What is going on, everybody? Happy Friday and welcome back to another episode of the Service Legend podcast. I have a real treat for you guys today, an absolute service legend and coding legend. David Ogle, welcome to the podcast, man.
Thank you, sir. It’s a pleasure.
Yeah, man, I’m pumped to get into this. I know we’re chatting right now before. I’m pumped, dude. I’ve been watching you well before you became a client here at Service Legend. And even before you came a client. I remember everyone talking about you and your business and, you know, and there were some people that were following you over at different dealer and franchise companies. So this is a selfish one for me because obviously you run a great company. You’re a great dude. You’re also a client, which is really cool, and you’ve had some pretty awesome growth since hiring us and just in general over the past couple of years. So I want to dive into all of that. But before I do, we’re going live now. So everyone that’s listening for the the podcast, we’re going to be going live with Client Spotlight Sessions now, not just in the Facebook group. So all of the other content pieces, including webinars and other podcast episodes with vendors and different people, those will be exclusively in the Service Legends Facebook group. The client spotlight sessions like this one will be now kind of broadcasted everywhere, so it makes you guys tune in every Friday for the Client Spotlight sessions, even if you’re not in the Facebook group.
But obviously if you are, we’d love your engagement in there. If you guys are listening live, if you could put in comments, hashtag live, it really gives me a good idea of who’s here live and if this time is right and things like that. And if you’re tuning in on the replay, if you could type in hashtag replay in the comments, that would be amazing. And I really, really appreciate that. Also, if there’s other home service contractors that you believe could benefit from listening to this, if you could just press the share button, share it to your friends, everyone that you think would be interested, we want to make sure that we are impacting and bringing value to as many people as possible. Okay, guys, enough housekeeping. Let’s get into it. So David Ogle, he owns Concrete Coatings. Let me give you a little bio, a concrete coatings out in Georgia, South Atlanta there. And what’s interesting, man, is you barely got a high school education. Right. And I got to say, I share that myself. But you went straight into restoration, right? And you became a project manager ten years in. And that was before you started Concrete Coatings, right?
Yeah, long before. So I mean, pretty much fresh out of high school, straight into that business. So long story short, my brother owns a restoration company. He’s a good bit older than me. He’s he’s a little over ten years older than I am. So he already had that. He was well established. Yup. And Roland had been working for a while and doing his own thing. So I kind of tagged along with him, learned a lot. Even though it’s not necessarily a coatings industry, it’s still in the construction industry, customer service, base industry for sure. A lot of clients that way. So that was a great it it was a great ten years or so coming out of the gate just to learn, you know, just things that you can’t learn without the experience there. So that was a great place to get a good story, especially how to just do basic business principles. You know, I deal with clients and deal with unruly homeowners at times, you know, just how to talk to people, how to communicate that type of thing, how to manage multiple things going on at one time. Because when you’re a project manager and something like that, it’s so complex, you get a lot of experience just juggling a lot of balls at one time. And now it was a really, really good way to get started. I never knew it was going to take me here, but here we are and I’m super happy.
That is so cool. Born and raised in Stockbridge, Georgia. Yeah, I started out in restoration, went into the demo space, kind of in, you know, in you know, and we’ll dive into that. But you acquired a, you know, a grinder and took off and that’s that’s so awesome where, you know, I think a lot of people get stuck in the phase of like, how do I get started? What is this? What is that? And it’s like, look, just get a grinder and take off, right? So I love that about your story. You kind of so you’re the sole owner of the company, you know, 100% there. And, you know, I think concrete coatings is really different based on what you guys are telling us is is really the culture in how you guys started in the first five years, you had zero marketing, you have two kids and you’re a total gym rat, which if you follow David on Instagram or Facebook, if you’re not already, you need to go follow him. Because if you. Well, actually, you know what? Be careful, because if you’re old, fat and rusty, you might you might get ashamed of yourself from watching.
You know, man, try to try to lead the pack and make everyone better. I mean, I do the best I can, not the best. But you. I put forth all the effort anyway, so.
Yeah. Well, yeah, yeah. I love it, bro. It’s, it’s, it’s motivating for me. And so you have a decent sized team. You have a team of 18 out there.
Yeah, we do, man. So and what I was telling you earlier when we got started, the way that we’re just so much different, you and I were kind of chatting about this, how we’re kind of polar opposites in the way that we started. Yeah, you and a lot of the other companies that see that have great success, by the way, are very I guess they came from a marketing background or they have some sort of background in that, and they’re very hyper focused on the sales and the marketing, whereas we aren’t and we weren’t for the first several years. Man, the way that I got work, I knocked on doors, not, not physical residential doors, kind of a little bit different story there, how we started and how we ended up now. But yeah, very much so. I mean, we knocked on doors, we built relationships with with contractors. We literally just I mean, busting it and just beating the bushes to get work. And we did a lot of crappy work that we didn’t want to do. And a huge thank you to the people that all the guys that started with me that are still there.
And they did the crappy work. They really did, man. Not so much anymore, but my first couple of years were they were rough. We would do almost anything to get work and to keep work and to keep happy customers. And, you know, we did so it’s just a lot different, but we did so. Just touching back on that building that culture, you know, I was out there working 50, 60 plus hours a week, you know, weekends like super late days nights, I guess, too. And those guys stuck with me, man. They really did. And most of them are still there. We’ve retained all those guys and yeah, I think it just speaks differently when they’ve literally been out there working with me for on a 16 hour day when everyone was dead and entire in their heart and just, I mean, ready to go home and yeah. And, you know, they got wives and kids and all that stuff at home and they’re out there sacrificing with me. And I just think that that as a core in the beginning, just builds a culture that is almost impossible to get otherwise.
Hmm. Yeah, man, I love that. And revenue wise, you guys are on track to do probably about 2.9 this year, it looks like. And but before hiring service legend, you guys were on track to do about a million. So I mean, you guys have had yeah. Incredible goat growth from before hiring service legend on track to do a million after hiring us on track to do 2.9. And by no means is that 100% up to us. I mean, obviously, you know, we can generate the leads and we can do what we’re doing. But, you know, it really takes a solid company with processes, good leadership and things like that to really make it actually happen, though.
