Owned and Operated #70 - How to Break 3 Million in Your Home Service Business

The Path to Three Million Starts Now.
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Navigating the challenges of scaling a business beyond $3 million, John and Jack emphasize the importance of additional resources and share personal experiences. They advocate for strategic company acquisitions to streamline growth, covering topics such as debt management and the value of learning from challenges. Curious to learn from these seasoned entrepreneurs and unlock the secrets to scaling your home services business beyond $3 million? Don't miss out – listen now and discover the keys to successful scaling!

Episode Hosts: 🎤
John Wilson: @WilsonCompanies on Twitter
Jack Carr: @TheHVACJack on Twitter

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The Owned and Operated Weekly Insights Newsletter

John Wilson, CEO of Wilson Companies

Jack Carr, CEO of Rapid HVAC

Owned and Operated Episode #70 Transcript

John WIlson: I'm John Wilson. Welcome to Owned and Operated. Twice a week, we talk about home service businesses, and if you're a home service entrepreneur, then this is going to be the show for you. We talk about our own business in residential plumbing, HVAC, and electric, and we also talk about business models that we just find interesting.

Let's get into it.

If you're a home service entrepreneur that's just starting out, or is early on in the journey, and you haven't broken the five million dollar revenue mark, we've got an event for you. This spring in Cleveland, March 19th to the 21st, we're hosting an event at my office. It's going to be awesome. Honestly, some of the most impactful visits of my career have been visits to companies that were larger than we were, that we could take lessons from, and see how they're doing stuff.

Like get a behind the scenes look, how are they structuring warehouse? How are they thinking about call center? Can I talk to their managers? Can I understand what their KPIs are? We're going to dive into all that stuff. We are here to help people get above 5 million in revenue. So join us in Akron, Ohio, March 19th to the 21st for a breaking 5 million event.

Love to see you there. Details are ownedandoperated. com

Welcome back to Owned and Operated. Today, Jack and I are talking about acquisitions. We talk about your first one, how to spot it, how to find it rough revenue sizes, and kind of how to value it. Then we also talk about subsequent acquisitions and how we think about those to grow our business through acquisition.

This is a great episode. I know I enjoyed it a lot. Thanks for tuning in..

Hey, welcome back to Owned and Operated.

Jack Carr: Hey, how's it going? I'm doing well. We have an exciting topic today. I'm pumped.

John WIlson: Let's go. What are we talking about?

Jack Carr: Acquisitions.

John WIlson: We talk a lot deals.

Jack Carr: We talk a lot about, how to run call center, how to run this, how to run that, but where do you actually start and you actually start. If you're buying and building, you start before all that, before any of that gets there. You can use it to evaluate a business, but most of the time you start at the acquisition and buying at the right price is what's going to set you up with enough capital and enough revenue and enough net and enough of everything to be able to push you through.

You buy wrong hell. And so I think where John and I will go with this today is a lot of times being open about our journeys on Twitter brings a lot of people coming in to listen to us about purchasing and including myself. I will be the first to say I felt my first deal was a buyer's trap, complete buyer's trap.

And I am fighting back against that every day.

John WIlson: Like the one you bought.

Jack Carr: Yeah. so the one I bought you know, ambition was, , It was more exciting and in the long run, it definitely hurts more because of the size I bought from the multiple I bought, looking back at the deals I'm doing now, significantly better and they're out there and if I would have bought one of these first, I'd be living a much easier life in the first year I had to grow a hundred percent to get to a place that was actually semi comfortable.

Yeah, feel good growing.

John WIlson: So like what's a buyer strap?

Jack Carr: A buyer's trap is we get a lot of these, this information online that tends to not be accurate. I don't want to say names or anything, but there's a

John WIlson: uh, generational equity.

Jack Carr: Yeah, there's a buying porn, if you will.

You know, you go through brokers and you see what these things are. , I'll talk about HVAC for example, because it's what I'm in. 3X. If it's under three million, you should be paying three X. No hard. No. I think I paid somewhere like on my first deal is the only one I'll give details on.

