Biggest mistake business owners can make.

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Mike Callahan making a quick video in the airport right now on my way to Savannah Georgia for the Quality Driven Software conference and the one-day bootcamp with Debbie Sardone and Mike Callahan going over sales marketing and automations and everything cutting edge in your sales and marketing system. One of the questions I always get is what is the biggest mistake that service business owners are making whether it’s lawn care, home cleaning, pest control, pool service you name it business owners in general . My answer to that is they stop learning and networking and getting outside of their comfort area. One of the keys to success and a lot of the people in my ecosystem that I respect greatly is that there is a constant thirst for knowledge and a constant thirst for innovation so when we stop learning we stop driving and innovating our businesses will die so the three takeaways today is never stop growing your business because as soon as you stop growing your business you lose the thirst and drive to learn and innovate and dominate your market. One of the key success in my lawn care company over the last 25 years I think has been really my ability to get outside of my comfort zone get outside of my area of upstate New York as soon as I started working with other like-minded individuals and got away from the self-imposed perceptions and the public’s perception of a service business of the Chuck in a truck per se with the guy or girl at a truck, lawnmower broke down, weed wacker and just not returning phone calls not providing good service no insurance those perceived and imposed perceptions on the service industry can definitely start making a business owner think that that’s literally what their industry is all about but I will tell you the service industry right now is rich in merger and acquisition the reason it is is because there’s a lot of individuals out there right now driving and pushing the envelope and how they’re doing is they’re getting out of their markets they’re going conferences like QDS or SA6 or SA7 next year or even different industry events so there’s a lot of guys and girls in the lawn care industry going in QTS which is predominantly a home cleaning conference but the thing is I’ve taken more away from some of the cleaning conferences or other non industry-specific conferences from the industry I’m in because their perspective is a little bit different focused and forced me to look at things just a little bit different in those little fine-tuning ways to the way I do business have been instrumental. The challenge today is don’t make the biggest mistake that most business owners make continue to grow your business continue to thrive and by doing that it’s going to force you to go out and get an education to out learn your competition be the innovator and see what the market is going so very similar to Wayne Gretzky’s analogy he was going to be where the puck is going to be not where it is right now so he wanted to be where the puck is gonna be not where it is. The biggest mistakes don’t be like the other people in your market get out of your market go out buy an education out learn your competition and adopt new technology and see where that shift is going to be and set yourself up for success by getting out of your market and hanging out with industry leaders like Debbie Sardone or Jonathan Potoschnik of The Lawn Care Millionaire and these folks have that knowledge and that drive as well as myself we’re gonna be out here in San Diego or I mean Savannah Georgia tomorrow for a full day boot camp literally teaching cutting edge and bleeding at technology how to go out and out learn and out adopt your competition so I want to say what’s up to Jennifer from The Bot Team what’s up she is a mover and shaker in the technology field as well I want to say what’s up – Keith but biggest mistake I think that most business owners can make right now is not going out and getting an education getting outside of the market and getting uncomfortable and when you get uncomfortable it forces you to change and it forces you to adopt these new technologies and when you do such you’re the disruptor in your market and when you disrupt your market your business will grow exponentially and if you do it right in my opinion automated you can start buying that time back for your from your friends but for the business to spend more time with your friends and family and build a lifestyle that you actually want and desires. Get out there outlearn your competition want to say what’s up there Adrian as well buddy hit me up I know you want out learn and I’ll grow your competition so we definitely need to hook up and get some things rolling for your brother but Adrian’s just shaking it up in upstate New York market as well he’s a mover and shaker get out there out learn your competition adopt new technology get outside of your comfort zone and when you stop growing your business it starts to die because it doesn’t force you to learn and it doesn’t force you to adopt new technology to be successful comments questions drop below I’m on a plane and I will see everyone in Savannah Georgia One day boot camp with Debbie Sardone Mike Callahan and QDS quality driven software than Martha Woodward and she’s a lady who’s definitely shaking it up in the service industry

SimpleGrowth 2 day remote training event March 9th & 10th and Boot camp with Debbie Sardone

Video Transcript:
Hey Mike Callahan here want to make a quick video really excited just wrapping up my date today at the office with getting just amazing amount of content put together for this week’s event this Thursday in Savannah Georgia with Debbie Sardone. We’re doing a one-day boot camp tackling technology and sales so really excited to see everybody down in Savannah Georgia this week for QDS quality driven software with Martha Woodward’s conference the day before this Thursday. Debbie Sardone and I are gonna be doing a one-day boot camp where I’m going in talking about automation, conversational marketing everything that’s new that’s cutting and bleeding edge in technology and then Debbie’s Coming in and following out the sales process thats helped her grow just one of the most amazing businesses out in Lewisville Texas in the cleaning industry. No matter the industry looking forward to seeing everybody at QDS the day before this week with Debbie Sardone but on top of that huge announcement., want to say what’s up to Krista as well but huge announcement coming up March 9th and 10th everybody’s been asking for it the last two years we haven’t had the time or ability to do it we’ve actually carved out two days in the beginning of March- March 9th and 10th the Simple Growth two day implementer event 16 – 17 hours of content given to you over a live webinars take a look next on the next day or two probably tomorrow during my travel out to Savannah we’re gonna be posting some videos about it and some information . If you’ve ever wanted to come to the New York implement event the Tampa implementer event or the one-day implementer event we did before SA6 you now can join us live from the comfort of your home or office and have your whole entire team join via computer or screening the office. As an added bonus we’ve actually figured out how to record the live event and if you go in and sign up for the two-day implementer event you’re gonna be able to have up to six months access to 16 to 17 hours of literally Simple Growth teachings how to setup simple Service Autopilot literally from lead acquisition to price matrices services estimating grids templates everything that needs to be in an estimate your proper workflow from winning and losing an estimate scheduling routing billing and everything more to do with Service Autopilot proper setup. If that wasn’t enough hopefully live here in a little bit in the next few days when we announce the actual sign up. Drop a comment in the video here live or recorded if you want to be alerted when we put that sign up there’s gonna be a limited amount of people that we allow to sign up to get the recorded version of it but it’s gonna be an added bonus for our existing customer base when we release this out . We’ll see you again later this week Thursday from 9 to 5p.m. at the Brice hotel if you signed up for the one-day boot camp with Debbie Sardone Mike Callahan and Chad from the Simple Growth team then we’ll be hanging out at QDS all week and literally answering questions around how to set up Service Autopilot automations and all things messenger and Facebook bots so hopefully see in Savanna if not I want to see you live on the Simple Growth 2-day implementer event March 9th and 10th coming live from upstate New Yorkin your office or home we’ll see you there

Service Autopilot: Set up for success (the ultimate blueprint) audio starts about 1 minute in.

Spring time marketing: offline and online attack plan

Batch your daily work and AVOID fire fighting.

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Let go of your legos [ and let the other kids play] the other team mates in your business