Yeah, it definitely does. Yeah. I can’t do all this by myself, of course. So yeah, we’ve hired in some people. We brought up guys, you know, guys that literally started with me in the field working, brought them into the office, brought them onto to the sales team, kind of spread them out across some leadership roles, and that’s enabled us to really step it up. And we’re just now, you know, we’ve been in business, like I said, almost coming up on eight years and we’re just now setting ourselves up to a spot to where we can start to grow and we can start to scale and we can start to build more crews and add additional locations and that type of thing. It almost seems like we’re really, really late catching up to the party here, but we finally I think we’ve got to figure it out now and we’ve got the production side to figure it out. We know how to put in floors. We’ve known how to do that for a really long time. So we’re just now getting to a spot where figuring out how to sell a lot more than we always have.
Yeah, for sure, man. Well, this is going to be great. So let’s dive in a little bit deeper. If you could just tell us a little bit more about the company. So maybe like how long, how long you guys been in business? Maybe the services you guys are offering now, the markets you guys serve? And just a little bit more about about the business kind of overall there.
Sure. So kind of where we’re at now, we’re south of Atlanta and we really cover mainly we go south from Atlanta. We don’t cover a lot, you know, like midtown or in the city or anything. We kind of stay away from there, honestly. We just have a lot better results. There’s a lot less traffic going south, going west than there is going straight into downtown Atlanta. If you’ve ever been there. It’s a nightmare. So we do that. We serve that entire area like I let’s see, we’re running. We’re at four crews now. We were on a three man crews and then one of them is four man crew and they run commercial. So we still run a good bit of commercial work. I don’t know. I’ll talk my head. What percentage is commercial and what percentage is residential? But residential has surpassed commercial by a lot, I can tell you that much, and that’s definitely going to be the future of the company. I don’t have any plans of stopping the commercial that we do just because we’ve got a lot of good clients that we’ve had for several years now. So we’re definitely going to stay on that route and I believe it’s still scalable. As much as we want it to be. But the residential space is definitely where we want to be at and that’s where we plan to stay. And we’re we’re really looking at expansion right now as well.
Yeah, love it. Yeah, someone says. Residential garages is where it’s at. There you.
Go. Whoever that is is correct.
Yeah, I’m not sure who that is.
Man, we used to clown on residential garages so bad. I like it a lot. I swear to you. Did. Oh, yeah. People would call me and they’d be like, Yeah, can you come do my patio? I’m like, Nah, we don’t do that. So stupid at the time anyway, you know? But back then I was like, No, I’m too good to do residential work. We only do commercial. Yeah.
Well, I mean, you’re right. I mean, it’s a it’s a it’s a whole different deal and it requires a whole different set of systems and stuff like that, you know. And the commercial is like where you guys started though, like you mentioned, like, so I think it’d be silly to pass it up like what you’re saying because you have such, you know, I guess like vested relationships out there. And so I imagine a lot of those things really come by referral and just those connections you made early on as well.
I do. You know, there’s perks to it. You have essentially you have zero marketing costs when you have your customers that are already required that you’ve had for several years. And then I guess the the biggest thing is that I found helpful here in the past two years or so is we’re we’re on a poly area, you know, Sephardic systems like pretty much most everyone else is. We’re now able to offer that in a lot of commercial applications, too, where as before we didn’t. And that’s that’s enabled us to provide, in my opinion, a better product and we can do a lot faster. And I mean every GC and the brother wants to be faster on the job. They want you in and out of there as quickly as possible. They don’t really care about anything else, so.
They don’t care about your.
Health. Oh yeah. You’re going to die and get this done. Cool. See you. Yeah, straight.
Up. Well, that’s pretty cool, though. So you’ve been able to take some of the things you guys have learned in terms of residential, bring them over to commercial and create more efficiency there. Yeah. And that’s awesome, actually.
That’s cool, man.
And if we get into a situation where we have a a really large commercial job, you know, most of our residential crews, our guys, they’ve they’re experiencing commercial work. So they don’t have any issue just moving right over and doing a commercial job. It’s not for them. Whereas, you know, you take someone’s never done that. You don’t want a huge commercial job site where there’s hardhats and forklifts and all this lulls and everything moving around. They might have a little freak out moment on you foreign and having to deal with other trades. Not to mention that keeping people off your floor or the whole nine. Just all the junk that comes along with a commercial project, you know?
Yeah, I remember when I was a commercial animator and I go visit some job sites and they’re just random situations. Like the GC said, you know, this and that and you’ve got to use this generator. But there’s another crew using it right now and you’ve got to wait another hour and a half. And it was just like, dude, you know, how do you get things done here, right? Like, how do you.
Yeah, literally they’ll ask you to put your coating down at night. Like, Can you do it at night? I’m like, Well, yeah, but if we get done at 5 a.m., it’s still going to be wet at seven. But when everybody else started to explain to me how that’s going to work. So yeah, I mean, you go through every crazy situation possible whenever you’re having a commercial project. Can we just get in there for just a minute? Which can you put one ladder over here? I’m like, we’re literally coding the floor. Do you know you can’t do that? So you do a lot of fun stuff with those guys, man.
I love that. And when did you guys this business start exactly? Like what year was it?
Probably, I want to say 2015. Early 2015 is when we kind of first got started. And from there, like I was explaining to you earlier, this kind of rolls back to the restoration. A huge problem in restoration is say a house would flood, house would flood. And in Georgia, we build everything on slab. I guess in Arizona, very similar. Well, we run glue down engineered hardwood floor here very often. It’s probably the most common floor there is and extremely difficult to get up off the floor like crowbars, hammers. That’s that’s not a thing. So long story short, I decided to go in first business. I bought a on floor scraper to demo floors and it was great. I mean, slam busy surf pro kept us in business the whole night. We did a lot of commercial work and then one job, we needed a grinder to grind off all this glue because we just couldn’t get it scraped up. And the thing was a bunch of things and stuff too. So I bought a grinder and I’ll shout out to Danny Johnson. He’s my GM now. He’s been with me since almost day one. He said he’s like, Look, man, you need to buy like a really good grinder that you can you can prep floors with and you can polish and everything else too. So we can do epoxy because he had worked at another company doing commercial epoxy in the past. So he had a little bit of experience. So kudos to him for that too, for giving me the bravery to hop off into that. And so long story short, we bought The Grinder and we took it. We did our first little job with it. Burnt a bunch of diamonds, I. Trust in the whole nine.
