Chance To Win: I Will Fly To You And Get Your Biggest Company Struggles Solved

Jonathan wants to help one lucky business owner get their biggest company struggles solved.

We’re running a contest. You have an opportunity to win. Here’s the deal. If you win I will fly to your company at my expense. I’ll spend an entire day with you and your team. We’ll work on anything you want to work on. For example, if you want to reinvent your business model, if you want to figure out what’s going on, what’s wrong inside the business, if you want to look for ways to really up the profit margin, if you’ve got operational issues you want some answers on, whatever it is, I’ll come and I’ll work with you on that.

We’ll put in a full work day. We’ll do some work. In fact you’ll have to answer some questions in advance so that I can prepare. I’ll want to know what you want to accomplish. We’ll spend that full day together and we’re going to accomplish a lot.

That evening I’ll take you and your spouse, or you and your leadership team, up to 4 people, out to an amazing dinner. We’ll find a place in your city that’s top notch, that’s got phenomenal reviews, and we’ll all go and we’ll have a fantastic time. All of it’s covered on my dime. Airfare, travel, the food, you will pay for nothing.

Here’s the deal. The way you can win is if you register to attend our Service Autopilot Conference before September 15th. Normally I wouldn’t even make this public on a channel like this where you’re probably not one of our Service Autopilot members. However, I thought it might make sense in this case because there’s a number of ways that attending the conference would benefit you. Not only would it benefit you obviously if you win the contest, but also benefit you to come.

Here are a couple examples. We run dual tracks at our conferences. That means you can spend the entire 2 days going down a track of learning all about Service Autopilot and how to use it. We’re covering all kinds of advanced stuff this time, around automations and forms and a whole lot of stuff.

You can run down the business track where you learn about leadership and managing your finances and really digging into making more money and dominating your market. In fact, this year the topic of the conference is leadership, leading your market and then leading within your company. Building a company that can dominate and, in my mind, become one of the top 3 players in your market.

If you’re not a Service Autopilot member you could come and get tremendous value out of it. I’d also like to put this idea in your mind. If you’re not a Service Autopilot member and you’re like, “I don’t know if these guys are really the real deal. I don’t know if these guys are really something I should be using or maybe I’m too small and there’s some really cheap free solutions out there. I could just use one of those solutions.” I’d really recommend you consider flying to Dallas, hang out with hundreds and hundreds of our members and see if we’re the real deal.

From having done this conference now several years, I know exactly how people feel about us. You’ll figure out if we’re just talk or if we’re the real deal. You’ll understand why we have thousands and thousands of companies and 15 plus thousand users of our system. Before you spend a dollar, if you’re on the fence with Service Autopilot, come to the conference and see what we’re about, and then you can make a buying decision.

While you’re here I’d recommend that you stick around and experience Dallas. There’s a lot to do in Dallas. There’s a lot of great food. There’s a lot of things to see. We’ve built an experience page right onto our conference page so you can find all the great stuff to do in Dallas. Come to Dallas, have a blast, have fun, bring a business partner, bring a spouse, turn it into some fun and at the same time figure out how to make yourself a whole lot of money by attending the conference and learning from our really smart speakers. On top of that, hopefully you’ll win the contest.

The way you find out about it is, right below this video I have a link,, and it’s the conference page. Click that link. It’ll take you to the conference page. You’ll see the agenda. You’ll learn about our conference. You’ll find out who’s speaking. You’ll get all the details. You’ve got to click the link below this video.

I hope to see you at the conference.

How To Use Metrics To Increase Sales

Jonathan and Ryan explain why the use of metrics to increase sales is key to your business success.

Jonathan: Hey Ryan. In this last video, we were just talking about metrics. You guys are a big operation. You make a lot of profit. You do very well. We were talking about metrics, and we were talking about creating actionable steps for your sales team to go out there and generate a lot of revenue. I feel like maybe we were talking at too high of a level, so can you boil that back down for us? To start, what the heck is a metric?

Ryan: Right. This is one of the challenges, even when you’re starting a new territory or you’re starting a new area, or in our case, when our new franchises are starting. One of the things that’s a big challenge is understanding what the expectation is. A metric for us is just a measure that you can use to generate data so you know what to do.

Jonathan: Okay, so this metric would be so the leadership of the company can measure the salesperson or whomever. And, then I’m going to also guess that it’s also so the salesperson can measure himself?

Ryan: Yes.

Jonathan: Okay.

Ryan: Even in a smaller organization, where it may be just 1 or 2 guys, what is that guy doing to measure himself against his competition, or to make sure he’s continuing to grow? Luckily, in the green industry, and especially in lawn care and landscaping, there’s a lot of this data already out there. What is the average sale? How many yards do you need to cut in a week to make a profit? This data is already out there. Tree and shrub care, in our case, we have to provide all that information to our franchise owners as they’re getting started, so they know what their expectations are 6, 8, 12 months down the road.

Jonathan: You’re teaching the franchise owner, here are the core metrics that you need to be looking at.

Ryan: Yes.

Jonathan: Then you’re telling them how to track the data. For example, I’m brand new in business. I don’t know anything. You tell me I should be looking at these, I’ll make up, 10 metrics. These are the 10 metrics that are the gauges, like a speedometer in your car, that will tell you if you’re running the company correctly, if you’re moving in the direction you want to move. As that person, I now have heard these 10 metrics hypothetically. How do I take it to the next step and actually track that data? Actually, let’s make this a little more real. What’s 1 metric?

Ryan: The first metric is your leads. So, you need to know where your leads are coming from and how many are being produced, which will help you to understand your cost per lead.

Jonathan: Okay.

Ryan: Right. For a new company, you need to know that you want a low cost per lead that’s going to generate income.

Jonathan: Okay.

Ryan: That’s the first metric.

Jonathan: I’m a franchisee. I now have bought into the idea that I really need to be paying attention to leads.

Ryan: Yes.

Jonathan: Am I looking at them on an annual basis? Am I looking at them by month, by week, account?

Ryan: Yeah. Starting out as a new company, you’re going to look at them every week, because you’re so intense and you already know what’s happening. You want to review that on a weekly basis. As you continue to grow through that first quarter, maybe back that out to the month and then to the quarter. As you continue to grow, I would at least every quarter be measuring and looking at what’s going on from the sales standpoint.

Jonathan: Okay, so I believe that I need to watch leads. I now have an idea of how frequently I need to watch them, but how do I actually capture my leads? That’s the next challenge. And my belief is most people are not tracking this data. How do I track the data? Where do I get the data from?

Ryan: From your clients. Every time you go out to meet with somebody, you ask them. How did you hear about us?

Jonathan: Okay, so that’s tracking a lead source.

Ryan: That’s tracking a lead source. You’re going to put that into Service Autopilot and make sure that you are tracking that lead source. You have to be diligent. It takes forethought. It takes effort. Without taking that effort, you’re not going to know what marketing is doing what and where you need to focus your efforts.

Jonathan: Okay, so staying with this 1 metric just so we can illustrate the point, because you guys have been so successful with this. I’m tracking leads. With the lead count, what decisions downstream will I be able to make with it? If I know leads, what does that actually even affect in my business where I can justify the effort to track it?

Ryan: I’ll tell you one of the things that we’ve done, and it’s saved us a ton of money in our marketing efforts, is to be able to cut out print marketing almost completely because we were able to track those leads and find that it really produced nothing for us long-term. That’s 1 thing in our company that we’ve been able to reduce a huge expense from, and then shift the marketing dollars over to things that do work.

Jonathan: You’re saying that what you’ve found is, if the lead came through print, they were not converting into a sale, to a client.

Ryan: That’s correct.

Jonathan: Okay, so you found that it was better to focus on the online marketing activities.

Ryan: Right.

Jonathan: Or not just online, but other activities.

Ryan: Other activities, right. We could also see how many leads we were getting by the month based on the source.

Jonathan: Are you looking at leads by ZIP code or carrier route or any other? Are you breaking it down any further, or have you found that just literally looking at the number of leads is enough?

Ryan: I think in our particular case, just looking at the leads on a regular basis, monthly is when we typically look at them to see what marketing pieces are doing what. But yeah, just by the source right now. We haven’t broken them all the way down to particular areas.

Jonathan: Okay. All right. What’s another metric that we’d be focusing on, just to further illustrate the point here?

Ryan: In order to build a sales plan, you have to know what your average sale is.

Jonathan: Okay, dollar value.

Ryan: Dollar value.

Jonathan: Okay.

Ryan: If it’s some people, it may be $100. Some people, it may be $1,000. Without knowing that, you don’t know how many leads you need to generate to figure out how to get to the end of your sales goal. Also, it can help you by knowing your dollar value per sale. It could help you figure out where you want to focus your efforts. You can increase your sales by simply increasing your dollar value per sale on those services that provide higher value.

Jonathan: Right. Going back to our other video then, I’m going to extrapolate that. You were talking about how we’re going to set a goal of, we need to do this many estimates, we need to make this many sales calls. Also, knowing this data, the dollar value of the lead by source, knowing the number of leads, I assume then that also identifies for your team how much marketing you need to do. Whatever type of marketing that is, you need to put out this volume of marketing, because it’ll generate this volume of leads that will turn into this number of calls, this number of estimates. Are we thinking about that correctly?

Ryan: Yes.

Jonathan: Okay. Is there anything else that we should mention that would just help clarify understanding your metrics or creating metrics or tracking this data for the very first time? Imagine it from the viewpoint of I’m a little bitty company just getting started. This is all foreign to me. Are there any other points that you’d want to mention that would help them?

Ryan: Again, it takes diligence. It takes time. In the beginning, it can be frustrating, because you have so many hats to wear. It’s worth the time and effort that it takes.

Jonathan: Even if I’m doing 100 grand or less, should I do it, or is that only for big companies?

Ryan: No, absolutely do it. If I was doing 50,000, I would want to do it, because I want to know where that money is coming from.

Jonathan: Yeah, I have to agree, because I feel like the little guys that get big are the little guys that did the same stuff the big guys were doing. The big guys weren’t doing all the same things as all the little guys, and magically got big. You got to think like the big company.

Ryan: That’s right.

Jonathan: I appreciate it.

Ryan: No problem.

Jonathan: That’s great information. Thank you.

Ryan: Thank you.

How To Install Flowers Correctly

This video explains why learning how to install flowers correctly could make or break your business.

I’d like to give you some ideas on how to install flowers correctly. I’d normally stick to business and marketing advice and people advice and scaling the company and things like that. I leave the tricks of the trade and equipment topics to other people. However, in this case, I thought I’d talk about flowers a little bit. I think I can make a couple business points in talking about this example…how to make your business better and how to make your life a little bit easier.

In the early days, I installed flowers and I as a total newbie to the lawn care business. I’d been in it as a high school kid, you’ve probably heard me say that before, but I got out. Years later, I got back in the business. So I’m now in the business and everybody’s asking for flowers. So I’m buying flowers from the contractors, maybe I’m going to Home Depot or Lowe’s and I’m picking up some flowers. More often than not, I’m buying flowers from a legitimate flower source. We’re installing all types of varieties. We’re letting the client tell us, “Hey, I want these flowers or that flower.” We’re picking it up. We’re sourcing the color and we’re taking it out and we’re installing it.

Well, in those early days, I’d install pretty much anything you wanted me to install. I would also, basically, dig a hole and plant your flowers. Then, I’d wonder, “Why are we having so many problems with flowers? Why do we get callbacks? Why don’t they get big? Why don’t they look great?” We’re telling the client how to water them and we’re installing them.

You know, slowly, as we became smarter, just like everything else in business, we realized, wow, if you install the flowers at the right time of the year, then they can grow so much bigger. If you install the flowers and you fertilize them right away and then you don’t allow the client or you don’t fertilize them too soon, but you then follow up with the second fertilization, wow, what a difference it can make. Also, if you leave it up to your client in how to water the flowers and you don’t give very specific instructions, it can lead to all kinds of callbacks because the flowers die because they’re over-watered or potentially under-watered.

Also amazing, if you actually prep the soil, so you remove the dead flowers, you prep the soil, you fertilize and then you plant and you water, you make sure they’re watered before you leave (assuming it’s not the heat of- you know, assuming you’re not in the middle of summer, it’s not super hot and you’re going to burn the flowers by watering them in the heat of day), you control more variables. As a result, you have more success.

We found all these little tricks. Then, if you refined it further and you said, “You know what? I have clients that are asking for 20 different varieties of flowers. The different varieties that they’re asking for cause me all kinds of problems. They’re more finicky. To really thrive, they need to be planted at different times. Or if I plant this particular variety of flower and the winter color had a fungus and I don’t catch that and therefore replace all the soil before I put in the summer color, I’m going to lose the summer color.” You can imagine all the problems. We figured all those things out over time.

So, here’s my suggestion. This is the case with everything. If you’re going to do flowers in the beginning, read some books and figure out how to do it right. If you do what everybody else does and you just buy the flowers from a vendor and then you put them in the ground and you water them or you hope the client’s going to water them correctly, you’re never going to have great flowers. What’s going to happen is, your client is not going to be thrilled with you. They might love you for everything else, but you let them down in flowers because you just didn’t take all the steps you should have taken. You didn’t educate them. Therefore, the flowers didn’t turn out very good. That gives them a bad feeling about you and you end up getting fired for everything.