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Hey Mike Callahan here with a quick video, wanted to kind of expand on a book I’ve been reading here This Won’t Scale by the Marketing Team of Drift and the premises of one of the things the scale of business quickly was to let go of your Legos and basically let the other kids play or basically your other teammates and I’m gonna take a couple couple snaps snippets out of the book in this this video but very interesting perspective and all of us in business want to scale and grow a business extremely fast. Starting out my lawn care company we had some obviously pretty slow growth growing through high school college we had a couple crews and then we learned how to market the business scaled exponentially quick and the issue is when we grew fast I didn’t know how to let go now in perspective my other business Simple Growth we’re hitting some of the growth hurdles that we hit Callahan’s Lawn Care every three to five years I’m hitting them every three to five months. I’m going out and buying an education and kind of betting basically letting down my guard and basically learning from the mistakes I’ve made in the past and then how we overcame them getting some outside industry perspective of how other companies scale extremely quick and now for the business owner to get out of their own way to allow this to happen and it’s pretty interesting here so I’m gonna actually pull a couple things out of this book here. Basically the ideais what is needed for fast growth in the owner’s mindset and the team’s mindset aswe grow because as we grow exponentially the position you have today is probably not the position you should have in three to six months from now so out of the book here and I’ll show you the book and that’s in a few minutes but basically in any given moment you need to be ready to let go of your legos and let the other kids play basically you’re your teammates so basically the fast growth must be driven from inside the company and in reality that means every employee must be ready to take on new responsibilities and let go of the old one so one of the biggest things at least I find as a business owner is I’m hesitant to let go of what I’m doing now because I think it’s instrumental to the success of the business but in reality the business owner really needs to be the visionary and set the path and if they’re doing the sales role or the onboarding role or the training role or out in the field still that is something you need psychologically to be able to disconnect from and  be able to let that go so the challenge that I’m putting forward today as we grow to scale our service business is everybody on our team that’s a key player should psychologically be ready to give up what they’re doing now in the short term to go in and involve into that next role. Very interesting take it’s a very quick read this won’t scale it’s by the drift marketing team if you’re gonna be in Savannah Georgia next week I’m gonna be hanging out with Debbie Sardone the day before QDs Martha Woodward’s event and talking about conversational marketing and drift is conversational marketing among some other things that we’re doing Facebook marketing and we’re talking about the bleeding edge shift in buying habits and with the technology right now businesses are scaling quickly in this really talks about how to adapt to that shift but basically hyper growth or extreme growth needs to be driven with inside the company and the reality means that every employee must be ready to take on new responsibilities and let go of the existing ones of the old one so this is tough play for most people to to grasping I myself not on a pedestal here preaching by any means I’ve struggled with this in the past and that’s something in Simple Growth that I’ve learned that I’ve had to take to take that mindset in and basically in a fast growing company you can’t afford to get territorial over your job from day one you need to accept that every single goal task and output will be someone else’s responsibility soon so the sooner as business owners we’re able to accept that what we’re doing now is not gonna be ours forever and we’re able to document the system and create a system that can be trained and replicated throughout the organization the further ahead we are . My challenge and talk today is give the mind said that your your job and your position in your business as the business owner manager is not one for the long term its short-term you need to delegate that off so you continue to support and push the mission and vision of that company and drive culture from the top down in and in order to do that we need to document and systematize each process you do in order to be able to hand it off in the in the near future so as the book says let your Legos go and let the other kids play so the other kids meaning the other team members yeah also have to come to the realization at least in my opinion that there’s other team members on your team that are going to be able to do the job that you’re doing just as well if not better um and one of the realizations that I recently had in the last week or so not even prominent last day or two is we’ve got anew gentleman on the simple growth team Dillan and he was actually one of our first automation clients and Dillan was able to take the onboarding process with caller to its some training but he had just as good insight if not probably better than my insight I’m gonna say probably better because he understood as consumer of Simple Growth what the onboarding process felt like as someone on the other end of the computer so he’s been through the process himself and he was able to connect some of the dots that I just honestly was not able to connect as clearly so my mindset had to change and said you know what onboarding calls at Simple Growth probably are not the best position for me I’ve Documented the process system and Diilan as another team member came in and helped me build upon it to make it better so I gotta let go of my leg oh so good chance if you’re doing an onboarding call with Simple Growth here with the next week or so you’ll be talking to Dillan instead of me. When letting go my Legos to let the other kids play I realize it might be advantageous to make a video but real quick read This Won’t Scale it’s by Drift by the Drift team pretty good book and preet pre insightful how to scale a business with hyper growth and hypergrowth is pretty tough in a service industry but if you get marketing right and you’re ready to adapt to things like conversational marketing in like automated bots or Facebook bots the different things that are happening right now as it shift as well as automations. With automations and conversational marketing the whole game is shifting right now it’s gonna cause exponential growth so instead of just going up a little bit we’re gonna see that spike right up kind of like the hockey stick so as the companies that are early adopters bleeding edge of automations and technology get ready for that hyper growth because that’s exactly what we saw in my company six or seven years ago when we were the early adopters to automations before it was a thing in the service industry we literally grew so fast and almost went out of business and the mistake that I made there is I was not ready to initially give up my role as quickly and if we’re willing to do that in that psychological mind shift we’re able to grow even quicker and that leadership or visionary role of the business owner is gonna continue to evolve and if that’s not your place in the business that’s okay if you can recognize it but if you recognize it then I would highly suggest putting that visionary where that individual in place that can drive culture and organization and help you hire fire and train to the mission and vision and values and build that core leadership team. The idea of the video is come to the acceptance that your position in multiple positions underneath you will not remain in the same position it’s going to change as the business scale. Comments or questions leave them below  it was very interesting let go of your Legs And let the other kids play basically your team members so you need to know that your position is not there forever temporary so you need to be able to document it systematize it and let somebody else come in who’s just as capable not probably more capable than you to run that position as you evolve your cooperation I’m in service business exponentially. Want to say what’s up to Jerry Guevara another gentlemen out there just crushing his business and probably gonna be in the same boat as we are so Jeremy are you willing to let go of your Legos is the question and everybody else out there. If you’re watching live feel free to drop some comments and if you’re willing to let go your Legos and evolve and come to the realization that the position that you hold in your business probably shouldn’t be the position in your business you’re gonna be holding in seven eight maybe twelve months so whenever you’re going into this season there’s probably a good realization that if you’re growing the business appropriately that you shouldn’t be in that position in twelve months from now. Comments or questions drop below live or record it be watching for the next 24 to 48 hours and we’ll be coming at you again tomorrow with a live edition Callahan’s corner asking your questions were you asked the question and answer them live on facebook live so gota pretty good pile of questions piled up and we’ll be diving through to answer the most of those this week here on Facebook live on another edition of Callahan’s quarter coming up.