I think I paid 2. 4 and it was significantly too hot. The buyer's trap is you run into kind of these historic multiples that they say is a one size fit all. And it's not right. There's different businesses a 2 million business. For two different businesses can be completely different one can be through two or three guys in trucks with no shop with no health care with no anything just grinding in and out every day to hit that number and their nets will be like fifty percent thirty percent It'll look great. And so you get this like what if you say If it was

2 million and they have a 50 percent net, for math's sake, you're at a 1 million net number. And so according to the book of what sells, that's a 6x multiple. You're buying that thing for 6 million or 5 million or even 3 million. And is it worth that much? The answer to me is to build a long sustainable business that actually has scale. You need things like healthcare to be able to hire people that aren't Jim Bob's brother. You need to be able to have a shop at some point you can't use the house is the guy's wife, the dispatcher and the other guy's wife, the CSR and the other guy's wife, the bookkeeper.

You got to replace all of those positions. And the minute that you start nickel and diming that back down. You find that business is actually not really 3x of 1 million, it's more like 3x of 100,000, And that might be even high. The goal is to not fall into this buyer's trap and actually evaluate a business for what it's worth.

And understand that, the struggles and the issues that come with each level.

John WIlson: Yeah.

Jack Carr: Is that fair?

Do you think I hit the main points?

John WIlson: Yeah, 100%. And I think there's two important distinctions here. Is this your first deal or is this not your first deal? And the difference is like what you need from it.

lIke your first deal, you're excited, you need the business, you need the team. You need the processes, maybe. You need to like know what they're doing. For subsequent deals, you actually need a lot less. Depending on how you choose to structure it. But like the way we go into deals now, if we even are talking to people, which we're like hesitant to do is we basically say, look I don't need anything that you've ever built. I don't I'm multiples of times your size. There's nothing that you can give me a value except for your customer list, your Google, my business, your reviews, and your name and your phone number. That's it. All I want is your leads, basically, because that's the only thing that is unique and differentiated that can provide value to me uh, will offer their text jobs.

But usually if we haven't vetted them and we haven't interviewed them and they haven't gone through our hiring process, like we're kind of hesitant. Cause I don't really know if they're going to succeed. And I want everyone to succeed. Yeah.

Jack Carr: And there's a different culture when they come in, you don't know how the owner has been running it.

And a lot of times what you find is that they're held accountable to metrics or something like that, which wasn't happening before on smaller size businesses. Yeah.

John WIlson: I think for like the subsequent deals stuff depending on how you choose to do it Like we're doing that now at nine deals and it's obviously not how we were doing stuff in those first couple We were a lot more caring about the team because we were still getting to scale like now If I buy a 20 person business and not a single person comes with it.

I don't really care

Jack Carr: like crazy like yeah,

John WIlson: literally I have a Talented recruitment team. I will replace 20 heads in a month. Yeah I think that part's probably a privilege of scale, but like

Jack Carr: pre scale, yeah,

John WIlson: I think the first one I basically agree. And with everything that you said, so like how you buy it. And there's been a lot of topic on this, on Twitter over the past few years of like trying to understand multiples. Trying to get into the space, trying to do all that stuff. The price you buy it at is hugely important and most things aren't worth what they're stated to be worth.

I saw a valuation the other day, for a business that was doing like 1. 2 million dollars in revenue. And like three or four people. Of those three or four people, there were three or four family members. And the valuation that some, you know, podunk accounting firm put on it was, like, 1.

1 million dollars. And I'm just like, like, what? And somebody would probably buy that. Someone that was like, okay, yeah, you apply this multiple, you do this thing. And they have a CRM that you're gonna have to totally rip apart. They have no staff, basically, because it's all family.

There's no staff, which doesn't bother me any, I don't care. But like, to a, one person, a new buyer, like, that'd be a big deal. You'd lose all of your revenue producers day one, probably. And, there's no real systems, because it's a tiny business. So like, when we're looking at businesses at a million dollars of revenue we're looking at, like, realistically...

What would it take me to rebuild a million dollars of revenue right now from scratch? And I think that is the only way to assign a value to a business that small because there's no goodwill. This isn't a business. A million dollars isn't a business. Like it can be the beginnings of a business like you don't have accounting

Jack Carr: I'm gonna say the other side of the coin here I mean, there's, plenty. And if you're running a million dollar business don't take offense to that.

