Is your bench for new hires [frozen]?

Video Transcript:

Hey Mike Callahan here with a quick video, got me thinking here with a lot of snow on the ground coming down in upstate New York here is, is your virtual hiring bench frozen? What I mean by this and what got me thinking about this is a lot of local contractors that I’m friends with are posting on their personal and business Facebook pages believe it or not looking for employees to help them out in the latest storm. Whether it’s lawncare, home cleaning or snow plowing one thing that we always talk about is stacking the bench it was a lawn care millionaire video that I did with Jonathan Patashnik of the Lawn Care Millionaire probably four or five years ago before SA3 and Jonathan I talked about the bottlenecks of growing your business and one of the biggest ones is labor but it counts for about sixty percent of the cost. One of the things that Jonathan I talked about was stacking that bencher or as Jonathan calls it the virtual bench but I use the analogy of a sports team we want to go out and stack the guys and girls on the bench so if they’re not producing on the field we have people on the bench that can replace them that are qualified trained and in shape and ready to go and know your systems or plays in the field so when we stop doing that including in my business that’s when we get in trouble. The last thing you want to do is go out in the middle of a snowstorm and start posting on Facebook are people ready or available to help plow snow they’ve never plowed before they probably have no idea how to run your equipment even if they’ve run different equipment and the last thing you want to do is throw a rookie in any type of job in the service industry whether it’s lawn care, home cleaning, especially snow removal just given the dangers of that. The way we tackle that and the way we’ve tackled that in both of my businesses we’re going into creating this bench like a sports team just like the analogy I highlighted but how we’re doing this we’re going out and recruiting once twice a week even three times a week for every position in the business including the owner in my opinion that’s how I found my replacement in Callahan’s Lawn Care. This might sound like wow I don’t have enough time there’s no way I could spend one, two or even three days or even an hour a week recruiting so it doesn’t have to be in person it should be in my opinion eventually as you scale into it but what we want to do is create a process through interviewing hopefully in Spanish and English, Spanish is probably to be more of a street Spanish Play is what we’d recommend right now for better traction and conversion so have an online application that’s constantly out there on your Facebook, Indeed, Craigslist you give the link to your existing employees and let them fill that out as well and what we’re gonna do is create a couple virtual hoops to make sure we’re getting someone who’s qualified and actually interested in the job itself. In upstate New York With recent laws if you apply for so many applications you got to certain point in the process New York State would grant continued unemployment so a lot of people would be filling out these applications just to continue their unemployment obviously a complete waste of time so you want to create some virtual Hoopsin that application process so let’s just say Joe gets through the application process now we’re gonna go in and remind him the week before and the day before via text where to show up when to show up whether it’s in person or online and give him the ability to text us back or email us back letting him know he’s not gonna show up believe it or not some of these folks were signing up for interviews to get to that point for their unemployment but did have the courtesy to actually text back and say hey you know what I’m not gonna make it to the interview so that allow us to reschedule those bookings the other thing we did is we actually had Christine my office pre ranked them as an A B and C with reviewers comments so that allowed the interviewer whether it’s in phone in person to know what they’re getting into and we started to take that application pipeline and limitit to the A and B application so we presorted them. When we actually got some to the physical interview on the phone or in person we had a standardized set of questions four or five questions we asked every applicant and the reason that we did this is we wanted to create an interview process that didn’t have biases in it and the interviewer can rank them A B and C with any of your comments and we created a searchable database and this virtual labor pool or bench as we use the analogy of a sports team allowed us to go in and not hire the first individual through the door with a pulse or sometimes half a pulse or in the middle of a snowstorm to do this. So we had a searchable database that was qualified and ready to go and some people ask well what if we don’t hire them immediately that’s fine we want to be pretty transparent about it after we talked them after the interview but if let’s say we don’t hire Joe it’s been a few weeks or a few months and we call him back maybe he’s at the shop down the street they’re having cash flow problems they can’t pay him on time maybe the pain of cash money under the table and it’s not the professional organization that he wanted to work with hopefully through a little nurture we’re still staying in contact with Joe so when the time’s right we can contact Joe and hopefully get him on our bench. The main things that we see in a lot of the lawn care businesses and home cleaning is there are seasonal spikes of influx in and out in our businesses so what we saw in upstate New York was I can go back probably the last seven or eight years and literally tell you within a two-week span