If you’re going to be in the flower business and your business isn’t very big yet, my suggestion is charge what you need to charge to do it right: to prep the soil, to fertilize, to install the flowers and get paid for it. Don’t try to offer a great price and simply, on demand, put in whatever flower the client wants. It’s a recipe for failure.

I also would recommend that you figure out the varieties that work. In my market, there are very specific varieties: Begonias, Vinca, Pansies, there are several others that I know are going to do well. They’re going to do well in every lawn, generally, every lawn if done right. As long as I’m aware of whether I’m planting the flower in shade or sun, those basic principles, they’re going to do well.

Once I get outside of certain varieties, I up my risk factor. So if I was as smart as I am now, which is only so smart, and I was getting back into the business, knowing what I now know, I would probably only install about 6 to 8 varieties of flowers. That would be it. I would only do it my way and I would charge the right price.

If it wasn’t a fit for the client, they wanted a different flower or they didn’t want to pay to have the flowers fertilized, they weren’t going to take my irrigation instructions or maybe even let me set their timer for them, I wouldn’t do the job. Because what it would end up doing, I learned over time, is it cost me my reputation. They don’t refer me. They’re not as happy with me. They might even eventually fire me for all the other services because of the flowers.

If you’re going to do it, if you’re going to be in that part of the business, be in that part of the business correctly. This carries forward to everything. If you’re going to be in tree trimming, figure out the 80-20 of tree trimming. What are the core principles you need to know? If you’re going to install mulch, figure out how to do it right. Figure out how to not do it one job at a time. Figure out how to stage your jobs and bunch them because that’s where the profit is.

Figure out the basics of whatever that service is that you’re going to enter into. Understand the key factors that, in a sense, move the lever to achieve success and prevent failure and frustration and all the other things that come from not understanding what you’re doing or doing it correctly or not being a pro at it. Figure those things out and then simplify it. Like I said, 8 varieties of flowers. That’s all we do.

As the company matures, you get smarter, you have a bigger team, and of course you can do more. But in the beginning, keep it simple, be really good at it. It will just make everything else in your life so much easier.

Stihl Vs Husqvarna And How To Buy Lawn Care Equipment

Jonathan and Erich discuss how to buy lawn care equipment with confidence.

Jonathan: Is he in the camera? Maybe step in just a hair.

Erich: How’s my hair?

Jonathan: Your hair’s perfect.

Speaker 3: That’d be great.

Erich: Yeah?

Jonathan: I don’t even think we need to talk. I think people will watch this video just for your hair.

Erich: I look good.

Jonathan: All right. You ready?

Erich: I’m ready.

Jonathan: All right. It’s awesome to see you. Thanks for being here.

Erich: Thanks for the invitation.

Jonathan: No, of course. Appreciate you guys coming on a weekend. Basically what I want to do, we’ve got some really sharp guys in the office today and kind of on a whim we decided, “Let’s record some videos that might give you some great ideas.” You guys have great ideas. You’re running a big operation. You’re the founder of the company. You’ve been doing this for a really long time. The thing that I’m not really an expert at, but I feel that you have a lot of wisdom on, is equipment. You guys live in a world of very expensive equipment.

Erich: Yes.

Jonathan: Very expensive equipment. How in the world do I figure out, when I’m buying equipment, what I should be buying? Should I be buying Stihl? Should I be buying the competitor? Do I pick a brand? Do I stick with just a brand? Enlighten me a little bit. Enlighten all of us on, as somebody who has a lot of wisdom around this, how do we buy equipment? What should we be thinking about?

Erich: Well, the first thing Jon that we need to understand is that it’s not a tool. Equipment’s not tools. It’s toys.

Jonathan: Okay.

Erich: Right? It’s always toys.

Jonathan: Okay.

Erich: Bigger motors are better. Faster machines are better. It’s all about the toys. Right? Which looks cooler in your hands? It’s not how you do the job. It’s how good you look while you’re doing the job. Right?

Jonathan: Okay.

Erich: Kind of like golf.

Jonathan: That’s really the only buying criteria right?

Erich: Well, no. Okay. We got to talk about Stihl versus Husqvarna. Two great brands on the marketplace today. They each have a niche market. They have the top sellers hands down. Top, best 2 chainsaws on the market. You got Homelite. You got RedMax. You got some other companies out there. They’re doing sort of, but if you want a machine that’s going to run every day, that’s going to keep your guys out there in the field, then you’re going to look at 1 of 2 brands as far as chainsaws go. That’s either Stihl or Husqvarna.

Jonathan: Now, are you soliciting the input of your team?

Erich: Absolutely.

Jonathan: Or are you just making the decision saying, “This is what we’re using for maintenance, and long term costs.” How do you figure that out?

Erich: See, for me I started, my dad, when I was a little kid, he had a small engine shop. He sold Husqvarna chainsaws.

Jonathan: Okay. I didn’t actually know this about you.

Erich: In 1982. Back a million years ago, 1982, we built a saw, rebuilt it and made it run better, and it set a world record in a lumberjack competition. It was a Husqvarna chainsaw. I have a love for Husqvarna chainsaws. I’ve had guys that come to my company, to come work with me, that have a love for Stihl chainsaws. They think that the Stihl is absolutely the best unit on the marketplace. Right? We had to decide which one are we going to run? Well, actually we didn’t so we kind of run both.

Jonathan: Oh, you do?

Erich: Yeah.

Jonathan: Okay, so you don’t find any challenges from running both, like from a parts standpoint, or a training standpoint?

Erich: We’re in a good marketplace. We’re near Charlotte, North Carolina, and Charlotte has really good service for both Stihl and Husqvarna. We did have some challenges with climbing saws. The laws changed so the Husqvarna 200T, which was a phenomenal saw, they couldn’t sell them anymore.

Jonathan: Emissions stuff?

Erich: Emissions issues.

Jonathan: Okay.

Erich: They had to reinvent that saw. Then Husqvarna came out with a new climbing saw and their first attempt with the new climbing saw wasn’t what it should have been. We had some challenges with that.

Jonathan: We saw that in the 21 inch mower market between Honda and Kawasaki years back as well. Okay, so you will run both brands, but the challenge is, you guys are a big operation, and a very smart operation. If I was just getting started and I’m doing maybe 100 grand a year, would you still run? Let’s say I’ve got 3 guys. A couple climbers and 1 guy wants Stihl and 1 guy wants Husqvarna. Do I give them each a different saw or would you in that case, and I’m not trying to lead you. I don’t know the answer. Would you have 2 different saws when you’re really small or does that work better as you get bigger?

