Owned and Operated #125 - Enhancing Team Performance: The Role of Training and EOS

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Is your home service using EOS and training to their full potential? Today on Owned and Operated, John and Jack talk about the need to replace unreliable vehicles with new vans, the benefits of leasing, and the recent whole company staff meeting aimed at clarifying company goals and values. They also explore the complexities of managing capacity issues, the nuance required in making significant business decisions, and the importance of continuous training and meetings to maintain high performance across teams.

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

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John Wilson, CEO of Wilson Companies

Jack Carr, CEO of Rapid HVAC

Owned and Operated Episode #125 Transcript

John: Welcome back to Owned and Operated.

Jack: Dude, good to see ya. Hey. What do you got cooking today? Oh my goodness. Two fronts. One is for whatever reason, every vehicle, I should rephrase that, every junky vehicle that we've had, like decided to crap out on us. Every single one. Like simultaneously, we have changed one guy in a van three times.

Jack: So I'm convinced that I just need to do that. Bite the bullet and get new vans. We've talked about this before.

John: Well, it's a lot. I mean, it's a lot. That's, that's why we ended up moving to leasing like six years ago.

Jack: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I think I don't think that like leasing is the only answer, but I do think that the only wrong answer here is to run on a fleet of plus vehicles and try to pretend like everything's just going to be okay.

Jack: Yeah. Yeah. So we had that and then we had our whole company staff meeting today, which was really good, really helpful. It allowed me to clear up a lot of things and very excited coming out of that with some tailwinds, I think, go into the summer. What about you?

John: Yeah. Good. I mean, this week's hot, you know, this week's really hot.

John: So We're like, we talked about last week, you know, we're about to take down a record in May, which is crazy. And then we have a bunch of awesome team members that have been onboarded and are now going live next week. And then we have a bunch of people beginning onboarding next week. So the elusive 2 million a month is probably June.

John: That's taken us, we've been like flirting with that line for a while and we're, I think we get to finally pass it in June.

Jack: That should help out with your capacity issue too, right? Because last time we, or a couple of times ago, we talked to you, we're kind of running into a capacity issue.

John: We still have those issues.

John: So no, it actually won't help it, but

Jack: we have a plan to fix it. Okay. Well, cause, cause I mean, there's really two sides of the business, right? There's a sales and service side and then install component. And so the people that onboarded, were they more along the lines of sales and service? Yeah. It

John: was both, yeah.

John: It was both. But you know, some, some teams like capacity is just hard to like knit. So plumbing's relatively steady, but like each fact capacity is really difficult to nail. You know, we felt, I probably did the best I've ever done this year because we were fully staffed with like four and a half crews in may.

John: So that means we get an extra 30 days of install. But you know, we're still behind cause we should be running a five full cruise and the difference, the difference there is 50 grand a week of revenue, that's two and a half million dollars. So that was a two and a half million dollar mistake. But correcting it, but plumbing is the same thing, you know, in each install plumber, we expect like 20 to 40 grand a week of installed revenue.

John: And so. And so basically everyone's a million dollars is how we see it now, which is kind of an interesting way to look at it. So I'm writing that down.

Jack: Yeah, we were, we were talking about that. I should probably just go back to listen to the episode versus lose my attention. But we were trying to, we were talking about that.

Jack: How much is a capacity of an in good install plan should be per year. I'm sorry.

John: The way, something that's kind of interesting. I had a, I had a deal show up last week and deals, like, I've talked about it a lot of like, yeah, it's, you know, kind of a energy and distraction and whatever, but also like, we've built a system where I can drive a million dollars by hiring one person.

John: Like, yeah. Why, why would a deal. ever make sense if that's what I can do. Like it, it just doesn't make sense.

Jack: Yes. For you. And I think that's actually how most deals go though, is like you, you, you lose the, that portion of value as you get bigger, because your systems are now better than any of the other people's systems.

Jack: When you're smaller, like when you're that 3 million company It makes sense to buy another 3 million company. Oh no,

John: totally. I'm, I'm not saying don't acquire. No, I'm just explaining

Jack: it out.

