“I wanted to help women show how being a leader is different and something special in the trades.”
— Desiree Grosman
Desiree Grosman is a coach for female business owners in the home services trade. A member of Lady Titans, she founded the Facebook group Female Home Service Pro for Growth and later formed her company, Female Home Services Pros.
A seasoned marketing professional, Grossman talks about the surprisingly high number of female trade company owners, getting respect in the industry and how it’s important to always be team building.
Here are Desiree Grosman’s best nuggets of advice for females working and managing in the home-services industry:
Key TakeawaysThere are more female trade owners than you’d think.How to get respect as a female leader.Solving money-management issues. Learn to delegate. Tracking metrics can transform a business. The ABCs of customer-acquisition strategies. Revenue: new business vs. nurturing existing customers. Always be team building. Recommended research and reading
There are more female trade owners than you’d think.
When she first started coaching in the trades, Grosman assumed most of the business owners were men. Then she found out the businesses were often co-owned by married partners.
“When I realized there were more female owners than I thought, I realized there was a gap,” she says. “Coaching and consultants gear their messages for men. I wanted to help women show how being a leader is different and something special in the trades.”
How to get respect as a female leader.
Grosman says the perception sometimes is that women don’t have the technical expertise that men do.
“You have to sit down with an employee and discuss where that perception is coming from,” she says. “In some cases, maybe it’s time to do a ride-along and get your eyes on their experiences. That’s the best way to see what they’re saying and see if you can work together.”
Solving money-management issues.
Too many contractors are still doing things old-school, Grosman says. Building estimates based on guesses. Pricing services based on Google searches of competitors.
“But you can’t manage what you can’t measure,” she says. “You have to get a solid understanding of the numbers and run a business based on those facts.”
Learn to delegate.
Grosman admits that a new business owner is sometimes forced to wear all the hats.
“But that doesn’t necessarily mean you should wear all the hats,” she says. “One of your first investments should be an experienced bookkeeper. Overall, pick the things you are really good at, stay in that lane and hire out the other positions.”
Tracking metrics can transform a business.
A huge fan of ServiceTitan, Grosman says getting to see all of your numbers on a dashboard is eye-opening.
“The overhead, your fixed and variable costs, monthly profit-loss statements, gross profit margins, average ticket process,” she says. “It’s all there—everything that has to do with customers. New leads, whether they convert or not, cost per lead, all of that.”
The ABCs of customer-acquisition strategies.
Sometimes just the little things work the best—as long as you have simple steps in place, Grosman says.
“For one company, it was as simple as getting a website up and getting them more present online,” she says. “Another client was a 93-year-old company, and we did a full rebrand on them. You have to stand out. Your brand has to be unique.
“There are so many ways to go with email marketing, social media, ads on YouTube. Make it fun and appealing. Humor is super powerful in advertising and customer acquisition.”
Revenue: new business vs. nurturing existing customers.
Repeat business is possible in all the trades, but the goal for some jobs is long-term satisfaction from the install or repair, Grosman says. Due to that, she believes all trades should always be nurturing.
“Email marketing helps you stay top-of-mind,” she says. “They’re going to need you again someday. ServiceTitan has MarketingPro, where you can automate it and blast out your blog once a month, or a tip here or there. New customers are the lifeblood—but new customers become repeat customers.”
Always be team building.
Whatever the size of a company or the geographic location, there will always be turnover—and Grosman says a key to maintaining a superstar team is the culture you create.
“Do one-on-ones with people and check their temperature, see how they’re doing,” she says. “Also, you have to be recruiting year-round. Not just after somebody gives two-week notice.
“Keep a database of potential employees. And when you look at resumes, check for transferable skills. Maybe they’re applying for one job but are a perfect fit for a different one.”
Recommended research and reading
The E Myth by Michael Gerber
Profit First by Mike Michalowicz
The Go-Giver by John David Mann & Bob Burg
The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson