The Sharpest Tool™

Howard Partridge Part 2 | How to Get Off the Truck and Build the Life You Want

Howard Partridge is an internationally recognized business coach, bestselling author, and experienced business owner. He continues his discussion on how to build a scalable, turnkey home services business, by focusing on systems, leadership, and vision.

Josh Smith (00:03):

Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the sharpest tool where we take the sting out of marketing with everything that we bring to the table. My name is Josh Smith. I am your host. And with me today, again is the intimate is Howard Partridge Howard phenomenal Partridge actually, as his zoom name is right now. I love, I want to welcome him back. He's an international business coach. Number one, best-selling author on and he's a conference speaker. He started his first business out of the trunk of his car and grew it into a multi-million dollar turnkey enterprise and has owned nine small businesses and helped other businesses for over two decades. I'm getting the point, Howard, where I actually have your bio pretty much memorized you go, here we go. It's good to have you back how you've been doing phenomenal.

Howard Partridge (00:49):

Well, of course, so for the listservs, my company name is phenomenal products and you know, I ran across an author. I kept seeing his name and I started reading his books and his name was Charlie, tremendous Jones. And the book was called life is tremendous. And I thought, you know, I need to incorporate says my company is phenomenal products. Maybe I should be Howard phenomenal Partridge. I love that. They call me Mr. But nominal hit anyway.

Josh Smith (01:20):

You know what? You're kind of like Mr. Wonderful on shark tank, right? Kevin O'Leary, I'll take it. The Harrods phenomenal partners are going to start branding you that way. That's awesome. Well, today in today's episode, we're going to talk a bit about something that I think is on every business. Owner's mind at some point in the game, they obviously don't get into the business game without having this on their mind. And that is this idea of scaling. Everybody wants to grow their business. At least most business owners want to grow their business to whatever goal they have in mind. And the only way you can do that is to truly scale. So let's start off by defining it. What is scaling and what does it mean for a home service business?

Howard Partridge (01:59):

Well, thanks scaling simply means that you have predictable processes in place that you can duplicate that you don't have to redo and be involved in is really the key. Yeah.

Josh Smith (02:14):

Why is it so important? And on the operational side, is it so important?

Howard Partridge (02:19):

Well, the thing is you can't grow if you're trying to do everything yourself, right. And the typical scenario, it doesn't matter how big or how small the company is. If you look at the organization they're involved in marketing, they're involved in sales, they're involved in operations, they're involved in the administration. They're trying to manage that. They're trying to plan that they don't get enough time to plan that. And the thing is, is that you cannot effectively grow your company if you're involved in every little detail that company you just can't.

Josh Smith (02:56):

Yeah. I know you have this idea of like a five-part framework for scaling. Like what, tell me a little bit about that. What are the five? The five.

Howard Partridge (03:04):

Yeah. And so, uh, over the years, and as you mentioned, I grew my service company into a turnkey business. And in order to do that, you really need three things. You need systems, which we'll talk about, and you need people who are willing to do the work as prescribed. And the way that you do that is the way you find those people, hire those people and train those people, develop those people is by being a better leader, everything rises and falls on leadership. So I had developed systems and leadership and marketing and sales and operations administration all the way across the board and the framework that I created. And I love, uh, and by the way, I took that company by developing these systems, I put it into a position to where I moved off the org chart, and I don't have to be there at all.

Howard Partridge (04:04):

Now this may sound a little strange to the people who are listening, but I had a dream and that dream was to spend as much time as I possibly could on my favorite beach in the whole world. And how did stream to build this house? That's where I am right now. And my company, my service company that did almost $4 million last year, I started at myself, but I built it up, uh, put the people, the systems, the leadership in place. I haven't actually been to my office, the building that I own, the office that I still have there, which is really a conference room at this point and over a year. And when I, when I was there, I just happened to be in the neighborhood and I had a cancellation on a phone call canceled, and I said, Hey, I'll stop by and see everybody. I see my team as a whole, once a year at the Christmas party. That's it, that's it incredible. And so I get to log my favorite beach. I get to do what I'm called to do that is to help people have a phenomenal business and a phenomenal life. I get to do that because I scaled that business. I got systems in place. I got it. Turnkey.

Josh Smith (05:24):

Yeah. So these five parts started, rises and falls with leadership and it couldn't agree more. You know, I, I heard it said this. I think it was John Maxwell that pointed this way. Part of the job of a leader is to work themselves out of being a leader. Right? So to get to that point where you have where the system is running itself. So what are some of the other parts that you want to consider when you're looking at a framework for scaling? Perfect.