John: Yeah, it was a good, I agree with you, but it was like a good example of, cause I had a deal show up in my lap last week and it was like two and a half, 3 million of revenue.

John: And I was like, should I, shouldn't I? And I was like, that's going to be, it's going to take me some time. It's going to take money. It's going to take all this stuff. And for me, 3 million of revenue might just be two hires or three hires like that. I can do that in the next seven days. And all that it would take me is three vans and additional marketing.

John: But like right now, like we have, We have excess capacity, like lead flow. So like we can do that. So the, the, yeah, it, it really reframes, it really reframes how you think about it.

Jack: I think that's the key is it's like, it's a reframing. So it needs to be, it needs to have different value. So like you could see it, like if you're trying to move into another market, like Southeast, if it brought value there or a different vertical, I could see it being worth it.

Jack: We got a deal the other day too. You want to hear this one?

John: Yeah.

Jack: So the guy does have like 400, 000 in gross revenue as a HVAC company and he wants 200, 000 for the company. Oh, that's tough, man. And I said, good luck. Yeah. No, no, no, no, no, no. I'm sorry. Your phone number and your small client list are not worth 200, 000.

John: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I think we've gotten a lot of flack over the years for like, we'll pay less than a one times on small companies and people are like, what the heck? It's still worth something. And like, just going back to my example of like a million dollars is one higher. Like it's, it's really not worth anything.

John: That's like, it's not because like, It had, it has to be less, it has to be as, as much of a easy decision as hiring someone. So like, what's the, what's the cost of a van? What's the cost of the lease and what's the cost of a hire. And like, if your company costs more than that, then like, it makes no sense for me to do that.

John: And it has to be at a significant discount because if I'm focusing on buying your company, I'm not focusing on my actual business.

Jack: I mean, for us, I mean, the way I look at it is for us to generate another 400, 000 in revenue. Cause that's all we're getting out of it. And the story, like I can go spend 200, 000 on marketing and I don't have that same headache.

Jack: I just need to hire, like you said, hire one person and that's not even a well trained person to make like with one person's only doing 400, 000 in like service flips. Yeah. It's just not, it's not there.

John: Yeah. So I totally agree. I totally agree. Well today we wanted to dive into your whole company meeting and I think a way, a question that we've gotten, I don't even know if it's a question.

John: It's an observation. So like, and not of you, but like we've talked to a lot of owners and I remember, I remember when my dad said this, and this was a decade ago now, you know, we were starting to grow and he said, The phrase was something like, Oh, so I guess we're a meetings company now. And I was like, okay, that's an interesting way to say that.

John: But I think it comes up a lot of like, people are like, Oh, what, what would we even talk about? Cause I've talked to people that are like, I've never had a company meeting. Like what? What is there to talk about? Like, I'm just going to go plumber, you know, yeah, HVAC stuff. Hey, this episode is sponsored by Service Scalers.

John: So Service Scalers is actually a brand that I've used personally with our companies for a little bit over a year now. They've helped us manage our digital advertising. Frankly, they did a lot better than our last agency. Leads went through the roof and cost per click went way down. Check out service scalers.

John: If you're a plumbing HVC or electrical home service company, that's what they knock out of the park and they did a great job for me.

Jack: I mean, I think what the hardest part is and this is just purely my company and what we were doing. So a year ago today, we had four people. We have 18 people sitting at that table today.

Jack: And so like the big thing for us is there's actual company growth in terms of like, Hey, you guys are, you guys are six months with the company, three months with the company. We've never had core values. Do you, I asked the group bluntly, anybody not that doesn't sit with me in the office, what is our goal?

Jack: Do you know what the company goal is? And nobody knew. And that's a failure on my part. Like it's a failure on my part that nobody knows what the company goal is. Nobody knows why they're on performance pay. Nobody knows the background, the theory behind the company and how we're going to grow and how does that benefit them?

Jack: And so a lot of it today was, I think it's extremely important meetings, We do a weekly meeting for trainings to hold accountability. But I think once every quarter it's important to do a meeting where you, one, you're showing appreciation. We shout out any promotions that we've done, which we did today.