Erich: You know, as you get big, I think when you start it doesn’t matter as much but as you grow you need to look at how many chains do I need to buy? How many bars do I need to buy because bar length, if I’ve got to have 5 different lengths of bar, then that’s a whole lot of inventory I’ve got to carry. Different lengths of chain, different kinds of chain. Say 3/8 versus 3/8 low pro versus 63 gauge for Stihl and 50 gauge for Husqvarna. I mean, there’s all these specifics. We pared it down to a climbing saw, a medium sized ground saw, and a large saw for big cuts. That way we can stock just parts for those saws, just chains for those 3 styles of saw, and just bars for those saws.

Jonathan: Okay, but is that a more advanced strategy? What I mean by more advanced strategy as the company matures, is that something most people can afford to do or is that as, first you start out with 1 saw, and I’m showing my ignorance here, you start out with 1 saw and you start out with different blade sizes and you flip them out. Then, as you have more money you say, “Okay, I’m going to get these dedicated saws.” Is that what you’re saying?

Erich: Well I would say that, starting out a company find something you really like and push in that direction. You may have a climber come in that he only wants to use a particular saw, and you may have to educate him to the brand you’re going to be using. But, if you don’t quickly take a hold of the style of saw, the particular brand you’re going to run, then you’re going to end up with a huge pile. If you’re just a 1 man operation, you got a few guys, you’re going to probably be going to your local supplier to get the saw, and the chain, and the bar that you need. You’re probably not going to have a huge stock in your shop. We didn’t have a huge stock until we got mechanics in place and that was almost 10 years in.

Jonathan: Okay, maybe before I let you run here, 3 quick buying tips. If I’m buying equipment, trucks, technology, supplies of some kind, anything that I’m buying in my company that we’re going to spend a lot of money on, what are maybe the 3 top criteria you’re looking at to decide if I should buy this brand, if I should buy from this vendor? I know you guys have figured that out so what are you thinking about?

Erich: Yeah, top criteria. Well, you’ve got to find good service number one. You got to find somebody that will take care of you when you’re down because being down is a lot more expensive than whatever it costs to fix that piece of equipment. Chainsaws and whatever, it’s broken, go get another one and get back to work. That’s how it’s going to make money for you. As far as trucks, I would look at, do I buy new or used? We’ve got trucks on the market that will do a million miles if they’re cared for. International trucks is what we prefer to use so we went with a larger truck. We started with a 1 ton truck, found out that’s not big enough. You’re going to out grow it quickly. You look at what are the big guys doing? Say, “I’m going to reproduce that.” Find out what’s working for them, say, “Why is it working for them?” Go forward with that.

Jonathan: Have you picked a philosophy, new or used?

Erich: Yes. We’ve picked the philosophy of used.

Jonathan: Used, okay. That’s what we’ve done as well.

Erich: We look at hiring good mechanics that can get our stuff fixed because even new stuff breaks. You got to take it to the shop and it’s going to sit there for 3 weeks for warranty work. Well, I’d rather have it in my shop, pay for the warranty myself, get it fixed, and get it back to work. Unless it’s a blown motor or something that’s a really big deal, but then you’re going to go to the manufacturer and argue that out.

Jonathan: Okay. What else are you going to think about?

Erich: As far as equipment, chippers, big deal. Chippers. Do you do Vermeer, Morbark, Brush Bandit, you know? Bottom line for us is we picked a brand that really worked well for us that we could get good service. I’ve got a shop and we do our own warranty work, which is huge. We end up with Morbark chippers because that was the brand that we found we got the best support from. Now there’s a lot of good machines out there.

Jonathan: I got to stop you for a second. You said something I haven’t heard before. You said you do your own warranty work?

Erich: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jonathan: Are you licensed with the brand to do your own work or how does that work?

Erich: Well, it’s a training. We go through it.

Jonathan: You go through training with the brand and they …?

Erich: They give us permission to do our own warranty work. That simply means they give us the parts. We get approved that it’s a warranty issue. They give us the parts, but still it’s our cost and labor.

Jonathan: Okay, okay. Interesting. Even that’s a new concept for me. I hadn’t, actually. My team probably knows.

Erich: Really?

Jonathan: Thank goodness they run the company. I actually hadn’t heard of that before so that’s kind of cool. I learned something.

Erich: Well, overshadowing all of this, when we talk about equipment, we talk about making your companies more valuable, more productive. But, Jonathan, what you have given us as far as the software, the Service Autopilot program has revolutionized how we do business.

Jonathan: That’s awesome.

Erich: It helps us track our equipment, helps us track every piece of equipment that’s in the field and when it needs to be serviced. It helps us track every single employee. Yeah, we’re a bigger company and we’re growing strong, but without that system in place we wouldn’t be where we are.

Jonathan: Well, I appreciate you guys using it. You guys have been awesome. Awesome to work with. We’ve learned a lot from you. So thank you and thanks for all the ideas.

Erich: Good stuff. Thank you. All right buddy.

Jonathan: Appreciate it.

Facebook Marketing Tips For Lawn Care Businesses

In this interview, Martha shares some key Facebook marketing tips that have contributed to her success.

Jonathan: I’d like to share an interview with you. It’s with Martha. She’s a friend of mine, and she owns a company by the name of Quality Driven. We did a series of 5 interviews. I’m gonna be releasing those over the next 2 weeks, and in this first one we’re talking about Facebook. Now her business is not quite like ours. She’s in the residential cleaning business. Imagine how difficult that would be to send your teams into your clients’ homes every day. Her typical client, her buyer is a woman. Much like our business, but she deals a lot with the woman of the household. She has found a way to make Facebook really successful. They utilize Facebook at a very high level inside their company, not just from a marketing standpoint but also from the communication standpoint and from an internal communication standpoint with the team. She has a number of tips for you, a number of great ideas. She’s absolutely worth listening to because she knows how to use Facebook. Enjoy the interview.

Hey Martha, how are you doing?

Martha: I’m good. How are you?

Jonathan: I’m doing great, thanks for doing this. I wanted to ask you a number of questions, and one of those questions has to do with Facebook. I’ve noticed that you and your team do a pretty good job with Facebook, I think both publicly, and then I’ve got to guess that behind the scenes communicating with your clients you probably do a pretty good job. I’m not so great at Facebook. Do you have any best practices or tips you’ve learned over the years?