that we either fired someone or someone quite literally the first week ofApril the Memorial Day weekend July 4th weekend within two weeks either way the week of August 18th and the last week of October there was some other stats Idon’t know I’m off top my head but I will tell you those for sure in upstate New York within two-week period either way we had either fired someone or someone had quit each and every time so traditionally we’d go out and recruit Monday and Wednesdays for all the positions in the business before a week or so before those spikes where we knew traditionally we were gonna lose somebody we would ramp that up to Monday Wednesday and Friday so we’re constantly casting that digital net as we do with our online marketing for our clients we’re casting that net for online applicants and continuing to build that bench just like a sports team so we’ve got people trained and ready to go and I don’t want to leave out the importance especially if you’re in the snow belt right here itis hard to retain seasonal employees especially if it’s not snowing now this year we’ve got well above the average and snow and it’s probably not an issue but actually it probably still is because I’m seeing at least three local companies right now begging for people to work today and this was predicted the way we tackled that at Callahan’s is we went out and not only created a bench for employees but we created a bench for qualified subcontractors that knew our systems and were ready I’m not gonna sugar-coat it we paid through the nose for these individuals significantly more than we would have if we had them working as subcontractors throughout the year but they were our virtual bench of subcontractors for no-show employees breakdowns and for big massive storms so we were getting 18 17 inches of snow in 10 to 12 hours we would call these individuals up and literally double up on our commercial plow routes and our subs would take half the route in our internal crews would take half the route but it was also great for being able to swap out some of our internal employees far as the amount of time on the road because some of these events as you well known in the snow industry can last up to 32 or 36 hours I think my record was about 36 hours straight one time covering the crews and getting them some breaks not healthy not safe so in order to create a safe working environment we brought in these subcontractors and some additional trained people on our bench to sub out some of our employees that needed a break for safety. The idea of the analogy here is is your virtual bench or is your hiring frozen we need to go out and create that bench like a sports team or Jonathan Patashnik of the Lawn Care Millionaire calls it a virtual bench same exact thing pretty much the same approach we need to go out and constantly be recruiting and as I found the gentleman who ran Callahan’s lawn care I found him probably about a year and a half to almost two years before I actually needed him but when you’re looking for what you need in your business when you need it it’s too late but if you have an organizational chart without names on it but skill sets and expectations of what they’re going to be doing when that individual walks in your office or comes on the phone you will find them and if it’s within the budget you may want to work them in because to find a high-level individual to run your finances or run your entire business it’s hard to come by nowadays especially with the labor market so we need to be out constantly recruiting for every position and it keeps your employees on their toes so occasionally I would come down to the shop and like well guys I got a full day of interviews today and they’d be looking around going well we’re fully staffed what’s going on we didn’t want to threatened them that we didn’t want them to get basically pompous and lazy and know that they had job secured they still needed to produce production rates that we produce with budgeted time to the quality constraint otherwise we had a bunch of applicants that could go out and replace them. I Want to say what’s up to Thomas, David, Jim, Matthew, Austin, Michelle from Pink Callers whatsapp. Any comments questions about how do you stack your virtual bench or are you midseason right now going into the winter and your bench is frozen? That’s where we get in trouble every time at Callahans we stopped recruiting and we didn’t have that bench stacked and myself or someone on the management team would get sucked back on a truck and that’s when issues happen and I’ve always been in the firm belief of either coach up or coach out we are slow to hire but quick to fire and every time I was slow to fire if I couldn’t coach them up that’s when things happen accidents, no calls, service issues so don’t make the same mistake that I did in some of the earlier years where I literally would say well we can’t live without this individual especially in the snow season those are the individuals that ended up getting an accident not showing up causing a service concerns having us to call subcontractors in it two or almost three times their normal rate to cover those routes. Go out don’t have a frozen bench constantly recruit keep your eternal staff on their toes let them know that it’s a fluid thing and they have a solid job but if they aren’t producing in doing what they should be doing we’re recruiting and we’re not gonna leave them out to dry especially all night and a plow run covering two or three routes when people don’t show we’re stacking a bench to protect them as well and building a team of credibility and predictable systems. Comments or question drop them below appreciate everybody watching and stay warm out there especially if you’re in the Northeast because another three to six tonight and it’s coming down boys and girls

