Using Grassroots Marketing to Grow Your HVAC Company to $4M with Jeremy Goff

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About this Episode


Welcoming Jeremy Goff to the show!

We had an incredible conversation with Jeremy Goff of Top Rank on his journey from being laid off in 2010 to building a $4M/year residential HVAC company.

Join us as we discuss…

  • Jeremy’s story of how he started his company during the 2010 economy
  • The surprising reason why Jeremy switched from doing commercial work to residential work (even though it meant he was turning down $100K+ jobs!)
  • The “Giver’s Gain” mentality & how Jeremy used grassroots marketing to get to his first $500K in business
  • How Jeremy turned a 75-cent investment into a new AC install in less than two weeks
  • What Jeremy is doing to address rising costs across the industry and in his home state of California
  • How Jeremy has been addressing staffing issues & the specific benefit packages he’s created to retain employees
  • The importance of building an abundance mindset and not being afraid of your employees end up being contractors as well
  • Jeremy’s growth projections & plans to go from $4M to $10M over the next few years
  • Why it’s so important for starting HVAC businesses to get a well-designed logo & wrapped trucks … and how you can seem to be “everywhere” in your market!
  • The importance of mentorship while growing your HVAC company
  • Jeremy’s rule of thumb of how many people you need for every million dollars of revenue
  • The steps you need to take before making the leap to start your own HVAC business

…and more!

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Audio Transcript

Welcome to the HVAC Financial freedom podcast, a show where we talk about H Vac business ownership and financial freedom by sharing stories and advice of experts who can help you get there. Now your host, john victoria, hey, hey, hey, what’s happening everybody? Good morning, Good afternoon. Where you are calling in from? This is john Matori here the host of the Financial Freedom podcast and today we have a very, very special guest with us. Today we have Jeremy Goff who is the owner of Top Rank, which was established in 2003 and they are a family owned and operated organization based out in northern California.

Um, so the top ranks principles, they have been in the industry combined for over 40 years and they specialize in H Vac maintenance repairs, replacement and new residential and light commercial construction. So you know, that’s the brief introduction, but you know, welcome Jeremy, how you doing today? I’m doing great. It’s a beautiful day out here, Awesome man. So yeah, so we’ll kick things off just for everyone who’s watching. It’s gonna be about 30, minutes for today’s podcast and recovering everything from Jeremy’s story to what he’s seeing currently in the industry, you know, what’s working for him when it comes to sales and marketing, as well as just seeing like what’s the future plans for the business.

So, uh just to kick things off to give context to everyone for your story. You know, just tell you a little bit about yourself and top rank heating and air conditioning. Well, I’m a second generation contractor. My, you know, I grew up in a shop at my dad been in sheet metal. He owned a fireplace company and the seventies eighties. And then the nineties when I started graduate from high school, he got me and my brother into heating and air. My brother went straight into trade school after high school.

I went to college, went that route for a few years and then worked in the restaurant business. And then my brother, he said, hey move out to Vegas, we need some managers out here. And that’s where I started my air conditioning uh start was in 1999 in Las Vegas was with the great corporation. Uh L. D. I. Mechanical doing apartments, condos high rises hotels. And you know I got the quick learning curve. I was based out of Vegas and was in charge of all the apartments in Vegas and phoenix and traveled back and forth for years and some hot addicts, you know happened to do it all.

um I think my hottest day ever was 118 in Phoenix and I had ah had to fix a leak in an attic before I got on a plane an hour later and after that I moved to sacramento with the same company, worked with them for um till 2009 about when the economy collapsed and I you know I 50 people below me for the company I worked for and I let probably about 70 to 80 of those employees go and then I was finally just let go. We saw the writing on the wall after pay was cut.

This was cut, that was cut. I incorporated Top Rank in 2009 and had a good friend of mine move out from Colorado Shaun King and uh, we kind of started top ranked together um, in the, I started in december of 2009 and he came about a month or two later and uh, we just, you know, did everything we could, you know, um, gas was up high, but we got in with different municipalities that had all the rebate programs and we just took advantage of the rebate programs instead of doing an 8 $10,000 job.

