Emerald Built Environments works with developers, architects, contractors, and building operations teams. They transform buildings and properties into environments that are healthy for people and the planet. Based here in Cleveland, they help a project team from design to construction to operations.
After nine years as subcontractors to each other, Matt Setzekorn merged his energy modeling and commissioning business with Laura Steinbrink’s in February 2017. They rebranded the firm to Emerald Built Environments. Because their businesses had a similar client base and complimentary services, it was a great fit. From the get-go—even though it was tough to manage existing projects and grow a new base of integrated clients. Yet, they knew it was the right choice with the positive feedback they received from both the community and their clients.
Matt recalls “It was hard to track real progress because we were still busy executing with previous contracts from our individual businesses. After the first year, it was obvious we had to realign our focus to intentionally grow. So that was when we thought about EOS.”
Laura was familiar with the Entrepreneurial Operating System through her connections with Entrepreneur’s Organization. After convincing Matt, Emerald started to implement EOS on their own.
Matt explains “Implementing EOS on our own took a while for us to get traction. But once we committed ourselves to the process, I think we started to gain ground with me being the Integrator and with Laura as the Visionary.”
He’s right. Because of hard work and commitment, in both the second and third years their profit gains were each at 40%. While the business was doing very well, Matt said it seemed like they couldn’t stay focused on traction because they had no processes in place. It got to a point where they felt like they needed additional guidance to be committed to executing EOS and to continue to grow. Enter Kimberly Dyer.
Over casual conversation, Laura learned about Kimberly’s expertise with EOS and Kolbe. So she immediately engaged her for help. At first, she did check-ins and attended some Level 10 Meetings™ to help Emerald follow the agenda. Then they decided to hire her as their implementer in September 2020.
Matt reflects “So far it has been great. She understands the company and has grown with our team. Kimberly keeps us focused and on track during the quarterly sessions. She is adamant that everyone’s voice is the same and we all have grown into that. I feel like we are now more committed to the EOS process, more onboard as a team. We all work towards our long-term Vision of the company.”
As a small company, each team member wears many hats and fortunately for Emerald, they have always had the right people in place. Even with the pandemic, Emerald was doing well. COVID’s effects on the construction industry are being felt this year with slower-growth sales in 2021, yet they still pushed ahead and hired another full-time project manager earlier this year. They also took the bold move to reframe their 10-Year Target to” We will enhance 2,030 sustainable environments by 2030.”
Matt sees EOS in two different spectrums that are both aligned. “One is if you don’t work on your business, your business will not grow. Traction is the “honey-do” list of growing. Stick to it and you will grow your business…The other piece is to define your goals and put those numbers to paper then formalize the plan to make it happen. That is essential for sustainability and growth. Our 10-year target is to grow geographically. Without a doubt, adhering to the EOS process expedites growth. You are accountable to the rocks every quarter to get the job done. We are always moving the needle forward.”
Great leadership and a nimble, excellent team is an awesome starting point. With implementing EOS and now an outside implementer to guide them, Emerald sees the impact of EOS. Using the EOS Tools helped with every aspect of their business.