Ever propose marriage to a client or lead? ( live video… will the answer be yes?)

Video Transcript:

Hey Mike Callahan here, got a question for you, have you ever proposed marriage to your potential lead or customer way before it’s appropriate in the relationship? So before I pop her open I’m gonna suggest you probably have. Before you go out and propose marriage or the sale to your potential customer you’ve gotta kind of put some context to this so the idea of going in for the absolute kill and proposing marriage to your potential customers before they know, like and trust you and it’s appropriate to the relationship, you really want to go out and win their trust and create a relationship so similar to going out to a Starbucks or a bar and meeting somebody there and within half a drink proposing marriage, absolutely crazy, they’re gonna think you’re a little creepy and they’re probably gonna think you’re nuts. So we really don’t want to go out and propose marriage and get our knee here and ask the sale immediately just like we don’t want to go out and ask somebody if they’re gonna marry us at the coffee shop of the bar halfway through the first drink. What we really want to do is go in and be respective to where they’re at in your customer life-cycle and when you go in and hopefully organically you’re going out and educating them and getting them to know, like and trust you before they ever meet you, so maybe they’re checking out with your friends and other people and your ecosystem kind of asking about you getting to know you when they actually physically meet you and have some conversation we’re not going in for the kill and proposing marriage but we’re gonna start to build a relationship same thing in the customer life-cycle when we go out and talk to our lead the first time we really want to go out and differentiate ourself, why we’re not like everybody else in the bar or the coffee shop and not as a sales play but we’re just going to be genuine in who we are and why we’re different and then we’re gonna go through that customer life cycle and educate them and create a higher perceived value to the service and overcome any of the sales or price objections. We don’t want to go on proposes marriage because we’re gonna bet he creepy kid on the block and instead of being the creepy kid we’re gonna go out and through this education overcome any of the preconceived creepy notions of a contractor because let’s face it most consumers don’t trust themselves to hire a contractor let alone if they do hire a contractor they’re not going to trust us we want to be different ,we want to be the anomaly in that coffee shop or bar and then once we’ve built that relationship we’ve submitted that estimate we want to follow up in a very nurturing way and be there when they expect us to be there. We’re gonna follow up in a process that we call 20 days to close and that 20 days to close is purely just checking in a very personal way not an automated way or sales way and saying hey do you have any questions regarding that estimate that we’ve submitted can I answer some questions hey just checking back in we haven’t heard yet for 10-15 days how’s it going over there so we’re showing up just like in a relationship when someone’s expecting a text message or a call or Facebook message we’re building that trust and relationship and when we close the deal and we actually get that first date and we make the sale and in the corresponding idea we’re going to go on in the sales process and business we’re going to go through a welcome in wow process we’re gonna acclimate them what to expect when they’re they’re working with us just like a relationship we’re building those foundations and we’re gonna continue to nurture that relationship through a long-term relationship in an automated or manual process and then finally in the business relations part we’re going into an up-sell so when it gets to the appropriate point in the relationship when we built that trust and we know where they’re at and they know, like and trust you just in your relationship now maybe it’s time to to pop this bad boy open when it’s the appropriate time of the relationship to go in and take it to the next level and in business that’s when you go in and start creating that client lifetime value and raising it. Kind of a crazy example, Ryan Deiss spells it out best but you know it gotta give credit where credit’s due, but the analogy would be is when you first meet somebody you don’t go for the kill you don’t propose marriage you don’t get on the knee you go out when it’s appropriate and you build that relationship, you create that trust, you keep showing up day after day after day, you’re doing what you should be just like your hopefully doing in your service business through those gateway services and then after the time is appropriate and the relationships at that point you go in an up-sell additional ancillary service and raise that lifetime values so kind of a crazy analogy but hopefully it got your attention and think about it because I know my business and I’m guessing in your business we’ve dropped the knee and proposed something that should have been proposed in the client life-cycle timeline, before it was appropriate. The idea of the video today is make sure you know where your your client or potential client is in that current life-cycle marketing and we want to look at when somebody hits your website and they think the website is pretty damn sexy but they’re not ready to commit to an estimate we have a thing called a lead magnet we give something way of of content maybe the five or six reasons to hire a professional and then we nurture them and when they’re ready to make that commitment you’re there and hopefully your top frame of mind and then when they do commit to that estimate we show up top of frame of mind and differentiate ourselves and then we follow through and educate them and continue through nurturing process to create a higher perceived value overcome those sales and price objections to shorten that lifespan and once we submit the estimate we follow up to a process like twenty days to close to be there via text, email and phone calls when we should be in a non aggressive way but just literally font to see if they have any questions and then final part is once we win that ask them it we take them through our welcome and wow sequence so we welcome them we automatically get that credit card info we follow up 30 and 60 90 days for reoccurring service and then on a one-time service we only follow up once because that’s appropriate just for that type of service so we’re talking into where they’re at and then we continue into a Happy Holidays mid month and beginning a month nurture as far as newsletters and educational up-sells and then once we have them in there maybe six months twelve months whatever that looks like that life cycle then we go into a systematic up sell based on where they’re at and that client life cycle and and drop the bomb and we get this out here and we go for the kill and we raise that client lifetime value for reoccurring revenue. Comments or questions drop them below, a little different approach at it but I want to break it up and have a little fun with it and hopefully we have some interesting comments and questions on have you ever proposed to one of your leads or clients right out the gate? I’ve been the creepy kid on the block because I know we are at least in my ecosystem we’ve done it we’ve made that mistake but when we were aware of where they’re at in the client life cycle and we spoke specifically to where they’re at in that relationship we had to handle it appropriate without a sales pitch that’s when our closing ratio our sales went through the roof and they knew, liked and trusted us when we became basically friends through the service that we were providing. You’ve got to remember 70% of all buying decisions right now are made before zero moment of truth that’s before you know who that future consumer is so whole idea is we’ve got to go out through organic content and be the topic expert, educate them with no sales pitch so by the time they reach us and we know they exist we’ve only got to cover that extra thirty percent gap through a reasonable relationship that doesn’t have you proposing before you’re done with the first drink. Comments or questions drop below and hopefully this was invites insightful.

The ONE answer [TO ALL YOUR BUSINESS PROBLEMS]…. yes, there is only ONE thing you need to look at and you don’t have to dig deep To find the source of all your business problems!

Video Transcript:

hey Mike Callahan here wanted to make a quick video that I have the answer for every one of your business problems and you really don’t have to dig deep just like this excavator behind me. As we’re digging in just at the service level all the problems in your business in my opinion, are leadership problems so that’s right any business problem that occurs in your business traditionally is your fault as a leader. We need to be continually improving our customer service our external customer for our existing customers and our management systems, our processing systems inside our businesses. So yes the answers to all your business problems are truly resting on the shoulders of the business owner or the person running the business it is all problems our leadership problems. First thing you want to focus on is the external processes for continually improving customer service and customer experience two different processing systems that streamline and create a predictable and reliable system for your customers and their experience. The second part is a lot of people are thinking how could all problems be leadership problems because I have people that show up late to work or they don’t give a hundred percent or they damage a property, well at the end of the day what that really comes down to in my opinion is you have not built the process and systems and accountability in your business to make this happen. I am definitely not on a white pedestal here or while technically I’m on a white pile of snow here but definitely no judgment because I’ve made all these mistakes in my business but at the end of the day when things shifted and they were popular among our team the culture change and we were really successful is when the leadership team came together and created process and systems. The old saying is either we’re gonna coach up or coach out, well is it someone not showing up to work, a no-show no call no show or showing up late or being hungover when they get to work a leadership problem? In fact it actually is in my opinion and this i show I couldn’t get out of my way as a business owner because I thought it was a bad hire or an employee problem but it really wasn’t what it was is the lack of my vision in the leadership division inside the business to actually understand that we needed to build internal systems to have a clear definition of what was expected when it was expected and the repercussions if someone know called and no showed. What was the process how was it documented and what was that three-step process to really document the warning second chance third chance you’re gone. If you’re sitting in your business and you think it’s impossible to find employees no one shows up to work yes the labor market is really tough but at the end of the day it really is a leadership problem because my guess is just like I did in the early days is I did not constantly go out and create a process and system for accountability of recruiting, stacking that virtual bench, how did we rank them, how did we go out and interview them to alignment of culture a mission vision values as an alignment fit or was it somebody who just had a really good skill set but didn’t play well with the rest of our team members and what we believed in. At the end of the day those bad hires were really a lack of leadership in mission envisioned in values being implemented in the business. So yes the one answer to all your business problems as far as I’m concerned no matter the industry no matter the business is a leadership problem that comes down to continually improving your customer systems externally for your customs for satisfaction repeatable deliverability in a constant predictable system. One person that said it best was Debbie Sardone that people don’t expect 100% but if you can show up and give them 80% each and every day with consistent reliable service in the business owner as we’re evolving out of the field isn’t like a lawn care example pulling the garbage cans up to the house and doing extra things and aren’t included in the scope of the work it’s great we’d love to do those things but that is not a predictable system and that is ultimately a leadership problem because you are setting unrealistic expectations that your crews may not be able to follow if it’s not documented and actually part of your system. You want to continually improve as a leader and focus on the external processes and then just as important if not more important we can’t grow in scale business without the process and systems internally. Like I said we don’t need to dig deep because it’s literally sitting right here in front of you just like the excavator at least it wasn’t my that I failed as a leader originally to not create a process assistant to go out recruit train and on board employees inset realistic training systems and processes that needed to be accounted for publicly on a daily and weekly basis and have different types of process and systems to continue to retrain reinforce the training and if it wasn’t happening how do we coach up or coach out and have that non-emotional slow to hire quick to fire mentality with no emotions and as we’re going to scale a business and I get it I’m scaling my second business here going on to break a million dollars and beyond again we get wrapped up the day-to-day but sometimes we have to take a few days off and get out of the grind of the business and realize our purpose as a leader or whoever we put in that leadership position or group of people’s our true value to the business is to go out and create that mission vision values the cultural part and then align process and system that run along with that for predictable systems that can be implemented without eventually the business owner to keep that going. All leadership problems we’re not digging deep today we’re gonna lay on the shoulders of the business owner and that’s gonna go to your external customer service process assistance predictable systems and especially internal if we’re not creating our mission vision values predictable systems we’re not gonna have a business that is going to be successful because ultimately they’re revolved around people and we can’t manage people we need to create process and systems that work within and we’re not creating positions in our business around a particular person and their particular skill set we’re setting them up in our organizational chart how they benefit and work within the process of systems in hiring individuals to work within those positions and training with that standard processing system for repeatable success so if we have a person in that position that can’t be coached up and we have to coach them out we can plug the next person in that position and it’s a predictable system for reliable external customer service and internal for your internal team predictable output and core culture mission vision values cultural alignment. Comments questions drop below, I want to say what’s up the Michelle from Pink Callers, Stephanie, Thomas, Anthony and Tim hope to see you guys the next video comment your questions drop them live or below probably gonna be on the recorded version because it is freezing out here and I am freezing my backside off digging deep today on the surface level. We don’t need this thing to figure out what all problems in our business area bout their leadership problems when you get down to the core of it so let’s take a look in the mirror as leaders and how can we go out today and focus on our external systems and our internal systems to create a business that will run without us with predictable processes. It’s not the employee that shows up late no call no show it’s you because as the business owner or leader you haven’t set a processing system with repercussions in an expectation up front.

Handling outrageous clients and why ideal client fit is essential to success.

Video Transcript:

So interesting language here in a clip I’m gonna play. One of the contractors I know shared this video clip with me it’s in the snow removal as you can kind of see behind me I’ve got a picture of a backhoe moving snow of snow. No matter the service industry we all deal with outrageous clients and I’m gonna kind of play this clip and tell you how we would handle this in why not handling this and allowing a customer in your ecosystem and in your service basically area and services people is bad for not only your mental psyche but bad for your team and it’s going to derail your success moving forward. So like I said if you’re gonna be offended by some foul language turn the video off I’m gonna play this clip real quick and kind of show you what happened it’s about a ten second clip, the background on the clip is that the gentleman was not plowed out for snow plowing in the morning the contractor half-dried talked and was actually on the street about to plow the guy’s driveway within a few minutes and the guy lost his mind and the contractor that I talked to on this I handled it pretty much the same way I would recommend so let me play the clip and then kind of break it down but this is not uncommon in any service industry especially in snow removal when things get hot so I’ll play this real quick I’m curious your comments if you’re watching this live or recorded as well so here we go… Take a wild guess why I’m calling it’s almost seven o’clock and the driveway hasn’t been plowed this isn’t a major snow event there’s hardly three and a half four inches out there for Christ’s sake what are we paying you for get over here in plow this goddamn driveway. So as you can see here or hear at least this gentleman was heated using foul language we’ve had actually hit physical threats on our staff or myself as the business owner. Three main points here I want to kind of discuss why keeping this client is not a good idea and how I’d recommend handling it are at least two different ways I’d recommend handling it, curious you hear comments and questions watching this live or recorded but A in my office absolutely it is not even acceptable if a client or future client or potential client is going to curse or threaten my office staff or myself as the business owner it’s not a good fit I do not want my team subjected to that nor will it be tolerated but as diving into the top three here it’s not a good thing for culture, if you’re driving a positive culture that’s working as a team trying to give the best possible service it’s gonna devalue and in just a row that positive atmosphere that you’ve been working so hard to build we just can’t have this in our business so A it’s not good for your culture B it’s not good for morale especially in a snow or even lawn care especially when it’s really wet we’re gonna home-cleaning even in the holiday seasons where we’re working extra hours or doing our best to provide the best service a lot of times we’re in unsafe conditions and we’re really just putting it all on the line for the best customer service and then morale is already physically depleted because people are exhausted they haven’t slept in 25 or 30 hours the last thing we need to do is have a negative consumer potential consumer come in and pull that physical exhaustion that morale down so it’s not good for culture B it’s not good for the morale of yourself at the team . Three it’s distracting to your personal goals as a business owner or personal goals of the company so if we’re all driving to that end goal at least in my company and I know many other business owners that I talk to we take this personal because we want to be successful and to be successful we need to be fully focused on a positive goal where we’re at and where we’re going and by allowing people like this in your service arena that you service you are intentionally or maybe unintentionally making a conscious decision to allow other people to disrupt your culture destroy the morale of your team and basically derail your goals. One customer out of several thousand or several hundred or even a couple you know 30 or 40 clients depending the size business that can be devastating from where we’re at to where we’re going and driving in a positive manner. My recommendation the way we’ve handled this in snow removal, we know that even with the most intense screening in a volume gain we’re doing six hundred driveways in about 70 or 80 parking lots there’s gonna be a few of these that sneak in we’d over booked a little bit by five or six people and we would literally have myself or the gentleman running the business at that time have five or six checks in the armrest of the truck and when we received a call like this we were professional we would not get into a pissing match with them if it was for plowing we would service the driveway one last time and when we were done we would hand them a full refund no matter if it was one week in the season or two months in the season it wasn’t worth the amount of money that they had paid to have them disrupt our culture our morale and our positive focus on where we were going as a business and scaling out. So we would offer a no question refund in the contract there was some verbiage that it could be cancelled by any participant of the contract with a full refund so legally we were covered and it was amazing that when one of our team members caught this awful verbal lashing similar to what this gentleman just saw on this voicemail that the office staff was reinvigorated they knew that we had their back and we were not tolerating someone to come in to our service family and be treated that way so highly recommend no questions asked give him a refund. Now obviously if you’re into a installment contract maybe you give them what’s left the installment and a small extra piece for their pain and suffering to kind of hopefully keep them off social review. Next thing is it we go in and offer to pay the competitor of their choice to do the job and transfer the exiting money over to a competitor and let them deal with it or if that all else fails and they won’t take the refund or your competitor and if you’ve got to pay the difference for two extra bucks totally worth it at that point you write a letter that’s certified releaving them of the contract with refund and try to personally make it a good situation. Sometimes with these folks they’re unreasonable I’ve been physically punched in the face with some of these folks when in the early days people are crazy sometimes and you cannot allow those crazy people to affect your culture your morale and especially distracting you from your goals and the positive drive to where your growth business is now into where you want to be you can’t satisfy everybody so if you give them a full refund you give them the opportunity to take the what the refund would be to pay one of your direct competitors and pay the difference or if all else fails you just give a full refund with a certified letter to make sure they’ve received it and try to personally follow up if you can but don’t get engaged in an aggressive conversation so some of these folks no matter what you do you’re not going to win but if you’re not gonna win with them you’re gonna win with your team because you’re defending your culture your morale of your team and you’re highly focused on your goals of where you’re at where you’re going. Comments or questions drop them below I wanted to share that because that’s something that has definitely happened in my business and in just about every other business whether it’s lawn care, snow removal or home cleaning the crazies are out there we need to focus on the positivity or business and be up and above that. By all means when we’re going in if those red flags are flying when you’re qualifying a potential client if it’s not a good fit you’re better off dealing with it then and that having alleviating that problem before it escalates into something like this so calms questions down below and we’ll see on the next video.

Proper equipment and tracking the time it takes for each piece of equipment.

