Home Contractors HQ Show Notes – Episode 5 – Billy Sweet
Thanks for listening to our podcast! In case you missed some of the things we referenced in the episode, this is where you can come and follow up on the things we’ve discussed.
Here’s What I’m Trying To Say…
Apparently I was so struck with Billy Sweet’s interview that I couldn’t get out of my own way to introduce him! I’ve always been better at writing these things out…let’s just say that you might be able to learn from someone who started the premiere chimney service company in the greater Boston area. Think people use their chimneys up there much?
Interview – Billy Sweet, Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep
Like co-host Clay Lamb, and many of the established chimney and fireplace service companies across the country, Billy Sweet started out with limited knowledge and experience and an August West kit, but made it work because he had his mind set to it.
Some noteworthy nuggets from Clay’s interview with Billy:
- Billy’s “why” for starting his own business was wanting to be the one to make the decisions so that when he had to own up to making a mistake, it was his decision that had led to that mistake, not someone else’s decision.
- Clay asked Billy what held him back from starting his own business, he replied, “Nothing was going to hold me back!” He then tells a great story about going to ask for his first business loan and having to learn what “collateral” meant.
- Two realizations Billy has come to in his journey: like his father had taught him, do the right thing when it comes to doing a job, and don’t spend your focus on the work you’re doing in the house and forget that it’s really about serving the customer whose house you’re in.
- The first thing Billy would tell people starting their own business: “It’s not about the money.” If you are up for leading, then you don’t need to worry about having enough money to start, and you don’t even have to do something you love…well, at least like it!
Mailbag Question – What To Do With All That Money?
Clay and Chris talked about how to spend all that dough…it’s all about the Benjamins, right?
Clay cautions against going and loading up on those tools you always wanted, and then being empty-handed when you need capital to buy materials. He also recommends bootstrapping in order to get the job done, through renting or borrowing tools on a job by job basis until you have a handle on what you need to buy and what you could just rent when you need it.
A good rule of thumb is stashing away roughly half of the profit on the job (after overhead and Uncle Sam’s take) and keeping it for materials down the line. This won’t always be the case, but is a good discipline to start with so all of those profits don’t go to the “Big Box Store.”
Clay also recommends getting credit from local places with low credit lines (hardware stores, suppliers, vendors etc.) to get used to the ebb and flow of credit, and to build a positive credit history for the future when you will need to approach banks for larger loans. Remember to keep those payments up!
Have any questions specific to where you are as a home contracting business owner? Send us your questions or any other comments you might have…we listen or read to each one, and your question could be featured on a future podcast!
Our next episode is a treat, where we delve into a Marketing 101 course meant just for you, the home contractor! See you next week!
— Chris —