Jack: We give somebody a promotion who's done. a killer tech who went from a level two to a level three. And then we go through and talk about the company in terms of, Hey, how are we meeting or not meeting our pillars? Like of who we are, how we'll get there. And who we are, what's our goals and how we'll get there.

Jack: That's the part I stole from you. We stole it right off. I mean,

John: I think, I think it's good. I think yeah, company me, that's like the, I think a perfect application. What we have found over the years is like some of our managers have taken it on, on themselves to do more. So like we've had a once or twice a week huddle for six years and we've been able to, It's obviously looked a lot of different ways depending on the season of the business.

John: Could be updates, could be training, could be next star, could be certain paths, could be whatever it is that we're going to be diving into. But what we found is that no amount of training is enough. And that's, you know, if you've been listening for the last month, you know, we've gone through this sort of like re kick on training where like we had one team that was training five days a week and they were outperforming, like their performance doubled, like average ticket doubled, close rate doubled in over the course of like 60 days, I believe it.

John: Cause they were just diving into daily training. So now, like, as we were sort of going through this thing we, we put a bigger emphasis on training. Now there's still a bunch of different places that we fall short. Like we still haven't gotten there on call center yet. We're about to, as of next week, we go into, I think a daily training for call center, which I'm excited about.

John: And we're only at once a week right now for leaders. And that's about 30 minutes a week, which I don't think is enough either. So we're really trying to like, we worked on the tech side, which is obviously the biggest side of the company, and then we're working through the other sections in order to get there.

John: And then our Wednesday is whole company, but it's really just, it's a lot of the same information. And then we like split off to cover that in more granular detail.

Jack: Do you do a whole company weekly or monthly? We do a

John: whole service team. And then like dispatch and HR and they'll show up, but like every team meets at least once a week, if not three to five times a week, depending on the team, but the highest performing ones consistently meet, like it's almost like tickets, like the more options you give, the higher your average ticket, the more trainings you have, the higher your team's

Jack: performance.

Jack: And that, that's actually the exact verbiage that I gave when, so I got that pushback, like Jack, we can't have a meeting because we are going to miss out on X, Y, or Z calls. And they said the X, Y, or Z calls that we're going to miss out on what? Three calls, five calls. Like realistically they, if they're doing what they're supposed to be doing from this training, they will make that up in like the first two calls that they actually run versus letting them continuously run.

Jack: Doing subpar work.

John: Yeah.

Jack: Not that my guys are doing subpar work, but just saying in general, like,

John: well, they'll go into a better trained. Yeah.

Jack: Yeah.

John: A hundred percent.

Jack: So I know we've talked about this a few times, but you're running EOS for all meetings. Is that how our teams trained up? Do you have an in house, what is they call them?

Jack: They like the in house trainer or the in house watcher or something like that. We

John: don't have that either. Soon right now, the managers are responsible for their, like their own verticals but we will soon invest in a trainer. We'll soon invest in a trainer. So

John: we do run out, we do run EOS. So EOS is like, it's a way you meet, it's a way to score a card, it's a way you solve problems. It's not really a way that, that I know of, it's not a way to meet as a whole company unless you're doing a whole company L10. So those are just different things for us. So L10s aren't really trainings, L10s are like, that's a weekly meeting.

John: And the idea is that you solve problems inside that weekly meeting. So like, hey, here's this issue that came up, let's solve it. So that's different, but those, those

Jack: do happen

John: weekly

Jack: by team as well. Okay. So they're doing L10s or EOS meetings? None of our texts are in

John: L10s. It's like we have 12 L10s a week and, you know, senior leadership has one plumbing.

John: Marketing, accounting, HR, warehouse, you know, each like individual team has one, but inside those teams like plumbing HVAC electric their L10 is only going to be with the managers and the dispatcher of each team.

Jack: So here's a great question is when you get to the size you are. What's your involvement in like, so you have your whole company meeting, you have your weekly trainings with the staff, you have your L10s, are you, you're, are you part of every single one of those or how are you one managing those meetings and two, are you a part of those meetings?

