Owned and Operated #59- Building a Management Team That Scales In Home Service

Build Your Dream Team the Right Way.
Open modal

In this episode of the Owned and Operated HVAC, plumbing, and electrical growth podcast, Jack and John look at how to build a management team in the home service business space, whether its HVAC, electrical, or plumbing.

Episode Hosts: 🎤

John Wilson: @WilsonCompanies on Twitter
Jack Carr: @TheHVACJack on Twitter

Special thanks to our sponsor: Service Scalers: 📈

Looking to scale your home service business? Service Scalers is a digital marketing agency that drives success in PPC and LSA.
Discover more growth strategies by visiting Service Scalers: https://www.servicescalers.com/

Contact the Owned and Operated plumbing, HVAC, and electrical growth podcast:


More Ways To Connect

The Owned and Operated Weekly Insights Newsletter

John Wilson, CEO of Wilson Companies

Jack Carr, CEO of Rapid HVAC

Owned and Operated Episode 59 Transcript

How's your weekend or your week? Good. Yeah. Good. Uh, working on, working on a bunch of projects, uh, right now, which have been fun. So, um, building out the marketing team, we're building out our inside sales team.

I think I talked about that last time. Um, that's been a big focus. Uh, Um, working on vendor managed inventory, just talked about that offline, but that's been a big focus trying to like nail that down. Basically a vendor is going to come in, buy out our existing inventory, lock it up, and it's going to be, they're going to staff it, which is going to be sweet.

What, when does that become available to people around what range do vendors are offering that? Um, it depends on the vendor. Uh, so like we talked to Ferguson. And they said, nah, you know, we, it would need to be like 10 million a year. Uh, no, that's just, it's, it's location by location. Cause I know some companies our size are doing, uh, VMI with Ferguson.

Yeah. Thought when I, when I spoke with a few people about it, they said it opened up at about 15 mil is gross revenue. They can start talking about it. And so I don't know what that's roughly a good, a good. Good frame of reference. You know, it's two to three million bucks, but like, if you, if you, so vendor managed inventory, I'll like cut back vendor managed inventory.

There's three different styles of VMI. There's a half assed VMI, which is we're going to come in and barcode your system and then we're going to like do new replenishments a couple times a week. The second one is consignment. So they're going to come in and they're going to maybe lock up an area. Uh, and that's their inventory.

You don't own it, right? And they invoice you once they, once you pull it off the shelf or whatever. So a lot of people do this for like equipment, water heaters, furnaces, that's usually where you see it, big ticket stuff that you want to keep on hand, but you don't want to buy it. Uh, and then the third one is full VMI.

So it is a locked, their warehouse, their parts, their equipment, their staff. Their software. So this is an extension of the wholesalers, uh, existing warehousing capabilities.  It just depends on how scrappy the wholesaler is, you know? So like Ferguson doesn't need to be scrappy.

So, uh, you know, that's just like the district manager is basically going to be the one that figures that one out. I think it is really tough to even have the conversation if you're not buying at least a million and a half a year from somebody. Because you have to centralize that, and they gotta be able to make money.

Because they're, you know, they're putting a staff member, as well as inventory and software and burden into your facility. So, I think, I think a million and a half in spend in one vendor is a place to start. Mm hmm. Yeah, I mean, that's... Big company problems, right? That's when, when you, uh, you grow up to a size, like 15 million that that actually makes sense for them and it makes sense for you.

What were you doing before that? Not to make this, I know we had a planned topic today, but I'm curious what, what, um, real quick, what was, what were you doing prior to this? Were you doing co assignment mostly? No, um, we own it, we own all our inventory, \ yeah, but, and you know, we're still like, we're still in beginning stages, you know, we're interviewing four of our vendors, um, vendors right now, I'm going to throw this out for VMI vendors are hurting.