Video Transcript:

hey Mike Callahan here want to make a quick video talking about proper equipment and tracking your time for each job you do in each type of job so getting down to it a lot of times when contractors first started out or they’regrowing so fast that they don’t track what’s going on that’s when we get ourselves into trouble so one of the things here’s I’m out behind one of the loaders here it’s a box plow so a basically a backhoe he’s gonna have a different production rate versus a truck versus a skid steer versus a loader with maybe a 16 foot box or an 18 foot box so one of the things you want to make sure that it’s based on the size of the property here we have the proper sized equipment so this contractor here has my opinion the perfect size of equipment an asset allocation for this parking lot and snow removal in upstate New York so the idea of the video today is take an assessment of the properties that you’re maintaining so whether it’s lawn care snow removal home cleaning commercial cleaning we want to take a look at the size of the property and hopefully standardize our operation so almost making a cookie cutter repeatable and making our assets basically standardized as well for the maintenance and training very some of the Southwest in there Airlines but the idea today is going in and making sure we have standardized properties that were servicing and once we’ve standardized the properties we standardized the equipment allocation for that so our overhead recovery for this snow removal division here or our maintenance division in lawn care home cleaning division is a standard break-even allocation so it’s a break-even point before we make a profit fully-loaded I’m out to be standardized across that whole entire division so we can’t predictable overhead recovery predictable results for equipment that we standardized in the training with process and procedure and once that’s all built out the next important thing is to actually go out and track the time so the start and stop times that we’re seeing as well as any mobilization non-billable time we wanted to have our start and stop times non-billable mobilization associated with it then in the piece of equipment or type of equipment that we have so obviously this machine is gonna be able to be a little more productive than a pickup truck but when we get into it want to give a little more granular so is it a cleanup run is it 1 to 2 inches 2 to 4 inches 4 to 6 inches what’s the productivity on that very similar even in the cleaning industry we’re looking at a top to bottom team so that’s our first initial clean very similar to a spring or cleanup in the lawn care and stress when we get the property in check and get ready for a regular maintenance mowing or cleaning sub obviously your initial visit is gonna have a longer time to get done so we want to have production rates for the first initial visit the visit gets it ready and then a production rate for the I’m going mean it’s whether it’s lawn care snow removal or home cleaning and it snow remove obviously it’s in that season right now the initial plow line is gonna have a structure E and then the cleanup run there after getting everything after of these cars and everything move out of the parking lot that’s an additional cleanup run that we want to have it in production range so the idea is to standardize your equipment make sure using the right piece of equipment it’snot overkill but be it’s the right size so we have a production rate that is predictable we have standard equipment so we have the same training and maintenance on the equipment and then we’re going to start the stop start and stop times on all these pieces of equipment and services that we do whether it’s lawn care or home cleaning and that’s gonna get a setup for success so when we work with other businesses or even in my businesses we have a standardized production rate for whether it’s setting up customer relationship management software’s like service autopilot or going out and plowing a parking lot with a piece of equipment like this so this backhoe here with a looks about to be a 12 foot pusher on it it’s gonna have a production rate different than a pickup truck with a V plow or a pickup truck with a white out so the idea the video is to go out standardize your equipment once you do make sure that equipment is appropriate and you’re going out after the same exact kind of properties and same setup this parking lot is very similar to what we were using in Callahan’s fire is our average a lot that we’re going after and then we want to track those times for each thing so the initial plow run or the initial cleanup and home cleaning or lawn care and then the maintenance clean or mowing thereafter because they don’t have different production rates basis with that piece of equipment and if you’re in snow removal getting into it this year obviously gonna have the production rate for each set of increments of snow so up to two two four four six six to eight eight to ten and then about twelve foot beyond it’s gonna be about average based on the equipment that you’re using and then so you’re gonna have those production rates per inch increment as well as a different production rate which should be significantly faster for the cleanup run thereafter and then your salting is usually in the plowing industry about the same it’s average because we’re going out at the same average drive time and the conditions aren’t slowing us up or making us go faster so idea it’s a standardized equipment standardize your process a procedure and then standardize your training because a budgeted time production rate doesn’t mean anything if the guys and girls in the field aren’t following a process and procedure to be productive self all the Northeast freezing my backside off here so I’m gonna head back in the car but I want to make a video about standardizing equipment standardizing your process and procedure and then tracking the start sand stop times whether it’s a first time or reoccurring service we have different production rates before that so comments questions drop below

Public accountability in your business and team buy in.

Video Transcript:

hey Mike Callahan here want to make a quick video. Big question this week for a lot of the deep dives I’ve been doing with other lawn care and home cleaning companies is how do I create public accountability in my business and get the team to buy in? One of the things we did at Callahan’s Lawn Care that had huge success for public accountability, was having a dry erase board basically in the shop that listed our actual vs. budgeted time for each team member and a plus and minus system for compliments & complaints internally based on our production manager going out and doing the QC as well as from our external customers obviously our normal customers compliments or complaints. What made me actually think of this is I was at a local grocery store Wegman’s I can attach a picture to this post after I’m done live so you can actually see how they tackled it but they had done it seamlessly and it was very similar to what we did at Callahan’s. We had the top winners name’s actually had pictures on there which I really liked but they’re basically their standard there wasn’t budget vs actual but it was actually how many pieces of grocery per minute they could process and bag so they could scan it and put it in the bag but they had set a threshold so I guess it actually was very similar to budget verse actual and it was there for every employee to see right in the front of the store as well as the actual consumers. It listed the winners and I guess some of the people that I won’t say losers but not performing as we public accountability with with the actual apples to apples comparison for how many pieces they process per minute and so a lawn care home cleaning company it’s gonna be budget verse action with compliance versus complaints for quality standards a production with quality. What I also found very interesting is very similar what we did at Callahan’s we called it the the five or six minute challenge so we actually rewarded our employees who gave us ideas how to standardize our system so how to shave five to six minutes off per hour throughout the day. So if you had a two-man crew and you’re able to save six minutes per hour over a 10 hour day all that and ended up to massive bottom-line profits that we ended up sharing with the team. What they did at the grocery store is the bottom left-hand side they had the weekly tip to be more productive with something around how to hang the bag so they could efficiently load them and unload them quicker. One of the big things that came up with Callahan’s is the team members came up with ideas where to park the truck based on whether it was a left or right handed person weed-whacking or stick edging um we would go in and buy extra bump heads for the weed whackers and have the technician in the passenger seat spool those up while we’re driving so when we ran out we had it right there ready to go that just is the tip of the iceberg of some of the stuff that we went into but we had public accountability for budget versus actual very similar Wegman’s on the bottom left-hand corner they had a weekly reminder of things that either management or the team suggested so it was public buy in it was acknowledgment people were being awarded to buy in and create more productivity and then on the bottom right which something we didn’t do publicly on the board which I thought was really awesome we did have a every week or every few weeks huddle for safety far as like how to hook up a trailer the different chains on the trailer for safety different stretching things like that and as we evolved that was something that we got better at but we weren’t great at it all but the bottom right hand to this board they had at the grocery store was their weekly basically health tip stretching whatever that may be but it went around a safety program so obviously that’s huge because we want to create a safe environment for our team but I have a sneaky suspicion that really helps out an audit trail or in an audit for your insurance and workers comp as well . Three takeaways today if you want to build public accountability I recommend having complete transparency whether it’s in the field to the office of what you’re tracking and how you track it with an actual non-emotional number so actual versus budget of time as a percentage so if we hit our budget a time it’s a hundred percent if we beat it it’s higher than a hundred percent because you gave more than hundred percent and if it’s under budgeted time so you’re over budget so if you’re over budget it’s less than a hundred percent so if you only gave ninety five percent today you didn’t really do your job you can give a hundred percent so that’s a real non emotional way of doing that based on that percentage it doesn’t matter if they work five hours or a hundred hours a week it’s an apples-to-apples not emotion comparison so the way in the picture on dropping below this year after I get off is the grocery store had this up top the bottom left was productivity tips that the team suggested for buying very similar we did a Callahan’s and on the bottom right to the board was safety program tips stretching and different things that they’re going over that must have been important to them for workman’s comp employees safety someploy by and right now culture are huge right now cuz this this labor market snot getting any better and if we can go out and create a culture and go out and hire to that cultural fit we will have success and every time we didn’t do that-at Callahan’s it was a disaster but when we went in and had culture alignment right from the interviewing and pre screening that’s when we had the right people on the right seats on the bus so a good good question would be is one of the things we always believed in is we’ll do it we’ll say we’ll do I’m so right off the bat before I ever got to the interview Christine in my office a lot of times would ask how do you feel about someone who says they’re gonna call you back but doesn’t call you back now if they go out and rant and tell you how they absolutely despise someone who says they’re gonna call you back and they don’t well to me that’s a cultural alignment they believe in some of our core values so as we’re doing public accountability and team buy-in it doesn’t hurt going into the slower season of most businesses now to go out and start defining that mission vision values because it’s gonna be even more important as this millennial workforce continues to evolve we need cultural buy-in cultural alignment and it fit and built into that culture I would recommend if it’s something you guys believe in public accountability for actual verse budgeted with a quality constraint of compliments complaints or ever house you met manage that on that board productivity tips to get team buy-in in involvement in that and the non the bottom right-hand corner which I thought was genius in the picture I’m gonna drop in here safety tips indifferent things that are gonna go into a safety program for your business and should be incorporated probably in your handbook if you’re working with somebody like Jason cops so polarities having a great week air if any comments questions drop live otherwise I will be watching this for next 24 to 48 hours you

Branding Professional Documents For Estimates

Video transcription:

No matter your CRM – Customer Relationship Management software this is a pro-tip we use here in my company to brand documents and make sure they look professional – the branding the coloring of these documents as they are presented to the consumer is consistent. I’m going to blow this out here and pump the screen out so you can see it. What were looking at is we use a 3rd party website here and uploaded the logo here for Simple Growth and what we’ve done is if we go in under the blue and we click on it we’re able to get the color code and we go in and copy that. Then go into your CRM – this one is Service Autopilot and go in and past that in and match up the documents. Then we are going to go in under the green, double click on that and get that color as well. What were doing is going into the document editor and branding these two color areas. Just a real quick profession professional tip to get the branding of your document to match the logo and your color scheme is going into html colors for images, bring in your logo and hover over that logo for the color code and then go into your document editor in your CRM we can brand up the documents so they match the color scheme of the company itself – so just a quick pro tip on how to make your documents look professional and reinforce your branding and color schemes across your whole entire marketing content as well as hopefully your fleet either wrapped or painted. Comments or questions drop them below but I wanted to make a quick pro tip video how to make professionally branded documents with color scheme in Service Autopilot or any other CRM for that matter. Look forward to comments or questions below.

Should you raise your prices for next season? (How to link:

Workflow documentation for a freedom based service business.

