David and Rhonda Rosenof, husband and wife and Owners of Big Dog Construction Services, represent a powerful combination of business savvy, hard work ethic, a genuine effort to connect with their clients and the industry knowledge required to rise to the top in a crowded market. Take one look at their beautiful website, for which David gives all the credit to Rhonda, and you'll see what we mean. They highlight the team, their values, their partners, awards and accolades while also sharing relevant news stories. They're humble yet confident. They love what they do and you can tell they have fun doing it.
Like most great entrepreneurial stories, David's started with a "what do I do now" type situation. David explained, "Back in March of 2013 I was working for Siemens. I got a call at 9:30 in the morning telling me I was laid off. I came home and tried to figure it all out. I sent out dozens of resumes. Before I was laid off, we incorporated a business for side jobs just in case. So I started thinking that maybe I could pick up a few projects until I got a job. I called a buddy doing a project in Aventura. He ended up asking me to work on the project and that was the start we needed."
Today, Big Dog serves commercial and residential clients and also provides restoration, forensics, subcontracting and consulting services to customers throughout South Florida and beyond. They've built an excellent reputation in the community and have successfully redefined the relationship that most clients have with their general contractor. "Our tagline is, Redefining The Experience of Engaging a Contractor," Dave said. He shared an early example of how a true focus on the customer goes a long way. "We had a residential project where we installed crown molding. I called the client to check in with her and she was blown away that our guy was there at 8:00am when he said he was going to be there. She was really excited that he showed up on time. We take that approach with every client. We make sure our team understands the importance of doing what we say we're going to do and showing our clients that we truly care. We drive this message home at every staff meeting. Good communication is key. Text, write or call if you're going to be late. Bad news is best delivered quickly."
David shared with us some ways in which the industry has changed over the years and how they've adapted. "It's getting harder to find good people with the right skills," he said. "There are less people interested in working with their hands. Here at Big Dog, we take the time to find the right people. We train them and give them the tools to succeed. As a result, we've found a niche in not only performing work on our own jobs, but also in providing our talent pool to other prime contractors in South Florida."
David also shared some incredible advice for aspiring entrepreneurs. "A wise friend once told me that the temptation to quit is strongest before you succeed," he said. "Look at Thomas Edison. He was fired from his first two jobs and made hundreds of unsuccessful attempts before ultimately inventing the light bulb. He didn't give up and eventually he was successful. We all face obstacles every day. The key is to keep going. Another friend of mine, a military veteran, told me that no battle plan survives the first contact with the enemy. While planning is still essential, it is important to know that something will always go wrong. Understanding the situation, options and being flexible will enable you to quickly change course as needed. I also emphasize the importance of being a good listener. Recognize what you don’t know and be willing to admit it and find the answers, rather than trying to bluff. Don't assume you know the best way to do things and leave your ego at the door.”