John WIlson: Yeah, I'm not sorry. I'm not trying to throw stones. just feel like if you started from scratch, you could replicate a million dollar business in probably under two years. And for much less money that it would cost you to buy this guy's million dollar business that you would have to rebuild everything anyways.

Jack Carr: From a broker, yeah, if you're spending a million dollars to buy a million dollar business, definitely would advise against. Yeah. I think that if you are buying your first business. There is a zone, right? First off, the million dollar to like three million dollars is the owner's hell zone.

It's the worst. It's so hard to get out of because you can't, you don't have the net to be able to give good employees what they need to produce that gets you out of there. You're fighting like this gnarly battle. Yeah. Net versus good employees versus, do I spend it on marketing?

I mean, I'm, I'm a great example. You can, and you will if you do the right things over and over and consistently however it is hell owner's hell. That being said for a new business owner who's someone who doesn't have a ton of capital who wants to get in and wants to grind and who's fine starting off an owner's hell.

I mean there are certain things you need to make sure you hit, you get it at the right price. You know, I'd probably when I look now in that range, it's one X net, not SD, not anything like that, but one X net.

John WIlson: We're a little bit less than that. So ours, like the two deals that have popped out of the woodwork for us, that size, like 1 million to one point, whatever in revenue, like we look at it and we're like 0.

6 0. 7 and it's basically, we assign a value to the customer list.

Jack Carr: It's essentially liquidation value almost.

John WIlson: Yeah, I mean it is. And this is back to my belief that you can build that business better and easier potentially on your own than buying it. Now granted, a bunch of leads is helpful. Yeah.

But it's a lot of work.

Jack Carr: Yeah,

I think what's also hard is if you think about somebody who's not in the industry, say someone wants to get an employment HVAC, they have to buy something to get in.

what would startup look like if you're a finance guy?

John WIlson: I mean, We just talked to Rick from zoom drain. Yeah. And like they have brand new locations that are doing a million in their first year. That's not some crazy unheard of. Like you don't have to give them a quarter of a million dollars to do that.

Jack Carr: But he did. That's how much a zoom drain franchise is isn't it? It's like. 300, 000. You have to be worth that net to get into it.

So I looked into it cause national was open for awhile. if you're producing right 300 K and you could go and franchise as a built in a box for you, then yeah, to me it's almost the same thing, except that one, you have a little bit more support and one you're on your own.

But I mean, like not buying a franchise and not buying anything, just going out there and say, you're Rick or you're me, I have to go convince someone that they're going to run with me, right? I'm going to hire you. I have enough runway. I have that same 300, 000, it'd probably be less like 200 or 100, 000.

Can I sustain a head count for a year? Run marketing for a year? And then deal with all the licensing and plumbing and issues and all that sense So it's an interesting question. I don't know if there's a technically a right answer But the answer is don't buy that business for 600 000.

John WIlson: That's the only Answer that matters and I think when people are like, hey, this is unrealistic or whatever.

I bought nine of them and we've overpaid on maybe two of the nine But for the most part Like this is what we were buying them at. My first business was my family's, but my second one was an 800, 000 revenue business that we got for like 105

Jack Carr: being, that's the right range right there.

John WIlson: It was perfect. Yeah. And it changed my life.

Jack Carr: I think that you actually hit on a key point is the first one you bought was your family. And so I think the hard part, what I noticed is right, I was looking at businesses for two and a half, three years prior to actually pulling the trigger on this one, even though it wasn't the greatest purchase price.

Picking an industry, I think is actually the most important part and it's picking an industry and immersing yourself in it prior to buying, right? So all my deals that have been killer deals, I bought, 600,000, a book, 611, 000 gross revenue for 12, 500 like best deal, beautiful, but I would never have gotten that deal without previously owning a business in that same field.

I think it's an important distinction that when you finally find the industry, you immerse yourself in it first. You're talking to vendors, you're going down and talking to supply houses. It's almost like you're running the business prior to actually owning a business and seeing and then shaking those trees looking for those deals.