Howard Partridge (05:46):

So I love frameworks because, uh, once you have the framework of something, you can just start filling in the guts, so to speak. And so the first one is vision, okay. John Maxwell said that leadership is influence nothing more, nothing less. And John Maxwell said that leadership, the way that you gain influence in someone else's life is by adding value to them. Zig Ziglar said, you can have everything in life you want. If you'll just help enough other people get what it is that they want. There's a lot of definitions of leadership. Dale Carnegie said that leadership is enlisting the willing cooperation of others to achieve a goal. And my definition of leadership is leadership is effectively communicating the vision. So you have dev a vision, people who are on your team, they want to know where are we going and why are we going there? So you have to have a vision.

Howard Partridge (06:45):

So that's the first piece of the framework. We have to have an overarching vision, uh, where we're going and why we're going there and how are we going to get there? Okay. So vision number two is an org chart, a simple org chart. And I have an org chart that has three levels of leadership director manager technician. And then you have marketing sales, operations administration. I know that's a lot to probably listen to, but once your listeners get a ball with us, they'll see that org chart over. And so really there's 12 boxes on there. And the reason that that's important is because everybody sees the role as a functional organizational chart, not a positional organizational chart. So they see the 12 things that need to happen in a company. They see where they fit in this organization and what they do. And then you take each one of those boxes and you create what we call a PRD is kind of like a job description, but a PRD.

Howard Partridge (07:55):

And this is the third component of PRD is a performance results description. In other words, what are the results? The outcome that's the vision. That's the goal was our sales goal, which are numbers, goals. What are all the goals? We talked about KPIs and another episode. And that's part of the vision goals are part of the vision and what is my responsibility to create those outcomes. And how do I need to perform to create that outcome? For example, talking about operations, let's say, how do you measure service? You measure by customer satisfaction, right? So if the job, if you show up on time, the customer's happy. You get a good report card or you don't get a negative one at least. And we accomplished the mission. Then we got the right result. Well, how do need to perform to get there? Well, you got to leave the shop on time.

Howard Partridge (08:59):

You've got to have everything on your band, the way it's supposed to do. We have a checklist for that. You got to show up on time. You've gotta be in uniform. We got a policy for that. Here's your introduction script. Here's what you do next. Here's what you don't do on the job site. Here's what you do. Here's what you do when you leave the job site. And so we have all these systems in place that all the technician has to do as follow this checklist. Simple. Yeah. Right? So the performance required for getting this result. We're going to describe that in this PRD, you show up on time for the company, meeting the daily company, meeting, you do your daily band check. You arrive on time and you know, it's just a checklist. So your vision, your org chart, your PRD, then you have your policies and procedures.

Howard Partridge (09:50):

So each one of these positions in the company, each one of these roles in the company, everything that happens in the company has a policy and a procedure attached to it. Yeah. I mean all the way down to filling out a deposit slip for the bank. Okay. If you're a deposit in checks. Yeah. Here's where they are. Here's when it's to be done, here's where it goes to the bank. Here's the order that you put the names on it. As you systematically create a policy and a procedure for each thing. Now that takes a while. But if you have a framework to work with, okay, they're building a house next door, they've framed it all up. They got the foundation and they framed it all up and it's taken time to build that house. But once you have the framework, then you can start filling in all the other things, but you can't do it without a framework. So vision, organizational chart, PRDs policies and procedures.

Josh Smith (10:52):

How often do you find you reassess some of the policies? You know, I know there was a lot of it kind of happening once COVID hit. Is there a standard cadence that you find it's best to like review what you've put in place? Or is it more kind of up to just the tide as, as things change and, and business evolves over time?

Howard Partridge (11:10):

Yeah. So as the owner of the business, uh, the managers of the business, first of all, you should be meeting with your production team daily. I really believe that those technicians need to come into the shop. We have a 20 minute meeting. We go over the numbers, any thing that's happening out there that they need to know about once a week, we do some light training. So you do that daily. Then every week you want to have a managers meeting, so to speak and anything that's brought up, that's not working. You're always looking at and tweaking how things are working, because what happens as you find out that, you know, we're getting the results, but there's a easier, faster, more effective way to get there. Okay? So anybody in the company is encouraged and say, Hey, there's a better way to do this. You know, have the permission to change it until it's changed formally.

Howard Partridge (12:11):

And then we bring that into the meeting. We have a weekly meeting. We have an annual business planning meeting. When I, uh, first restructured my company. Many years ago, we, with my new management team, we had a full day meeting every month we did around the 20th of the month. And we planned out how we're going to have the most phenomenal month ever the next month. One of the things that we do with our coaching clients is we teach them how to have a weekly meeting and with their leadership team or management team, they're key players. And you, first of all, review the numbers, where are we at on the numbers? And we keep an issues list. Okay. We're not showing up on time because of whatever. We've got some issues with some guys doing this or that maybe someone's out and yeah, COVID-19 changed everything. So now, instead of having one meeting in the morning, we have to social distance, we bring in half the crew at seven 30, the other half of the crew was they're gone at eight o'clock and we rotate the team members to keep smaller groups together. Yeah.