Is the first order of business is burn up the diamonds, right.
Yeah. Burn up like a $300 set of diamonds when you don’t have any money is like the worst thing ever.
Happens to every every person.
It seems like, dude, I’m telling you so.
Because you use the wrong one sometimes, right? You’re like, okay, the concrete soft. So I use soft. I don’t know, use hard. You don’t really know these things and stuff.
Exactly. Yeah. So burnt diamonds, broke some PCBs. So, you know, it’s like a thousand set of PCBs. We smoke those hit nails, all for, like a $10,000 job, too. That took us it seemed like it took us a month. And anyways, we got through all that and then we did our first epoxy job and we use I won’t name the product, but we use a product that kicks really, really fast. And it was like a 500 foot floor. And we almost three people, we almost died putting it down because we had like one kid of epoxy and that thing was smoking on us almost by the end. And when we got through that one and then I don’t remember what we did after that as far as second, third, fifth jobs, but we just started doing coatings and we botched up a bunch of them, just like everybody does pretty much from the jump. And we botched a few. We did some good ones. We learned a lot within the first couple of months and from there and it took off. We started growing pretty, pretty good on commercial coatings and from there we just grew and grew and grew and we did start doing really big job, started polishing concrete to had a guy just contact me out of the blue who was a polisher and he was moving to this area and he was looking for a job.
So I hired him. He’s been with me ever since. Marlon. Marlon Ward, shout out to you, too, sir. Great, dude. And he’s still hanging around polishing concrete with us. So that’s going that’s still going great. We started doing that. And then just let’s see, I want to think probably about two years ago, we had the right idea to step it up and start seeking out residential stuff. And, you know, like I said, we went through a couple of different suppliers as far as materials go. We went through multiple people trying to figure out this marketing thing and the sales thing. And thankfully, earlier this year we landed with Service Legend, and that’s been the game changer. It really has. So now we’re playing catch up and we’re trying to figure out how to go from this excellent commercial installation team with a bunch of killers to some customer service representing.
Softies, some softies.
Know you got a bunch of bearded guys out there, a bunch of roughnecks out there and saw the floor. So I got to hire some pretty boys to come sell them.
That’s right, dude. What’s funny is when I was selling coatings in the home, because a lot of people don’t know I actually was a salesperson first, like a sales minded, like I’ve been in sales my whole life. And then I went into marketing. And I think the most dangerous marketers out there are the ones that understand sales, sales, psychology, consumer psychology and marketing. There’s a lot of marketing guys out there that know marketing, but they don’t really aren’t in tune with what actually happens after the lead comes in. Right. But I was so grateful for the opportunities I had to go sell in the home, but I sold recipe paints, cabinet refinishing in the home, coatings in the home, you name it. And. Dude. I had a beard, like, pretty decent sized beard. And and my old boss made me shave it because he was like, dude, you look like you came out of a cave and you’re going to be selling in the home now, like you need to shave your beard. So I actually shaved, and that’s one of the reasons why I felt like I wanted to start my own thing too, because I was like, dude, like I didn’t like that. So, you know, this is how much I got back from that.
Oh, man, you tell him the Duck Dynasty, my beard is acceptable these days.
Exactly. People love beards now, so that’s great. Well, especially in Georgia, you know, it’s you know, it’s probably totally fine. These guys, you know, hey, as long as they’re like like, in my opinion, as long as they’re, you know, they’re trimming it. They’re getting their their stuff kind of maintain.
Yeah, who cares?
You know? I mean.
I think at least 50% of our guys have beards. I haven’t counted I don’t have a metric on that, but I’m pretty sure it’s at least half. That’s awesome. Everyone that can have it can grow a beard, I think has a beard, at least to some degree.
It’s always the guys that can’t grow it are the ones that want to grow at the worst or like the.
Oh, I used to be me till I was about 29 or 30, man. I could not grow anything on my face. And then I don’t know what happened. And now I have this thing. I mean, this thing they used to have, like, easy top. I was way down here. Nuts.
That’s awesome, dude. Well, hey, I appreciate the shout out on Service Legend, man. It’s been great having you. So let me ask you this. What is your guys is ideal customer and maybe you could say, you know, residential commercial but like what’s your guys is ideal customer and kind of like what does that like Avatar look like if you guys have kind of defined that so far?
So I think ideal customer. I would say upper middle class person and, you know, generally married. And this is my speculation, right. This is not I haven’t recorded any of this data, this much speculation. Again, married, probably late forties, fifties, maybe a little older. Of course, it’s got to be you’re not seeing younger people buy this. It’s expensive, generally in a nice neighborhood. Like I said, upper middle class neighborhood houses, $600,000 houses, give or take, is about the ideal client. I would tell you, I’ll add this on to because I always find this really odd, but it seems like the further that we get away from the city, like we go way out in the country somewhere, it seems like it might be a little bitty house with with an old grandma or something. They buy almost every single time. And, you know, my thoughts on that are. A they can’t get anybody to come out there because it’s so far out. It might be an hour away from the city and no other contractors coming out there. They’re not showing up. So when we show up, they’re just happy we’re there. So they’re going to buy because they’re afraid we might not come back. So.
Well, that too. Like and like like what you said, maybe people won’t go out there, but also, like. You know. Maybe they’re less like in the in the mode of like beating the trend. I don’t know. Like. Sure. You know what I’m saying? Like, we’re like they might. Well, I mean, I guess to your point, too, like, if you’ve got like if you’re in the city, I mean, you can get anyone to come out any time, you know. So it’s so easy to to get more competition. So that makes a lot of sense actually.
Yeah. Because whenever, like, let’s just say we run an appointment somewhere inside the perimeter in Atlanta, man, they’ve already had by the time we get there, they’ve had two people there or by the time we leave, they have two people already scheduled to come. Yeah. So you go out to an hour and a half south of Atlanta, I mean, where there’s the population just completely depletes and there’s no contractors because everyone’s working inside of 285 or up on the north side of Atlanta, man. They’re like, Hey, we called. Yeah, we called this other company, and they never showed up or they never called us back or, you know, name the excuse that they can’t get someone else to come out there. So, you know, it’s almost a guarantee.