John: I don't feel like I have this perfect. Like, I wish I was a part of more than I am. I usually attend three to four L tens a week. And it tends to be in the teams that have the biggest issues. So I'll sit in now, I should be sitting in teams that are winning as a sign of encouragement. But my time tends to be drawn to the teams that are having bigger issues.

John: Yeah,

Jack: fair enough. I mean. I think that's generally how it just works until you can figure something else out because that's, I almost posted this on Twitter, but I didn't know how to, to write it out properly the other day. But it was like business ownership is a cycle of dealing with call center. And then when call center gets all fixed up, then it's like, Oh shit.

Jack: Now, The dispatchers are now service techs are falling behind. Go over to service techs on the HVAC side, get them back up to where they need to be. Then it's plumbing goes down and then it's back all the way to call center again. By the time it's all said and done, it's like you paint to one end of the Golden Gate Bridge and then you start painting back.

John: Yeah. I mean, you really, you really do. I don't know that that ever goes away. I think what you add in is smart people that are capable of helping you solve those problems. So then it's more eyeballs on each one, but like those problem, it's still always roughly the same. What's been nice is inside that chain of accountability that we've talked about and we gave in the workshop.

John: Like eventually you have a manager over each one instead of like right now you're over most of it and Then it's holding that manager accountable to what that team should be doing And it does get a little bit easier as long as you have the right manager in place If you don't have the right manager in place, obviously it becomes a You Even a bigger hassle.

Jack: And so, I mean, that's actually a lot of where the conversation wasn't today. It's Hey, we're building, it's also, you guys have built the systems, right? You've built the systems so that the managers know what they're doing to, for the majority of it, not for all of it, but like. For a lot of it, there's something in place that that's a framework that they can work off of.

Jack: And so a lot of today's talk was like, Hey, we are still building this framework and we understand there's growing pains, but this is what it needs to look like. And this is the direction we're going. And this is why we're going there. And I think that's important at the end of the day is for them to know.

Jack: You know, this is sometimes a hassle for us out in the field, but there's a reason we do debriefing. There's a reason we do call by call. There's a reason that you guys can't see your next call. Like there is a series of things that need to be put in place so that in the long term, whether you're here or not, whether I'm here or not, whether the manager's here or not, or changes that the system still works.

Jack: So it's interesting. I mean, it's very, it's a very interesting spot to be in. I mean, a lot of people who are running these businesses like you and me are, you know, young thirties, mid thirties, late thirties, but you started when you were 24 year running these things. And so it's, it's definitely a, It's, it's something I don't know how to put words on it.

Jack: It's just, it's a, it's a big responsibility to be the leader of, you know, 18 people, a hundred people at the end of the day.

John: No, it is. Yeah. It's huge. And I think but being able to show growth, why the improvements happen, you know, having a track record now. You know, we're, we're having, I, this could be like a different episode really.

John: But like the more we do stuff and like back to this, you know, one hire is a million dollars now. That's real. So that's like a, so now, you know, that's like, that took years to get there. That took like a decade of my life. For one hired to be a million dollars, you know, my, the second company I bought was doing 700, 000 with eight people or like 11 people.

John: It was something like that. And, and now it's like one higher. So, so yeah, you build all these systems and over years, you, you just find ways to continually improve it. And you 1 percent improve it and 1 percent improvement. And the best example I have of this is like HVAC where our head count in HVAC has changed like by two or three.

John: And revenue is quadrupled. We might even actually, like, do more than that this year. I don't want to hear it. That's just continuing to unlock these little, like, pieces here and there. It's kind of crazy how it all stacks

Jack: up. For anyone who doesn't know, I think on a couple episodes ago John's told me like his texts are doing an average order value of something crazy.

Jack: And I said, this is going to keep me up. And I don't tell me these things. And John, did you get a text at two in the morning? You

John: texted me, I woke up to pee and you did text me that you were up thinking about it.

Jack: 2am. I can't sleep when I hear stuff like that. Cause I know it, like it's, it's real. Like everything you're saying right now is, It's obviously real.