So if you are a business that is growing, if you're a business that is moving in the right direction, um, if you're showing all the right trends, like, Hey, what's your growth look like? What's your lead flow look like? How do you, how do you tell a story? About how you're growing and how can you back it up?

Um, It's like one in ten companies is growing in this market. So, if you're able to show that you're growing, they will make concessions. So, we've had vendors who, like, we've been trying to get onto VMI for years. Like, full VMI, you staff it, you deal with it, because my core business is not warehouse, right?

My core business is plumbing and HVAC and electric. So, um, So we've been pushing for that for years. We were, we were never big enough or we had too many warehouses or whatever, but now we're in one facility. It's a lot easier of a conversation. So, uh, vendors that had previously said, hell no, we will never do that.

And our wildest dreams are now down 20 percent year over year. And they're like, Hey, we're open to doing this now. And I'm like, I bet. Yeah. Sweet. Yeah, I knew that's what I've heard as well. Uh, the vendors, especially the distribution warehouses are down 20, 25 percent on average.

Yeah. They're getting their bucket. And, and you know, a lot of, a lot of their customers are sinking or a lot of them are going bankrupt. So like, what's their exposure to new construction right now? Um, a lot of those companies are going belly up. So they're trying to, you know, figure out their path to growth.

Yeah. Sorry. One second... well, that's awesome. I mean, on, on my side, it's, it's been going pretty good. I know we'd last week we talked about plumbing. Um, so in one week, uh, I just crunched the numbers on service Titan 17, 004 first week. Okay. Yeah. So three toilets. Hold on, hold on, hold on. Oh, sorry. I'm so excited.

Let's be clear. Let's be clear. Is this sold? Sold. Or is this completed revenue? Oh no, excuse me. This is completed revenue. Okay. That's good. I mean, so we didn't have anything on the books prior, right? So anything that we sold, we just did because we didn't really have anything prior. So for, so for sold revenue, or excuse me, completed revenue, two tankless water heaters, three toilets, two sink unclogs and a shower cartridge.

Um, so obviously, oh, excuse me, and four, um, maintenances. It's big, big 16 in recurring revenue right there, monthly reoccurring, but, uh, our team's been really pumped on it. I mean, that's a huge first week, especially, um, it's sunny in 78 here. I mean, it's perfect weather. It's gorgeous. So it's been a nightmare for trying to get in the HVAC.

So, um, the fact that we can, you know, have some of our helpers want to jump over into plumbing and help out the plumbing guys has been wonderful. So what has staffing looked like for 17? So your guy goes out, he prices it, sells it, and then is he doing all that 17 or did he get back up? Oh, he, it's, he has a helper for backup on the, um, the two he's using one of our HVAC helpers to help him out with the tankless water heaters, just the water pump down, transferring all the water out, hucking the units.

I mean, the normal stuff running under houses doing a pipe, all that kind of fun stuff. So, um, but that's been a great first week and second week, we're already starting to lock up some more tankless. I mean, tankless has been, we haven't. I had a tanked call in this first two weeks. It's been, it's been weird.

Is it all leads from the TikTok thing that you showed me last time? So all of our leads are for TikTok for tankless. So that, that, that is doing really good. We're doing like, I think it's 20 a lead, something like that. 21 a lead on tankless. Yeah, dude, that's wild.

Yeah. That's good. That's a good idea. The, the, the problem with it though, the downside is the leads are pretty low quality. So we close at probably a 20 cent, 20 percent rate, at least on HVAC. We were on, on, uh, tankless, a little better than that so far. And we've, we've been out and quoted out a few other locations so far.

So we're really excited. So I think we'll have maybe two or three more next week as well. So I wouldn't be surprised if our first month is a close to a hundred thousand dollar first month. Which is. Arrivals, uh, are HVAC last year. So, yeah, no, that's, that's wicked. I mean, that amount of tankless is really interesting.