Martha: Well, unfortunately I spend way too much time on Facebook but I do use it for business a lot. I do that to the customers that we serve, and prospective customers of course, but then also internally we actually use Facebook for … I have an office Facebook group, I have a staff Dusting Divas Facebook group, and it’s just an easy way to communicate, “Hey, we’re closing today because of the weather.” I mean we do a lot of just internal marketing to our staff in that group. I have mainly women so we share recipes, they share things about their family in there, and I’ve purposely made it that way so we get staff engagement and as I’m sure you know from gallop polls, one of the most important reasons people stay is because they have friends at work. I think that’s probably more true for females than males but we have men too, and they engage as well, so we use it for that.

It’s quick, easy communication for office staff because I work from home a lot and then we have 2 branches, so it’s easy for me to communicate there, and then our official Dusting Divas page, I guess we have about almost 5,000 followers, and you know what I’ve done is just figure out who’s our market, who seeks out our service, and then we post things that are of value to them. Because we are appealing mainly to women between the ages, our target market is 28-55, we do a lot of Pinterest type posts where, I don’t even know if you know Pinterest.

Jonathan: Yeah, oh yeah.

Martha: Okay.

Jonathan: I don’t do it, but I know of it.

Martha: Okay, and I don’t actually do a whole lot of it, but I have actually outsourced that because I just couldn’t keep up. You need to do at least 3-4 posts a day, and it’s just very time consuming. We have a person in the MyService world who actually does the posts for about 20 of us, all in different locations. It’s awesome because she makes money posting on Facebook, and we all get our needs served for a very reasonable price. If the lawn care world could work together and come up with something like that, that would be awesome. In addition to, I’ll go on and post and I certainly use our page for posting specials that we might be running. I will post opt-ins so that they opt in our newsletter for newsletter-only specials. We may have contests around the holidays like for Mother’s Day or something and do a give-away and do a lead capture. We’ll definitely run ads for employees on our Facebook page. What I do is if something’s popular that was posted I’ll boost it, and then I may run ads on something in particular I want to promote.

Jonathan: Do you feel like Facebook brings in business? Can you with certainty measure or determine that you’ve brought in some new clients or that you’ve sold additional clients more business because of using Facebook?

Martha: Definitely, and I wish I could quantify it better but here is what I know. We ask every lead that comes in, “How did you hear about us?” Believe it or not for us, Facebook is our second leading source, right behind Google online search.

Jonathan: Wow.

Martha: Yeah, it’s huge for us.

Jonathan: Is that because of running paid ads, or is it, and I know you boost sometimes but is it because you’re running paid ads on Facebook, or is it because they’re just having to find you organically?

Martha: It’s both.

Jonathan: Okay.

Martha: Until the last year, I probably didn’t run a lot of ads. I’ve learned a lot this past year about, I spent a lot of time and money learning about Facebook marketing but even prior to this last year, Facebook I believe it was number 3 for us, so it has been big for us for a long time. We are a relationship building service. In our world, they’re letting us in their home so they want to know us, but you’re service business too, so people want to know you all too. It gives them a way to know something about your company. People comment on posts that I didn’t make, but they’ll comment on it and I make sure I get on there and engage with them. That’s really important to get on there and engage with them and talk to them just as if they were my neighbor. The girl that we hired actually does some of that for us, but like I said, I’ll get on there and when we’re having maybe a company party or we’re doing something inside the business that I want to show them the face of our company, I will post pictures, I’ll tell them about what we’re doing. I want them to feel like they know something about us to build trust. That’s really …

Jonathan: That’s a great idea. Do you post, does your team in a case like that where you have a picture, maybe your team was having a meeting or your team did an event and you took pictures, does your team then post that themselves or do you send that information over to the individual that’s doing Facebook for you and they take care of it?

Martha: Either I post it, or my office manager posts it.

Jonathan: Okay.

Martha: Yes. Anything that is specific to us, I take care of that, and I don’t expect her to take care of my specific need, and I do enjoy it. You know, I maybe go on and post something specific to the company twice a month. She does all the rest of it.

Jonathan: Okay. Did you say she’s posting 4 times a day?

Martha: She’s posting 3-4 times a day.

Jonathan: Okay. Maybe just a couple more quick things here before we wrap this up. In terms of a, have you found a best practice for dealing with a complaint? Let’s say a client goes on to Facebook and is disappointed with service that day, or just something, how do you guys deal with that?

Martha: Of course apologize.

Jonathan: Yeah.

Martha: Whether we did it or not, and then I will when I’m writing the answer, of course you’re not only writing to the person that complained but to anyone who might view it. Really all the clients and then perspective clients want to know is, are we gonna take care of it? Are we reasonable? Are we good to deal with? So I just make sure to apoligize, not make excuses, basically we’ll get it handled now. If it was a person and I had this actually happen, where she’s trashed us and we didn’t even clean her home, we refused our service because she wanted it for a certain price and it was half of the total price, and we were like thank you very much, here are some names you might try. She slammed us online, so in that case I basically said, “I’m so sorry you were disappointed, and I’m very sorry that we were not able to clean your home for the price that you were requesting, dadadada.” The public knew, listen, we did not clean your home, and we did not do these things you’re saying.

Jonathan: Makes sense. Any parting last best practices?

Martha: You know, I guess all I would say is, you have to go all in, you cannot halfway do a Facebook page effectively. Many people don’t have luck with their Facebook page because it does take a lot of time, and honestly, maybe you should come up with a service if you want to be a millionaire, a social media service, but that group sharing that we do is awesome. We don’t even post that much about house cleaning itself, but we post things that are relevant to our target market.

Jonathan: That makes perfect sense.

Martha: They follow us, and so when we go to live events, many times people will read our sign and then go, “Oh, I follow you on Facebook”, and they feel like they already know you. I think that’s the value of Facebook.

Jonathan: That’s good. Last thought on this. If someone were to just get started and look into determine that, this should get some level of priority in my overall marketing plan, marketing calendar, do you feel like there’s 6-months to build it up and start to see results or a year to build it up and start to see results? Or if you jump into it correctly and invest your time, do you see pretty quick results? Do you happen to remember based on when you got started?

Martha: Yes, I mean for sure 6 months, and to be realistic, probably a year, and I will tell you that I used to boost posts way more than I do now. I used to run a lot more content, that’s really how I built up the page, running content and doing things that would bring people in. Now, when I ran the contests, I would only market it though to our target audience, so there’s a way that you can run those contests and have those contests just show to your target demographics including income so that I didn’t get people wanting freebies that really weren’t our target market.

Jonathan: Makes perfect sense. Great. Well, thank you for the tips, they’re absolutely helpful. Thanks Martha.

Martha: Thank you.

Why This Successful Company Will Never Get In The Lawn Business

In this interview, Brandon discusses the importance of focus and why he would never get in the lawn business.

Jonathan: What’s up Brandon?

