If you’ve ever considered adding additional services, this is the episode for you! Bobby Jenkins is one of the most genuine beings you’ll ever meet, and it was truly a pleasure to sit down and chat with him about how he made offering a wide range of services a successful formula. His list of accomplishments is lengthy, ranging from 2017 Austinite of the Year to a Philanthropic Leadership award from the Austin Chamber of Commerce, and he’s also the owner of ABC Home & Commercial Services in Austin, Texas.
Bobby was raised in San Antonio, grew up in the pest management business, and after graduating from Texas A&M he moved to Austin in 1983 where he resides today.
So, how did Bobby go from a humble pest control beginning to running a multiple-office, almost 900-employee company offering everything from HVAC and pest control to electrical and even Christmas light installation? It wasn’t an overnight thing, and he certainly didn’t set out with the goal of being a one-stop shop for services.
Essentially, where there’s a demand, Bobby finds a way to meet it. The lawn mowing service ABC provides is a direct result of enough customers wanting the service, so they started offering it! While mowing lawns, the occasional sprinkler head would be run over, and instead of contracting another company—they just decided to move into the sprinkling & irrigation business. Bobby pays close attention to wants and needs of his customers, with whom he has fostered and maintained a personal relationship with over the years, and it has allowed him to make moves that are already set for success.
The keys to this growth are fairly simple, but they require a few necessary steps. Perhaps the most important is having the right person to lead the new venture. A great idea without a leader to execute it is doomed to fail.
Another component to growth that cannot be understated is being able to determine manageable growth for your business. Bobby set a strategic goal of 15-16% growth a year, because he had taken the time to calculate a rate of growth that his business could handle and digest. He did it the right way, with the right team, and was thoughtful, intentional, and strategic with each step of the process.
By growing your company, you subsequently provide more opportunities for those who work for you. They won’t need to go elsewhere, because you’re taking care of them, and giving them the ability to grow with you. The same goes for your clients. If you have a relationship based on trust, and can handle all of the services they need, they’ll always go to you for business.
You have to be open to new ideas and opportunities, as well. As Bobby notes, it doesn’t cost a cent to listen to somebody. Listen to your employees and customers, because they’ll usually tell you what they want. If a service will add value to that relationship, it must be considered. Then, if you can turn that into a new venture by finding the right leader and team for the job, you have a winning formula for growth.
Bobby is a big believer that business doing good is good business. When a business is giving back to the community it serves, it’s a win on three levels. The first is that the organization you’re giving your time, talent, or treasure to benefits directly from those efforts. Secondly, and more so today than ever before, the opportunity for the organization to work together and give back is magical. People want to work for a company that is actively involved in charitable work. The last benefit is kind of outside of the company, but when a customer is choosing who to contact for a service, all things being equal, is probably going to choose the company that they feel is giving back to the community. You don’t do it to make your business grow, but there are certainly benefits to it!
People tend to want to do business with people they trust; that they feel they have a relationship with. If you have an opportunity to put on an event—not sponsor, actually put it on—that’s a great opportunity to build those relationships with your community. ABC runs the Kite Fest each year, and it’s a free family event that over 200 ABC employees regularly volunteer to help with. All of the money raised is donated to charities that Bobby is passionate about, like the Moss Pieratt Foundation and Communities in Schools. ABC also sponsors the Heart Walk, and many other worthy organizations.
Find the thing that your company can be passionate about, and that you can do together. It’s one thing to work together in the office, but it’s a deeper level of relationship when you do something together outside of the office for someone else.
The conversation we had with Bobby is a deep, meaningful one, and we know you’ll learn quite a bit about adding services and so much more by listening. Until the next episode, we leave you with the Bobby Jenkins motto: “Work hard and be nice!”