Ever wonder what a fully automated CLEANING estimate looks like in Facebook Messenger…

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What services should a new lawn care business add ( as well as established )

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Biggest key to success when we actually figured out our and defined our service offering so with working well over five with five or six hundred contractors here in just the last probably year, year and a half it seems to be a common question or I might even phrase it as an issue . My answer the question is what should a young or new lawn care company focus on adding new services and I’m gonna frame this as in addition what should establish company look at adding a service as well is the idea is we want to create a course that’s focused on two maybe three services these going to be our gateway services and these gateway services predominantly in a lawn care industry are going to be lawn mowing and fertilization and basically the idea is to sell these gateway services over the phone there is a need for basically speed and implementation to sell your services now the new buyer does not want to wait for you to drive out to their house and do an in-person estimate now obviously that’s needed for some services so the idea is grab a cor gateway service two or three lawn mowing fertilization maybe aeration and overseeding something can be sold over the phone via satellite now sometimes the satellite imagery isn’t perfect but at least it’s gonna take them off the market and stop shopping they’ve bought adjust that price but nine times out often that satellite imagery is is close enough to base a price on. What we’re gonna do is create a core offering of gateway services we sell over the phone that can be sold quickly and then where we add our services is our ancillary upsell so this in most industries is called expansion in lawn care most service industries we consider and call this an upsell but the idea is to sell your gateway services that you can sell over the phone close the sale within twenty to thirty days we go out and add additional services. Now the additional services in my opinion are interesting because you really want to go out and pick some additional services that can be performed at the same time while you’re already at the property if possible so maybe it’s landscape bed maintenance maybe its perimeter pest maybe it’s a mosquito control aeration and overseeding whatever these services can be added on while we’re already there is going to exponentially drive bottom-line profits and efficiencies so not only are you doing a fertilization weed control app but you’re applying the grub control basically the same application and billing the customer twice were there mowing the lawn but maybe we have a certified pesticide technician on that crew they can do perimeter pass or mosquito control or fire ants these are all ideas that I would suggest honing in on and creating a coreservice that is not really complex it’s scalable and you can go out and do it while at the same time there. There is a lot of money to be made in design-build forsure irrigation setup I’m not gonna deny these things but what I’ve found in my personal experience and working with you know five or six hundred business owners now just in lawn and lands right in the last year and a half is design-build traditionally is revolving around the business owner and the skill set that’s in their head it’s not scalable to a fact that the business owner is not involved in the day-to-day operations now some of the large multi multi-million dollar businesses it’s the lawn and landscape top 100 obviously fiscale passed that in its delegate abel and scalable but if you’re a young business my idea would be stick to a recurring maintenance service lawn mowing fertilization something that’s recurring we’re compounding the interest in the the wealth bottom line so if you ever go to sell the business or you’re looking to make a retirement plan out of it there’s a value there because you have recurring revenue that’s gonna have a higher multiplier when you go to sell or go to get a line and credit thebank and then those gateway services that we sell over the phone we are gonna go out and actually sell additional ancillary services upsell or expansion basically to raise that client lifetime value. When we’d go to raise that client lifetime value we’re looking for additional services that can be done while we’re already at the property or worst case scenario at your existing customer base we continue to raise that client lifetime value and it’s a higher profit margin service that we’re usually upselling through expansion after we get the gateway services such as lawn mowing, fertilization or maybe aeration and overseeding over the phone. The idea is don’t make you complex don’t offer too many things have two or three things that you’re really really good at and then go out 10 to 20 days later and upsell through expansion and raise the recurring revenue and profitability on each client. Keep it simple keep it predictable keep it delegate-able wouldn’t suggest diving in at a young company by any means to design build or irrigation install that’s a whole different beast and it’s going to involve you as the business owner for a lot longer than it will for setting up a maintenance company that can be delegated quickly and scaled on recurring revenue whether it’s weekly or bi-weekly mowing or weekly or bi-weekly cleaning in the home cleaning industry and then we’re going out and up selling ancillary services through expansion to continue to compound the lifetime value of that client. Comments or questions drop them below, hopefully that was helpful but though that’s what how I would tackle it as anew young company and if I’m an older established company I’m going to take a look at my existing service offerings and start to condense them down for a streamline efficiency that can be scaled without the business owner having to babysit and be there as the knowledge center so we’re looking at reoccurring services with upsells while we’re already there. Comments questions dropped below and hopefully that was helpful

