Management • Operations • Productivity • 39 minutes

Business Planning and Budgets: Where Do You Want to Go and How Will You Get There?

August 15, 2023

Episode Overview

There’s a poetic connection in “putting out fires” between how Blake Wiltshire started his career and what his job responsibilities have become.

When he was first hired by Althoff Industries, one of Wiltshire’s chores was fire watch. He had to observe other workers while literally holding a fire extinguisher. Just in case.

Two decades later, Wiltshire is the company’s director of residential services. And now he figuratively puts out fires in the world of business planning and budgeting.

Althoff Industries is in expansion mode and hoping to hit $14 million in sales this year. Wiltshire says a key to doing it right is having the right team in place sooner than later.

“It sounds simple, but looking to expand and hire before you actually need people is one of the biggest things,” he says. “You think differently when you’re in the fire than when you’re out of the fire.”

The company has excelled, in part, by bringing in the right mix of entry-level people along with those with more experience.

“We've always prided ourselves on really great customer service and quality,” Wiltshire says. “That was a growth concern for us for a long time, and it continues to be. But the answer is: We've got good people in place and a really strong culture.”

Wiltshire takes pride in planning to achieve company goals operationally and financially.

“The best part about the budgeting is being able to align everybody on the same page,” he says. “This is what our goal is. This is what our budget is. These are the metrics and KPIs we're going to strive to achieve to meet those goals.”

You could say the ServiceTitan platform is Wiltshire’s modern-day fire extinguisher.

Blake Wiltshire recently joined ServiceTitan’s Jackie Aubel as part of Season 8 of the “Toolbox for the Trades” podcast, which included Wiltshire’s thoughts on:

  • (2:15) Rising from entry-level office grunt to an operational lead

  • (8:08) How moving training off-site can boost learning input

  • (15:52) Why business planning and budgeting are separate buckets

  • (22:40) Advice to owner-operators who are considering big changes

  • (27:53) Seeing success from using consistent processes

To hear more stories from the trades, subscribe to Toolbox for the Trades on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, our website, or anywhere you get podcasts.

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About the Show

Toolbox for the Trades is a podcast where top service professionals share the tips, tricks, and tactics they use to succeed in their industry. Hosted by Jackie Aubel, this podcast is brought to you by ServiceTitan—the leading home and commercial field service software.

Episodes will feature stories and strategies to help contractors grow and scale their service business.

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