July 12, 2022
Everyone wants an invite to the Bardi party! On this episode of To The Point, we welcome Adam Bardi, President & CEO of Bardi Heating, Cooling & Plumbing. Under Adam, Bardi has skyrocketed from $4MM to 25MM in the last 4 years, and it’s no surprise. He’s been doing the right things with the right focus, and the results are in. We sat down with Adam to pick his brain about what it is that he’s doing to see massive success with his home services company.
Adam’s parents founded Bardi back in 1989. He had a big passion for cars growing up, and his dad made it clear if he wanted one, he’d have to get a job and save up for one. That led Adam to working summers at his parent’s shop. The summer of his Freshman year in high school, Adam worked his first summer at Bardi helping with installs. That meant not just climbing up and being in attics in the sweltering Atlanta heat, but also falling through them (installers understand!). His second summer he helped run service as a helper. The third summer Adam worked in the sheet metal shop, putting thousands of 90 degree bends in sheet metal. The next year he got his drivers license and found work at a golf course. He was over it!
Adam had no interest in being in the trades, and went off to college. In his words, “wasted years”. A lot of younger people feel that pressure to go to college, and it’s not always the right course for everyone. After dropping out, he found work painting houses – mostly new construction gigs. After a year or so, Adam figured he could start his own business doing that, and so he did! Around 2004, Bardi Painting was founded. Only 22 years old, Adam would grow that business to a few employees and pretty good subcontractor crew. He thought he had it made. He had his own business, was single and young, and was able to play golf a few times a week. Then the 2008 recession hit, and Adam got his ass kicked. New construction was not the place to be.
Over the next 12 months, Adam wound down Bardi Painting. In 2010, his dad called him and asked him to come back to work a Bardi. Adam did, and would begin right at the bottom. He was a delivery driver making 16 bucks an hour, just a few years after owning his own business. Back then, Bardi was mainly in commercial HVAC, doing about 30-40MM in commercial and then a little in residential service. He would work his way up from sweeping floors and doing deliveries to wanting to learn how to run service. Adam was starting to enjoy the work, and really wanted to move up. He joined the service department and went to tech school, working during the day and attending his classes at night. Adam would do everything from book calls and dispatch to be out in the field running calls. By 2014, he had worked his way into management. In 2017, Adam’s parents sold the commercial part of Bardi to two internal candidates. In 2018, Adam would purchase the residential piece and start on his trajectory to today, taking Bardi from a 4MM company to 25MM doing residential service and replacement.
Full disclosure: Bardi has been partnered with RYNO Strategic Solutions since 2020. It’s been a real pleasure to watch the company grow under Adam’s leadership these last few years, and his path to growth started much earlier than that. Many companies get to that 1-2MM mark and stall, but Adam was able to push Bardi way beyond that in such a short period of time. What did he do differently?
For starters, Adam knew early on that learning from others was key. He traveled with his GM all over the place to visit other shops. At 4Mm and 20 employees, walking into the shop of a company at 20MM, 50MM, or 100MM opened his eyes to the possibilities. Adam would take plenty of notes and then come back to implement what he had learned at Bardi.
Another big piece for Adam was figuring out fast that the easy part for him was making the phone ring, but attracting and hiring talent was the real work. Bardi continues to be focused on attracting and hiring the right people. Lastly, the marketing piece had to be solid. Having great partners so they didn’t have to be worried about making the phone ring allows them to focus on creating a winning culture.
If you’ll allow us to brag about Bardi briefly: in the month of May 2022, Bardi had 600+ HVAC leads and 300+ plumbing leads to total 1,001 NEW leads combined. These are NEW leads, not returning customers. Further still, their booking rate for new business is at 66.21%, with their returning business number sitting even higher. Quite impressive numbers!
One thing Adam understands is that Bardi is a brand, and that can be a lot of fun! There’s a lot of time and effort spent on brand recognition, which does even more than just lower that cost per lead (CPL) number that we love to focus on so much. If you follow Bardi on social media, you’ll know they like to keep things pretty light and fun. You may have even see “FOB Man”, Bardi GM Dustin’s alter-ego. Dressed in a blue leotard and with a big orange mohawk (orange and blue are the Bardi colors), Dustin shows up at company events all the time. Adam saw this as a great opportunity to help drum up attention for their “Friends of Bardi” (FOB) program, and FOB Man was born.
Adam looks at his FOB members and thinks, how much more successful will we be if we just really excel at serving our existing customers? Sure, new customers are the lifeblood of any service business, but their existing customers yield higher conversion rates and higher tickets. The leadership team has really bought in. As Nexstar members, Bardi knows that the Nexstar industry benchmark for conversion rate from new customer to member is 25%. They’ve focused on that in the last few years, dispatching their best technicians to those new clients and being sure to always ask. Pretty quickly, they’ve reached around a 40% conversion rate for FOB memberships. As Adam notes, the magic happens when you start offering it to every customer. You just have to ask!
Adam plans to keep the train moving full speed ahead. Of course PE is always a temptation, with letters, emails, and phone calls coming in all the time. He isn’t interested in heading that direction yet. His goal is to be a 40MM business and the best home services company to work for in his market. It’s having a happy team first, and the rest he knows will follow. Plans to add on electrical and make some tucks-ins and small acquisitions are on the horizon, but Adam is simply enjoying scaling his people and watching things grow. There’s a new Bardi academy in the works as well, and they’ve just leased another 10,000 square foot space to get that going. We’re excited to see where Adam takes the company, and certainly proud to have him as a RYNO Strategic Solutions partner and guest on To The Point!
Want to get in touch with Adam? He’s graciously given his information out to our listeners. You can email him at [email protected], or text him at 678-409-5402. Until next episode…NO ZERO DAYS!