A Conversation With: Brian Buresh

Brian Buresh, owner of Buresh Home Solutions in Clive, was named to Remodeling magazine’s 2014 Big50. The award, established in 1986, annually recognizes the 50 best-run remodeling companies. Some 1,427 businesses have been named to the Big50, with winners coming from almost all of the states and Canada. Nominations are made by Remodeling editors, columnists, industry leaders, remodelers themselves, and their peers. Remodeling editors make the final selection, using criteria that include longevity, profitability, and best practice standards.

Where did you grow up?

Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Tell us about your father’s custom home building business. Were you involved in it growing up?

I did mostly some labor positions with him. I would go around the job sites. I’d see my father interacting with the subcontractors and clients. So it taught me a little bit about the industry.

What made you decide you wanted to go into the construction business?

I had a job offer to be a recruiter for Robert Half International in Cedar Rapids. Then I had a promotion, which brought me to Des Moines. What kind of got me back into the industry was I had a friend who had a siding business. I sold siding and windows for his company for about eight or nine months. Through that experience, I decided that I wanted to start my own business in the industry.

When did you establish Buresh Home Solutions? What services do you provide?

In 2003. The majority of our focus is exterior remodeling: windows, roofing, decking, outdoor living, patio covers, storm shelters, siding. Focusing on exterior remodeling became a final determination the last
couple months.

Why did you decide to narrow your focus?

We were doing interior remodeling for customers, too. We were just growing a lot in exterior remodeling. I was involved with the interiors, too, and we were getting spread too thin. We had to decide what we were going to focus on. And we’re in the process of narrowing it down just a little bit more in the future.

We could be everything to everybody, but I feel that the standard of customer service I want in my business would suffer. Over the last six months there have been some areas that we can definitely improve in, and we want to make those improvements and move forward.

What lessons did your father teach you about running a business?

The lesson that I’m learning myself is one he told me many, many, many times: You can’t be everything to everyone. And he said, “Do whatever you have to do to make your customer happy.”

Your company’s 2013 volume was $2.5 million. What’s the key to your success?

Our customer service has been very, very good. We have grown a lot the past couple years, so we’re needing to address certain things to see that continue. I think some of the things we do are different from our competitors, like follow-up and phone calls. We’re more focused on being attentive to our clients.

Tell us about the company manual you’ve created. How has it defined the way you operate your business?

It’s an integral part of my business. It’s basically a procedural manual. Done properly and followed, it will help us to continue to grow. Once a customer contacts us until the job is complete, there are specific things that are meant to happen. That’s one of the areas we’re working on—making sure that that’s tuned in so that it’s happening every time.

We need to be aware that we have the procedures we have in place and make sure that they are incorporated daily. It’s been in place since the beginning of this year. It was a work in progress the past 10 years. Now I have the manpower to put it to work.

What drives you?

Customer satisfaction. Bottom line, the thing I worry about is if our customers are happy. If our customers aren’t happy, then we won’t remain in business.

You have 14 employees. What tips would you give other small business owners?

If you focus on the customers, good things will happen. In our industry, there’s a lot of improvement that could be made through the sales process, through all of the interactions. I think there’s definitely improvement that can be made, and we can improve, too.

Tell us about your family.

I have a wife, Jodi, a son, Blake, who is 7, and a dog, Hawkeye.

Are there any local community activities you’re involved in?

I’ve done a lot of coaching of my son’s football and basketball teams. Also, we started Buresh Cares in 2012. We just thought because central Iowa has been good to us, we could help. Last year we did a roof for a customer. Each year, we’re going to do a home improvement project for a deserving family.

When you have some spare time, what do you enjoy doing?

Boating, biking, reading, and cooking. Cajun food is probably what I like doing the most.