In this podcast episode, host Jonathan Stern interviews Adam Kruer, the Director of Operations and Sales at Lamb’s Lawn & Landscaping in Floyd’s Knobs, Indiana. Adam shares his journey into the landscaping industry, starting from cutting grass during college to eventually joining Lamb’s Lawn, where he managed to expand from handling 40 yards on his own to overseeing 400 yards as part of Lamb’s Lawn. Adam touches on how the company is preparing for the upcoming spring season, and shares insights into the company’s adoption of new technology, such as CompanyCam, for improving job record-keeping and crew accountability. Lastly, Adam expresses his vision for the future growth of Lamb’s Lawn & Landscaping, emphasizing maintaining a ‘small town company’ feel despite expansion and the importance of family-like company culture.
In this episode of Titan Talks, host Jonathan Stern interviews Josh Wagner, owner of Wagner’s Lift and Dock Shop, a leading boat lift and dock installation company in Southwest Michigan. Josh shares his journey from working for extra cash in 2008 to eventually taking over a business dealing with boat lifts and docks with his brothers. Despite early challenges, such as working in cold Michigan waters and handling heavy equipment, Josh’s determination and entrepreneurial spirit led him to grow and scale the business. Josh also highlights the role of a strong online presence, facilitated by Topline Pro, in expanding their customer reach and business operations. Josh envisions further growth while maintaining the commitment to excellence that has marked their journey so far.
In this episode of Titan Talks, Jonathan Stern interviews Jack McLiver, owner of Lake Huron Lawns. Jack discusses his transition from employee to entrepreneur, highlighting that the desire to have more family time and provide for them drove his decision. He began his landscaping and snow removal business part-time during the COVID-19 pandemic, inspired by a lawn maintenance YouTube channel and growing it amidst job scarcity from the recession. Jack shares the importance of using technology and software tools, focusing on customer service, and faster response times to inquiries. Lastly, he mentions the challenges of balancing time and the cost of equipment but takes pride in his company’s growth and the personal development of his employees.
In this episode of Titan Talks, Jonathan Henne shares his journey in growing Jonathan A. Henne Property Services. From starting in lawn care as a child in his father’s business until its closure after his father’s death, Henne discusses reopening the business and the challenges he has faced, including learning the business side of operations on his own. Now six years into his own venture, Henne emphasizes the importance of creating good working conditions and service quality, admitting that scheduling and office management remain his greatest challenges. Henne has a small team, with plans to expand to multiple crews, and values both employee and customer relationships, attributing much of his business’s growth to its quality service.
In this episode of Titan Talks, host Jonathan Stern interviews Skyler Stocker, the owner of Stocker Lawn Care. Stocker shares his journey from working full-time in a turkey factory to starting his lawn care company almost by accident. Initially, he was mowing lawns for extra cash, but realized that he enjoyed it more than his full-time job. Stocker decided to expand his services and ultimately quit his factory job to focus on his lawn care business full-time. Today, Stocker Lawn Care has grown from a one-man operation to a team of six. Stocker emphasizes the importance of providing excellent service and fulfilling commitments to customers. His proudest moment was when he was finally able to quit his factory job and become a full-time entrepreneur.
In this episode of Titan Talks, Jonathan Stern chats with Brian Emde, owner of Ozark Deck Company. Brian speaks about how he transitioned from a career in the army to setting up his own deck construction business. Initially working for an unlicensed builder, he decided to start his own company. Brian shares the challenges he faced during his first few projects, particularly under-pricing jobs and having thin margins. As his business grew, he learned the importance of not micromanaging employees, focusing more on growing the company by marketing, sales, and handling administrative work. His greatest pride comes from witnessing his team deliver high-quality work in his absence.
In this podcast episode of Titan Talks, host Jonathan Stern interviews Rick Doria, owner of Centex Pressure Washing in San Marcos, Texas. Rick shares his professional journey, starting as a pressure washer vent hood tech while in college in 2003 then working his way up under the guidance of the previous owner. After 18 years working in another role, Rick returned to Centex when offered to buy the business which he significantly improved, expecting a 50% profit increase within the first year. He shares that the secret to his success is building a culture of respect and mutual accountability in his team, considering them co-workers not subordinates. Now, he aims to expand his business to become a one-stop-shop for kitchen needs, but is challenging himself not to grow the business too quickly. His advice to other entrepreneurs is to move step by step, taking on and improving one thing at a time.
This Titan Talks podcast features Josh Thompson, the owner of JT’s Painting. Thompson started his painting career working for his father’s cleaning service before he developed a liking for the painting aspect of the job. JT’s Painting now specializes in home painting, staining, and refinishing and prides itself on high-quality service and work ethic. Thompson’s aim is to upscale the image of the profession and distinguish his business through quality work and reliable service. He says social media and online platforms like Google have helped drive business to his company, being particularly focused on garnering positive reviews. In the future, he hopes to expand his business to offer steady job opportunities and ensure a secure future for his children.
