Operations • Marketing • Business Tips • 48 minutes

Tommy Mello & Al Levi: Why You Shouldn't Dump Marketing During a Slump

September 5, 2023

Episode Overview

It’s time for contractors to face a harsh reality. 

The trades thrived during Covid while many people were trapped in their homes, but now the free ride is over. And home service providers everywhere are starting to feel the impact on their bottom lines.

But Tommy Mello, Owner of A1 Garage Door Service, and Al Levi, Founder of The 7-Power Contractor, think this is a chance for owner-operators to grab growth by the horns.

“Everybody’s behind budget,” Mello says. “It’s an opportunity if you see it as an opportunity, and it’s a defeat if you see it as a defeat.”

Mello and Levi hold nothing back as they explain why now is the time for contractors to improve efficiencies, like doubling down on marketing.

“We made our greatest growth spurt when everybody was hiding under the table because they were fearful,” Levi says. “They stopped marketing, which is one of the dumbest things you can do.” Mello added that now is the time to educate yourself on your business numbers, especially if you’re looking to sell or acquire. Understanding concepts like EBITDA, multiples, and NDA is critical. 

“When it comes to acquisitions, everybody wants to know what life is like after,” Mello says. “They’re very fearful of change…They don’t understand the process.”

Levi also stressed a piece of advice that his father once shared with him. It was during a slow time, just like now, and Levi was talking to his father about the awful down cycle.

“And (my father) looks at me and he goes, ‘Bless the slow times.’ To which I said, ‘What? What do you mean?’ He goes, ‘Well, up to now you've been very sloppy, and this is when you get a chance to tighten up the ship, get rid of the excesses that you've been doing, the things you weren't very efficient about,’” Levi says.

Tommy Mello and Al Levi recently joined ServiceTitan’s Jackie Aubel as part of Season 8 of the “Toolbox for the Trades” podcast, which included thoughts on:

  • (2:49) Building on internal processes during the slow times

  • (7:41) Making tough choices and a common pricing mistake 

  • (23:17) The keys to smart marketing and branding

  • (36:21) Why many contractors don’t consider acquisitions 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 ServiceTitan

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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.

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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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