many of his clients. That means add-on services like building decks, porches, and exterior stair cases are par for the course. He also sees the need for good interior work. Larry told us, “It’s not unusual for me to go into a home that’s never had interior coatings. I use Sashco’s Capture® and Symphony® for that.”
Larry has spent nearly forty years perfecting his craft. Surely he’s made mistakes along the way, so we asked him about his biggest learning mistake. What was the one thing early on that taught him the most? Larry chuckled when he told us, “Well, we don’t make mistakes.” While that may be true now, Larry did explain that when he was a rookie in the industry, the biggest mistake he made was not pricing accurately. According to Larry, “It took some trial and error to figure it out. When I started there was no one doing coating work. I didn’t have adequate or accurate knowledge about pricing, and it cost us. We actually lost money on many jobs until I learned.” (Sashco shameless plug: we talk about pricing correctly at Zero Failures Business Focus quite a bit. You should probably attend if you haven’t yet.) The other big mistake Larry learned early on was to stay away from “knock-off brands.” He said, “The knock-offs weren’t working, of course. That’s why we’re thankful for Sashco.”
And, Sashco is thankful for you, Larry. Carry on.