Yeah. The area we're in is very affluent. Um, so there's lots of disposable income and there's lots of, um, want and need for high efficiency. So I think I've talked about on here before we sell high seer quite often. I mean, we, most of our sales are 16 C or something or such. Um, so it's, it's a big, um, push in this area to get those kinds of higher efficiencies in your household.

And that's why I think we see such a drive from that. Yeah. Yeah. And the ad's doing well, so that doesn't hurt. Yeah. I'm gonna do that now. I gotta do, uh, we're getting ready to launch short form like, like that, like Tik TOK, YouTube, we haven't done anything with it. It's sort of like, uh, Um, it's so easy to do, but you sort of, I dunno, you become this like marketing as a team and it just doesn't hit the priority list, but I, I, I gotta do it.

I gotta do it. Yeah. Speaking of that, I also reached out to, uh, that, that group that you, um, mentioned last time on the podcast. Yeah. So, uh, we have a meeting tomorrow to hopefully run the PPC LSA. Yeah. We, we, we started LSA and we've driven a few leads, but you're right. LSA we're up to like 60 a lead. It's just, it's rough.

It's tough. I mean, we're at PPC prices now. Yeah. Well, you are. Yeah. So I had the same conversation with Rich Jordan last week where he was like, dude, I was paying a hundred dollars for PPC or something like that. And I'm like, right now my LSA leads for drains are 54. My PPC leads for drains are 53. Like that's my cost per lead right now.

So like that feels. That feels pretty good. Uh, that's, that's including excavation. So, um, yeah, I don't know. They've, they've done good for me for the last year. So server scalers, check it out. Yeah. And so, um, I, that's been going well and then we are closing. Um, we're under, uh, we've gotten commitment letters and we're under contract on another business.

Um, and so we're growing rapidly and we put in an advertisement for, uh, GM. And so I was hoping to talk about that today is, um, what do you, what did you look for when hiring your first GM? And I think that'd be a great conversation for people in that zero to 5 million range, because right around that three, four, high threes, four or five is when you start looking for your first, whatever you want to call them, ops manager, senior service manager, whatever, but really, um, Kind of your daily operation specialist that kind of takes over so that you can move out of the daily ops and go on to the higher value items.

Yeah. Um, so I have a couple comments. I sort of, I sort of paused. You caught me off guard with that last sentence, which is so that you can move on to higher items. Um, so I'm going to share a quick philosophy and then I'm going to dive into. Yeah, I might, I might have overspoke that, but you, I mean, to get to 5 million, those are the high items, right?

You being in the daily weeds of things. Yeah. And I would argue to get to a hundred million and I, I think that that's been a big learning for me. Like, there's a contest on Twitter of how little you know about the operations of your business day to day. And you, you, you know, you'll sort of see people like brag about it or talk about it and they'll be like, Oh my God, I have no idea what this, this, and this.

And like, I know everything. I know all 138 people. I know their close rates. I know their numbers. I know where we're struggling. I know where we're winning. And my office is in the middle of freaking call center. So. Like there is no office I'm in a cubicle, uh, cause that's what, that's where it's happening.

Like our, our path to a hundred million is a path of a hundred million details. So yeah, not to cut you off, I'd, I'd a hundred percent agree with that is any business that I've seen somebody move out and, and on Twitter, the idea is right. Uh, I, I want to be the, the, the, the finance guy comes in and comes in and, and, and hires a GM and runs it.

I've said that before too, right? So it's like, I'm throwing stones at myself here. But yes, you, you, it's not a dismissal from the day to day items, but it definitely is getting help to handle the increased operation that you are growing. And then give you extra time to do acquisitions or to do growth, you know, really growth modeling and, and building the systems.

Yeah. I think one of the, this ties into how you recruit an ops manager or GM is one of the things that we're having to undo right now. That we did at the time was exactly that mindset. So that's why I'm trying to be, uh, not to real careful correction, but yeah, like literally this is one, like that exact sentence is one of the things that got us in, in sort of trouble.