Josh Smith (13:26):

How did you get off the truck? And what recommendation do you have for people who are looking to do that? Maybe they just don't know how they don't know how to step back and all of a sudden run the operation without doing the whole.

Howard Partridge (13:37):

Yeah. So the way that you get off the truck, first of all, you got to want to get off the truck. You have to know what you're going to do when you get off the truck. The problem is, is that when guys get off the truck, they don't know what to do because they don't feel comfortable with quote unquote management, right? You're so in love with the technical, you feel like, you know, you can do it better than anybody. And that's probably true, but you're going to be stuck there forever. As long as you have that mentality. So you have to want to, you have to have a vision of life off the truck. You have to fall out of love with the technical part and understand that if someone else can do it 85% as good as you can, then you're able to scale.

Howard Partridge (14:29):

Well, they have to be trained. So that's a combination of, if you're going to have someone take over your truck, they have to be trained, probably classroom. Number one, they have to have some experience, but the ride alongs are so important. Okay? So what you do is once people are trained, you're going to switch, okay, you're going to show them what to do. You want to tell them what to do? You got your manual, you got to show them how to do it. Then you're going to watch them do it. And when they can do the whole program, step by step without you, whether you supervising now, you can step off the truck and then you're going to have to win them because they're going to want to call you for every little thing. And you're going to train them to read the manual or review their training.

Howard Partridge (15:19):

And the only thing that you got to really have to get involved in at that point in time is the real difficult technical jobs are issues, which is fine because 90% of them are routine. Okay. Then what are you going to do with that time? You're going to develop the rest of your business and continue to get out of when you see the org chart. There's a, on the bottom row, there's marketing technician, sales technician, operations, technician, administration, technician. And you're going to have to work yourself out of each one of those boxes and move up to the middle level, which is manager. And now you're just making sure that everything is working right. You know, where you want to move yourself. If you want to be turn key, or you want to work on the business debt in the business, you work yourself out of management.

Howard Partridge (16:11):

How do you do that? Well, these wonderful people that you've trained in marketing and sales and service and finance and all that, those people can then elevate to manager level. And you're in what I call the director level. So you're planning, vision casting, meeting with the managers and all that. And eventually you can get off the org chart all together. And that's what I did. I've helped a lot of people around the world do the same thing, but it's just a matter of systematically replacing yourself and each and every role each and every level. Yeah,

Josh Smith (16:48):

That's awesome. Howard. This is really, really, really powerful advice. I think, uh, you know, systems is one thing that's been on our mind a lot with the business owners we've worked with. We tie this up with a nice bow. Is there any last piece of advice you would give somebody who's potentially been struggling with this question of how to scale with their business? What would you say to them?

Howard Partridge (17:06):

I would say you're probably going to need some help. So get a coach, get someone who has already done this because it's not going to be easy. The building systems in your business and seeing that all the way through is probably the hardest thing that you'll ever do. Okay. I'm just telling you that from personal experience, because as soon as you get a guy on the truck, then he quits or gets sick or whatever, or marketing person quits or whatever. This is why you need to have those systems. So it's faster to get somebody up and running. When you have the checklist, you have the systems. So my advice would be the, if I could give you the simplest advice to just wrap this up in a bow, like you said, as, even though it will be hard, you need to have such a compelling vision for your yourself. Where are you going? I wanted to turn key business because I wanted to be doing what I'm doing. Now. I wanted to be on my beach. I wanted to be helping other people build a phenomenal business, have a phenomenal life. So you better have a vision. That's the bow have a compelling vision that drives you every day. I've got to get off this truck because I need to get out of this role because I need to get this business organized because yeah, what's your, why? What's your picture?

Josh Smith (18:32):

Love that, Howard, where can people find out more about you

Howard Partridge (18:35):

Howard Just go to Howard We'll have a little, opt-in there just put in your information and we will take you on the proven path of building a phenomenal business so that you can have a phenomenal life.

Josh Smith (18:52):

I love that Howard phenomenal Partridge. It's pleasure, pleasure as always. Thanks so much for joining us today. Thank you for having me awesome. And for everybody listening, wherever you might be listening at, definitely hit the like button and tap that subscribe button. If you have it on your podcasting platform. So you can continue to get more of this awesome content. If you found today's episode valuable and helpful, please please share it around. There are a lot of people that need to hear exactly what Howard had to say today. And if you're on iTunes, definitely go ahead and leave us a review. It really helps the search algorithms. So that way more people can find the sharpest tool and get to more information on how to help grow their business. So you could check out any new episodes as well on the scorpion website and from all of us here at scorpion. And until next time on the sharpest tool, we'll talk to you then.

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