We were doing 20 $30,000 with retrofitting people’s houses like they’re doing again with energy upgrades. You know, hot water heaters going from gas to hybrid, hot water heaters going from gas systems, the heat pump system. So There’s definitely a market there. But you know, there has, there always has there been struggles over the last 15 years. Sure. You know, we can’t control the way life happened. But you know, it’s been a fun ride. I love what I do. I love helping people. Um, you know, we can fix anything, but if you don’t love helping people, this is probably not the industry for you.

You gotta have to, you know, it’s rewarding when it’s 100 degrees you walk and they’re like oh you answer my prayers. I don’t know what better thing you know comment you can get from somebody that you know you feel like you’re a hero, you know and it’s a great feeling to feel that way when you walk into somebody’s home and help fix their problem albums. So awesome. And I guess just to double click into something that you said, I’m curious more as to you know when you when you first started your business it seems like you know you were forced into it and kind of like how are you feeling when that first happened that you know you had a bunch of people under you now you’re starting this new thing like how are you feeling and what was like your thought process as to like what you were gonna do to build this company.

You know my thought process was to go back into what I knew doing apartments doing condos that way but it was a really hard time, you know people were 2009 um was 2010 was you know it was the bottom of the bottom and um you know I did go after the multi family, that’s the relationship I had but they didn’t They weren’t paying their bills on time and the one thing that made my payroll every week was residential repair and replacement. So I kind of about 2012 I changed our 2011, I changed our company’s profile over to, I got rid of doing apartments, I sold that side of our business and um I just basically sold all the work we had to a larger company and I just stuck to doing repair and replacement and but that’s where the money’s at, so if you’re gonna go up on your own, you know, there’s always work, you can get these big, oh hey, I sold uh you know, I’ve had a million couple million dollar projects we sold back then, I had 36 employees and um and we were doing almost five million a year but I wasn’t making money, you know, and I was kinda, I was starting to get, wasn’t getting bitter, I was just kinda like, oh it’s just around the corner, it’s just around the corner, but how many times can you tell that to your wife?

We’re just right around the corner and uh and finally I made the decision to cut that type of work off and go to a model where when we finished the job, we got paid not, oh you’re waiting 30 60 90 days to get paid because it’s, it’s, that’s where guys struggle, you know, I would start off small and work your way up to what you want, you know, some guys are able to do it, but you usually have to have a, you know, a good financial partner um to do that or you belly up with a larger company that maybe um you know, I know a couple other guys that started in the apartment world and they also had a framing contractor that did apartments and they want to add hBc to that framing.

Now they’re taking over another total project versus just a small portion of framing and framing is a very large of construction, but those are the kind of things. But it was tough. It was tough. I ain’t gonna lie. I mean, I had, you know, I had nights, I’d be in the shower mornings, I’d be in the shop Four am and barely left them back to work. I had years of doing that, I’m glad those times are over, you know. Um but yeah, it was, it was hard times 2010, nobody made good money then, you know, it was tough. Yeah. Yeah.

Oh my gosh. And um and yeah, and that’s yeah, I can imagine how difficult that was and I guess moving um from commercial to residential, like how did you begin to get your name out there? And I know over the phone, like prior to this, we talked about how you did a lot of grassroots um marketing and you know, building back into your community, like how did you, you know, you made transition and then how did you begin to get your name out there? So the biggest thing I did is I got involved, I was part of a B And I networking group, it’s called Business Network International.

And you meet with you know anywhere from 15 to 30 people on a daily basis that your sales people and rugby and I is give or gain, yep, you know if you’re gonna give us some proof, you know five referrals, I probably see two or three back sooner than later. Um and that’s kind of where the success started. That mindset, you gotta have a mindset in your mindset is like how am I gonna change as a business owner from giving to people and not gain anything back. You know, and sometimes it go to all the meetings, I go meet with all these people 1 to 1.

They love my story, they love me as a person and they loved what I was about and then all of a sudden cells just went within a year of being in beach. I had um my wife was in a group, I had a couple of my employees in a group. You know we were in five groups and within those five groups we were doing about a half a million dollars a year in business in b and I you know one chapter. Yeah so in the investment for B and I back then was like 400 bucks.