Ever wondered what an automated plowing quote looks like on Facebook Messenger? Check it out

The problem with the software you bought to run your business and how to fix it.

Video Transcript:

Hey Mike Callahan here, want to make a quick video a lot of people talking about software’s around the service industry and how they don’t work or they’re not setup correctly and all the issues so I’m not going to go through the laundry list of complaints regarding an industry specific software but what I am gonna do is kind of expose the truth . Now being in the lawn care industry for the last 25 years and now helping other service business owners specifically in lawn care and snow removal and believe it or not cleaning as well probably 35 or 40 percent of the people we talked to are in the clean industry so I think I’ve got an interesting perspective. The main thing is well usually it’s not the software that’s the issue now there is some pretty old outdated dinosaurs out there in the service industry there aren’t cloud-based and aren’t a good CRM customer relationship management software may not have automations or an open API but the video today really is instead of blaming the software that you have chosen as long as you made a good choice of a software platform it usually comes down to not having optimized systems and processes in the business at all or even worse if you’ve created processing systems that are not efficient and not streamlined and trying to force those broken processes or the lack of processes into a software system when you start it. In my opinion if you’re going to be successful in customer relationship management software such as Service Autopilot or any of the other ones out there in the service industry before you go out and buy it or before you go out and reinvent it and get it setup for success this season you really need to define your processes and those processes need to be streamlined literally from lead acquisition all the way through billing and fulfillment and a lot of times we see some really crazy things like maybe they want to someone does a carbon copy estimate they then go through their facts to make a copy of it and then they will scan it and put it in the back end of the software and then mainly try the estimate in the system and then instead of emailing it out they’ll print it out and do it hardcopy mail or drop it off in person when the streamlined solution would probably get them into the CRM grab the turf square footage off online measurement or home-cleaning grab the square footage of the livable area off Zillow and create an automated pricing matrix that pulls up your price budget timing cost based on your numbers so I’ve seen so many different ways of utilizing a software that actually creates 15 to 20 extra steps to the salesperson and it never gets fully implemented so it’s not the software it’s the fact that most companies do not have a set process and procedure that’s streamlined and to try to take a broken process and put it into a software system is literally setting yourself up for failure basically. What I’m gonna do over the next few videos this week is go through and define whatI would prescribe is one of the best workflows from lean acquisition through billing and fulfillment and break that down so if you don’t have a processing system right now that’s streamlined you could use this as a model and tweak it for your lawn care home cleaning business but it’s usually not the software it’s the fact that business owners don’t have the time and they don’t spend the time to get out of the day-to-day grind to set up an actual workflow process that’s systematized for the best customer experience internally and externally and what I mean by internally is a lot of times these broken processes we’re gonna consider our staff an internal customer and this broken process is probably causing turnover or at least massive frustration for your office. I want to say what’s up to Michelle at Pink Callers so Michelle runs a really streamlined process with Pink Callers it’s a virtual assistant setup and I’m sure Michelle would agree with me that sometimes as industry experts we have to take a stepback when we’re working with people in the service industry to help them know what their workflow process is because a lot of times we just do do but we don’t look from the outside as a business owner to see what a good workflow process is and then how to implement it into a software system. Like I said over the next week or two here I’m going to break down the perfect process or close to perfect process thatI would recommend to drive through a CRM but if you’re having problems with your software program right now whether it Service Autopilot job or Single Ops whatever those services are that using Zen Made there’s all pros and cons of all these software systems but the problem usually is it’s the business owner trying to put a broken system or