Featured Podcast Guest
LifeWhere provides HVAC companies with a platform to remotely monitor, diagnose, and predict HVAC system failures before they happen. The platform gathers data from the furnace or AC (and other appliances), stores it in the cloud, and applies machine learning and predictive analytics to identify failing components. Once a problem is identified, the system notifies its HVAC partners and their customers so they can plan repairs before outright failures. Through remote diagnostics, HVAC service providers can improve operations and profitability per job. Additionally, they can complete jobs faster because when they arrive on-site, they already know the problem and have the correct parts.
About Brian Courtney:
Brian Courtney, LifeWhere’s CEO, was previously a GE executive. He managed their analytics business that monitored assets such as jet engines and railroad locomotives for companies like Delta and CSX. He was very instrumental in the predictive analytics business for these very expensive assets in the industrial space.
In 2016, after a few HVAC failures in his home, he decided that he could design a very low cost IoT device that connected to a home furnace or AC unit and could mirror what he was doing in the industrial space in the residential HVAC market.
After partnering with a company called Gray Matter, and a few Carnegie Mellon engineers who also specialized in machine learning and predictive analytics, they were able to form a new company - LifeWhere
Co-Founder of Breakthrough Academy
In 2015, Breakthrough Academy was founded by three entrepreneurs who had a vision to transform the trades and home services industry: Danny Kerr, Igor Trninic, and James Dale. The three started their entrepreneurial journey years prior, as peers and franchise owners in the painting industry, eventually moving on to coach new franchise owners together.
While in the throes of helping hundreds of franchisees grow and scale their businesses, Danny realized that the average business owner in the trades industry lacks fundamental systems that are required for sustainable and profitable growth. One day, he had an epiphany: the trades industry needed a service that could offer all the good parts of franchising:
- standard systems
- proven strategies
- predictable numbers
- great peer community
and leave out all the hard stuff about franchising:
- franchise purchase costs
- long term royalties
- territory boundaries
- lack of brand control
Danny wanted to provide a proven, working model where small businesses can grow and scale with confidence, without limiting themselves by buying into a franchise. It wasn’t long before Danny had convinced friends and colleagues, Igor and James, to join forces and shortly thereafter, Breakthrough Academy (BTA) was born.
The concept of BTA has spread like wildfire. Within four years, Breakthrough Academy’s membership has grown from only twelve companies, to over 250. With an additional 250 new companies joining each year, and their current membership’s combined revenue sitting at half a billion dollars, BTA has rapidly gained industry influence. With the average member enjoying revenue increases of 44% and average net profit increases of 66%, the proof is in the pudding.
The powerful combination of excellent tradeskills and advanced business leadership is giving Breakthrough Academy members a serious competitive advantage. Breakthrough Academy provides the necessary tools for their members to succeed in three critical categories:
Content: All the documents, resources & systems needed for the scalable operation of a trades company have been created, fine-tuned and customized for each industry in trades & home services.
Think: Standard Operating Procedures, job descriptions, recruiting ads, profit trackers, performance review forms - all done for you and just a click away.
BTA has been hard at work creating all of this standardized content, taking the burden off of their members to create it themselves, freeing them up for more important activities.
Coaching: having these tools is one thing, but using them effectively is another. BTA’s team of experienced coaches help their members understand the intangible skills of building a -
Business: how to professionally interview, how to manage cash flow, how to lead people.
BTA’s team of coaches are there for support every step of the way. Through a one-on-one, close-knit relationship with a coach who provides support and accountability, BTA members can finally get out of their own way and execute on ideas successfully, the first time.
Community: it can be lonely at the top. Breakthrough Academy has curated a group of entrepreneurs who are like-minded and open to sharing their experiences, challenges and learnings with one another. In this community, contractors provide unique perspectives for each other, and normalize the challenges of the entrepreneurial journey.