It’s about 5, 600 bucks now a year to be a member. But you know one big a track job pays for that and I pay for that, You know we’re probably 40 over a year, I’d probably get 20 per group, we probably get 20 installs a year for $600 investment, you know in our time, you know, so you figure we maybe spend 3 $4000 a year in. Uh if we were in five groups to get half a million dollars worth of business, what other what other way can you get that? You know I got involved with the chamber of commerce um in a couple different cities and I’d go to those meetings, meet more people, they have networking meetings at a chili’s one night, you know a bunch of businesses.

Um I just go meet them hand out cards. Um You know hey you want me to visit your group, you know how about you substitute for me, I’ll substitute for you. So then you build relationships with these other people. Big thing too is getting involved in high, you know, you know you got your, I was 32 33 years old when I started my business and you know I have young kids, I have 11 year old and a seven year old. I’ve been coaching both of their sport programs and sponsoring their teams for the last you know 57 years you know depending on the age of my kid and you know our names on the back of the jerseys, you know I and I don’t do it on purpose, I do it because I want to give, I want to give to my community.

I want to give to my kids. So you gotta have that mindset. Well, I’ve been given, I’ve been given, well, it’s not always about taking, it’s about gaining, you’re gaining, you’re gaining respect with your community, you’re gaining respect with your peers, you’re gaining respect from your, your kids parents. Um, and we also, when we kind of made a big turn, my nephew was playing high school football, had some friends that were coaching high school football. We got a bunch of water bottles made up of our logo, carrier logo on them.

You know, we kind of co opt with carrier to get these water bottles. And we also supported the Jdrf Junior diabetes foundation. We had a friend of ours, uh, that son was one of their that had it and so we sponsored him and, And did big events in the community whenever we could. And hand out these water bottles. We got like 5000 water bottles made up. And we gave them to the high school kids. We gave them, you know, to the football teams, the volleyball team, whatever was going on in the fall program to this day.

I have people that still have some of those water bottles that we’ve done over the years and they’re like, I couldn’t find it. I had to go in the dishwasher to find your phone number, you know, because you couldn’t remember the name of the company. She thought it was top gun, but it was top rank. So, so kind of funny, you know. But yeah, to me, it’s just getting involved in the community. They have a lot of these, you know, event fairs, like one of the biggest events we do every year in Elk Grove here is called the pumpkin festival.

And it’s uh, I mean they have 3 £4000 pumpkins that win this competition for like 25 $30,000. But on a weekend there’s 60 70,000 people that go into this pumpkin festival and we hand out orange bags that have our logo on them. And then we also get Coop from carrier for putting their logo on it. So we really pay for the bags or marketing funds due or the amount of equipment we do. So, you know, whenever you can brand a national name like carrier, you know, there’s many other companies out there. But when you brand a national company like that, um, you know, you get Coop money for it.

So a lot of don’t hit their sales people up. The guys that always come by and see you, we’ll use them because they use you to sell their equipment. So, you know, it’s a, it’s a, it’s a double edged sword. Yeah, I’m gonna sell your equipment. But what are you gonna give me to help brand my company? And that’s uh, to me grassroots is the only way to start a company, you know, you can be a uh a big company buys out a smaller company and flips the brand name and and just pours hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars in.

You don’t have the same success long term as you do by building a brand that’s built around your family, your values, your commitment to that community. So that’s where I believe grassroots is the number one source and then you get on with a company that does great S. C. O. For you and you know, and then build that brand even further out that way and I find that’s very interesting. A friend was telling me about how some of the breweries, the local breweries are, where a lot of the bigger like brands, let’s say Budweiser, they would buy up a lot of these local breweries but they wouldn’t change their branding because they want to be able to retain a lot of their relationships and that brand recognition within that community and so yeah, totally agree.