Because the deals that you get off biz by sell most of the time, not very good. The businesses that you get from brokers, not very good. But once you're in industry, you actually have those opportunities to see, Hey, I heard this guy shutting down or my district manager over at this place said that this person shut down.

I think that's the key to finding like your first really good.

John WIlson: Yeah, I think it is for sure. I think most people would be best suited by just getting in the game instead of spending a couple of years searching, because I think that getting in the game, like. I don't look for opportunities anymore.

Yeah. People show up sometimes literally at my door. So that was our most recent one. We just get phone calls. Hey, you want to buy me? Like, that's it.

Jack Carr: How many of them are out of the owner's hell range or how many of them are in the owner's hell range?

John WIlson: Oh, they're all in the, they're all in the other cell.

Yeah. No, that's the worst.

Jack Carr: It is the worst range to be in.

John WIlson: Yeah between 1 and 3 million. It was like the first big reinvestment, right? So like you can get up to 3 million or you can get up to a million without much investment. And I've made this like comment before publicly, but like I had a friend who started a business and he had like two, three guys and he was making more than me take home.

Which maybe that's like not even a great measurement. He was making more than me net, I think for a little while. And I had like 20, 25 people, right? Trying to break through 3 million. Trying to break through 4 million. And it's relatively easy to understand why. If you look at like the org chart.

He has zero overhead. And I had a lot of overhead. Because we were investing. And we were hiring. And we were getting trucks. We were getting facilities. We were doing marketing. We were doing all the stuff to fuel growth. And like the comment that I make now. Is like at the time. I had 10 times his staff and he had like more net than I did.

And now we make like probably double in revenue a day, what his company makes in revenue a month. And like the net is now incomparable, but like it was just such a wild moment and I'm like, am I doing this right? Is this the right thing? Cause this guy's doing all this. He has no people.

He's making all this money, but like. You have to get call takers. You have to get dispatchers. You have to add managers. Then you have to add the next layer of managers. You have to have accountants. You have to have all this stuff to break past that three million mark. And there's no resources to do it.

There's like no money. There's no money.

Jack Carr: The way that we're doing it is we're acquiring another company.

John WIlson: Yeah. Buying through plateaus is. It makes things much easier. You immediately, resources go up. Immediately, you have a bigger talent pool.

Yeah, it makes life easier.

Jack Carr: It also averages out our first deal, which is nice, right? We are doing some SP, some more SBA debt. Our cost per, dollar of revenue in debt to revenue ratio is significantly lower because we're buying this same amount of revenue or more revenue at a lower rate where we should have bought the first time.

And so, I mean, I wouldn't say I regret getting in but for everyone out there listening, I think this was a really important episode just to touch on like, Hey, if you're buying under 3 million, realistically. There's a good chance you're going to be running in the field at some point personally, especially lower towards one to two Yeah, you're a tech you're a dispatcher sometimes even I mean you said it a couple weeks ago You're a dispatcher sometimes.

John WIlson: Yeah, we had a bunch of turnover as we moved our offices yeah I have a hundred and whatever people and like I jumped in

Jack Carr: And so I wanted to drive this understanding because I get, dms all the time, Hey, I just want to kind of be the finance guy for this, and I want to just shake 'em and say, you're buying a $2 million company for too much, and then you don't want to work in it.

No, you gotta be obsessed. Yeah. Like, you have to know everything about everything in your business. Yeah. Including how to be a tech. So fun fact.

John WIlson: I totally agree. And I think. If you aren't prepped for that, then you get hosed. Yep. Then you lose.

Jack Carr: I think I've told this story before.

On day one, we had our lead tech quit. Actually, the day before day one. The day before I took the company, he quit. Left. And so we started day one down a person.

John WIlson: In like a four person company.

Jack Carr: In a four person company, yeah. I think five including the dispatcher, but still now you have to field calls and so within two weeks I was running calls.

I have a background in engineering but point being is you know I'm the one knocking on doors and fixing AC units at two weeks in it's just I was waking up at 4 a. m Watching YouTube videos to get you know, 10 Most common HVAC problems and I'm not, ashamed to say it because realistically that's what had to happen to keep the business running.