Gone are the days of trial and error on the path to growth, with access to a group of peers who bring diverse experiences to the table. It’s cheesy, but it’s darn true: we’re better together than we are apart. Breakthrough Academy has only scratched the surface. Slowly and surely, contractor by contractor, BTA is on a mission to turn an industry that many view as the “Wild West” into an industry where professionalism, profitability, and high-level leadership prevail.
COO of F.H. Furr Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc
The F.H. Furr Difference
For over 35 years, F.H. Furr Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning & Electrical has provided quality home comfort services to residents of Northern Virginia, DC, and Maryland while making a difference in the lives of those in their community. Over the years they’ve acquired an excellent reputation that speaks to the character of their company.
F.H. Furr is a family and veteran owned-and-operated business, founded by Floyd Furr in 1981. Over time, it has amassed hundreds of loyal customers, and has grown into one of the areas leading premiere home service companies. From its inception, F.H. Furr has focused on providing trusted service to their customers and getting the job done right the first time! Their commitment to knowledge, experience, and professionalism is evident in the workmanship of their highly knowledgeable technicians who undergo hundreds of hours of continuous training each year to meet F.H. Furr’s high standards.
F.H. Furr currently has over three hundred employees, and calls Manassas, VA home as it is the location of their main headquarters. In addition, they have locations in Gainesville, VA and Gaithersburg, MD. F.H. Furr holds an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau as well as numerous awards and honors such as Angie’s List Super Service Award, Lennox Outstanding Achievement Award, Best Home Service awards from Northern Virginia Magazine, and many others. With thousands of positive reviews online, F.H. Furr prides itself on maintaining their reputation for the sake of their customers who require a trustworthy, reliable company to care for their homes.
F.H. Furr has grown in leaps and bounds over the years, achieving milestones such as financing over $1 million through their service divisions in just three months. But there’s more to this company than just financial strength. F.H. Furr gives 10% of their yearly revenue back to the community, through “F.H. Furr Cares”, a division of the company whose sole focus is on giving back. They partner, sponsor, and contribute to numerous charities, local schools, and organizations throughout the area, working to build up their neighbors through financial and volunteer support.
F.H. Furr understands that customers have a plethora of options when it comes to home service providers, but they are confident that no other company can compete with their training, experience, and customer-focused drive! F.H. Furr has gained success because of their diligent work and their determination to maintain quality over making a buck. “This company has been around for a long time, and we don’t intend to stop now,” said Jesse Furr, CEO of F.H. Furr. “We will continue to keep up with cutting edge technology, fair pricing, and trustworthy services that our customers can always count on. It’s all a part of the F.H. Furr Difference.”
Darius Lyvers, COO of F.H. Furr Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning & Electrical
Darius Lyvers’ first encounter with HVAC happened nearly twenty years ago when he accepted a sales position in Virginia Beach, selling heating and cooling equipment. He realized he had a knack for making sales that others couldn’t, making him a valuable asset to his company. After relocating to Northern Virginia, he was determined to continue on the path he’d begun, and he started his career at F.H. Furr. For ten years, he worked as a Comfort Consultant and an outside sales consultant where management at F.H. Furr took notice of his strong sense of leadership and understanding of the industry. After years of faithful work, he was appointed Director of Sales, heading up a department of 18 Comfort Consultants who were out in the field daily. This high-pressure position prepared him for what was to come. Only a few short years later, Darius had worked his way up, becoming the Chief Operating Officer for F.H. Furr.
During his time as COO, Darius has implemented changes to build the company up financially and internally, fostering a culture that enables employees to grow in an encouraging environment with the tools they need to succeed. It is his goal to see F.H. Furr continue to expand while maintaining their family feel, high caliber of service, and the values that make them stand out from the rest.
President of Zoom Drain and Sewer, LLC, president of Benjamin Franklin, The Punctual Plumber
Ellen Rohr The Business Makeover Expert® teaches the few things that make all the difference to your business success: Easy financial clean up, profitable pricing and powerful business planning.
Ellen is a columnist for Huffington Post, PHC News, and a contributor to many business journals and trade magazines. She provides “in the trenches” insight that business owners can relate to.