Like you can’t replace those types of relationships that you have with your community and all that you poured in, you know, with, you know, sponsoring teams and everything like that stays in people’s minds so amazing, like people digging up water bottles out of their uh dishwasher to find your phone number. That’s incredible. Like the best, probably one of the best marketing tools are is, you know, you’ll have a kind of a, you know, I’m a blue collar guy, I’ll die, a blue collar guy. Um but you’ll see other blue collar guys coming by with their families and their kind of ignoring you, hey buddy, I got a present for you and I’ll pull up a bottle opener for a beer, what do you got for me, and I’ll just give him that two weeks later, he goes, hey, you gave me a bottle opener at that event, we were at, can you guys come out and tune up my A. C. That little 75 cent bottle opener, You know, you get a big burly guy that you know, you’re like, should I talk to this guy, you gotta find the tool that’s gonna be, you know, that you’re gonna give to him, you know, and so you know, just find those little things that you can get in there and cells.

That’s one thing I’ve always been good at is, you know, when you identify what’s this, what’s this person’s thing they love to do, You know, is that, you know, you walk in and if there’s 100 peaches uh pictures of jesus in the house, you know that you better be on your P’s and Q’s on how you’re gonna talk to this person, what words you’re gonna use, this person, you know, and then, but if you find that he has a Chicago bulls picture on it, you know, you might need to talk about basketball.

So you gotta be a little bit elusive when you go into people’s homes and and know what you can talk about, what you can’t talk about. You know, you got to be a little bit of a chameleon I guess is the best way to put it. I love it. And so just to switch gears um I want to bring it now to like now 2022 it’s March 2022. Um You know, currently prices are going up for nearly everything. Steel capacitors, gas, especially in California. I don’t know what the gasses up to now. $7.06.

Oh my God. So I guess with all these rising costs like I’m curious what are you doing to keep up with the costs? Like how are you? You know, it’s I’m sure it’s taking a lot off the bottom line. So like how are you dealing with with these rising costs? You know, I’ll be the first to stay, we can’t sugarcoat it. Yeah. Have our prices gone up? Sure they have to, we can’t stay in business if we don’t um you know, one of the things I’m trying to do to lower the overhead is because the only thing you can really control is labor, fuel costs in the overhead cost, you know, goods coming in and out of your shop.

Um One of the biggest things we’re doing right now is and I haven’t done this in the past. I’m doubling up some of our technicians um putting a younger kid with them, you know, to be a helper because then they’re getting training at the same time. But you know, I’m teaching our team how to get through calls a little bit quicker but to give them a full service, you know, when you get up to the door and you know, just let them know, hey miss jones, I’m here with one of my junior text today and um you know, go over what our procedures are.

Um And if it’s okay with you, I’m gonna have him start at the A. C. He’s gonna put the gauges on, he’s gonna get it all prepped for me. I’m gonna go over this week and then go, hey johnny, can you go take care of that for mrs jones? There’s no dogs or cats in the home or nothing. It’s going to get out of the backyard and I’m gonna go over everything with her today and then I’ll be, you would good go issues in the He’ll be there and just making sure we’re texting before during after with our customers, emailing them however we can to get ahold of them because the biggest disappointment is if our technicians have, you know, 4-6 jobs that day that they’re not wasting their time heading to a house where nobody is going to be home. Gotcha.

Yeah, that’s frustrating. But you know, we are having to raise our prices a little bit. Um, you know, our service call prices, but I’ve talked to many of the people in my industry locally and you know, you go from a month ago prices at, you know, for something right now we’re at, we’re 5 99 605. You know, I’ve parked a few of our trucks and um, you know, I’m, I’ve always been, hey, if you’re a technician, if you’re not on call their, their parking, some of their trucks here at night in our shop just, you know, it’s wear and tear, it’s fuel cost, it’s, it’s a lot of things that you gotta watch the bottom line and you know, and everybody needs to understand, you know, if we’re gonna stay in business, um, you know, long term we gotta watch when the times get tough.

Like I said, I started my company full time, 2010 worst economy I’ve ever seen, you know, and that even my parents, it’s the worst to come they’ve ever seen. So it’s, you got to be prepared to make tough decisions and right now I’ve had to make a few tough decisions on there, but it’s gonna help us in the long run. Yeah. And yeah, it’s, you know, if the mother ship goes down, the company goes down, it’s like, it’s, it’s not good for anybody, um, good for not freaking community, not good for everyone on the team.

