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Last Update: Monday June 21, 2021

Key Idea: Accept That The Devil is in Details

In the basement of an EM Rose home one sees attention to detail. This kind of work is what keeps Eric's strategic alliances in place and it causes happy customers to send him new business.

Key Question:


Eric is most proud of what his customers can't see, the details of his workmanship. He doesn't take on more projects than he can handle, and his definition of "handling" means paying attention to every detail of the homes he builds.

Q: How important is it for a business owner to pay attention to details?

A: It's critical. Attention to details is what separates the moderate from the excellent. This attention is spawned from a passion for your work, a burning desire to make your product or service as close to perfect as possible. We build quality control, inspections, and various levels of review into our business models because excellence is important to us; we want our customers to be more than satisfied, to be blown away by the value of what he have delivered. All of us want to grow our businesses, but that growth must be tempered by the resources we have. If we spread ourselves too thin, and take on more than we can handle, we won't be able to pay attention to the details and the quality of what we produce will undoubtedly suffer.

EM Rose Builders is the general contractor of choice of some of the nation's leading architects. As they are successful in obtaining new design opportunities, they are able to recommend Eric for the construction phase.

Q: How does a small business capitalize on existing work to obtain new work?

A: John Donne said it best, "No man is an island". No business is an island, either. Business consultants would call Eric's relationships with the architects "strategic alliances". The point is that rarely does one company have the breadth of product or service to meet a customer's needs entirely. Each of us is part of a supply chain consumed by our customers. If you know who else is in your chain, you can team up in your marketing and delivery efforts. Start by thinking about the supply chain you are part of. If you sell paint, recognize that customers who buy paint also buy lumber, frequently at the same time. Have you met the owner of the local lumber yard? Could you pool your resources and make something happen for both of you?

Maybe you could take out an advertisement in the local Sunday paper together. The advertisements are sold by size, so you could split the cost and get twice the size ad you would otherwise get. You could have a sale at the same time. Would more "honey do" projects get started if the paint and the lumber were on sale at the same time? Could be! If you don't know who is in your supply chain, ask your customers. You might even ask your customer for an introduction. It's certainly in your customer's best interest to foster collaboration among vendors.

Strategic alliances are not just for the Fortune 500 companies, all of us can accomplish more if we work together.

Think about it

Have you created a culture in your business where everyone knows the importance of paying attention to the smallest detail? Do you turn work away if you know you can't properly manage it? When you finish a project are new customers waiting in lined to hire you? Do you have strategic alliances with others in your industry who send you work?

Clip from: EM Rose Builders on the Gold Coast of Connecticut

Failures Teach; Successes Build Confidence

Branford, Connecticut: Becoming a world-class builder does not happen overnight. Also, people who do become the best in their industry often learn the hard lessons the hard way. 

Thus, truly the better you get,  the more humility you have. 

This is the story of Eric Rose.  He is a world-class builder.   Today, with his huge network of the finest craftsmen in the world, he continues to learn how to balance his understanding of his gifts and talents with an openness to learn even more. Truly successful business people turn people power in positive actions to over achieve and do more than is required.

And in this episode, Eric's work and that of his many teams demonstrate that they are in touch with these essentials of life.

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E.M. Rose Builders, Inc.

Eric Rose, Founder

9 Business Park Drive
Suite 12
Branford, CT 06405

Visit our web site:

Business Classification:

Year Founded: 1997

Accept That The Devil is in Details

ERIC: This is the library and --

HATTIE: (Voiceover) At another project down the road, Eric brags on a favorite supplier.

ERIC: Every window in this house and typical of Zeluck projects, it's custom designed right down to the molding profiles. And you can open these very easily with one hand.

HATTIE: Either way.

ERIC: And these windows weigh about 100 pounds each.

ERIC: This is the mechanical room which I referred to as the sort of central brain of the house, mechanical brain of the house. And this is where we have all of our hydro air system, pumps and valves arranged. This room, like all boiler rooms and mechanical rooms in our project is where I think the ultimate level of workmanship is displayed. You can just see the workmanship and thought that goes into arranging everything so that it's easily maintained, it's easily managed in an emergency. And ultimately we don't do that because we want the client to take care of it, we want the client to see that they don't need to worry about it. If they came down here in an emergency they'd know what to do. But ultimately we want to take care of it. It's really about thinking it through and caring about even what no one else cares about except us.

HATTIE: How did you get your first client that led you to this -- to this place?

ERIC: I had come back for a project I was building in Taiwan. And when I got home I called an architect who, he and his brother -- twin brothers, Chris and Tim Morris who had been great friends over the years and I had done projects for over the years, called them and said, 'I'm back.' And I just hit it at the right time.

They had a project they had just finished designing. They were just about to go out to bid and they were more than happy to include me on the list of bidders and that was my first shot, and we nailed it.

ERIC:  The client was as fabulously committed to the art of building and architecture as you could ask for. And, you know we all were of the same mind. And that client led me to my second client. And ultimately to the same architect who has designed this house, Sean O'Kane.

And I'm incredibly proud of the projects that we get to do for him. A great number of the award winning projects that we've done have been for Sean O'Kane and they came out of the very first client. That was a lesson for the future.

Fast growth frightens me, but as you're in it, and you're so focused on everything, things happen and you do find yourself having to control the pace. You know, I control it by controlling the number of projects that we do and making sure we stay focused on those projects. The dues that I paid started very young, and those were painful lessons.

My first time in business did not end well. The end of my company -- gave me the opportunity to take a corporate opportunity -- ended poorly on a single project. And when I look back now, it was my youth that cost me. It was my belief that I knew enough. It was my belief that just being passionate about building was all I needed to be. And it amazes me now that I got that far before the bottom fell out, if you will.

Today I'm surrounded now by so many bright, disciplined, and experienced people, and they're doing so many things I don't know how do so that I can do what I know how to do, that now it's working. And it took maturity, not just in years, but in experience to realize really the scope of a team it takes to make for a successful business.

(Voiceover) Get security up and running, get ...

I reached a point where it took a while for me to realize that I was my own worst obstacle because it hadn't occurred to me to let go of things. And so we began to build a staff around enabling me to manage my projects at a very high level of detail. And ultimately we chose to adopt technology to take that to even the next level.

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