From The Plumber’s Wife to America’s Top Expert on Making Big Money Doing Dirty Jobs!
Once upon a time, I almost sank our family business. I assumed I knew enough about business to run a dinky little plumbing company. After all, I had spent about $100,000 of my parents’ money on my college degree in Business Administration. In fact, I graduated at the top of my class. Still, I didn’t know how to balance a checkbook!
I got involved in my husband’s company after his partner died unexpectedly. Boy was I humbled! It seemed like lots of money was moving through the company, but at the end of the month there was never any money left. Thankfully, I found terrific mentors, savvy contractors who taught me how to keep score in business, how to put a simple business plan together, how to make money.
What I learned? How to make Business UN-Complicated. The key is to focus on the few things that have the biggest impact on your results. Business is EASY.
I started Bare Bones Biz, a venture capital and consulting company in 1995 to help folks of all ages turn their big ideas into successful businesses. I write as a columnist for Huffington Post, PHC News, business journals, and trade magazines around the country – providing “in the trenches” insight that business owners can relate to. As president of Benjamin Franklin, The Punctual Plumber, a home service company, I helped grow the company from zero to $40 million in franchise sales and 47 locations in less than 2 years. I am also the President of Zoom Drain and Sewer, LLC, a new franchise company expanding in the North East USA. We make Business UN-Complicated so you can live Life UN-Leashed!
I’ve contributed to Wells Fargo, Make Mine a Million, Nexstar Legacy Foundation, Dakota Supply Group, Uponor, The Site Shed, HGTV, Ozark’s Public Television, Office Depot, American Express Open Forum, The Springfield Business Journal, PHC News Magazine, Plumbing and Mechanical Magazine, Count Me In, Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling Contractors of America, Nexstar Association, Messe Frankfurt, AHR Exposition, International Engineering Association, Quality Service Contractors of America, National Chimney Sweeps Guild, International Cleaning Specialists Magazine, Business News Media, TMB Publishing Group, Onsite Waste Management Group, Radiant Panel Association, Interior Design Association of Western New York, Springfield Medical Managers Association, BlogTalkRadio, The Inspector’s Journal, National Association of Home Builders, National Association for Women Business Owners, Roofing Contractor Magazine, Walls & Ceilings Magazine, Peirce Phelps, Inc. I am also a Ziglar Legacy Certified Trainer.
The Bare Bones Business Basics Series is an essential part of our mission to help expand freedom across the planet. So this website is THE community for BASIC business information.
Basic business information is empowering. Good people with an understanding of business can positively impact the world in a profound way. A society with a peaceful, ethical, honorable exchange of goods and services works…in your business, in our country, across the planet. Let me know how we can be of service to YOU.
PS…Yep, I am The Plumber’s Wife. You might want to “meet” The Plumber. Here’s Hotrod in a little clip we did to showcase how he spends a typical afternoon.
About Aaron Hockel
As a partner and the Vice President of Digital Marketing, Aaron Hockel serves two key roles at the organization. First, he works to develop new accounts for AltaVista’s digital marketing services. Second, he works with the digital marketing operations team to help strategize and develop online marketing plans designed to drive highly qualified leads. In addition to these two key roles, Aaron also spends time making guest appearances on industry podcasts and leading education seminars at national conferences and tradeshows.
Prior to joining the company in 2011, Aaron had two different roles in the home services industry. He worked for a SERVPRO franchise where he was responsible for marketing disaster restoration services to homeowners and insurance agents. The second role was doing residential remodeling sales with a focus on energy efficient windows, siding, and doors for one of the largest remodeling companies in the Washington, DC area. To get in touch with Aaron, please connect with him on LinkedIn, follow him on Instagram, or send him an email.
About AltaVista Strategic Partners
Established in 2011 by two former electrical contractors, AltaVista Strategic Partners specializes in helping residential and commercial contractors grow their business by developing and implementing targeted marketing plans. Today, the organization employs 18 marketing professionals who support over 175 clients nationwide. In both 2017 and 2018, AltaVista Strategic Partners was recognized as one the nation’s fastest growing privately held companies by INC. Magazine and the Baltimore Business Journal.