Brandon: Not much Jonathan.

Jonathan: What I want to know, after all these years of knowing you, I’m in the lawn care business, you’re in the tree business, why in the world are you not in my business? Is it just not good enough for you? You guys think you’re better than we are?

Brandon: Well, I’d hate to put you out of business. However, no. That’s a good question, a good question.

Jonathan: Fortunately, you’re in a different state.

Brandon: That’s right. That’s right. That’s a great question, and we get that a lot. We always see even grass trucks driving around saying, “Ask us about our tree and shrub care programs,” and we actually want to say, “Ask us why we don’t do grass.” Number one, managing risk. You’re used to applying herbicides on lawns.

Jonathan: True.

Brandon: We do not allow any herbicides through our products.

Jonathan: Meaning you don’t want that stuff around through your tanks at all?

Brandon: Don’t want any herbicides running through tanks, because you do not want to accidentally kill a hundred year old plant.

Jonathan: Yeah, I could get that.

Brandon: I have been to court based on where people have accidentally killed trees, and they’ve gotten sued over it.

Jonathan: What’s the example there, spraying with the wrong product?

Brandon: Either spraying with the wrong product, a new technician goes out, doesn’t know what they’re spraying, they over-mix, accidentally spray stuff they shouldn’t have sprayed, sprayed the wrong property because they didn’t read the work order correctly.

Jonathan: Okay, and so you guys, what I hear you saying is you’ve decided, “We’re going to focus on this one thing that we absolute do best, we’re the best at, we’re absolute experts on.” You feel that that mitigates risk inside the company.

Brandon: It does. It helps us with our own internal systems. Knowledge is power.

Jonathan: And training.

Brandon: And training.

Jonathan: Easier to train.

Brandon: Yep, that way there’s no herbicides through these rigs. The second reason that you even ask, is to help manage our relationships. We all have relationships with other vendors, other partners. Lawn care people refer us tree jobs, and we can refer the lawn care back out to them.

Jonathan: Yeah we’re, in our local market too, and working with you guys, and different stuff, we also refer out to tree companies, and we’re not even in that business. We have the exact same viewpoint. We feel exactly the same. That’s not an area that we’ve developed expertise in, and then so one of the questions I get all the time through Lawn Care Millionaire is, “How do I grow my company? What’s the first thing I should do?” It’s exactly what you’re saying here, I feel like one of the best pieces of advice is find somebody that you’re not competing with, become their best buddy. Partner with them, and that means you serve them, you help them, you give a lot into that relationship, you develop that relationship, and then they will start referring to you, and hopefully you’ll be referring back to them, and I think that’s what you’re basically saying.

Brandon: Absolutely. You as a landscaper …

Jonathan: So if I’m a landscaper, yep.

Brandon: You can actually have a certified arborist on your staff without actually having them on your staff, because you have a partner.

Jonathan: Yep, so another concept along what you’re saying, that I love, from a marketing concept to think about is, if you’re trying to figure out who to partner with, think about who of your clients, so who has trees. Who are all the people that serve clients with trees that are not your current clients, what do they do? Then imagine also what somebody who could be your potential buyer, your client, is buying or doing. As an example, I think about what might precede needing a tree service? Installing a landscape, because somebody has got to feed those trees. You obviously want to partner with landscapers. What other providers, what other businesses precede your need? Once something happens, the client needs you, and you find all of those, and you become partners.

Brandon: Oh well, yeah. You could be talking about pool installers. You could be talking about house builders, construction, landscapers, you name it. Anything that’s going on in the landscape, in and around trees or plants. That’s where you’re going to need us.

Jonathan: Okay, so along these two lines, in terms of, so we sort of said it probably makes sense to be an expert at plant healthcare, and tree work. In my world it’s an expert at lawn care, everything lawn care related, and I stay out of your world. Now, within your little world of tree care, will you do anything? Do you do commercial? Do you do residential? Will you do anything out there, or does it make sense to shrink even that market? What’s the best strategy in the tree world?

Brandon: Whatever will pay the bills.

Jonathan: Okay.

Brandon: Nah. We do just about everything related to trees and shrubs, without stepping on the other person’s toes, or our partner’s toes. We try to partner up, figure out what it is you’re doing that we may do some of, and so we can go ahead and negotiate that upfront as a partner.

Jonathan: Are you saying you might even partner with another tree company?

Brandon: Right. Absolutely. Say we’ve got a five, six …

Jonathan: You are actually friendly to other tree companies?

Brandon: Yes, we are.

Jonathan: I didn’t think anybody in the interest even liked anybody in their local market.

Brandon: But, in order to fanatically serve a client, they’re not wanting to wait six, seven weeks. If we can find them a good partner that has a lot of the same safety records, a lot of the same training, I love it, and maybe some of them are actually ex-employees that we’ve already trained, and we can help them and partner with them. It takes care of the client, and that’s the number one, making sure you’re taking care of your client.

Jonathan: Then they … Yep, yep. That is the end game.

Brandon: Right.

Jonathan: Do you have any other reasons why you’d want to focus, and not enter my world?

Brandon: Focus makes your life easier. Just as I think you heard earlier about sales, how you focus on specific areas, specific needs, specific things, to make it so much freer so you know exactly what you’re going to be doing when you show up on the property. Every time. It’s like practice. Keep practicing on the fundamentals, when you go out to play the game.

Jonathan: You know what to do.

Brandon: You’re great.

Jonathan: Fantastic. Any parting words of advice for everybody watching? Now that I put you on the spot?

Brandon: Yeah, now that you put me on the spot.

Jonathan: You gave us a lot of stuff. It was fantastic, so all right. Thanks Brandon, and hey, I didn’t even give you a … Who are you by the way?

Brandon: Sorry, I’m Brandon Brown.

Jonathan: So you actually know what you’re doing.

Brandon: Hey, I’m Brandon Brown, president of Schneider Shrub and Tree Care.

Jonathan: Awesome. Thank you guys.

Let Tools, Systems And Knowledge Do The Work Of Growing Your Business – Joshua Latimer

Jonathan is interviewed by Joshua Latimer on Quick Talk about how to grow a successful business.

Listen to the interview now:

Hey, good morning. It’s Saturday. I just got to the office and I’m about to do a bunch of work for a Service Autopilot Academy session coming up this Thursday, but I wanted to share something with you.

So, my question to you, has your business turned out to be more challenging to build than you thought? Is it more challenging to find clients than you thought it would be? Is it more challenging to find employees? Is it more challenging to organize everything and keep everything running? Is it more challenging to deal with all the challenges of growth and coordinating getting employees with getting work and then managing all those people? Have you felt a lot of challenge around that? Because I have.