Yeah, it’s same thing for us. Like, so we’re in Phoenix and then whenever we get a call from like up north, like just an hour, an hour and a half, Sedona, Prescott, months park, you know, things like that. Actually, the guys are doing a big project. I have two crews on three months park right now. They went up there like 5 a.m.. It’s like an hour and a half away. I mean, the guy, no question, is no bad. And I, you know, you can charge your like your like your highest gross profit number there. And so actually, yeah, same thing here, bro. It’s like less competition. But here in Phoenix, I mean, dude, you got you got DSR, you got Gallagher, you’ve got all these all these companies I’ve been around for, you know, ten, 15 years and there’s more accessible. So you would say now do you think that you get a higher average ticket for those people to like charging more and things like that?
Yeah, yeah, definitely so. And the reason I mean, it’s a supply and demand thing.
So yeah, pretty much you usually don’t get people trying to beat you down on price, so they really don’t have anything to compare it to.
So is it highs and lows? Mean sign me up. Let’s do it. So yeah, we seem to have pretty good luck with that.
Love that. Oc And then what is your guys? Is main USP like your guys’s unique selling propositions? Like how do you guys position yourself in the eyes of your customers? I mean, obviously like we handle your guys website and things like that, but like is there any specific unique selling propositions that you feel like? Are you kind of like unique to you guys that really help give you guys an advantage out there?
I would say our crews are super, super clean cut for the most part. I mean, they got the beards. But again, they’re they’re very presentable looking. We do we do background checks and all that stuff on everybody. So we present that. We have all W-2 employees. That’s big. We do. We wrap our vehicles and everything. So that’s big. I’m trying to think a lot. We get a lot in, lot of we got pretty good reviews. Go on Google, a lot of referral business that’s big. So we really push that. That’s mainly it, I think top of my head anyway.
Okay. And then what type of marketing do you guys do? You can talk about what we do for you, you know as well. But like just like even outside of like the online side, like offline marketing, like the branding, the swag, like just like all around. What do you guys do for marketing? Kind of. What’s the mix over there for you guys?
I mean, it’s very little, to be honest. Like we do like some some small stuff, you know, sponsor some baseball teams here and there. We sponsor like the big private school right by our office. But really that’s about it. I mean, we do our swag, you know, we do our shirts, we do hats and hoodies and all that cool stuff or whatever. But that’s really it. Like I said, Wraps has been good. We’ve got quite a bit of calls off of that. But other than that man, it seems like the online presence is really been where it’s at for us.
Love that man. And I know we’re really doing it all for you, I believe. Yeah.
Yeah. I mean, do you do extra stuff that you don’t even do?
Happy to do it, bro, I think. Are we doing TikTok for you yet?
No. So we talked about Tik Tok too, but we talked about Tik Tok and it just wasn’t dancing.
Bro, we need you. We need you dancing out there, you know, maybe like. Maybe like the redneck tik tok coding guy, an influencer.
Bro. We got some guys that work here that are way cooler than me. They can definitely do stuff. But no, we actually we talked about doing TikTok almost. It was me and Tory and it just wasn’t there for this.
It just didn’t make any sense.
Yeah. Tiktok’s still growing to where, like, there are certain areas where they’re like, they won’t even run. It’s so weird, but it probably get fixed. Okay, that’s cool, man. So. So, like, the online is working for you. I like what you do offline though too. Like that stuff in the community. I think that. That’s like really a big deal because like in the sales process, you can utilize that and say, hey, like, like we’re not just selling floors here and take and take and take it from like we’re actually investing back in the community, spending time, you know, supporting baseball teams. I think it’s a big deal to, like a lot of companies out there right now are like, you know, we’re thinking about how can make the most money, how can we, you know, essentially take from the the the market or the community. But what are we doing? Okay, wrapping our trailers, people see us. We’re investing into our team. We’re giving them swag. We’re giving them a good place to work by making them feel like a part of. But we’re also the community now knows who we are and it just starts to really snowball, man.
So it really does. Just be careful out there. Contractors, everybody and their brother will have a kid playing baseball. They’ll call you and ask for a sponsor. So you got to be able to tell some people, No, dude, there’s been $100 baseball shit. Baseball sponsorships.
Yes. A bunch of, like, 20 different teams. And like and you got like the cookie dough, you know, at the elementary schools, right?
It’ll happen. It will happen.
When you get successful. Right. Like it doesn’t matter what you do. If you’re like a contractor or you own a nail salon, do you like like if people know that you’re doing decent or like they think that you might be doing decent, they start coming.
From the vultures will get you, man. I guess the other thing that we do too is a lot of business, the business partnerships, I mean, I think that’s huge. Like, I mean the people, you know, try to shop local. I mean, it’s only smart, right? Like, yeah, it’s your shirts, get your hats made low. Who get your get your I mean obviously all of your vehicles and stuff those local man via get your maintenance and everything done local get get everything done local as much as possible so people know who you are. You know, be nice to people, right? When you go eat at a restaurant, you never know. I have gotten more work in my life by casual conversation with people that you would never in a million years. Guess so. I’ve got nothing, you know. I do. I used to be like super huge into CrossFit still am on on a CrossFit gym. Also I have met more people through CrossFit that I’ve done work for then I mean, it would blow your mind over the past several years. It’s crazy.
Because like I imagine a lot of so you own a CrossFit gym, but like I imagine a lot people that do CrossFit like, well, I mean let’s, let’s be honest, a lot of people that are working out doing fitness like that, a lot of them are pretty.
Successful. Yeah. I mean, it’s statistically proven people that, you know, exercise regularly make more money. It’s a fact. So yeah, the biggest job I can remember this like it was yesterday, we got a job from a contractor that I met at CrossFit and at the time it was like a 24,000 square foot epoxy job was the biggest one that we’d ever gotten at the time. And wow, there you go.
Didn’t even pay to acquire him.
Paid you, actually.
Technically, exactly. So, I mean, since then, we’ve done tons of jobs. He’s still my customer. That’s been several years now. We’ve done probably we’ve done a bunch of AT&T stores. We’ve done all sorts of stuff for this guy and simple conversation.
And I love that. So guys like one of the coolest things that I like about that right there, David, is there’s a lot of companies that always talk about and I see it all over in the in the, in the epoxy gods form and the painting contractor. Like all these groups and stuff like that, they’re like, Hey, which is better Facebook or Google ads or Hey, which is better? Like yard signs or door knocking. I’m like, Look, yes, everything’s great. Like, you know, maybe you get a better cost per lead on one. But like, what about the lead conversion ratio? Like what does it cost to acquire off that channel? But like, I think a lot of people forget, like, okay, we’re, we’re doing like everything we do is marketing. So when you’re talking to people, you’re selling your marketing. And it’s not just spending money on Facebook ads real quick and getting some quick cash, like, that’s cool if you want to do that with your business. But like if you want to build a sustainable business where you can have a great environment for your employees, you’re making profit, you’re growing, you’re in the community like you’ve got to get out. You know, you can’t just hide behind some ads and, you know, agreed relationships.
They’re just priceless. Everybody knows, especially on the commercial side, they don’t even know our company. They know me. So they call it David. They don’t call our office. They don’t call they know David. And that’s that’s how it is. And it’s just been several years of doing that and again, building a relationship and treating people right, you know, and that’s just across the board, whether that be your team, your employees that work with you and your customers, man, you can’t you can’t treat them bad. You have to sometimes you have to go the extra mile to make it right, especially if it’s a consistent customer. Yeah. Even residential, they, they are referral customers. You might end up doing their garage, both porches and their pool deck and their lake house and their neighbor’s house and on and on and on and on and on. And you do people want to do business with people that they like. So if you’re a super likable person, people are going to want to do business with you just because of that fact. Yeah, they might. They might not be totally down. Then I’m going to go shop you against somebody else’s $300 cheaper. They’re just going to buy from you because they know you and they like you. Yeah, it’s that simple.
Yeah. Yeah. It’s so true. It’s like and like the branding side, too, because, like, a lot of the offline marketing stuff is more branding, where it’s less transactional right away and it’s more the long term sighting. If you look at some like out here in Phoenix, like Tommy, one of my mentors, Tommy, which I’ll see at Vertical Track next month, which shameless plug. If you are not signed up for vertical track, you’ve got to message me right now and get signed up because I’m telling you, I’m going to be doing a session with Tommy next week talking all about it. But guys, it’s going to be transformative. Ghetto can good rich that owns ghetto going to do over $280 Million this year is going to teach on culture and all these and how to how to scale the businesses, how to sell them, how to set them up for exits like it’s going to be world class. But Tommy, dude, his billboards are everywhere. And I mean, he’s he’s just everywhere, bro. And a lot of times people, like, ask, like, like, why are you spending so much money on these things that you can’t even necessarily track? And he’s just like, Look, I want to like when when someone even thinks of getting a new garage door, like, I want them to know who I am, you know, I want them. Same thing.
Dude, you got to, man, you got to. I mean, unless you want to stay doing 500 K a year or a million a year. But if you want to build something where your team has upward mobility, right? I mean, you’ve got to do more, you know? So I like what you’re doing out there, bro. Which channel do you think is, is, is driving more leads? Is it like Facebook ads, the SEO, like the organic?
Yeah. What is it? Definitely Facebook. Yeah, 100% Facebook. Yeah, for sure.
Okay. And then the most profitable, I imagine is Facebook as well.
I would say so, yeah. Well, let me tell you the back of referrals.
True referrals. I mean, they really are. Because you’ve already bought the lead. So the leads paid for. So you have referrals for sure. And your close rate is like on the referrals. Like, I mean, it’s high. It’s.
It’s almost like. You have to mess up.
Yeah. Yeah. You pretty much have to insult the person, not the job. I’ve done that, but I’ve done that. Do you? Yeah.
What are some marketing efforts or, like, channels or whatever that you guys stopped using in the past few years just due to lack of performance, things like that?
Yeah. So I’ve tried a couple of different things. Nothing heavy. I tried like the chopper ads or whatever, you know, the little clipper things that you get in the mail, like zero calls, the thing goes out to 45,000 houses. I’m like, Man, that’s pretty bad because I get a single call. So that was bad. What else did we try? For us. You know, we tried a home show. It was a bad time. It was like kind of midst takeover deal. It was we got some leads and I think we actually got a couple of jobs off of it. But it’s a lot of work. And I was hearing Jeff talk about that and he told me how much work that is. I was like, Yeah, I’m not into that. I’m not into working like 50 hours in a weekend and having to talk to all those people. That’s that’s just difficult. Yeah. Not that I’m against doing hard things, but there’s hard things and they’re smart things. And yeah, it seems that the, the digital market right now is the smart way to go.
Yeah, for sure, bro.
I’d say those are those are really it. I try like local newspaper. Nothing there either.
What about do you guys try any radio or TV before?
I haven’t. I’ve considered it, but only south of us. Because no one can afford. You can’t afford Atlanta TV. It’s. It’s crazy. Hold on. I love it. Yeah.
With the politics right now.
Yeah. So radio or TV in Atlanta, I don’t think is even close to being affordable. But down south of us, like making as a subsidy in Georgia is it’s the second largest city. It’s decent, there’s a military base and everything down there and there’s a decent population. And they have, I think the radio down there is a little bit more affordable. Yeah, we haven’t tried it, but that’s in the that’s in the to do list I guess you could say.
Yeah for sure. Yeah. Those two over here. Do you guys have any special initiatives that you guys use to attract those online reviews? What do you guys do to to get those five star reviews?
Yes. I mean, a couple of things we got. We’re automated, of course. So whenever we do close the job out, it goes into thank you review. They get an automated message. But you know how everyone doesn’t reply to that, right? They see it not cool, delete whatever. So we get sells sales reps to ask. Just literally ask for it man. It takes 5 seconds to ask them for a review and you might not get all of your reviews, but just get one of them. Get one on Google or get one on Facebook or get a better business bureau, whatever the case is, just try to get one review out of your customer. And I’ve always found it’s the best thing to do is just ask. And most people are willing to do it, especially if you’re standing there in person. Like if you’re there in their driveway looking at their garage and they see they’re they’re super happy, like, why wouldn’t you ask for.
