Management • Productivity • Operations • Business Tips • 44 minutes

Focus on What’s Important, Automate Everything Else

February 15, 2022

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Episode Overview

It would be easy to let the distractions and minutia of day-to-day business get in the way of Tom Howard’s big-picture vision.

Especially since Howard exists in such a workplace panorama. For the past two years, he’s been a full-time vice president of customer service at ServiceTitan.

When he joined the ServiceTitan team, Howard opted to also keep his own trade companies. He still runs businesses in Sacramento, Fresno, Beverly Hills, and Las Vegas.

“I can see all my own reports in my ServiceTitan accounts every morning very quickly,” Howard says. “I can see automatic reports that focus on things that are important, and I don’t get tied up in the messy stuff of the day-to-day.”

He has empowered his teams to focus on everything else.

“You have to trust your people—and give them the information they need in order to be trusted,” Howard says. “Give them the right information so they can make the right decisions.”  

In tandem with that concept, he believes setting the right goals is also critical for a company’s success.

Near the beginning of his business career, Howard admits he was setting the bar too low for annual sales. He found that when he would hit an annual goal, he’d take his foot off the accelerator. 

When he observed what other companies were achieving, Howard realized he should be setting higher goals.

“Mentally, you have to believe you can do it,” Howard says. “You have to make the goal and believe you can hit it.”

As he learned to trust in his own ability to hit goals, Howard took revenue at Lee’s Air from $2 million to $9.4 million in five years.

Howard has found that being VP of customer service at ServiceTitan requires a lot of hours in the day, but the work is highly rewarding. He sees technological advances as a way of making people’s lives better.

“If we can make a feature that helps contractors across the country raise their revenue—even if it’s one percent—think about the impact,” Howard says. “Not just on those businesses, but the loved ones of the owner, the technicians, the customer service representatives and dispatchers who work there.” 

Howard knows companies don’t need every feature ServiceTitan provides. As an active owner who also works in customer service, he’s applying real-life experience to continually help revise a platform that can help automate any business.

Tom Howard recently joined ServiceTitan’s Jackie Aubel as part of Season 5 of the “Toolbox for the Trades” podcast, which included Howard’s thoughts on:

  • Leaving the world of finance to go back to the trades.

  • How to scale customer service.

  • The role of data, and data tracking, in empowering employee decisions.

  • Looking at Key Performance Indicators on a daily basis.

  • Incentivizing employees to make changes. 

Also, check out these resources mentioned during the podcast:

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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