And so yeah, sometimes you just gotta make those tough calls. Um And I guess diving into, you mentioned a little bit about your team. I’m curious like how have things been with hiring retention and, and topics around that because it seems like just across the country, one of the biggest issues is like finding enough guys to work or keeping them on board. Are you facing similar issues if not like how did you solve for those types of issues? Yeah, it’s, it’s continued to be an issue with hiring people.

Um You know, I’ve always been able to find if I really haven’t lost anybody in the last year. Um We have, we have had one incident with Covid where we had, we did lose one employee um from that. And you know, it’s hard, it’s been hard to replace him. You know, he was a solid guy. But the biggest thing we, we’ve done, um we kind of, we have a full training staff. Um we have equipment in our building, we have um motors to work on, we have compressors to work on.

Um we have furnaces set up, we have everything, we need to have a full training facility here Office. So we’re educating guys where some of the bigger companies that are do a little bit more than just residential, their training certain people, but they’re not training all their staff where we’re trying to focus on all of our staff all the time and you know, our team, we’re right around 18 field employees and then we have about five, we’re gonna probably hire another one or two office staff going into summer, but you know, we’re right around 22, you know, about 25 employees total.

But you know, we, we uh, you know, we started 401k for all of our employees last year, we’ve moved over to some better insurance plans, you know, just trying to give our employees a little bit more so that they’re not looking to jump ship to, you know, work somewhere where, yeah, they might pay him a buck or two more. But are they gonna still get the education, they still gonna get the proper training and have the proper support. So I think that’s the biggest thing is, you’re starting off small, you can go to the different, um, you know, facilities to get training, but that costs you money.

I finally made a commitment to bring the trainer in our office. So we have a full tech support that if our guys get stuck on a call, they can make a phone call to me if I’m, if I’m unavailable, have a full time manager that, you know, he spends probably about say 4 to 5 hours a day in the office. And then he also goes out in the field with the guys and make sure they’re on point with their installs the quality level where it needs to be, you know, we kind of we have a startup sheet.

And and a lot of it, they get spinoffs for completing the job on time, performance type of stuff. Well we have a startup sheet and that startup sheet gets as they’re completing that startup sheet, myself or another. One of my managers will come out to the site and make sure that they hit everything from a dizzy the way they’re supposed to polish that let’s, you know, tighten something up there because at the end of the day, you know a lot of times home open, they’re addicts right to try to take before and after pictures and like oh man I didn’t realize it looked that bad up there um You know to give them the quality.

So training is probably the number one thing that we’re doing to keep staff and that’s what’s also getting people to want to come into our business. You know we can certify them to get E. P. A side. We have, you know, we’re borderline almost full time to we’re going to start a school at top rank um that we can also bring people on train them. We’re working with other contractors locally getting their employees E. P. A. Certified. So I kind of like givers gain, I don’t mind giving to other contractors.

I don’t mind being a mentor for other businesses and I don’t mind graduating my employees from my employee or one of our team members to a contractor. You know, I’ve I’ve had over the last I’d say 10 years, I’ve had six people that have worked for me that have gone into being a contractor. I’ve even had to work for me part time as a subcontractor until they got their feet underneath them. They’re good employees. Why not? Yeah, so So but that’s how we’re kind of keeping our team going.

Um and we run about 12 trucks right now. I do got three parked here right now that they don’t go home anywhere just because we’re trying to save money, you know, because you know it’s a weird time, you know, besides fuel prices going on now we got a war going, on we just got coming out of a pandemic and you know, and so we’re trying to keep a fine line and keep, you know, we don’t micromanage our team, but at the same time we’re trying to micromanage everything around us going on, we can’t control and I love that, I can tell that you care a lot about your team and I just wanted to know if anyone didn’t catch it, just like the distinction you made between, you know, you said employee, but then you switch to team member and we do something similar in our company where you know, I don’t like calling people employees.

I like it’s like they’re our team, like we’re we’re kind of like a professional sports team, we’re in it together, we’re working towards a common goal and so I love that philosophy, I love the givers gain and I love the fact that you’re investing so much in your team, even if they end up starting their own thing, you know, that takes a lot of, it says a lot about your character to be able to do that. So that’s, I think that’s why people love coming to work for you and and stay around because of how much you pour into them.

So incredible, incredible stuff. Um Yeah, so I guess uh looking forward to the future. Um I know that right now there’s a few troubles that are on the nearby horizon, but you know, where do you see top rank in the next five years. Like what, what does that picture look like for you? Well right now we’re doing about 3. 5 million in revenue. Um you know, to jump up to five in the next this year. Um You know, that was kind of my goal, but with everything going on, it’s kind of like we’ll definitely hit $4 million in revenue this year.

Um If you know, whatever we do over four, I’d be a happy camper, you know, uh just not for me, but our whole team, you know, with having 41 K. And having some of the extra benefits that we do as a four team, it’s not me just making money, it’s our whole team, making more money, it’s newer vehicles, um, You know, it’s everything. So I’d say in the next year, the next two years be at five million and within the next five years, be it 10 million. Um, and just keep growing from there.

You know, we, we kind of cover a broad area of services. Um, I kind of, I don’t market everywhere, but I have uh, I’ve been around for a number of years and covered probably about 100 to 200 mile radius, not just with my business, but where I’ve worked over the last 20 years, so I’m well known in the industry, so it’s when people refer me to drive 70 miles to do a job, I’m like, I didn’t pay for marketing. So yeah, let’s go ahead and take care of. You know, it’s kind of like one of those things, if I get referred, I’ll pretty much drive a couple 100 miles, but at the same time, you know, I’ll talk with them over the phone before I do that.

But my guys like, man, you got friends everywhere and I’m like, yeah, well they love, they love jeremy, how did I tell you? So um, a couple of things too that I really tell people that are young in the industry, you know, it doesn’t cost much money to have a professional, um, logo made. That was the one thing I from the company I worked for previous, uh, they they had their original logo and then they merged and created a huge corporation, had another logo made and then they just took that logo and just twisted it back to their original name when they came back.

So I was part of that from the very beginning with their company. So I learned a lot about branding and logos and you know, and when we create our logo, you know, it’s a red and white, like almost everybody does for hot and cold. But you know, we, all of our vehicles are wrapped with american flags and then our stuff in boston to them and that’s our, our billboard. You know, we have a moving billboard that they see from, you know, you can see an american flag on a truck coming from, you know, 30 cars away, you know, so you gotta be, you gotta be pop out when you’re out there.

You know, a lot of, oh, you know, you get sales people come in, Hey, I’m with abc and we got this banner for sale and you want to increase your revenue by 50%. You gotta get a billboard up. Well, I have 12 billboards that drive all around Sacramento county every day. And I have people go, how many trucks you got now? 2030 of them. You know, I kind of lose track. You know, I don’t want to give them the exact number because you know, you see one truck here, you see one truck, if you see three or four of my trucks a day, you think I got 30 of them, you know, So branding your vehicles, um, is probably the number one thing, you know, they have this saying in our business chuck in a truck or you know, um, and it’s like when you have your brand it properly, you don’t become that guy anymore.

When I used to have three trucks, people thought I had 10 trucks now that I have 10 or 12 trucks, Rap, people think I have 30 trucks. So you know, I’m not trying to make myself look bigger than I am, but it works. I mean branding your trucks with wraps on them, you know, they’ll last, you know, 3 to 5 years, the rap. But you know, for, I think if a truck hasn’t been wrapped before, it’s about 2500 bucks to wrap a truck and you, you know, a billboard is probably about 3 to $5000 a month.

So for 2500 bucks to 3000 rapid truck, I mean it’s, it’s waiting no brainer. Yeah, Really no brainer and uh, I guess some just some other questions having to do with with your growth trajectory. Like do you see any any challenges along the way because growing from, let’s say 3 to 5 then 5 to 10, like those are, those are big leaps that that’s going to be changes in your team in terms of your structures in terms of your systems, like what do you first see or like the things that you’ll need to take care of before you just break through to those, uh, new levels, You know, uh kind of, since I came from huge corporation, you know, I was, my division alone did 20 million in their whole company did about 300 million in revenue.