Yeah. I think I think, you know, obviously, like in today’s world with technology, there’s obviously some automation. There’s, you know, you can use something that we provide which is like through high level and you can drop people over. There’s automations, there’s, there’s a software called Nice Job and there’s podium. But like you said, like, there’s nothing better than that connection because that’s what the review is all about. It’s like, you know, someone feeling happy enough and satisfied enough that you guys did a great job and I’m going to and I’m going to go basically support you online, you know, but but there has to be connection there. Like usually the reviews that you see are just like, like star reviews are kind of blank. Like there was no connection. They just kind of did it at like, yeah, you know, I help out. But like those, those like connection reviews where like I’m in person, those are the ones where they’re filled with like, you know, hey, this, this, this crew and they know my name and all this stuff too, you know?
Yeah, I think it goes back to the relationship thing and that kind of falls on the sales rep if they’ve spent enough time with that person and, you know, really, really done their job and communicated with them throughout the process and all those things, they have the rapport with the customer at that point to where, you know, the customer almost feels guilty to not leave them on. Good review, right? Yeah. So I think that’s kind of the that’s the goal.
Yeah. Yeah. I love that, man. And then what do you guys do for follow up? Like in terms of like unsold estimates or just things like that, like what do you guys do for following up to existing client base, unsold estimates, all that type of stuff?
Yeah. So again, got some automation built in with that that’s still on the timer, which is good sometimes to generate some results, but we’ve got a rehash program that we go through. So the sales reps are going back every two weeks and they’re rehashing, you know, they’ve got notes in their system or what have you. They can go back. Mr. Miss Jones Hey, just. And they’re doing a phone call. Hey, just following up or a text message if they’ve agreed to do that. So they follow up with phone call, which is really good. Another thing that we picked up with the top rep, which I thought was really good that we’re implementing, is the the one year follow up. So basically we installed your floor a year ago. The sales rep calls up the customer. Hey, Mr. Jones, just following up with you, we’re doing your one year inspections. Going to see if I can set up the time to come by and take a look at your floor, make sure everything is good with it. And of course, they invite you there. I mean, that’s you’re shooting the door. You’re you’re there to sell them something else, right? If you can if they want to buy, of course, or at least to get get in front of them. Get a review. Yeah. Hey, you know, it’s a matter of fact, my neighbor was asking about this. There you go.
I like that one a lot, actually. That’s pretty cool because you could drop off even if it’s business cards or brochures if they had referrals.
Because what if they forgot you?
Yeah, I probably do.
They were great. I just. I lost the guy’s car, and I don’t know how to contact people. Apparently lazy, so they’re not going to go out. But if you go there and see them, give them another car, some brochures, a magnet, the whole nine. You’re right back in their face again.
Yeah, that’s awesome.
Just requires some legwork.
Do you do anything like. Like, you know, I’ve heard things out there where, like, after a certain period of time. So, for example, like, the company provides the appointment, right? And you got let’s say you provide four appointments a day. Let’s say there’s 20 appointments a week roughly that you might give somebody or more. After 48 hours or after 72 hours or after a week, that lead now becomes a company lead again. And it’s kind of taken away from the salesperson because they couldn’t close it or whatever. And now it’s the company’s lead, now the company’s job to follow back up. And now the salesperson maybe might lose out of commission because they couldn’t close it in a certain timeframe or a reduced commission. Have you heard of something like that or are you guys doing something like that with the sales team? Yeah.
Oh, again, it’s just we’re not doing a reduced commission or anything. It circles back in and to the system and again it’s going back out through automation to try to rehash that with the customer. And if they do come back in, it’s getting set back up because all of our sales are set up by territory, so to speak. So it’s going back to that same salesman again.
Got it. Okay. So you have to salesperson’s follow up or it tells people follow up. There’s no like office assistant or end inside person following up.
No, not not by phone call. It’s only done by automation.
Okay. It’s just an automated email going out. Hey, so and so we’re just following up on your estimate that you received back in whatever the date is, see if you’re still interested or whatever the case is.
Okay, cool. If they show interest back, of course, at that point, yeah, Jen will call from the office and they’ll set them back up for an in-home presentation again, or at least a phone call.
Nice. Switching gears to production a little bit. Did you guys do anything special on production day that creates raving fans? Like, is there any like. I don’t know. Phone calls are just like anything that you guys feel that you guys do really well. That really creates raving fans when it comes to like the actual production team.
Mhm. No we don’t unfortunately we don’t have anything for that besides.
Doing the job really, really well.
I imagine we try to, we try to focus hyperfocus on that. No, no, nothing as far as that goes. We don’t. Just being honest, we don’t hop on social media a lot. We don’t do it. We just make sure that our partner service is doing their job and bringing us more, more people. So now everything else, we’re, you know, we might throw something on a story or something. One of the guys might make a cool video while they’re out working and we’ll add that on there or whatever, Instagram stories and stuff like that. But that’s about it.
Nice. And then how do you guys hire, interview, onboarding and train these these these members? Like, do you have a hiring process as their templates like interview questions like how do you guys train those people? Like, like how does that because obviously you’re really good at production. You’ve really dialed in a lot. And I imagine there’s a lot of training in place for for these these guys, right?
Yeah, pretty much. So referrals are our number one ways to hire. You know, we’ve tried like indeed in Facebook ads, that type of thing for hiring and we’ve had like literally one person hired from just a random ad and we had I think we had six interviews set up for a day and one guy showed up and we hired him. And he’s been pretty good, actually. But almost everyone that we’ve ever hired from a blonde ad has been a dud, just hasn’t worked out. So most everyone that we’ve hired has been a referral from either someone one of us knows or someone that works on production, knows this person, and they know their moral character, the whole nine, the work ethic, and they bring them on and that tends to work out really well. So that’s that. As far as training on the job, I mean, the in-house training thing in the warehouse, that’s, you know, it’s not it’s not the real world. So we throw them right on a truck and we train them. We train for a long time.
Man How long is it.