In this episode of Titan Talks, Jonathan Stern hosts Stacey Conkle, the owner of two successful cleaning businesses in Northwest Arkansas — Cozy Cabin Cleaning and A Beautiful Day Cleaning. Stacey discusses how her career in property management sparked her interest in the cleaning business. She initially noticed a massive need for a cleaning company for short-term rental properties, which led her to create Cozy Cabin Cleaning. More recently she also started A Beautiful Day Cleaning, a service that deals with professional house cleaning. Initially, she employed numerous marketing services to support her businesses, but she has recently consolidated all marketing efforts to Topline Pro, a decision that has saved her thousands of dollars.
In this episode of Titan Talks, host Jonathan Stern interviews Cale Schindler, owner of Fayette Property Solutions, a landscaping contractor based in Fayetteville, Georgia. Started in 2018 by Cale and his father, the company offers both residential and commercial services, with many larger scale projects. Cale shares the company’s origin story, noting that it began with him assisting a neighbor at age 17, and eventually evolved into a father-son enterprise. Initially, they invested $40,000-$45,000 in equipment without having any customers. He explains that they manage to perform work equal to a six-eight person crew efficiently due to superior teamwork and communication. The show concludes with a rapid fire round in which Cale shares his plan for the future, champions customer service and open communication as keys to the success, and admits his biggest regret was not quitting his day job sooner.
In this episode of Titan Talks, host Jonathan Stern interviews Eric van Overbake, the owner of Prime Painting, a painting company in Charlotte, North Carolina. Eric shares his journey to success, starting with his college gig as a painter and eventually branching off to start his own business. He talks about the instant gratification he experiences with painting and how he fell in love with the work. Eric also discusses the biggest mistake he made in his business, which was hiring people without first seeing their work firsthand. He emphasizes the importance of quality over quantity and the need to synchronize the work across all jobs. Eric also opens up about his recent investments in marketing, including TikTok and a new website, and discusses his goals for the future, which involve generating more income while working less by hiring trustworthy employees. He shares his advice for new painters, such as trusting your gut with homeowners and building a social network around your location. Eric concludes by expressing his excitement for future collaborations and the steady growth of his business.
In this episode of the Titan Talks podcast, host Jonathan Stern interviews Conor Farrell, owner of Home Hardening Solutions, a home hardening company in Grass Valley, California. He shares how he started the business after noticing a growing need for home hardening services in his area. Conor explains the four divisions of his company: roofing, concrete/hardscaping, construction, and land clearing. He emphasizes the importance of maintaining quality as the business grows and prioritizing customer satisfaction. Conor discusses the challenges of scheduling and the pride he feels in being featured in a TV interview.
In this episode of the Titan Talks podcast, host Jonathan Stern interviews Mike Blumenthal, owner of Near Media, a research and media company focused on local search. They discuss the importance of Google Business profiles for home service professionals, the factors that contribute to rankings on Google, and best practices for improving online presence and generating leads. Mike also addresses common issues such as the filtering of reviews and account suspension on Google. He advises home service professionals to focus on creating a strong online presence by optimizing their website, collecting customer contact information, and actively managing reviews and customer relationships. Overall, Mike emphasizes the importance of owning customer data and leveraging it to generate business.
In this episode of Titan Talks, Jonathan Stern interviews Aaron Allred, owner of Hollywood Detail, an auto detailing service in Northport, Alabama. Allred shares his journey of how he started in auto detailing while working at the fire department and how the business grew rapidly to the point where he had to build a shop at his house. The conversation covers topics such as adjusting the business during the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on niche services, dealing with dissatisfied customers, and the importance of word-of-mouth marketing. Allred also discusses his goals for the future, which include expanding his team and potentially teaching others in the industry.
In this podcast episode of Titan Talks, host Jonathan Stern interviews Marco Tardio, the owner of Tardio Home Improvements, a construction and remodeling company in Savannah, Georgia. Marco shares his journey of starting his own business in 2018, initially focusing on flooring but gradually expanding to include painting, showers, and full home renovations. He discusses the importance of hiring specialized employees and creating a well-organized team. Marco also emphasizes the significance of his online presence, including a website and strong social media presence, which has helped him attract clients. He recommends Topline Pro, a platform that handles website design, marketing, and reviews. Marco’s goal is to be the best in Savannah and hopes to have multiple warehouses and stores in the next five years. His proudest moment so far has been reaching a point where he can relax and let his team handle the work.