even worse a non-existent system into the software and it’s obviously not going to work. I’m gonna highlight over the next couple videos here how to actually create a workflow process to systematize it and if you haven’t defined it then by all means take a look at this video and tweak our workflow process to your business but if you can’t standardize it it can’t be delegated and if it can’t to be delegated then the business owner is a slave to the business because they are becoming the single point of failure and usually the frustration point of their staff because you’re forcing people to get into a CRM that that’s not fully setup or optimized and the biggest issue here is once we have a CRM a customer relationship management software or an automated platform that should be set up to actually support the mission of the business so if your mission is to give the best service with quick response and support your customer throughout the buying process and then after they bought to continue to be able to follow up with good communication the issue here is is if you have it utilized the CRM to support that mission you’re not only failing your team but you’re failing your customer so I highly recommend whatever software you’re using or if you’re going to look and buy a software develop those systems and processes and then implement them into the system in most of the really good CRM around the market right now that a cloud-based will support most process and systems or some minor tweaks. Recommendation today is go out build a processing system then implement it into your CRM at Simple Growth and it Callahan’s we used to use a basically a process we call the price matrix blueprint so to take our pricing matrix and systematize that we’d actually blueprint it out and then put it into the CRM so it allowed us to visualize the process and system and then be able to execute it inside the software system without any missing link so it was optimized once we got it in there. Talk today is really just defined a processing system then put it into your CRM and then make sure it supports your mission so whatever your mission is Callahan’s Lawn Care we wanted to give you the lifestyle you desire and in the idea was that our internal client our employees wanted we want to give them the lifestyle they desired so if we was getting out of work early and spending more time with the family the softwareand the system we built was to basically promote efficiency and not be bogged down and have to work to 10 o’clock every night but you could get in get your job done and get it right and then on the flip side of that our external customer we wanted to give them the lifestyle they desired so if they wanted to be able to have the ease of hiring a service provider with transparency and go see their kids say football game or their daughter’s ballet class or whatever it may be if that’s the lifestyle they desired we gave them through the CRM the ability to go through the customer portal and see all their billing all the history the ability to communicate with us things like be there and been there so we would automatically text or email them before we went to the service and after we left they’d get an automated message but that CRM in the process supported our mission of giving our internal staff the lifestyle they desired and or external staff the lifestyle they desired another interesting example is basically our mission and Simple Growth is to help service business owners take their life back from their business sowe do this by using a CRM that automate the workflow and helps our customers streamline their process to help take their life back from the business and by that time back so that process of that CRM with automation supports our mission as an organization but if we didn’t have the process and procedure built before we bought that platform it would have never worked. Spend the time this week get away from the grind before things get real crazy here getting into spring season especially in lawn care define your systems implemented into your CRM if you haven’t bought a CRM make sure those systems will go into the CRM flawlessly or very close and make sure that CRM is one that you can go inscale into. One of the previous CRMs we were on was desktop based before we moved to Service Autopilot and I will tell you when we had to convert from that desktop base to the cloud-based software it was a lot of work and not a small undertaking so as you’re going to look at a software very similar if any of folks watch and I talked to at GIE you want to look at a platform that it’s scalable for not only where you’re at now but where you want to be in the future so don’t be short-sighted and buy something that’s not scalable to where you want to go but applicable to where you’re at now so build your systems make sure your CRM in your system supports our mission and you’ll be in good shape this upcoming season