Dude? I mean, to be a lead with us. You’re working on a truck with another lead for at least a year. I mean, you’re working for a while. We want it done. We want it done, right. I don’t like callbacks. It’s embarrassing to have a floor pileup. I mean, it is. We’ve had a little mistake.
It’s like the floor is rough or it looks like it’s embarrassing.
Yeah, it really is. You know, especially when you’re out there selling them literally, like, hey, we. We are the best. We’re the best in the business.
Bring these out there. Right? Like these like yeah.
Yeah. We have those very similar.
You bring them out and people are like, oh my gosh.
Yeah, we’re the best in the world at this. And then something happens and their floor fills up. I’m like, okay, I guess we’re not the best in the world now. So we don’t have a lot of that. We don’t we have our callbacks or they’re pretty slim. Or if we do get a callback, it’s like someone drug a safe across their floor and scratched it or something like that. Yeah. As far as like elimination and stuff like that, we really don’t, we don’t have those issues very, very little on like moisture issue all only a handful of those. And again we take care of the customer to make sure we do right by them on that we don’t really worry about like what is it like the aggregate pop out roller, whatever they have up north where it gets really cold? We don’t really have that here at all. So that’s not really an issue either. So interview questions. Sorry, I kind of skipped over that. We do a very laid back interview and I really just I’ll keep them there for a long time, really, just to kind of really get to know them. And honest to God, I’m looking for I’m trying to see what kind of person they are more. So I don’t I’m not really worried about their skills or anything like that. If they’ve had any experience or anything, that’s that’s pretty much irrelevant to me. I wanna make sure you good person and if I just get a bad vibe man, we’re probably just not even going to make an offer at all. That’s the biggest thing. Honestly, we can teach skills, can’t teach attitude, can’t make you show up on time. You know, you have to do all those things yourself. So that’s what we really look for, honestly speaking.
On that. Yeah, I love that, man. I love that a lot. I like that you focus on training. There’s a standards. Are there? I, I made a post yesterday on my, on my personal Facebook page and it was like I asked what was the biggest challenge in facing the coding industry? And a lot of it was around, around the production side. There was there was a lot more in there, but a lot of it was around the production side, just like people. I mean, you’ve got so many companies out there. Into the coding industry that. I mean, you see some of the questions on the forums and I’m all for helping people, but like, you know. There’s guys out there that are watching YouTube for two for two weeks, and now they’re doing someone’s floor. And again, I’m all for America. Capitalism. You know, you just go get after. I love that. But also, like, you know, this concept of tradespeople and people taking, like, you know, a lot of pride in their work, man. It’s kind of dwindled away in some aspects. So I really like companies like like yourself that are spend a lot of time training the guy, teaching them the standards and because it’s going to give them the right fundamentals to work for you guys and this industry, but also that, you know, that person might work for you for two years, four years, and then they go work somewhere else. And I think it’s really cool because you’re setting them up for success, not just with you, but for long term in their lives, you know?
Of course. Of course, man. Yeah. Yeah, you’re right. Tradespeople are a dying breed. We’re trying to we’re trying to make new ones. We need them. I mean, you got to have that’s what builds this, built everything literally. So you got to have tradespeople, man. You got to have good ones. You got fame. Well, you have to treat them right, you know, the whole time. You gotta be thankful for these guys and they’re important.
Yeah. Is there any specific things that you guys do for culture? Because it seems like you’re like your real your real great leader out there. Is there anything that you that you do specifically for culture and and just speak to kind of some of the things that you do to to keep that morale up and keep everyone motivated, things like that.
Sure. So, I mean, we’re extremely what’s the word I’m looking for? Extremely laid back, extremely forgiving. I give a lot of guys a lot of freedom. Nice, like 99% of the time. But we like to I like to reserve my 1% of the time. I need to be in a hole. And no one likes doing that. Like, I don’t like doing that. But, you know, it loses its effectiveness if you’re screaming and cussing all the time. So, you know, be nice all the time except when you don’t need to be. That kind of keeps everybody in check, I guess you could say. But we just stuff an example every year when those past three, maybe four years, we take like the entire week off at Christmas and New Year’s and everybody gets paid and we shut down. We shut the whole office down. Really shut down? Yeah. Offices shut down.
We all do the same thing.
It’s cool. It’s all.
It’s called. I learned it for somebody and they called it a sabbatical.
Okay. Yeah, well, sabbatical is a term that preachers use. Yeah.
It was actually from a an agency that works with tax or our CPAs, and they’re a Christian based agency. And then he put it out there and we did it last year. It was game changer for us. Where’d you hear about that? Like that kind of strategy?
I didn’t really. Yeah. I thought it was a great idea. It’s like, man, I always want, you know, around Christmas. Like, we have worked like in the previous years, like up around Christmas. And people are ballsy, man. They will ask you to work like the week of Christmas. And I had someone asked me to do a job on Christmas Day. I was like, lost your mind. You don’t you ain’t got enough money. So of course, we didn’t do that. And then I don’t remember. I got a kid going in.
And I thought.
Good, dude, what are you doing?
Hey, what’s up, buddy?
Are you going to say, hey, you’re on. You’re on a podcast.
On the podcast, bro. Hey, don’t worry. We’ll edit this out and. And we’ll play this section in the beginning for him.
No good. Yes, you can.
Well, I think that’s really cool that you do that for the. Like on the culture side, because I think a lot of home service entrepreneurs, home servers, business owners, etc., they like feel as if like, oh, I’m going to I’m going to hire this guy. I’m going to expect the standard to be way up here. And then, like, I’m not going to get to know him. I’m not going to give him the resources. I’m going to give him the training. And we expect these these C players, if you will, to come on board. We come we expect good people to come on board and them to be great and amazing by themselves when dude, it’s our duty as the leaders to, you know, to provide the training, the resources and really the environment. Right. For them to be successful.
Yeah, definitely. So, yeah, it’s our job to create create space and create growth or create room for growth, rather, for people to do that. It’s definitely up to them to step up to the plate. And when it’s time, yeah, we’re creating that space in order for it to happen. And I tell everybody that during an interview circling back to that, Hey, here’s who we are, here’s what we’re doing, and here’s where we’re going. And we are creating room for growth here. You know, again, just circling back to my GM, he started with me like me and him used to hang around floors together, like side by side. Now he runs everything he does, all the scheduling he does, all the contacts, handles, handles, all the guys does, all the material ordering and all that stuff. So he’s yeah, he’s went from hanging out with me to to that. So and again everyone that every single person that we hire and the production will be under him moving from here forward. So I mean hopefully one day he’ll have 100 people under his belt.
