A photo in the News-Enterprise in Elizabethtown, Ky., shows Vince Heuser standing next to a sign in his Absolute Services office that reads: “Nothing changes if nothing changes.”
It’s no stretch to say that axiom sums up Heuser’s approach to work and life. His business Absolute Services in Louisville was born out of the misfortune of the recession of 2008, and its growth has been helped by Heuser’s willingness to change.
Personally as well as professionally.
In 2017 Heuser decided to make changes for his own well-being. He started getting up at 4:30 a.m. to work out, and eventually lost more than 100 pounds. He also decided to invest in sustainable food sources, and bought his own farm.
That was the same year Heuser recognized his business needed bolstering. He joined CEO Warrior and implemented its processes for owners in the trades. He also listened to The Home Service Expert podcast by Tommy Mello, who made his name with A1 Garage Door Service. As Mello detailed what a CRM software could do, Heuser realized he needed to make a change.
That led to Absolute’s move to ServiceTitan, the all-in-one, cloud-based software for the trades.
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Absolute has almost doubled in size every year since. Heuser said he’s seen revenue grow from $1 million in 2017 to $3 million in a few months to $10 million four years later. He expects revenue to be in the high $20 million area in 2023.
Originally a garage door company, Absolute added HVAC and plumbing in 2019, then electrical six months later. The company also was able to open a new office in Lexington to go with Louisville and Elizabethtown in northern Kentucky.
“ServiceTitan is a major, major portion of the growth,” said Heuser, Absolute’s CEO and owner.
‘By far a better option’
Heuser concedes that fact while also admitting there are times he is frustrated with ServiceTitan – something ServiceTitan is aware of and working to correct.
“I don’t know that there’s ever going to be the absolute perfect solution for everybody, but (ServiceTitan) is a by far a better option for us than anything that’s out there,” Heuser said.
Would Absolute have seen that growth without ServiceTitan?
“Impossible is a big word,” Heuser said. “It would be extremely difficult to do any type of scale without it. The majority of the company is in it all day long, so it’s an integral part of everything we do, for sure.”
Twenty-some years ago, Heuser did not envision working in the trades. His original goal was to be a police officer, but life’s path took him to working in a lumber yard while he was in college studying Criminal Justice at the University of Louisville. After graduation in 1995, he moved to sales, then to building homes on his own and in 2001 to work as a solid wall systems manager in Florida.
The recession in 2008 blew up that work, so he talked with a friend in Florida who owned a garage door business. Heuser decided not to subject himself to the external influences of the economy, moved back to Louisville and opened Absolute Overhead Door Service, which eventually became Absolute Services, providing necessary services in recessions and pandemics.
After joining ServiceTitan, Heuser waded into the new software and soon realized what he had gained, including:
The ability to pull reports
The ability to edit pricing in Pricebook
Facilitating payments and financing through the software
“The ability to scale is what I liked on it,” Heuser said. “The tracking in terms of performance numbers and for the technicians to see how they perform, that's a big deal and that was nonexistent in (the previous software).
“There were many factors that went into it, and of course the more we got into it the more we used it.”
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The magic of integrated financing
Though Absolute uses outside financing as well as ServiceTitan, Heuser said the integrated financing made a difference in the way customers made choices.
“That was an integral portion of the raising of average tickets,” he said. “Most people don't have $800 to $1,000 in cash to even write the check. So if you can give them a few months to pay for it and they really wanted to do the best option, that expanded that (growth) rapidly.”
Absolute now has one employee whose job is to optimize ServiceTitan and Pricebook Pro.
“She does an excellent job of integrating,” he said. “We use the API where she creates reports and dashboards and pulls that information out. We're big users. There's always little changes that I would like to see made, but it's not anything that would make us want to go somewhere else.”
At the time Heuser made the move to ServiceTitan – which was right about the time he joined CEO Warrior – he had four techs in garage doors. He now has three more divisions and 105 employees -- with 25 or 30 techs in HVAC alone.
He believes growing a business naturally is facilitated in a couple ways. First is using an outside group to assess operations, someone not caught up in the day-to-day. Second is the right software, which enforces and tracks the company’s processes.
“ServiceTitan is my suggestion,” he said. “I know there's other options out there, but you have to have something that helps enforce that process and be able to give you information on performance of everybody that's involved in it.“
ServiceTitan is a comprehensive software solution built specifically to help service companies streamline their operations, boost revenue, and substantially elevate the trajectory of their business. Our comprehensive, cloud-based platform is used by thousands of electrical, HVAC, plumbing, garage door, and chimney sweep shops across the country—and has increased their revenue by an average of 25% in just their first year with us.