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Sam Frank Wants You to Follow These 5 Tips to Build a Great Company

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Sam Frank went from Wall Street to Baltimore to found his company Four Twelve Roofing. His company is part of his commitment to leave a positive impact on his community.

Before Four Twelve Roofing, Sam Frank went to Northwestern University where he studied Economics and Spanish. He had wanted to pursue a business career early on.

In 2012, Sam Frank graduated college and went to New York to embark on a career in finance.

It was in New York that he learned the value of working hard and starting a successful business career. Sam Frank got the experience he needed for Four Twelve Roofing.

Four Twelve Roofing also came about because Sam Frank wanted to return to his hometown of Baltimore and to live closer to his family.

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In 2013, Sam Frank and Shea Frederick started Four Twelve Roofing. At first, they were rowhome rehabbers. They had wanted to start a “small community business that focused on quality values like integrity and customer service.”

Sam Frank and Four Twelve Roofing started out “renovating rowhomes to improve neighborhoods in Baltimore City.” Sam and Shea’s “love for architecture in the city” also “led to careers fixing old houses.”

Through Four Twelve Roofing, Sam Frank and Shea Frederick were able to start community initiatives like the Baltimore Roof Trust.

Check out more interviews with impactful executives here.

My journey as an entrepreneur started from a place of passion. Sam Frank, Four Twelve Roofing

Jerome Knyszewski: Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

Sam Frank: My journey as an entrepreneur started from a place of passion.

I wanted to be my own boss and I wanted to work on things that I thought were worth building a life and a career around.

Construction projects always peeked these interests. I love seeing something tangible come to life.

I grew up in Baltimore, where our company currently resides and through a circuitous path, found my way into growing a roofing and construction business that has grown leaps and bounds since we began it back in 2013.

Jerome Knyszewski: Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up? Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?

Sam Frank: Entrepreneurship is a series of brick walls that challenge you to break them down.

At the onset, I wasn’t sure if I had what it takes to make it happen. Would we succeed or would we fail.

Eventually, if you find success, you will begin to overcome challenges you hadn’t known possible. And as you do that, you build a base level of confidence.

The problems we face nowadays, are equally as challenging, if not more, than the problems we faced early on as a business.

We have just proven to ourselves that we have what it takes, through time and again busting through these hurdles.

I wanted to be my own boss and I wanted to work on things that I thought were worth building a life and a career around.

Jerome Knyszewski: Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?

Sam Frank: We’ve made all kinds of mistakes. Truly a dancing routine, doing the fake it til you make it.

Without that kind of guts, you’re never going to build a successful company. You have to try new things, and fail, in order to grow.

Jerome Knyszewski: Based on your experience and success, what are the five most important things one should know in order to lead a company from Good to Great? Please share a story or an example for each.

Sam Frank: You should know yourself and your values. Without a clear understanding of who you are and what you want, how can you lead others.

For me, studying other business minds and constantly trying to improve my business acumen through education, helps me to keep this sharp.

I am also a firm believer in taking care of your constituents — your employees, your customers and your community.

If you do all 3 of those things and make them central to your business, it has proven to be a good recipe for success.

Jerome Knyszewski: Extensive research suggests that “purpose driven businesses” are more successful in many areas. Can you help articulate for our readers a few reasons why a business should consider becoming a purpose driven business, or consider having a social impact angle?

Sam Frank: People want to do business with companies that feel more personal / personable. Big box companies have a negative impression.

People prefer to work with small, local businesses that have a vested interest in positively impacting their community.

Being a part of that landscape is a great mission to tie into your business’ approach as well.

Me and my business partner, from the outset of starting our company, said that if we ever made money, we would use it to contribute positively to our community and try to leave a positive legacy.

We still believe in that mission to this day.

You should know yourself and your values. Sam Frank

Jerome Knyszewski: As you know, “conversion” means to convert a visit into a sale. In your experience what are the best strategies a business should use to increase conversion rates?

Sam Frank: Running a good sales and marketing program is vital to growth and success in business.

As one of 2 owners at Four Twelve Roofing, that is one of my primary roles at the company — managing our sales and marketing.

Improving conversion takes place in both the content you deliver to the market (marketing), as well as the message you convey to your audience once you have them in a sales situation (sales).

We use lots of different methods of marketing (digital, print, consultants) and we use lots of our time and investment working with our sales team and honing their craft (weekly meetings, paid training, etc.)

Jerome Knyszewski: Of course, the main way to increase conversion rates is to create a trusted and beloved brand. Can you share a few ways that a business can earn a reputation as a trusted and beloved brand?

Sam Frank: We are always investing in our brand.

We love online reviews and bending over backwards to create positive client relationships and outcomes (these have taken us far).

We also do radio ads and other spending to get our reputation out there.

Jerome Knyszewski: This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!

 

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