Um, so I came from a big corporation, so I have that, I had that mindset from the beginning, but you know, there’s no reason why you can’t get mentors and other people, you know, I’ve had a business coach for almost 10 years and I don’t, I don’t have a business coach because I can’t run my business, have a business coach to run ideas through. Um, and then, you know, we’ll come together beginning, you know, before the end of, you know, like usually october november, we sit down and we kind of go over our game plan for the next six months and I’ll run some ideas past them.

He, um, you know, he’ll run some ideas past me will come to a common ground and it’s somebody to like that hold you to the flame, you know, they’re like, hey jeremy, you made these commitments, that’s how are we gonna get them done, you know, so as a business owner, I don’t have all the ideas, but if I put the right people in my team to have all the ideas will succeed. So I, so to get from where we’re at, you know, we, I’ve, I’ve had great software service titan is what all the big boys have, I had success wear before that.

So I’ve always been had all the right software had all the right programs. Now, it comes down to getting the right staff. So to jump from 3. 5 million to five million, you know, I feel with the number of employees we have, you know, we have about 18 field employees right now and you know, about six office staff. Um Office staff were fully were pretty much right there, but we probably do need, I’d say for every million you need about five guys, that’s kind of my, you know, mindset, you know, some companies need a little bit more, but that’s, I kind of try to run things bare bones.

Um but I would probably staff, we’re gonna need a couple more managers that help us manage that side of it. But to jump from, you know, 3. 5 to 5 million, we need about 10 more team members, you know? Yeah, so couple managers, more service technicians, more installers. So we’ve been uh with us starting to do a lot of training for other businesses, you know, I’ll never steal somebody else’s employees. Um but you know, it’s just kind of, it’s kind of that give or gain, I’ve had a couple of them say, hey, we’re getting ready to lay off a couple of guys, jeremy, um can you take them?

You know? You know, so it’s respect there, you know, I respect, you know, ever talked bad about another company. If I run across something, I’ve even been out on jobs where people can come out here, you know, I get out there and they want me to look at a brand new install and I’m like, if you want, I’ll come out here with the other company, will go through the breakdown and find what the problem is. But I think it’s fair to them, it’s fair to you because, you know, if I come and fix their problem, you’re not gonna have, it’s hard to get legal ramifications if you didn’t give them the chance to fix their problem, you know, because it’s a double edged sword, you know?

Yeah, you call me to come out, you don’t like what the other company did, but you never let them know what they did wrong. I just have a hard time coming in there and so it’s this is this is that they did this, this is this wrong. And you know, it’s, it’s, you know, I’m not, the police put it that way, I’m not gonna tell the homeowner everything they did wrong, I don’t like this, I don’t like this, but why don’t we have them come back out here and I’ll work with them with it.

So I’ve done that too many times, I did it twice last month. So, but it comes down to training, that’s the number one thing that’s gonna make somebody be successful and you know, even as an owner, you can go get the training and then bring that training back to your employees, but, but you gotta put it into practice now, just go to a class and go in one window out the other window or in one ear out the other area, you know? So I love it. So, um yeah, I guess as we’re moving to the end of the podcast, um just have two last questions for you.

The first one is any parting advice that you have for someone who is thinking about making the leap to start their own business. Yeah, be prepared. Have a goose egg set aside because, you know, your first year or two, um you’re not gonna make a million bucks, you know what I mean? It’s uh there’s trial and air, but have everything organized, have a, you know, have a truck full of tools ready to go into a truck or even have a truck ready to and then also have a truck full of tools in your garage, ready paid off, ready to go and then, you know, join a B and I network and I mean, I’m, I can’t tell you how successful I’ve been from joining those local networks and uh, you know, don’t try to chew off more than you can handle, You know, stay small.

I know a lot of guys will get into like doing the home warranty where you’re working for a home warranty company doing insurance work. And there’s some guys that have been very successful at it. But the one thing is if you don’t cross your teas, you don’t dot your eyes, they’re not gonna pay you on time. So why go to do waste that money working for a company like that? If you know, you’re not finally sharp, you know, and and get a business coach, get a mentor that somebody can help you, you know along the way have somebody you can fall back on because the boss you leave might not be as nice as jeremy here and say, hey let me help you out.

