Tommy Mello isn’t shy, doesn’t bullshit, and joins us on To The Point to give us insight into what’s made him successful as an author, a podcaster, and CEO of A-1 Garage Door Service Inc. We discuss how Tommy ended up in the trades, his plan to make a billion dollars, the utility of software, and how you can grow your business simply by surrounding yourself with success. Whether you’re a one-truck guy or an HVAC empire running over 100 technicians in multiple locations, Tommy has something you want to hear.

From Debt to Millions

Much like many of our previous guests, Tommy Mello didn’t find the trades—the trades found him! Tommy grew up in Michigan, mowing lawns and shoveling snow as a youth to earn money. After moving to Arizona at 18, he tried landscaping, drip system installations, and a handful of other jobs until he learned how to paint garage doors. This was something Tommy enjoyed, and he made pretty good money doing it. He joined up with a friend to start a business, and quickly realized that while he was good at painting garage doors, he didn’t know much about running a business.

Tommy dedicated his time to learning and growing his business, and A-1 is currently projected for 55 million this year. His fascination with sales and marketing, automation, and technology have allowed him to take markets by storm and create successful strategies for business. A-1 is now in 12 states, and that number is continuing to grow. Plus, these aren’t franchises. Each location is under the direct supervision of Tommy himself.

Path to a Billion

Tommy isn’t crazy. He has his sights set on growing to a billion dollars, and he’s got a strategy in place. For him, it’s not about the money. Tommy is just driven to succeed, and growing his business is one of many ways he’s doing just that.

According to Tommy, the basic formula for success is figuring out where you want to be, and then figuring out how to get there. In other words, set a goal and calculate the steps you’ll need to take to achieve it. For A-1, that means determining their average ticket, how many tickets they need to run a day, average conversion rates, cost per acquisitions, and how many technicians he’ll need to get there. It may sound like a lofty dream, but for Tommy it’s as simple as gathering data and solving for X.

Technology is Key

What really separates Tommy from the pack is his willingness to incorporate technology into every aspect of his processes. He proudly shares that he is using over 40 different programs in his business daily to assist with virtually every task that needs to be carried out. From ClickFunnels and Service Titan to automated interviews, social media syndicators and more, almost everything about Tommy’s work is automated. His inclusion of technology allows for streamlining in hiring, marketing, and the work itself. Instead of becoming an expert in every aspect of his business, Tommy recognizes the smart move is usually to find someone or in this case, something, to fill the gaps.

Consider Your Surroundings

Tommy’s surroundings play a big part in making him the unstoppable force that he is, and they aren’t by accident. He is quick to mention that while he may not be the smartest person in the room, he’s always going to be the first one to ask for help. He’s always reading books, always seeking out experts, and stays in constant contact with the brightest minds he can find. Part of Tommy’s brilliance is that when he puts an idea into action, that idea has been bounced off of several other intelligent people. In your own business, consider that while you may be good at what you do, if you truly want to be the best you need to constantly learn and seek out the best to help you achieve higher levels of success.

Shop Around

Even when things are going well, and you’re content with your partnerships and vendors, stay open to better opportunities. Tommy is always looking at his options to see if there is something better. Whether it’s insurance, workman’s comp, SEO, or PPC, he has a watchful eye on the markets to keep an edge in business. Complacency is an easy way to prevent opportunities for growth.

Advice for Struggling Businesses

If you’re in a tough spot financially where liquid cash isn’t something you have at your disposal, Tommy recommends getting innovative and going back to your roots. Remember when you first started? You might have handed out flyers to local businesses, passed out business cards at church, and asked friends and neighbors to support you. That old school stuff still works, and this is the perfect time to re-implement those strategies. Right now is the time to be working on your business and improving your processes. Are you willing to hustle and put in some sweat equity?

Learn and Grow

No matter what stage of business you’re at, if you really want to grow you need to be continuously learning. Seek out someone you want to be like and become a student. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new technology, or to take a close look at your processes. For many, Ken is a great person to look at to take that next step in growing your business. To learn more about Ken, you can find him on his own website, on Instagram, and Facebook. You should definitely listen to his podcast, Home Service Expert, and request a free copy of his incredible book, Home Service Millionaire.