In fact, I know everyone has. So, I did a podcast with a fellow by the name of Josh and I’d like to share that with you. He just posted it this morning, and in that podcast I talk a lot about the balance of building the company and the tools that you need and the systems you need. Frankly, you can massively simplify the amount of work that you’ll have to do to build the company and the amount of challenge you’ll have to go through, the amount of wasted money you will have to spend to figure things out if you use the right tools, if you implement the right systems, if you, frankly, get your brain thinking the right way. Mindset is a big part of this stuff. Are you learning what you need to learn? Are you thinking correctly? Are you thinking accurately?

I can tell you without question when I was a high school kid, though I had figured out a few things, I was generally clueless about many things. I didn’t know how to make money grow. I didn’t know how to build a big company. I didn’t know how to have hundreds of employees. I didn’t know how to get thousands and thousands of clients. I learned that stuff through reading and studying and getting to know other people. I talk about that a bit in the video.

At the end of the day, everything you’ll become, or I should say, I talk about this in the podcast, everything you’ll become is about what you choose to do or how you invest your time to grow your brain and what you know. It’s really that simple. We live our entire life in our head. So, if you have more wisdom and knowledge because of different experiences and because of studying and getting to know people and spending money to learn and networking, then you have a massive competitive advantage over everybody else. And frankly, your life will be easier.

Because of all of the hard work that I’ve done way back over the years of my career for many, many years, all the learning I’ve done, all the hard work, all the experiences, my life is vastly easier than it would be if I had not made that effort. If I was still on a mowing crew, or if I was working a construction job, or if I was doing any number of other activities that so many people do, my life would be vastly harder than it is today, in every area. But my life, though very busy, is relatively easy as compared to the majority of people in the country and in the world because of the choices I made early on to learn certain things, know certain people, have certain experiences, try certain things, and take certain risks.

We talk about that as well. There’s a whole lot of other things about this really challenging balance of these two critical components of your business and if you get them right, how everything just becomes easier and grows so much faster. So, I’d like to share this with you. I was interviewed for about 45 minutes. I hope you find it super valuable, and I will put the link down below and I’ll embed the link in this video.

Have a great day.

How You Can Grow A Big Company – Mike Michalowicz

Click the link below to hear Mike Michalowicz interview Jonathan for his podcast Profit First.

Hey! I’d like to share an interview with you. Mike Michalowicz interviewed me for his podcast Profit First. If you don’t know who Mike is, he’s an author, entrepreneur, business guy. He’s a good guy, great guy. He has 4 books out. I’d recommend all of them. Profit First, Surge, The Pumpkin Plan, and The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur.

I met him some time ago. In fact, he’ll be speaking at our Service Autopilot Conference this November and he interviewed me for his podcast. What we talked about is how to scale your company. How do you get out of the field? How do you get off the track? How do you grow your company to a place that you’re no longer the guy performing the work? How do you grow your company to a point where you have someone else running the company for you? You have a team running the company. What holds business owners back? What are some of the challenges? How do you get past them?

We talked about that on his podcast. Click the link below and they’ll direct you to the podcast. It’s on iTunes and all over. I embedded a link for you below this video. Listen to the podcast. I hope it will help you out. I hope it will give you some new ideas and if nothing else, I hope it will encourage you to keep fighting on, keep pressing on, and turn your company into something that will make you super happy and that you’ll be super proud of.

Go check out the interview. Thanks.

Why You Might Be Closer To A Successful Lawn Care Business Than You Think

Don’t give up just yet! You may be closer to a successful lawn care company than you realize.

I’d like to ask you a question that I hope you’ll think about, and that is, have you decided to throw in the towel or give up on growing your business a little too soon? Have you said good is good enough? If I could just be $400,000 a year in gross revenue, I’d be happy. Have you chosen a number that might be just slightly too low to get you to a place in the business where things start to get good?

I know hundreds of companies. I know actually over a thousand companies. I’ve worked with so many different people at this point and gotten to know so many people and just had casual conversations that I have come to believe that the majority, or a very significant numbers of companies, give up just a little too soon or say this is all I want.

The number that they want is just a little too small. Whereas, if they pushed on just a little further, learned a little bit more, became a new version of themselves, maybe got a coach to help them get there, they would have achieved something that would have delivered to them much more money and much more satisfaction, a higher level of confidence, a higher level of peace.

What I experienced in my own business was until half a million in gross revenue, keep in mind it was maintenance not design build or project based work. At about half a million, I started to see the light. I thought, “Okay, this is a good business.” I could see the potential. Anything less than half a million, had I never gotten past that number, I wouldn’t be in the business today. I would have taken my money and my time elsewhere to something that I thought had more potential. Fortunately, we got past half a million. I saw the light. I saw the potential.

Now, if you think about the numbers in the industry, the vast, vast majority never get past half a million. That tells me the vast majority have never experienced what a good business might look like. Now half a million was just the first milestone in my mind, because around 900 to a million, that’s when okay, now it’s much better, because now we’re seeing more money, not just in gross revenue, but you’re seeing more profit to plow back into growing the company bigger. Of course, you make more money and you also can afford a couple people, at least one, but probably a couple people to be on what I’d call the leadership team to help grow the company and take some of the stress and frustration and challenge off your shoulders.

Now, the next big number that was really interesting was five million. I realize that’s a really big jump for a lot of people, but I really believe that the number is about a million, million and a half, and the next really interesting number is about five million. The number between a million and a half and four and a half or a million and a half and five million, it’s good. It’s a good business, but I wouldn’t want to get stuck there. You go through these ups and downs of investment in the company. These ups and downs of profit. Your profit dips as you’re growing to the next level. You’ve got all these challenges. Processes are breaking. You need key people because you’re growing. You need key people in place. You need backup plans.

I could go on and on for two hours on why the one and a half to five million range is a challenging range. Once you get on the other side of that it’s like the seas part and you realize, “Wow, okay, now I can see the big potential.” I could see ten million. I could see twenty million. It’s very hard to see ten million when you’re at two or two and a half. There are so many things going on, so many things you have to learn and so many people you have to put in place. So many systems you have to put in place.

The takeaway here is that I’d encourage you that if you’re at three hundred or four hundred and you’re saying, “I just don’t know.” Go to at least 500 or plus and then re-evaluate. If you’re at 700 and you’re saying, “Wow, it’s way better than it used to be but I’m just not seeing it yet.” Get past a million and re-evaluate.