Right. So, so we have this, uh, like delegate and elevate, like all that's great until people lose sight of the only thing that matters, which is like. What's happening every day? Are we booked to capacity? Are we like, you know, you know how many water heaters and, uh, we're sold and how many toilets were sold in your first week of plumbing, right?

Like that's, that's obsession. That's focus. That's like keeping it tight. And the business starts to suffer when you lose that fanatical focus on how many cartridges you replaced that week. So, uh, this is something that we're having to undo from top down in our business right now of like, no, they're like, yes, we delegate, but we still have a fanatical obsession with what's happening every single day.

And like that is top of the org chart is who has to care about what's happening every single day. And so how, how do you go about then? What were there any big misses or what was, where was your first hire for that position? And. What did that, what was the wins and what were the misses on that hire, if there was any?

Yeah, so the first hire, um, first time I hired an option manager was like seven years ago. And they were actually somebody that came on from an acquisition. And honestly, I think I was just like, I was, I was just a kid. Such a youth. And like, I didn't know how to hold somebody accountable and, uh, I, it was the wrong person for the job.

It was a guy who wasn't hungry at all. Um, like I could go on and on about, about that. So when, when I, uh, when I selected the next one, it was about two years later, year and a half later. Uh, and that was Brandon. Who's our president now. He does a great job. He's COO and president. And he helped me take this business from 3 million to 20 something over the past, you know, four or five years together.

So, um, he's amazing. And what I was looking for at the time with him, I don't think I wouldn't, I don't, I don't even think that I was looking for it because I don't want to give myself that much credit. Uh, what I found with him, which I found attractive was he was previously an entrepreneur. So he launched his own business in high school, he sold that business at like 21 to a competitor, and then he ran that business, he ran his competitor's business while going to college full time as a 21 year old, and the business was doing like two, three million dollars with 55 employees.

So like, that's a baller, right? So like, from my, and he had helped take his original business... He sold it, ran the new business, and the new business was a non franchise flipping over to a franchise. Which was, that was a focus of mine at that point, not to become a franchise, but we were implementing certain path or SGI at the time, which that is a, it's a business in a box system.

So I was looking for someone that had helped implement a franchise before so that they could help implement our business in a box model. And, and so how important right there, you mentioned a few key points, right? Hungry. It's a, it's a kind of ambiguous term. How quickly were you able to discern how hungry he was coming into it?

Cause I find that that's extremely important, right? It's just someone who's willing to get in there, see the vision and then start moving towards it. Um, fanatical, you've used that word as well because someone who becomes fanatical for the kind of group's vision. Um, how, when did you notice that, that he was a good fit and met that criteria?

How quickly? Um, I think pretty early, like we offered that day, but you know, it was also five years ago, so I feel like that's a memory's a long time. Cause like how I think about how he's a good fit now is probably not how John five years ago thought he was a good fit. Right? Like, I think he's a good fit for a totally different set of reasons.

Now, we work well together. We complement each other's strengths. Like, he understands the vision and he can drive towards it. He's a workhorse. Like, there's all these amazing aspects to him that, like, I didn't know at that time. When we're hiring now, we've sort of built a framework off of him, but off of other people, too.

Of, like, we have a questionnaire that our recruiters go through during interviewing. Because you have to sort of, you have to sort of, uh, like, spread the information of, like, Um, you know, how do we do this? So, um, like some of the questions are, are they hungry? Are they entrepreneurial? Are they scrappy?

Those are three of the questions in our 15 intake before I even see it. Somebody, they have to check these boxes, right? Um, do their eyes light up when we talk about the role? That's, that's been like a huge, a huge and dumb learning for me for hiring is like, I found, I kept having to like convince people.

Into taking this job and then like, no, no surprise, they don't do amazing, right? So, cause they never really wanted it and I just happened to sell them on it. So now I sell them on the company, like, Hey, here's the vision. Here's where we were. Here's where we're going. Here's how we're going to get there.

