Dave Notte – Managing Director Shack Shine

Take bigger risks in business. Worst case scenario, you may lose some money and time but the lessons learned from the risks will outweigh the trials. This will also help pave a prosperous path towards success.

Dave Notte is passionate about building exceptional companies- ones that wow their customers and provide amazing opportunities for their people. He started his entrepreneurial journey at College Pro Painters, where he worked as a franchisee and franchisor before founding and scaling multi-million dollar painting company Wolfgang Commercial Painters in 2004. In 2014, Dave was hungry for a new entrepreneurial adventure and pitched his current business, Shack Shine, to O2E Brands’ serial franchisor Brian Scudamore. Shortly after, they solidified their partnership and a new home service industry – house detailing – was born.

With the right idea, strong core values, and an amazing team of “EntryPreneurs,” Shack Shine has seen massive growth in its first year. The company recently rounded out its ten founding franchise partners and continues to add locations across North America.

Dave speaks on topics related to motivating millennial business owners, the importance of maintaining work-life balance, fostering a robust corporate culture, and provides tips on the importance of tenacity in a business pitch. When he’s not hard at work with the Shack Shine team, Dave can be found on the North Shore of Vancouver spending time with family. Connect with Dave on LinkedIn.

Where did the idea for Shack Shine come from?

I was looking for a business that was in a fragmented industry. At the same time, it had to have the potential for higher margins and recurring revenue. Having experience in painting, I knew exterior maintenance was an important part of keeping a home or commercial building’s look fresh. Window and gutter cleaning are also integral to a home’s exterior maintenance. I thought of it as house detailing, similar to detailing a car, you detail your home. Once I realized the potential for house detailing, I began putting together a strategy for Shack Shine.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I’m up at 5:00 AM shuttling my kids to hockey and working out while they practice. I’m at the office by 7:30 AM and tend to work until 6:00 PM. I spend a fair amount of time in meetings working with the Shack Shine and O2E Brands’ teams. To make my time effective I try to ensure each meeting has an agenda, purpose, outcomes, and next steps. In addition, every week I block off focus time in my schedule to work on strategy, planning and checking progress on medium to long term goals. I find if I step away from the office during the day for my “focus time,”I am much more productive. I work at a fast pace and I love it.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I spend time incubating an idea and letting it breathe. I often ask for input from my mentors and people I respect. When it’s time to execute, my team and I will push hard by testing and pivoting often. I believe there is no problem with taking risks and if you experience some failures along the way that’s OK because it’s a part of the learning process.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

Electric vehicles and relying less on fossil fuels specifically for our transportation and energy needs. I admire everything companies like Tesla and SolarCity are working on. I believe technology thought leaders like Elon Musk will do more good for our world and create a future with more sustainable jobs than any current policy maker could ever dream of.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I care a lot about the well being of the people I work with and the ideas we execute. My expectations are high but I also spend significant time coaching and learning with them. My passion for people and business combined is demanding at times but the results can be rewarding. Nothing excites me more than watching an idea come to life and seeing my team exceed their goals and achieve more than they thought was possible.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

Tree Planting, it was both the worst and best job I ever had. I planted for three seasons in northern British Columbia, Canada. The work was incredibly hard and the conditions were challenging. Harsh weather and long hours as we often worked 12 days straight. There were bugs and creatures of all sorts and showers weren’t guaranteed. This experience not only taught me resilience and independence but also, helped me understand why it’s so important to respect our environment.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

Take bigger risks in business. Worst case scenario, you may lose some money and time but the lessons learned from the risks will outweigh the trials. This will also help pave a prosperous path towards success.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

It’s all about the people. Hire great people and build an environment that will allow them growth. If your team is engaged your business will flourish.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.

Hiring the right people is key. If you want to grow your business you will need to hire people who you see sharing the same vision as you – everyone from administration to operations. Build a winning culture and celebrate small milestones. At Shack Shine we celebrate anytime we achieve and exceed our goals, big and small. A positive work environment will keep everyone motivated and feel like they are a part of the big picture.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Recently one of my businesses (not Shack Shine) retracted significantly because I allowed the company’s culture to erode. For the first time in fifteen years, I realized the team I had in place did not share my vision. After careful consideration, I decided it was best to part ways with these team members, although tough at the time, it was a decision that had to be made if I wanted my company to succeed. Since then, we have brought on a new team and I have already begun to see the difference.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Disrupting any service based business, as long as it has recurring revenue and can be scheduled and transacted digitally.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

Personally, I took drum lessons. I have wanted to learn how to play my entire life and finally just decided to do it one day. Professionally, lunch with the Shack Shine team. I love hanging out with the team and it’s a good way for us to celebrate our success together.

What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?

At Shack Shine we use Salesforce, it gives us easy access to key metrics and KPIs. We also use various google apps as they help us share documents and sheets on a larger scale. All of the apps we use help with increasing productivity. I am personally learning Italian on an app called Duolingo, it’s pretty easy to use and has helped me pick up some key phrases quickly.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Any of John Steinbeck’s fictional novels and everything by Malcolm Gladwell just blows my mind.

What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?

Technology thought leaders like Steve Jobs and Elon Musk really inspire me. They use their influence to empower people and connect us to ideas and concepts against the status quo. I once had the opportunity to meet Kofi Annan. Watching him speak with such grace and kindness was amazing. At the time he was the Secretary-General of the United Nations and really putting forth efforts to unite people and ideas. The experience was truly inspiring.


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