You know, I had a guy and said, hey I’m um he’s doing really well. He did in his first year by himself, he did $700,000 he put money in the bank and he was out of his house and he went to go, so I need to get a building, I need to get a building. I said don’t get a building, you know, you don’t need a building, you know, get a P. O. Box, you know, a lot of companies have P. O. Boxes, you know, you don’t always need to be like, you know the big guys that are on all the tv commercials, you know, you know, wait to get there, you know, take your time, there’s certain steps, you know?

You know, doing a million bucks. I don’t think you need to be in the building once you get past the million, you probably need to start, you know, Really quickly. So, but you know, one once you get to make that decision, do I stay in the house for a little bit and stay around a million dollars or do I want to get two million? Because that’s when you do about a million and a half. I really need to get out of your house because your neighbor is gonna start getting mad after a while. Okay.

I love that. So, um, yeah, so I guess we’re closing up. Um, is there anything that we, oh yeah, with the annoying, annoying neighbors? Yeah. As we’re, as we’re closing up. Um, is there anything that you want to share, like any term, any other books or resources or anything that you want to promote? Um yeah, feel free to share. Anything that any last things that you want to share with the audience? You know, like I said, um, I think for the most part is, you know, you have to, to me this has been something I’ve kind of stand behind for a number of years as the leader sets the pace.

So if you’re not willing as an owner to get up in that attic and and show your, your team what to do, Don’t expect them to do it. You know what I mean? There’s not that many people that have the drive, have the, will have the ambition to jump up in an attic. But once they see the boss do it, it’s, it’s over. You know, you got people that are gonna jump through, you know, run through walls for you jump in front of a bullet for you.

I mean, but you got to show them that you’re the leader, you’re, and hey, there’s times where, you know, you see a spare shirt behind me right there, you know, that’s a service shirt, You know, it doesn’t get put on every day of the week. Um, but you know, there’s a lot, you know, I’m the, I’m the head comfort advisor. I’m the head sales guy. I’m the, you know, sometimes I’m the head garbage man here and you got to just set the pace. The president’s for all your employees.

Let’s do this together. Our shop was, I call it spring cleaning. I don’t know, we had a busy, busy winter. Um, and uh, you know, february is kind of like your spring cleaning to get ready for summer. And I had me and the lowest guy, total equipment reorganized and get things ready for summertime. Right now. We’re 95% ready for spring going into summer and that’s, uh, and that employees, like he went around and said, man, boss was with me for two days. We cleaned that shop, he’s picking up, you know, stuff with his hands and you know, they’re like, yeah, wait till he put you up in an attic, you won’t get out of it, you know?

So I don’t mind working. Like I said, I’m I’m blue color for life, you know. Um So you know, but I’m gonna build an empire that my family, my kids can benefit from, you know, they get to go on great vacations every year, you know? But you know, if my kids want to take this thing over, they can’t um you know my kids, I’ll go out to the like uh banquet dinners where they have auctions and stuff like that, I’ll bring a stack of business cards an inch thick, you know, because I, you know, I’m sponsoring it or whatever and my daughter will go and let everybody know who her daddy is.

She’s a better salesman than me and she’s only 11 years old. And uh but I went I went to one of these events, I want something, I went to go, you know, get what I wanted and I gave my business card, oh you’re Marley’s dad And I go, yeah, I am. So, you know, so if you know, she definitely she’s 11, I’d say in the next 10 years if she’s not done with college, she’ll definitely be in Top Rank and she answers the phone sometimes when she’s here, so you know, it’s it’s a family corporation and if the family wants to continue doing it when she we if I don’t decide to retire in the next 10 years, you know, but you know, we love what we do and uh you gotta love what you do.

That’s the number one thing. So awesome. Well, thank you, jeremy so much for your time and thank you as well for sharing all of your insights, experience and just advice on like how a younger contractor could, you know, get involved with the business and find success. But yeah, that’s about it, Everybody. We’re nearing the 45 minute mark. Thank you for joining us for the Financial freedom podcast will be on next week for another podcast next thursday, so make sure to tune in. So thanks so much and I’ll see you on the next one.

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