Here's how you can help. But the role is like when I explain that role, if your eyes don't like light up and if you aren't like frothing at the mouth to start, like you're probably not a fit.. But that takes like an obsession of understanding the role.

Yeah. I don't think most companies understand the role that they're trying to hire for. And when going through this, when finding these people, not withstanding where they're coming from, but what industry, is there any specific industry outside of directly trades that. That creates great operations for the trades.

Like I know that there's operations managers in hospitality and in hotels and very good um, attention to detail cause they're in really high end hotels, but is there anything specific that transfers over into being a great ops manager or GM for trade specific roles or is it just trades guys? I'm, I know that other people have successfully added people from outside of the trades into the trades.

I have tried a number of times and been mostly unsuccessful. So when we're hiring people in leadership roles now, we kind of have a pickle because, um, like usually you're I just got this comfort advisor. I just got this service manager or whatever from the big company down the street. Like, we are the big company down the street.

There is not a big company down the street for us to pull, draw talent from. And that, like, it's funny, but it's also like, this is a real problem. So like right now we need a call center manager and like my ideal call center manager, scrappy, entrepreneurial, eyes light up when we talk about all those things, highly Titan, capable of managing 20 to 30 people, understands a three trade membership program and how to grow it.

There is no one like that. Yeah. You're picking them from another city. Yeah. They're there because they don't exist. Like if they existed, they would be in my office already because it's the only company that has that in our market. So, uh, yeah, it's kind of a pickle.  We've struggled with hiring people from outside of the trades, but now it's created this, we can, you know, I guess we see our business a little bit differently.

So call center. Absolutely. Okay. But each business, it's still its own pillar. So one of the things that we've learned as we've hired people is like, how big is the P and L that they're going to manage? How big is the team? So like, Hey, if you're a service manager from a plumbing company, that's managed 10 people, my plumbing department has 40, right?

So I'm probably not going to hire you and give you 40 people, but there's, there's four teams with 10 people on it. So I probably have a spot for you in that case. So. Um, that would be, that's how we actively recruit now when we're thinking about, like writing three install managers right now. And we can take those from other companies because of this, this and this.

That makes complete sense. I mean, that, that's my worry and I've, I've heard some horror stories of trying to bring people in from other industries. Um, I mean, even me hiring texts from different industries and trying to train them up. I mean, even if you've worked facilities and it's just a whole different mindset going from, Hey, we're in a cost savings mode to we're in a revenue generating mode.

And that was a hard lesson. And so I think that's going to be the same for a lot of industries is maintenance and trades and in industries that. Um, kind of are vertically integrated where that, that trade rules for vertically integrated into the system. They're in cost savings modes all the time. Versus when you pull them over here, you guys, no, no, no.

This is a, you know, we're trying to hit revenue goals and revenue numbers. You need to sell, you need to train your people how to sell. And, um, that's a hard transition. That's not teaching you, you know, some management skills. That's a flip of the mindset. Yeah, it's, it's totally different and I'm sure that like, um, the people that I know that have successfully brought them in, they've still brought them in from a very like retail focused spot.

So you know, I've heard of like rent a centers. So financing focused home upgrades. Uh, so yeah, okay, I can get behind that. Um, what was another one? Like landscaping, we've done pretty well with landscaping. Cause you're just dealing with crazy staff, right? Like if you can handle a staff in a landscaping company, you can handle anybody's staff.

Yeah. I've, I've never looked too deeply into a business, but I would imagine it's a lot of employees per manager. Is that the reason? Yeah. For, for landscaping. Yeah. Yeah, but it's also just crazy or like roofing, right? Like roofing is another one. Like if you can handle a roofing crew, you can handle anything I have to throw you because like before lunch every day, you probably had guns pulled on you three times by your own employees, right?

