A six-year stretch of growth started immediately after Laura Thornton and her husband, Ronnie, founded TNT Home Services in Firestone, Colorado.
Thornton hit the ground running after spending two decades as a director of admissions for various trade schools around the United States.
“I was passionate about the trades even before I worked in the industry,” she says. “Non-traditional careers are the way to go. College isn’t for everybody, but there is a school for everybody.”
As founder and president of TNT Home Services, Thornton quickly realized the industry was far from a static one.
“Consumers are more savvy than ever,” she says. “We're finding that we have to be chameleons. We're always having to reinvent ourselves to ensure that our clients have the best resources available.”
To stay current, Thornton also recommends the practice of “dynamic pricing.” She learned a financial lesson after hiring a company to survey her market for pricing comparisons.
“It was a stagnant survey,” she says. “It was a one-time deal, and they charged us a lot of money to do it.”
Instead, now she’s able to use ServiceTitan technology to constantly monitor pricing based on vendor data and geographical data.
“For us to have something like the dynamic pricing in the system, to have access in real-time of what other folks in our area are charging, makes us so much more competitive,” Thornton says. “I'm not waiting on a survey to be done. I'm not relying on stagnant results that may or may not be accurate.”
As she navigates the business landscape, it’s never lost on Thornton that being a female general manager is still a rarity in the trade world.
“Being a woman in the trades is a really, really powerful, powerful thing that we should be proud of,” she says. “And we should share what we're doing, and we should share the impact we're making.”
Thornton may no longer be in the arena of higher education, but finding teachable moments is still very much a part of her lesson plan.
Laura Thornton recently joined ServiceTitan’s Jackie Aubel as part of Season 8 of the “Toolbox for the Trades” podcast, which included Thornton’s thoughts on:
(2:39) Having a passion for trade school education
(9:56) Taking a dynamic approach to incredibly fast growth
(16:13) Making real-time adjustments with different technology tools
(21:53) Opportunities for women in the trades
(30:46) High school and community recruiting partnerships
To hear more stories from the trades, subscribe to Toolbox for the Trades on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, our website, or anywhere you get podcasts.