Luke Payne, the owner of Black Iron Dirt, is breaking boundaries about business. In fact, he’s his own investor. This is year three, and it has been booming! His company has been growing exponentially non-stop.
Before Black Iron Dirt became a booming small business, it started off as just an idea when Luke and his buddy, Matthew, were brainstorming some company names. It didn’t take long until Black Iron Dirt and Demolition popped up and stuck! Although they created the name together, Luke continued solo. He saw potential. He wanted to set a positive mindset shift within the excavating industry. Not only did he want to start a business, but he wanted to improve its culture.
There was no fear in starting Black Iron because he didn’t realize how much risk there could’ve been. That’s what gave him the push to make the excavation business succeed so quickly. Starting at square one with determination, “my mom actually helped buy my first trailer for me.” To investing in new machinery and technology frequently, providing the most efficiency and security. Luke invests by maintaining two jobs, as a full-time marine salesman at U Motors and owning Black Iron Dirt and Demolition. He creates genuine connections with his clients at U Motors that they, in turn, ask for Luke and Black Iron Dirt, to do work on their personal properties. “People say I double dip all the time but I say I’m using my resources.”
“Having a personality and humility takes you a long way in sales and business.”
A lot of his success was learning through others. He would take all the old ways that worked and add his own spin on it. “My dad always used to say, ‘Luke, you can’t reinvent the wheel, just make it spin a little bit faster.’” Many business advertisements are dull and cold, showing no personality or connection with their audience. “Advertising your company should showcase your work… Create a story through social media to add value.” His Instagram @blackirondirt and Facebook Black Iron Dirt and Demolition show their value and pride in helping others achieve a beautiful end result.
Instagram and Facebook are not the only ways Luke loves to interact with his audience and potential clients. He utilizes his website blackirondirt.com (thanks to the Phaser Marketing team!), where he receives direct calls and emails from customers and businesses.
“Having people engage in that is fun to see and definitely exciting… You want to take the best care of them.”
Luke makes sure to take additional time for his customers and potential clients to answer any further questions or possible concerns creating strong relationships and appreciation towards one another.
Black Iron Dirt is a little different on the business side of things. How? Well, they outsource a lot of their internal work! From marketing to legal to accounting, you name it. This ensures the utmost performance for scheduled projects and a lot less stress for everyone. Now, Black Iron Dirt has five incredible full-time employees. Luke doesn’t need to be onsite all the time, which allows them to do the work in a timely manner without him there. They have his full trust and maintains clear communication daily. Every week there’s a solid schedule creating organization and respect for everyone’s work-life balance. In doing so, everyone receives high commendations, achieving higher standards overall.
From all the continuous successes throughout Black Iron Dirt’s history, this has led Luke to work on sharing the ownership of Black Iron Dirt with his full-time employees! Luke knows if they get part ownership, this can create more motivation and drive to help them grow their skillsets, therefore, growing the company. They’re not focused on a number of dollars to obtain every year, their focus is to improve their workflow and ensuring work for the unknowns in the future.
For simplicity, they stay within a 50-mile radius of Fargo, ND. Fargo is one of the largest areas in North Dakota so naturally there’s a lot of other similar businesses. Luke does his best to work with other businesses to give the customer the best result. However, not all contractors want to work with their competition, and that’s totally fine.
“With the business side, I understand the competitiveness… But at the same time, when I need help, I’m the first to ask. Some people have this pride where they don’t ask for help when they need it,” Luke says. Black Iron Dirt subcontracts with other companies to help get their larger projects done in time. Sometimes they don’t have the manpower or equipment to do everything; helping other businesses with their projects establishes relationships and positive connections.
If you would like to connect with them, Luke and Black Iron Dirt are just a click away!