Now, you have to do it right. Just generating a lot of revenue and getting to a million where you’re still the bottleneck and everything, that’s not a good business. If you’re starting to bring a couple key people onto the team at a million, I think you’ll start to see what I’m talking about. My encouragement to you is don’t throw in the towel too soon. Don’t settle too soon. Don’t say good is good enough too soon. Go a little bit further and I think you’ll find that there’s a lot of really good stuff on the other side of a certain sized business that can support a certain number of people and a certain amount of revenue.

The Most Successful Companies Have The Best Company Meetings

Jonathan interviews Ryan about their best company meeting strategies.

Jonathan: Ryan, the last time I was at your company I was super impressed and one of the things I was impressed about, one, I think your team is pretty awesome. I like everybody on your team which is everybody you’ve introduced me to is a bunch of great guys and gals. One of the things that stuck with me, and actually John who is my business partner, we both left and said, “We’ve been to a lot of companies.” You guys run meetings differently than most. In fact, you actually have meetings. A lot of companies don’t have meetings. Your meetings are different than the way everybody else does it. I’m going to give my two cents.

The reason I think this is really important is because I believe that what they’re doing leads to employee retention. I believe that what you guys are doing, and correct me if I’m wrong on any of this, but you’ll agree leads to an interesting culture where people want to stay with the company. They like working at the company. They have fun. I also theorize that it leads to more growth when everybody is happy and doing well that the company as a whole gets better. I’ve probably put some words in your mouth but that was my takeaway walking away from their company. I wish you could have been there and sat in on one of the meetings because the team does a really good job running it.

If you would, where I’m leading you here, tell me why you guys even do this because it’s so different than what most people do, and then I’ll ask you a few questions about it.

Ryan: Sure. About five years ago, we sat down as a management team and decided that we needed to change the way we ran our meetings at our company. I think this is what you’re talking about. We love to have fun. We’re outdoors. We’re exciting guys. We enjoy what we do. We all love working together and our meetings sucked. They were just terrible. As most company meetings are-

Jonathan: Was this sitting around the table having a meeting or what were you doing?

Ryan: We’d have a meeting around a topic. Maybe it’s the production team getting together to talk about production stuff. The sales team getting together on Friday mornings to talk about sales for the previous week and maybe somebody brought a topic for discussion, maybe they didn’t. Everybody was late, usually 10-15 minutes late. Nobody really got anything out of it. There were no actionable items that came away from it. We didn’t grow and we didn’t get better. We started searching and we found a book called, “Traction” which is just a great book. It helped us to build a meeting structure that makes the meetings better. It’s actually fun now.

Jonathan: I would say that it was an entertaining meeting. It’s been a little while now, but I think everybody did show up on time. Would that be true?

Ryan: Yes.

Jonathan: I also remember that several of you conducted the meeting. It wasn’t just one person. Was it the different leaders of the company?

Ryan: Yes, each leader in their area conducts the meeting for their area. Production team leader produces product team meetings. I’m the sales manager so I produce the sales meeting. Management leaders produce management meetings.

Jonathan: Does everybody sit in? For example, do the sales guys stay in the meeting when production is doing their part? Is the whole company together or do you break out and run individual meetings?

Ryan: Only the people that will have input into that particular meeting are in that meeting. In our sales meeting we have a production representative because there’s sales production crossover, but not everyone from production is in the sales meeting.

Jonathan: At the very beginning I was giving my opinion of what it might do for the company, what I perceive it might do in terms of improvement. What have you guys seen since you’ve instituted these meetings?

Ryan: One, we’ve been able to work on a lot of areas in our company because we have actionable items that come out of our meetings based on the format that we use. Two, it’s increased the fun in the day so it makes everybody more enjoyable. It makes the meeting more enjoyable.

Jonathan: How often are you doing the meetings?

Ryan: It depends on what it is, typically once a week.

Jonathan: Okay. Is there a best day?

Ryan: It depends on the area. It depends on which team is meeting. We have different meetings on different days for different teams.

Jonathan: We’re in the meeting and something comes up I don’t know. I suggest something or you tell me, “Hey, we need to do this thing.” Is there an element of accountability afterwards because you’ve set action? How do we make progress so that we don’t just have these meetings and nothing transpires? How do we make sure those participants in the meeting actually come to the meeting next week with their action items taken care of?

Ryan: One of the elements of all of our meetings is called the ‘to do list.’ If we have an item that comes up that needs to get done by the next week, then whoever that element gets assigned to or whatever team it gets assigned to has to come with a report next week on that element.

Jonathan: Whether it’s done or not done?

Ryan: Done or not done. Why is it not done if it was expected to be done?

Jonathan: Okay. All right. Same question I’ve asked before because you guys are a big very successful operation. When you’re teaching your franchisees, who might run smaller operations, may or may not run smaller operations. If they’re a smaller operation, do you still teach them how to run an efficient meeting or do you say once you get to a certain size that’s when meetings become important? What’s your approach there?

Ryan: Franchises are a little bit different than say a one or two man operation. Even if it’s just an owner/operator in a franchise, we are still their accountability partner. They have the whole team of the franchise to help them continue to move forward. If I was a two-man operation, I would be holding at least one meeting a week on a very specific platform, start-stop same time, using a very specific outline that we use that we took out of the book, ‘Traction’ to run that meeting to make sure that my whole team, whether it’s just one or two guys, were in the same communication.

Jonathan: How long is the meeting?

Ryan: It varies between 45 minutes to an hour and five minutes.

Jonathan: It’s a bit of time then?

Ryan: Yes.

Jonathan: If I was a four-man operation, would it still be an hour long meeting potentially or does it shrink down?

Ryan: It depends, again, on the purpose of that meeting. If it’s something very short and concise, then it may be just a 30-minute op meeting. If it’s something more in-depth, the more people you have then the longer the meeting is going to be. We typically never go over an hour and five minutes.

Jonathan: If whoever is watching and wants to implement meetings in their business, what’s an action item for them so that they could determine if this is … I’m just going to tell you this is worth doing. You should be doing it. The guys that are really successful and make a lot of money are doing it, generally. Just assume that’s the truth and knowing that, what’s the first action item that they should go out and do if they want to implement this in their business?

Ryan: I would start with reading the book, “Traction” and then I would start with setting a meeting agenda and every meeting in your company should have a very similar agenda. It may vary with one element or another from meeting to meeting, but have a very similar agenda so that everyone knows what to expect every time they come to a meeting.

Jonathan: On a side note, there’s a couple books out there by the name of “Traction.” I think the author is Gino Wickman.

Ryan: Yes, Gino Wickman.

Jonathan: Yes, Gino Wickman. Fantastic book. There’s way more takeaways in that book than just meetings.

Ryan: That’s right.

Jonathan: Most people won’t implement it so hopefully you do. All right. Thanks, Ryan.

Ryan: Thank you.