In this episode of Titan Talks, host Jonathan Stern interviews Shawn Perillo, owner of Perillo Property Maintenance. Perillo discusses how he got started in the landscaping industry and why he decided to start his own company. He shares the ups and downs of running the business, including the importance of route density and the challenges of finding good help. Perillo also emphasizes the impact of having an online presence, with 85% of his leads coming from his website and social media. Perillo’s ultimate goal is to have more time and money for his family and personal pursuits. He advises aspiring entrepreneurs to focus on quality work and not to get caught up in having fancy equipment when starting out.
In this episode of Titan Talks, host Jonathan Stern interviews Shawn van Dyke, owner of Built to Build, an academy designed to help construction business owners streamline their businesses, make more money, and regain control of their lives. Shawn emphasizes the importance of systems and processes, and why it is critical to understand one’s worth and pricing accordingly, Additionally, he recommends using AI technology and automation to streamline the sales process and nurture leads.
In this episode of Titan Talks, Jonathan Stern hosts Nick Ornitz, Co-Founder and CEO of Topline Pro, and Luke Hansen, founder and CEO of CompanyCam. Luke discusses the origin of the company as a solution to organizing job site photos, the challenges faced in the early stages, and how the platform has evolved since its founding. Luke also shares his thoughts on the balance between adopting new technology and focusing on the core work in the trades, why the future is bright for the trades, and the key advancements in technology that will affect the industry in coming years.
This episode of Titan Talks features Steve Lockwood, the owner of Lockwood Finishes, a successful painting company located in Springfield, Illinois. The show discusses his start in the industry, how he came to realize that he was a professional, and how making 100 phone calls a day helped boost his business and client base in the early days. Steve shares insights on the importance of job costing, his pride in carrying the name Lockwood, and how having a website has transformed his business and brought him in front of people that didn’t know about his services.
In this episode of Titan Talks, host Jonathan Stern interviews Jeff Wraley, the founder and CEO of Groundwork, a platform designed to streamline the sales process for contractors. Jeff discusses his journey into the home service industry, the features and benefits of Groundwork’s text and video collaboration tool, and the future of the industry with the increasing demand for technology in the process. Jeff also shares advice for starting businesses and refining pricing models, as well as some of the challenges faced by Groundwork.
In this episode of Titan Talks, host Jonathan Stern interviews Matt Ringle, owner of Curb Impressions, a successful landscaping company based in Toledo, Ohio, about his journey from starting with just eight lawns to achieving over $850,000 in revenue last year. Matt shares the importance of providing exceptional services, treating customers well, and the impact that the company’s website and social media presence have had on his business. He also discusses the value of having a dedicated, loyal, and skilled team, as well as overcoming challenges faced during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In this episode of Titan Talks, host Jonathan Stern talks to Jon Sanchez, owner of Tru Frame Outdoor Structures. Sanchez shares his journey from deciding jump into construction immediately after high school, learning on the job, and eventually starting his own business. Tru Frame focuses on providing a great customer experience and aims to be the best in the area. The company has seen success with 82 lead requests from their website in just over a year, and the demand for their services has increased during the pandemic.
In this episode of Titan Talks, Tanner Mullen shares his journey from working with his dad as a painter to growing his painting business and becoming the founder of DripJobs, a software platform for home service professionals. He discusses his interest in technology and automation, which led him to develop DripJobs. He also shares his experience building and improving the software, including the journey to find a CTO and the responsibility he feels toward supporting the 600 companies that use his platform. At the end of the show, he discusses his vision for the future of trades and the role of technology companies in enabling that future.
Lauren Fink, the founder and CEO of Apex Painting, shares her unique journey into the painting business, driven by her entrepreneurial spirit and supported by her mentor and local painter Steve. Lauren emphasizes the importance of finding good resources, such as the Painting Contractors Association, and learning from others’ experiences.
John shares his inspiring journey from a life of addiction and homelessness to building a successful power washing business. He talks about the lessons he has learned from watching others and using resources like YouTube, the importance of customer service and honesty, and the methods he uses to attract and retain customers. He also shares his vision for the future of his business and the role of perseverance in achieving success.
Joshua shares his experience of going through hard times in life and how he developed a “no quit” mentality to keep pushing forward. He emphasizes the importance of being the best version of oneself for family, employees, and the community. Joshua also offers valuable advice for aspiring entrepreneurs and emphasizes the importance of having a great team and constantly learning from others.
The journey of starting a landscaping business on the side and growing it as a solo-operator. Dustin highlights the lessons he learned, advice for other pros thinking of taking the leap to being a business owner and most importantly, how to stay true to building a good business.
Jered shares his story growing the business from a solo operation to servicing more than 400 weekly properties and the role that their online presence played.
Don’t Just Be A Baseline Contractor Become a Topline Pro
Advice from growing an auto detailing business from the ground up