Like roofing is wild. So HVAC is a lot easier than that, but it's still a financing focused sales focused business and we're talking about upgrades with homeowners. So like, so. Similar enough model that I think that that would, that that would still fit. Okay, great. And then, so in your current business, right, we, we kind of are interchanging the words GM COO and, and um, you know, ops manager, you know, what in your business, what does that currently look like in terms of structure or chart?

Yeah. You know what? I brought it up. Awesome. Yeah.

All right, man, this is us. So I think this has most of the team. So we're about 138 people deep right now. Wow. So, uh, I'm going to slide over to Allie here. So yeah, this is our rough org chart. So the way it works is we have a sales service department that will sell work and flip it over to the install department.

Each of these has a leader. So there's a manager, usually a call by call manager is what they're called, so we have three call by call managers. Um, and what they do every day is they literally run call by call. So they just watch along as that's happening. Um, so you can think of that like a service manager.

It's a very different role, but that's... Yeah. As you scale, you either have service managers or call by calls, and we've chose DEV call by calls. And then above them is a trade manager. So the trade manager is the ops manager of that trade. So Jennifer is the ops manager of HVC, Nick is the ops manager of electric, Sarah is the ops manager of restoration, and Allie is the ops manager of plumbing.

So um, we call them trade managers and they manage the trade. So the trade fully rolls up. Uh, to that person and they're accountable. So the way this looks is trade managers are accountable for everything that happens inside that vertical. They own that P& L. Um, They get weekly P& Ls down to gross profit, and then they're incentivized off that, and then they're, uh, field managers.

So ops managers, field managers, uh, which is the call by calls. The install managers work underneath them. Uh, to manage the team directly. And then is there, I mean, I know we're digging into the weeds now, but then, so you have your, your install manager or your, your, um, I want to call them service managers or field managers.

Um, how many, at what point do you split and create a secondary field manager? How many, or does, I guess it would change by trade, correct? Or is that. Yeah. It changes a little bit by trade. Um, so I think this is honestly like an old org chart, cause I think we're missing a chunk of people just by looking at it here, but, uh, that's still something that we're actively experimenting with.

So like, I'll walk you through the development of our org chart here. If, if that sounds, so one of our biggest path or barriers to scale was. Nailing down the middle management component of the business. And it doesn't sound that complicated, uh, but it really is. So you get a little bit larger and suddenly you need additional managers.

So you need service managers or install managers or call by call managers or, you know, whatever it is. And, um, you have to pick a path and you have to stick to it and it has to work with the rest of your business. So. For us, we experimented with a few things. I was very hesitant to add overhead. Yeah, because that's a lot of, you can get top heavy real quick on these, these, uh, I mean, that's, that's the, the fear, right?

In all businesses is that you've, you've hired too many of these managers that aren't, uh, aren't in the daily weeds and they're not actually driving any revenue. But sorry, continue. Yeah, I mean, that is, yeah, that is the fear. So, I, you know, A long time ago, five, six years ago, we ran at the recommended six to eight people, six to one.

Yeah. Yeah. It didn't, it didn't work for us. Now looking backwards, that was probably a wrong person in the seat. So that's probably a different problem. And we didn't have a good way of replacing or holding accountable at that point like we do now. But, um, that was probably the wrong person. Uh, so now we let the teams get bigger.

So we run, we've gotten as big as 15, like Jen currently has no middle managers and she directly manages. Actually, I think this is missing a few, she directly manages like 12 individuals. Yeah. Um, now we're getting ready to add an install manager. Now we're actively recruiting for that position, but, um. Um, that is roughly what it used to look like.

So six months ago, Allie was directly managing plumbing, which had 20 people or 19 people at the time, like full on direct management, added a call by call. We handed that off, getting ready to add an install manager. Um, and, but we're forcing growth in the same, in the same, uh, window. And, and just tell me, does this, does this change, right?

So you have a kind of a specific model here where you have, um, You have sales. Like comfort advisors, plumbing sales that drives to cert or that drives to installers, correct? Um, if you, if you were to say and flip this on its head and say, Hey, there's a lot of people out there that have selling techs, right?