John WIlson: I think I'm going to like get on a pedestal here for a second, but like, I just I agree with this so emphatically. So in my town right now, there's a brewery going out of business. And the reason this is coming up is because they launched a GoFundMe. For 2. 3 million to save. Yeah. It's like already not in great taste.

And their thing is like, Hey, we need to pay off our oppressive SBA loans. It's like you took out those loans. And the whole thing bothers me a lot because like the way it's written and there's like pleading videos and all that stuff and the way it's written is like, we have no accountability in this and we're also not going to change or pivot.

And we want you to give us 2. 3 million to pay off our SBA loans. So in this video, they're like, Hey, here's what happened. The economy, blah, blah, blah. And then they have this written section and it's like, Hey, the craft beer market is temporarily down, so we're just going to keep producing.

And it's like, okay you should be pivoting. Like you're asking people for millions of dollars. You should like figure out another avenue for revenue. And they are literally saying they're not going to do that. And then they say like, yeah, we might eventually get a salesperson. And I'm like, you don't have a salesperson.

Like, what, like, I don't understand

Jack Carr: what did you spend 2. 3 million on?

John WIlson: Oh, that's not even the worst of it. So they're not going to pivot. Sales is the last thing from their mind. Then before they even listed either of those two things, they were like, here's the remodels that we're going to finish at our facilities.

And I'm like, what the hell? And then on top of that, this business, like it has a restaurant component. So they got two full rounds of PPP. Plus EDA loans, plus restaurant recovery funds from COVID. We still like this business has gotten like millions of dollars infused into it. And they're still like taking zero accountability for how they got in the position that they're in.

Jack Carr: Hey, John I need to go fund me too. We really need to get new shirts for all of our guys. We were doing rebranding. We just want them to have like nice jackets, nice shirts, white shirts. The last thing that you should be focusing on is the facade.

John WIlson: It was absolutely crazy. But I also think that like you said it, like there's no choice, right? That is the job that you are signing up to do when you buy one of these small companies. I have not known another job my life basically. So I bought this company at 25 and I was running it since I was 23.

Like there has never been a moment of my adult life that I did not know what it was like to need to make payroll on Friday. Like I have not known that the only thing I've ever known is like you got to make payroll Friday Like that's it. That's the thing that matters then you got to make revenue then you got to do this There's no rich uncle and there's no one that's gonna save you and I'm not gonna put a GoFundMe up for 30 million dollars. There's no out like the only way out is through.

Yeah, and it just drives me nuts When I don't see people take like total ownership over the thing that's happening And they're just like, Oh yeah, it happened to me. And I'm like, that's the job. That's what you signed up to do. You bought this thing. Like these people entrusted you with their careers.

Like it drives me nuts.

Jack Carr: It's the dark side to the S and B Twitter. It's a lot of people who want to LARP their LARPing business. And at the end of the day, man, it's rough. You can talk to most of the people who bought in the last two years. It can be rough. Lots of sleepless nights and stuff like


John WIlson: but drama, you've never thought that you'd have to deal with like

Jack Carr: But to circle back to the beginning of this conversation.

I think acquisitions are extremely important

in one, getting in the game, right? And then two, getting through those plateaus because, , we did 100 percent year over year. If we do another 100 percent year over year, which is realistic at our size, but even 50 percent year over year, we'll break that three mil.

But I can see all the levers I have to pull and it's going to be so much more difficult to get to that break through the three mil mark than to just acquire through. So get in the game, buy correctly, or at least buy as least as bad as you can the first time. Even if you were to get, I'd say if you were to buy like a 1.

5 or 1. 7 or 2 for 300, 000 to 400, 000, I've seen those out there buy brokers. And those have, real estate, they have a full team. They're already on CRM system. They have a sales person sometimes, at that range and at that net,

John WIlson: It's, yeah, that feels all right.

Jack Carr: It feels all right and it's much easier to service that debt than if you were to say, Hey, it's 175,000 sd, 200,000 with ADD-backs times 3.5, and now you're looking at 700,000 versus, three. So I'll get off on my horse on that one, \

John WIlson: I mean, I agree. And I think buckle up, like, I've never known any other life. But damn, is it hard?

Jack Carr: Hey man. If I was at 30 million, I would already wrote off into the sunset.