Video transcription:

Hey Mike Callahan here wanted to make a quick video I just gassing up the vehicle and started thinking about some of the documentation for a freedom based business one that doesn’t need the owner in a day to day business and looking at something as simple as setting up your services in your CRM your customer relationship management software all the one that we use is Service Autopilot. I just started thinking about these steps and its something we just documented for our new hires how many steps it takes to actually just set up a service to take all the things that are in your head how to do it and actually delegate it without that person relying on you. Believe it not we counted up between 28 and 30 separate steps that need to be documented just to create a service in our CRM Service Autopilot in dialing this out in different options in different workflow it was an eye-opening scenario. So I’m sitting here the gas station here just thinking about it think about all the steps just to literally gas this up is somebody had never gassed up a vehicle like literally putting the truck into park, hitting the release for the gas cap if there is one, walking through either going into the store and creating a purchase order or going in with a company card, setting it in knowing the zip code, selecting the actual type of gas far as the octane, flipping the switch up on the gas pump sticking it in the actual pump, holding it down and then putting restraints around how much you’re actually gonna spend at the pump whether you’re filling it or just doing a certain amount of gallons if we’re using mix gas that’s a whole different story of how do we delegate and set up and set a process to actually sent the mixed gas that’s going in the cans or if you’re doing it at your shop but think about just the crazy steps just to gas up a truck here I mean I’ve probably gone through at least 10 to 15 different steps it would actually need to be documented if a person had never gassed up a vehicle all the things that we take for granted I think that’s a great example because a lot of times in our business we take for granted what’s in our head but to simply literally put in the making sure this thing’s in park turning it off putting it card into the machine entering the zip code or up to a 4 or 5 we’re gonna select the grade we want to flip the handle up on the gas pump insert it into the tank hold it what it what are the capacity limits of how much gas were putting in there and what are we documented as far as receipts and the purchase order for that for the vehicle company. As you’re going and setting up documentation for all the process and systems your business step back and document them and like I said we ran into to 28 and 30 steps just to set up a service the inside Service Autopilot correctly for our new hires a simple gross so we’re gonna do challenge it today is take what’s in your head in document it in a Google Doc in a glorified checklist through a mobile form to run those new hires to for accountability does not rely on you as the business owne. We’ll see you soon on the next video any comments questions drop them live here in the next 24 to 40 hours I’d be watching to answer any comments or questions on documenting a workflow for freedom-based service business whether it’s lawn care home cleaning. There’s a lot of services out there they need documentation and just think about that every time you set up a service in Service Autopilot there’s between a 28 to 30 step process for success if you’re going to do it right so get out there get document and let me know what you’re documenting this week.

Foundations For Scheduling & Reporting:Employee Payroll (Take # 2 with audio)

Video transcription:

Had some audio issues but I wanted lay some foundations for scheduling reporting especially around employees in Service Autopilot. One of the biggest misconceptions when setting Service Autopilot up is the payroll job costing information on each individual employee. I’m gonna shrink down the screen here hopefully the audio holds true and if you have any questions live type them in and I’ll answer and while I’m here live or and I’ll watch the recording for the next two or three days here but um I’m gonna shrink down the screen here and show you what we’re talking about so the main premises here of the equation, and I’ll move this so you can see the other part of the screen here in minutes but the the main idea is that’s in Service Autopilot we want to go in and set up the job costing payroll. First thing to do is go under the team icons where my cursor hairs and go-to employees we add our employee and then under the Edit tab the third tab over is your payroll job costing report and when we do that we’ve got payroll and job costing here on the left. The compensation type would be hourly or salary the hourly rate in this example is $15 and then the resource pin under here is the pin code I would use to log into the Service Autopilot wall clock now as I swing the screen over here so we can see it a little bit better on look so this is the information here that I was looking at on the right hand side here under job payroll information the number that we’re looking at for Service Autopilot is the hourly rate is not the $15 an hour but the hourly rate is the $15 an hour plus labor burden. What labor burden is the company sheriff, FICA, unemployment, state unemployment, workers comp, liability, holiday, vacation days, health insurance, company bonus fund ,by me health insurance premiums what that is it’s gonna come as a percentage of the dollars on this fictitious example here it’s .19 so this is actually 19.16% the math behind this is at .19 we would go multiply it 1.1916 and that is going to be multiplied by the $15 dollar an hour individuals pay which is going to come out to be 17 dollars and 85 cents here on the bottom that’s the number that we’re looking for in the hourly rate under the costing information here left side of the screen it’s not the $15 now it’s a $15 an hour plus labor burden so it’s the 17.85 in this example and then the OT rate with burdens that’s time and a half so thats $15 a time and a half times the 1.1916 and gives us 26.78 for overtime with labor burden. If you’re going to set up Service Autopilot from foundation success from the bottom up we need to go in and set the third tab here under payroll job costing for the hourly rate the normal hourly rate plus labor burden and the hour the overtime rate time and a half times the labor burden once those are set up we are set up for payroll and reporting success in Service Autopilot. This is one of the biggest misconceptions I definitely felt victim to this in the early days but now that we have the understanding of good data in and good data out for reporting job costing information on the right-hand side of the screen needs to include you to labor burden this is a very simple formula and if you don’t know these numbers call your payroll company and they can give it to you as a percentage of the dollars you see on the screen here. Comment your questions drop them live or on the recorded version I’m happy to answer those buts as we’re diving in we’re gonna be looking at all the foundational things how to set up Service Autopilot for success from day one whether you’re new user or been using it several years so comments questions down below and we’ll be coming at you throughout the week with foundational things that setup service autopilot for success going into next year