What does that look like? Does that change the org chart at all? Or is it just, you know, kind of stay the same, but just minus the comfort advisor, the plumbing comfort advisor. Yeah. I don't think it changes the org chart. Um, Like you just wouldn't have a comfort advisor. A comfort advisor is a new addition for us in HVAC in the last couple of months.

Like we added it like four or five months ago. It's been very good. Uh, so we're going to do a lot more of it. Uh, so we're getting ready to bring on the second one in a month or two. Um, so we have Yeah, I guess my point is right. If you get rid of the comfort advisor, then you're set. You need to have more selling techs to take up that extra.

So I guess it would just inflate the team on the sales tech side versus actually creating any kind of different structure in itself. That makes sense. No, that's cool. Thanks for showing that though. I mean, that's, it's so simple. I mean, I know for people who are just listening, it really is simple. It was COO.

Uh, then it split down to all the ops managers split down direct reports. Right now he's running call center. So he has more than that, but. Um, like ideally he has five or six direct reports. Um, I have maybe eight direct reports right now. So I have a fairly large team reporting up to me and it keeps me very busy.

Um, so yeah. And then we just add more teams and we basically, we're now that we have our middle management team model bill, this, this model can take us to 50 million. Before we have scalable. Yeah, before we have to figure it out again. So, you know, we've got a couple years before that happens, fortunately, but, so question maybe need two.

The, the, the 10, the $10 million mark's called the bullshit mode, right? The, yeah, that's the bullshit mode. Yeah. What's, what's the $50 million mark called ? Like, probably dumb as hell. Yeah. So like, so the, the 10 when you cross 10 million, I call it the bullshit mode, right? So like 10 million is, it's a, it's a great number.

Because suddenly you get access to more stuff. You get like, you get to sort of be a BSD in the market. You know, you get all these great things, but the, but the problem is you scaled there probably pretty fast and you have zero infrastructure or at least we did. Right. Cause, cause we went from, we went from 4 million to like 14 million over the course of five months.

So we had nothing built. So it breaks all your systems, breaks everything, breaks everything. So like. And even if you were doing organic, like we have friends who are growing from five to 10 million and you know, 18 months, that's pretty fast. So like, how are you handling HR? What's that team look like? How are you handling accounting?

What's that team look like? Cause when everybody crosses 10 million, like I'll tell you what your team looks like. You have no one in HR except for a recruiter mate and you have a bookkeeper because that's what ours looked like. And then, and then it's like, Holy shit. Like I need six people in accounting.

I need four people in hr. I've, I have a hundred, I'm, I'm gonna cross 150 employees by the end of this year. Yeah. And like my, my call center happens. It's going from maybe a C SS r and a dispatcher to now like, oh, we have inside sales and, and outside sales and this and that and that. And you actually delegate out or, or divide out kind of, yeah.

That role, almost what we talked about last week is you become a generalist. And all your people are generalists and they have to hurry up and they like almost overnight have to become specialists in HR and all these kind of areas you've slacked in. And I can definitely see that coming down the pike. I mean, Oh, for sure.

And now we're at the next stage of what you just described. We're like, you split this, like, okay, we've got CSR and dispatch. Awesome. And like, maybe you get to like six, seven people. Like we just crossed 22 in call center. So like, there's a lot of shit going on over here and like, so yeah, I, I think that, yeah, I'm so excited for that day.

I mean, I hope I get to that one day where I'm where I have a call center of 20 people. That's so exciting. Just sitting here with two, two people, um, well, we had to, it's really fresh right now when we moved into the new building, we had literally, so I set up 24 cubicles. Uh, eight of them are, um, like in a weird spot.

So we haven't moved people into that. It's designated for one team. When we moved in, we had three of the cubicles filled. We filled them like we filled the first 16, a couple of weeks ago. So I had to buy eight new desks and I'm, I was setting them up today at the office for our eight new people that I'm starting over the next couple of weeks.