John WIlson: You just got to go to a hundred though.

Jack Carr: Yeah, I know. so tempting at that point.

John WIlson: So the problem is like,

here's the issue, Jack.

Jack Carr: Oh, I'm in. I'm listening.

John WIlson: Let me walk you through it. Alright, you're at a million dollars. And you figure out the levers to get to two or three. like, three's a big moment. Because when you're three, you normally have an ops manager, you have a service manager. It's like ten guys. you got stuff going. You have a team. And then what happens is either purposely or accidentally you grow, and then you hit 5 million. And when you cross 5 million, that's when stuff starts to like, actually get fun and interesting. , it's a good number.

But like, okay, so you're at 20 guys, 25 people. Alright, this is cool, And you just keep growing, and then you hit 10. And like at each layer, you figure out the next big thing. Or you don't. And that's where you stop. But like, it's all just this big game of like figuring out the next big thing and like, right now we have figured out the next big thing.

So for us, taking total control over our demand generation and our supply of technicians is like, we just found the path from 20 to 50. this is it. And this is something that we can do in two years. And,, I don't know how you don't do that. I don't know how you're like, yeah I'm good.

Like, hell no. No buckle up. We have to do this.

Jack Carr: I think that's why though you see so little platform selling and you see a lot of these one to 3 million selling, right? These guys have been grinding for 20 years and they couldn't figure out how to get past that 3 million mark. And so they do their 20 years and they just sell it. Cause they're so exhausted.

John WIlson: Totally. like, You build this culture where like, if I didn't go to the next step, like I'm letting down the people in my life that have helped build this company. This wasn't me, this was an amazing group of people that I'm so blessed to work with every day and they trusted me with their career.

They could work anywhere else, but they trusted me with their career. So that means I have to nurture and care for their career the same way that I would want mine to be cared for and to me that means growing their career and the only way to grow their career is to offer opportunity which means we have to grow Like I see it as like a duty that we have to do this because one we have to provide value to our community two we have to provide value to the people that have like joined my life And three, it's just a fun problem.

to say three, you just got to hit that nine figure mark. Like you just got to do it,

Jack Carr: I die every time I hear some of you guys talk about, Oh, I almost had a 1 million month. I was off by 60 or 6, 000. I'm going, Oh man, that's such a good problem to have. I get excited for you to try and hit that.

John WIlson: Today we had 135, 000 of sales. I'm living it. And that's still like a, what the hell?

But you know, it started with was a million dollar plumbing company. So bringing it back around, getting the game because like you don't know where it ends up leading you. And that was 7 years ago.

Jack Carr: And we talked about in the last episode like, I think now actually, 2 years ago probably wasn't the best time to buy. Now is the best time to buy.

John WIlson: Oh yeah. Man, there are so many deals, it's ridiculous. Cause everyone's done.

Jack Carr: I think that, we've been talking about, I think a lot of the guys who have been running this for 30 years. They've been running on easy street, just throwing one into PBC, LSA, whatever, to grow and to do well. And they've been doing that for the last, since what, 2016, 2015.

And now is the first nine months, the first year that it's actually starting to get hard..

John WIlson: Yeah.

What we're seeing, and we've been seeing this for about a year and a half, like it depends on like where you're at in the pyramid. So like the lower you are down the pyramid, the less access to talent you have.

And it's for a number of reasons, right? Is it pay? Is it benefits? Is it literally just focus? Like do you know how to recruit answer? You probably don't.. So what happens is companies such like myself end up turning these smaller companies into basically just recruiting funnels.

We get one of your guys, we're probably going to get two or three more of your guys. Like, that's how it's going to go. They're going to make a lot more money, their benefits are going to be better, their hours are going to be better. The environment is going to be better, because I'm like an angry person that yells at them all the time. It's like relatively easy to like keep that going.

The small companies have a really hard time with talent. And I'm not saying I don't have a hard time, but I don't have anywhere near the level of difficulty that these guys do.

Jack Carr: It's significantly harder.

John WIlson: So then I think what we're seeing a lot is these companies like have so much work From just like hey, we've been running for 20 years and whatever.