Jack: Like you're a real person. This is a real company. And with our order, like if we haven't an average ticket of 400, like that guy is killing it. But

John: that, that took us,

Jack: I know, but like the fact that it's a real thing is just,

John: it's real. And I'm like, well, it drives me nuts too. So you like, you know, you start working.

John: I did a tweet on this the other day, and it's like, you miss the nuance. So I get, I get the question and I have for years of like, why are you so willing to share stuff on the internet? And I'm like, I don't think you understand the depth of nuance. That goes into this, like me saying, Hey, my average ticket in this department is 2, 500 or 2, 900 or like whatever it is, like all that that does is tell you, it tells someone that it's possible, but like the series of decisions over the past nine years of my life led to that.

John: And like, why do we train the way we do? Why do we price the way we do? Why do we call by call? In order to get to that average ticket. It is like,

Jack: there's a lot of work.

John: It is so much. So, and, and I really think like, even if I gave the exact playbook that we used to go from a 400 average ticket to a not 2, 900 average ticket over the course of like seven years in plumbing, like most people still would not be able to do it.

John: Even if I gave like the exact like 30 steps, because I agree. Like, even with the 30 steps, you're still missing all of the nuance. You're missing like the people, you're missing the decisions. You're missing like, like when, when I start to describe a problem, I'm usually on step six or seven. Cause it's all I've been thinking about for like three months straight.

John: Like when I'm in the shower, I'm thinking about this problem and then,

Jack: yeah, like, and then like suddenly

John: parts of it click and you're like, Oh, okay. And like they missed the, you know, six months of inner dialogue.

Jack: I mean, a great example of that is we were switching over to a sales service model, a service, well, a service tech installer model, I should call it for plumbing and like that alone.

Jack: It. Yeah. It's easy in theory. Like you just change it. You just stop doing what you were doing. Mm-Hmm. and do something else, but like the nuance that goes in behind it and the amount of systems that need to get put in place. Oh my God. And like the change infrastructure, the call center. Yeah.

Jack: Infrastructure vans, like the whole nine. Everything just like, it changes the, it changes the entire business and that's why we lost half our staff because of it.

John: Yeah.

Jack: And so. Like it is what it is because I know it's the right move, but honestly, like, it's funny because it's the nuance in that is what makes it and the execution is what makes it not.

Jack: Yeah. I mean, you still have to execute. Like I could, you

John: could give the 30 steps and like someone still has to do it. Like someone still has to like figure out how to more than five times their average ticket.

Jack: They got to do it well to

John: have to do it well. Yeah. Yeah.

Jack: Cause if you do it and you just don't do it right to change management's garbage, you don't like you miss the part where, Hey, we're getting rid of these, this half a million dollar industry.

Jack: You do you talked about getting rid of your whole electrical new construction. I'm shutting down a 3 million, 4 million, 5 million division for, for my one service tech that does electrical. But like I need to make sure this is. What if they don't form? Yeah. So I'm with you on that one, but that's why we hold meetings.

Jack: That's why we hold trainings. That's why we explain these, why we make these decisions in company wide as well is because it's like, I feel that that's necessary for people to understand the direction and why things are going that way and care at them. Why does this benefit you? Also a huge thing today that we talked about.

Jack: Benefits. Everyone finally gets benefits. It's a win for us. We've finally been able to get to a point where we can offer them and everybody's really excited. And I mean, it's my first step. I feel like it's our first step as a company to be like competitive in the recruitment market.

John: Yeah, no, man, that sounds awesome.

John: Today we dove into EOS meetings, nuance, feel like we covered the good stuff, man. If you like what you heard, make sure you check out owns and operated. We just got a brand new website. We're very excited about it. Make sure you sign up for the newsletter and our next workshop, the June one got rescheduled to September.

John: So make sure you check the website for those new dates. Should be a lot of fun. I'm really looking forward to it. And. I think that's it.

Jack: Yeah. Really excited. Thanks for listening guys. We appreciate you.

John: 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.

John: 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. I'll see you next time.

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