AltaVista Strategic Partners Services
What goes into a winning online marketing campaign? While that always depends on the specific goals of each client, they typically involve a combination of the following marketing campaigns:
- Online review generation
- Targeted Facebook and Instagram ads
- Content marketing via blogs and infographics
- Targeted Google ads based on specific zip codes
- Local SEO to rank in Google Maps
- Google Local Services Ads
- Email marketing to past customers and prospects
- Retargeting website traffic with display ads
- YouTube video ads to targeted audiences
- Social media management and posting
By combining these services to meet the needs of specific needs of each client’s business, AltaVista is able to help contractors at all stages in their growth trajectory reach their next goal. Whether that is breaking the $1,000,000 or $10,000,000 sales mark, our team can build and run a marketing campaign to get your home services business there.
To work with AltaVista Strategic Partners, simply request a free marketing analysis and consultation by visiting their website www.altavistasp.com.
What Does AltaVista Strategic Partners Do?
Specializing in marketing for home service and contracting businesses since 2011, AltaVista Strategic Partners expertise is building and executing online marketing campaigns. The goal of these campaigns is simple – when people search for services online, make sure they find your business, read great reviews, and can easily contact you.
Following this approach, they have helped hundreds of contractors increase their sales while lowering their overall cost per lead. At the same time, their approach is focused on eliminating three constant challenges for home service contractors:
- Cutting off low quality pay per lead services like HomeAdvisor and Thumbtack
- Eliminating canvassing neighborhoods for retail home service leads
- Targeting the right neighborhoods and reducing out of area leads
CEO of Chet Holmes International, and CMO of Divine Bliss International
Did you know? 95% of companies will NEVER REACH even $1 million in annual sales. What is the secret of those who do?
If you are one of the rare few who have done it, 95% won’t ever make it to $5 million. And of those, 98% won't get to $10 million. Very, very few go beyond $100 million. Why?
What makes the difference is the dedication and drive of the company’s leaders to sharpen and apply the skills that matter. THAT is the key element we excel at. We want to double your sales!
Download our free 3 video series on the 3 Breakthroughs that Double Sales by visiting: ChetHolmes.com
Chet Holmes International (CHI), a privately held company, was founded by highly publicized thought leader Chet Holmes® in 1991, for the purpose of helping small to medium size businesses grow faster, better, smarter. Hundreds of thousands of businesses from across the globe have studied our methods to fill in their sales and marketing gaps to actualize their personal and professional growth. Based on the New York Times best selling book The Ultimate Sales Machine, CHI’s game changing methodologies are brought to the market through its wholly-owned services of The Core Story®, Empire Research Group™, Growth Coaching™ and Consulting.
Chet Holmes passed in 2012 and his daughter Amanda Holmes inherited the business. At the young age of 24, having a background as a singer/songwriter she has managed to take the helm and carry on the legacy of her father over the last seven years. Learn more by listening to the podcast with Tommy Mello!
Download new video series: 3 Breakthroughs to Double Your Business
Buy NYT Best Selling Book -The Ultimate Sales Machine
Owner of A1 Garage Door Services & Author of Bestseller Home Service Millionaire.
I didn’t grow up with a silver spoon. I know what it means to work your ass off to get what you want.
I ventured in different options when I was a kid from bussing tables and being a lifeguard, to trying to flip cars, until I finally started a landscaping business (check the poster on the left. It’s not that horrible. I guess. But I could work on my smile.)
The truth is that growing up hearing my parents talking through bill issues is what motivated me to remove money out of the equation, so I could spend quality time with friends and family without having to worry about it.
It took hard work to build a $30M business with over 250 employees in 12 states. But what matters at that end is that we all have to start somewhere.
Being through all that gave me the motivation to help other business owners succeed just like I did. Whether it’s a 7 figure or more business, having more time with your loved ones, or just another $5-$20k per month… My mission is to help YOU get there!