Business Tips • Management • 36 minutes

The Resilient Entrepreneur: Scaling a Contracting Business

January 2, 2024

Episode Overview

You can log a lot of miles driving a truck to deliver a specialized home service in a place like rural Wisconsin. As we’ve all heard, gas ain’t cheap and time is money.

Facing this scenario, Red Barn Service LLC general manager Samuel Petrie had a lightbulb moment: Create a company that covers the same market area and offers a multitude of trade-industry services. 

Turns out customers love the concept of having a jack-of-all-trades handyman at their disposal. 

Once the plan was put into place, Petrie, who grew up working in a family-owned trade company, says all the basics of running a successful business came into play. 

“It's the common-sense skills that you need,” he says. “It's showing up in a timely fashion. It's being respectful. It's treating people decently that gets you further.”

Petrie says he’s always in learning mode when it comes to running a business. He’s constantly listening to podcasts and seeking out different sources of educational content. 

“If I was to say that there's a secret to our success, [it’s] really just listening to what others have [done], networking, and then adapting that to where it fits in our business,” he says. 

His favorite analogy about growing a company involves a comparison to an airline filling a plane with more passengers and enough fuel to transport them. 

“The more you add to the jet, the further you're going to get,” Petrie says.

Any company has to be able to adapt to changes to expand, and that ability starts at the top, he believes. 

“I think a lot of it depends on how good the pilots, in other words, how good the leaders are,” Petrie says. “The better the leadership, the easier (the) changes.”

With Petrie onboard at Red Barn, the business is taking off.

Samuel Petrie recently joined ServiceTitan’s Jackie Aubel on the “Toolbox for the Trades” podcast, which included Petrie’s thoughts on:

  • [02:15] Getting started in the trades

  • [10:09] The pros and cons of staying in school

  • [14:41] How Petrie filled the gaps in his business education

  • [16:40] How Petrie disrupted and improved his business

  • [27:40] The importance of networking and building connections

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

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About ServiceTitan

ServiceTitan is a comprehensive software solution built specifically to help home 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.

Ready to learn more about what ServiceTitan can do for your business?

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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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