Yeah. And then the other guys see that. Right. And they see the ability to have upward mobility like there’s opportunity and there’s, you know, there’s a, there’s a, there’s a career path, you know. And I think when they like, when, when, like it’s our duty as business owners. I mean, think about it. Like if, if, if you and I went and got a job at some massive pool building company going to do 150 million this year or something like that, like there would be obvious upward mobility, you know, and I think as small businesses where we have maybe ten, 20, maybe 15, 20, whatever people, you know, it’s our duty to be creative and, you know, make sure that our team has has has that upper mobility can make more money and maybe have more freedom or learn the right skills. And like you said, you know, they’ve got to have that willingness first, right? Because we can’t really teach that. But I really like that you’re doing that, man, because one of my passions. And one of our. One of our. Our. Core values that cardinal right there is professionalising the concrete coding industry. And it’s like it’s companies like you and guys like us that are that are that are really doing that. And I feel like if we can really professionalize the industry and keep it going, better branding, better professionalism, like we’re we’re kind of like instead of the old contractor way of just not showing up on time, all that stuff. Like we’ll be able to charge more money when there’s more of us that are actually providing better value.
You know, of course, you know, you really can’t you can’t grow and create opportunity for people without doing all those things. You just can’t do it. I mean, you have to provide insurance, you have to provide retirement, you have to provide all those things to people. And you’ve got to grow and you’ve got to create room so that those people can see the long term vision. And just another thing that I do cover in the interview is I tell everyone, you know, I’m not looking to hire anyone here for a job. We’re looking to hire for careers. So if you think you’re just going to come and work here for six months or a year, I would just assume, say was both a lot of time and effort and you just go find a different job somewhere. I really would. And that’s the truth. Yeah.
I love that, bro. Okay, we’re getting closer to the end here. I’ve got a few more questions and I also want to give you some space. Like if there was anything that you wanted to share, any strategies or just anything at all, I want you to give some time. But before that, what is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Oh, man, I want to prepare for that one. I’ve got some.
Advice. I like to surprise that one.
So, yeah, that’s a good one. I’ve got a bunch of those. So I’ll tell you one that sticks out and I’ve always just remembered, I mean, I’ve got a bunch of advice, but one that sticks out is I was probably about 18 and this old guy told me he had been in the business forever, and he said that being a business is like being out in the ocean by yourself. And he said you can either choose to be in a one man raft or you can choose to be in a rowboat and have a bunch of other people on your team help and rode through that huge, nasty ocean. That’s business. And I was like, Yeah, I think the rowboat is much better idea. So with that, I’ll, I’ll set you up on a pedestal again and I’ll tell everybody, add some really good partners to your business. You need them like you cannot do it all on your own. You need a great marketing partner, you need a CPA, you need you need a bookkeeper, you need tax advisors. You need all of these people. You can’t do it all. There’s no way. So that they argue that to tell everyone best advice when you’re starting a new business, hire a really good bookkeeper and a CPA. I know it sucks having to pay for them at first. You need them. Promise?
Yeah. And it’s better to do it. Like in the.
Beginning. Yeah. Otherwise you’re paying them to clean up your mess because you’re about to make a mess of it. Like guaranteed hundred percent. You paint for for a living, you don’t do taxes.
Yeah. That’s like concept of like owner operator. Like I’m going to do everything myself and no one can do it better than I can. You know, you’re right. I love that. What you said, though, about. I never heard that one before. It’s like the boat out there. So if you guys are starting out. Get a rowboat. Don’t buy a damn raft. All right.
It’s a choice. You can just hop in the rowboat. You don’t have to pay extra for it. Just hop in. Promise. All those people are going to help. You wrote row in that raft by yourself and you might get flipped over and drown.
Okay, big, big switch here. What is the worst advice that you’ve ever received?
Oh, worst advice.
When we say shave your beard like me.
Oh, yeah. No, that’s true. No one’s ever said that nonsense. All right. Worst advice. Somebody saying you should fire that person for doing X. Like they just don’t know. They just don’t understand my position. That’s probably the serious one. And then the other worst advice I get all the time is it’s a tax write off.
Yeah, I love that, man. Okay. Was there anything that you in particular wanted to share at all? Like any strategies or just anything like with the audience at all?
We went through a lot. You know, biggest thing, again, know taking care of your team. Take care of your guys to think for everybody and gals. Jim, I just got one. And TJ is a bookkeeper. So taking care of your people, man, that work with you because they’re your, they’re your lifeline. They’re they’re they’re all the nuts and bolts of your business. So you don’t have them. It falls apart. So take care of those people. They’re extremely important and they’ll take care of you. That’s probably the number one thing that that I could share, that that’s helped us along the way and building culture man, you know, golden rule, it goes a long way. Really does.
Yeah. 100%, man. Well, I really appreciate your time. And you guys heard it here from David getting ready to do 2.9 this year. Amazing client of ours, great beard line as well. That’s probably the thing about him. He has a great beer like no. But if you guys want to grow your business, you’ve got to put your team first. And you heard it straight from David. If you guys have any questions at all, you can drop them in the comments. I’m sure David will be in there and he can answer some questions for you or what have you. I’ll be in there as well. So we’ll see you guys in the Facebook group. We’ll see you guys around around town. Hopefully you guys hopefully we see you guys in Phoenix next month at the vertical track event. When are you getting in again, David, for vertical travel.
They were flying on Wednesday.
Oh, on Wednesday, yeah.
Oh, no. Excuse me. I’m sorry.
Tuesday night on Tuesday. Okay. So you’d be there Wednesday night.
Yeah. So I’ll be. I’ll be up in. Right.
Okay. Well, hey, I’ll see you Wednesday morning then because I’ll be over there probably about 830 on Wednesday and we have the shop tour starting.
So look forward to it. We awesome.
Averill, thank you for your time. Thank you for your business. See you soon, guys.