They have so much work. They can't hire anybody For all the classic mistakes, like they still don't know how to charge. They like might barely know how to market. So some of its lead generation, like you're describing, I'm seeing the lead generation problems in the big companies, in the small companies, they just can't get people still.

And it's because they don't know how to get people. So then they're just like, man, I am having to work 80 hours a week or a hundred hours a week. I'm plumbing. I'm doing all this stuff. I have three or four people on the team, but like I'm doing the job of three people, four people. So that's what we're seeing a lot of when the owners are like, it's time.

But the prices can be attractive. There's a couple right now that are heavy for me, because we don't need their stuff. We just need their like, intangibles. But they're asking two to three hundred for a million two. Yeah, that's not a punch me in the face number. Like I know I could be okay with that.

It was my first deal.

Jack Carr: If it came with some of those aspects we talked about, like it came with trucks and like decent vans and it came with, even a small like 2000 square foot contractors garage and it actually had some systems in place. They were using CRM and they were able to produce that.

That's not out of the ballpark. I'd be definitely interested in that. I think, yeah, we've talked about what I don't like. If you're going for that and you want to get in the game and you want to jump on a team that's, 2. 4, 2. 5 million owners out net, I think now is the time there might be a fire sale in the future.

John WIlson: There's just a lot of active company. . And like the way to look for them is not that complicated. You literally, you go on Google and anybody that's got less than a hundred reviews is a target. If they have over a hundred reviews, they're probably like growing faster. And like might be larger

Jack Carr: I'm trying to think of some of the acquisitions, they're all under a hundred views, all the really good ones that we've gotten, 80, 69. And I think it was like 42. Yeah. So it's all in that range.

John WIlson: Yeah. Ideally more than 20 and less than a hundred. And that's a sweet spot for, okay, you've got a business, but it's not like a good business.

It's just a business. Yeah. Like if there was an amazing business who'd have thousands of reviews, if it was a good business, it would have like 200. And if it's like an acquisition target,

Jack Carr: we've got 225.

John WIlson: Dude. Heck yeah, bro.

Jack Carr: Look at that. We went from 80 to 2 25 in a year and a half.

John WIlson: That's sick, man. Yeah. We should probably do an episode on like review generation optimization.

Jack Carr: Oh, that would be amazing.

John WIlson: This is like something that we're paying a lot of attention to right now because of our Google My business strategy. So I'm trying to get a hundred a week.

We're not there, but I'm trying to get a hundred a week and we're at like 42 now a week. Which like a couple months ago, we were like 15 a week, but like we launched a Google, my business maybe a month ago and we're at 88 reviews. That's insane.

Jack Carr: I think some of our best weeks we were doing, we maybe hit 15 a week.

John WIlson: 15 is still good.

Jack Carr: Yeah,

Like I said, I'm not going to tout them as the reason that happened. It was just the focus on it that added, but we signed up for podium and we just did automated. I had a fear like, Hey, if we send a review to everyone, we're going to get a bunch of bad reviews because people either they love your business or they're just going to hate it.

I don't think we've gotten one bad review through post job reviews like sending out post job reviews. And we were able to generate like a lot more based on the strategy. So I think that's a good topic. Just like, how do you really focus in on that? Yeah.

John WIlson: It's important. Reviews are a big deal. They really drive the bus at a certain point. And it's like a predictor of future revenue.

Jack Carr: I fully agree. Anyway back to acquisitions,

John WIlson: buy stuff, buy small stuff, buy cheap.

Jack Carr: Buy big stuff buy cheap still to o I'm okay with that. If you give me a platform right out the gate, I'm happy.

John WIlson: I'm also okay with that. Just like shoot me a DM and be like, Hey, here's what I'm thinking about doing. And I'll be like, all right, I'll participate.

Jack Carr: Yeah. And if you want to get your deal absolutely crushed in your hopes and dreams, crush, send it on over to us as well.

John WIlson: I have a meme just for this. I've sent it to Jack before.

Jack Carr: He has sent it to me.

John WIlson: It's good. It's really good.

Yeah, thanks for tuning in on an operated twice a week we're dropping eps. So hit a like hit subscribe and we'll see you next one.

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.

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