Cause I have two more starting on Monday. Probably have two more starting the Monday after that. And now our call center. Is I have people in there from 6 in the morning to 10 p. m. at night on site inside my call center. And we're adding these new sales teams. Yeah, so it's just a lot. There's now three shifts to handle, like, our demand load.

And it's a lot. Turns into a lot. So, that's the BS of 20 million, I guess. Awesome. I love it. I mean, someone said it's, it's always, there's always problems. It's always going to be BS different types, but at least when you're at 20 million beat 20 million in BS, uh, the, the, the problems, the problems are fun.

I think the problems are a lot more enjoyable because, because like suddenly, you have momentum and you have resources. Whereas like when you're smaller, you don't have really either of those things, but like my momentum, um, worse. I think I've, I've been sharing this on Twitter, but like we're 70 percent month over month in leads.

I saw it. That was amazing. 4, 000 leads, 4, 000 leads. If you're listening to this, so like 70 percent up, it said, yeah, I don't know how accurate that was, but we've had to triple our call center, right? But like we've had to, but, um, so we have momentum and, and like the moment, but like in raw terms, that is like 8, 000 phone calls a week.

Like, that's ridiculous. So, uh, or sorry, 8, 000 a month. That's 8, 000 vocals a month. So, um... Still, it's a problem that like we never think about, we never think about, okay, you know, a phone call is going to be average six minutes, um, and you need, you have 8, 000 of those. How many can they take per day? And then you have to have backup so that if one or two people call, yeah, look at your, yeah.

If two people call at the same time. Great. But like, how do you, how do you level load the staffing and payroll of 22 people in order to hit those, those peak times? Just right. So you can staff them. You can close on those leads that you fought so hard for. Yeah. That's, that's where the true, um, value of ServiceTitan and these other applications that like tell you the data really come in handy.

Right. Do you look at timing of that? Like how they come in? Oh yeah. Obsessively. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah... I am not exaggerating when I say that my cubicle is in the middle of the person. Like that's not a joke. That is where I sit. Yeah. You know, I can't imagine that place when we got, so it got negative three last year, which is crazy for Nashville.

And we had 250 calls in three hours and we just couldn't feel it. We're just like, we'll take what we can get as we go. The entire team was, you know, slipping on ice. Um, I can't imagine when something like that, when you guys have an extreme weather event. So that was sort of Monday. So, our average Monday is about 500 phone calls.

We had 750 on Monday. Uh, and we weren't quite staffed for it. Like we, now we have schedule engine. But like, literally every week I have one to two people starting in call center. Every single week. Like clockwork. Cause we literally can't keep up. Sorry, I know we're over on time. But one last question. Is your call center specific to industry or do you have a call center that just can handle anything from, you know, your home remediation all the way over to, um, electrical?

Yeah, it's, it's across the board. Awesome. Well, thanks. This was good. Started in office management, ended up in call center. Call center. I mean, we can, we can spend 20, 30 minutes talking about call center and how it flows. I feel like the last three, um, The last three podcasts we did, they've all ended in call center.

I mean, I think that that's just what we talk about next. I love call center. I'm in. All right. Okay. We're talking about calls. Thank you everyone. Appreciate it. Thanks for tuning in to own and operated. We're dropping episodes twice a week on home service companies. So make sure to tune in.

 Thanks for tuning in to Owned and Operated, the podcast for home service entrepreneurs. If you enjoyed today's episode, please hit the like button and subscribe to the podcast. If you have any questions or topics you'd like us to cover, feel free to reach out. You can find me on Twitter at at Wilson companies.

See you next time. 

Weekly Readers
Stay Ahead of the Curve with Industry-Specific Insights.

Scale your service business faster.

Dive into our exclusive content tailored for Home Services and surrounding niches.