You work hard every day to bring the best services to your customers, but let’s face it: we’re here to make money! If you’ve ever considered selling your HVAC/plumbing/electrical business, this is the episode for you. Ken Haines, Chairman & CEO of The Wrench Group joins To The Point to discuss merger & acquisition strategy, creating millionaires, how to grow your company, and more.
Hailing from Long Island and former CEO of Coolray in Atlanta, GA, Ken Haines has been in the industry for decades. When he was only 15 years old, he already knew he wanted to be in the trades! In 1978, when Ken was in high school, he had the opportunity to go to school for the first half of the day, and the second half of his day was spent in trade school. He knew that if he was going to be successful running a business someday, he’d need to to learn the trade he was in. Once he graduated high school, Ken started his own business. He sold that company 6 years later to move to Florida where the market was better and air conditioning was nearly year-round, joining Service America as a tech.
For the first decade or so of his life in the trades, Ken was a technician. He moved up the ranks to management, and eventually had the opportunity to run a company once again. He admits that he made plenty of mistakes during this time, but that was a great chance for Ken to learn what worked and what didn’t.
In 2003, Ken relocated to Atlanta to help run and turn around a business named Coolray. He was later offered the chance to purchase Coolray at a great price–and Ken never hesitated. Along with a partner, Ken grew that business, and today it’s worth around 80-90 million dollars and projected for over 120 in the near future.
During his time running Coolray, Ken started up the Wrench Group. This was a collaboration in late 2015 between four like-minded individuals and companies with great businesses and markets. Together they packed their companies together as one, creating an incredible organization that continues to bring onboard companies looking to grow and be a part of something bigger.
The Wrench group doesn’t consolidate businesses, and doesn’t change culture. What it does do is create millionaires. They look to partner with owners that want to stay onboard, and those that have great cultures and markets with a track record of success. This opportunity for owners to gain additional experience through an established team and grabbing a piece of a bigger pie. It’s about cooperation and enabling the business to grow, and have some help with things like insurance and other issues that can often get in the way for owners.
It’s great as an owner as a business to be able to reward your hard working employees, and The Wrench Group is just that. It’s an opportunity to reinvest, and give your team members the chance to become owners and equity holders in the company. Leaders in your organization can become actual owners.
The Wrench Group emphasizes continued education, efficient processes, great marketing, and proper structuring. At the end of the day it’s about making money, and they know just how to do that. Business owners that have joined have had the chance to grow their wealth exponentially. In fact, the Wrench Group has created over 50 millionaires in their short time, and are looking to expand that number to over 100 very soon.
It’s been reiterated on our podcast by many successful entrepreneurs, and Ken’s experience has been no different. You have to run your business as if you’re going to sell it one day. Let’s face it, there’s really only three possible scenarios for your company. Scenario one is failure, which we’re here to help you avoid. Scenarios two and three are either selling the business, or being unable to continue to run the business. Since failure isn’t an option, you have to recognize that at some point, you’ll have to let go of your business.
The best way to prepare for this inevitable outcome is to set yourself up for a successful exit, and that means continued growth. You want a great top and bottom line, and a track record of success behind you. Of course, as owners, we always feel like our businesses are worth more than they are because we know just how many hours were put into it. Unfortunately, those hours don’t show up on the spreadsheets. If you want to show the value of your time, you need a P&L statement that backs it all up.
Most importantly, perhaps, is having a strong leadership and management team surrounding you. This will allow you to focus on having strong financials, properly implemented processes, and a solid foundation for your business to thrive. These are cores of The Wrench Group, and the results certainly speak for themselves.
If you want to learn more about The Wrench Group, please visit their website. If you have questions for Ken, he’s here to help. You can email Ken directly with your questions about selling your business, The Wrench Group, and for other related information.