My guest on this episode is Trevor Flanagan, COO of Flint Group, a home services roll-up founded by Collin Hathaway. Collin’s appeared on this podcast twice, on episodes 32 and 90, for good reason, and I highly recommend listening to those episodes as a primer for this conversation with Trevor. Trevor has a fascinating background as I’ll touch on earlier in this episode. He started his career as a district manager for Aldi before becoming GM of Bob Hamilton, a home services business in Kansas City.
He then left and co-founded Professional Chats, which offers website chat software to home services businesses, before selling it two years later. In those two years, he and his co-founder grew it from 3 to 150 employees and nearly $10 million in revenue. Soon after selling, he met Collin and joined Flint.
Our conversation covers how great companies scale, how crucial of a role sales and hiring play in scaling, the role of debt, and everything in between. Like Collin, Trevor has an amazing ability to make hard problems simple and teach through storytelling and I’m positive you’ll enjoy hearing his story. Enjoy.
(3:40) – What’s your career been like scaling companies across different industries?
(10:24) – How were you able to land a job managing a grocer at only 22?
(14:27) – What was the most common issue these different Aldi locations were struggling with?
(16:54) – How did you set up systems when you co-founded your first company?
(23:23) – Where did your growth in the first 18 months come from?
(26:13) – How did you eventually get to Flint?
(28:55) – What’s scaling been like at the PE level?
(31:07) – Of the companies, you’ve seen, is there a consistent theme as to why they don’t scale?
(33:21) – How do you adjust cultures as quickly as possible without breaking things?
(34:37) – How do you figure out what KPIs are most important for certain roles?
(35:54) – Once you have established a culture and KPIs, what’s next to accomplish to scale?
(38:00) – Do you have a case study example of a formula that works for scaling?
(40:29) – Do you hire first before tackling marketing?
(42:44) – What are some of the most challenging parts of the sales side of these businesses?
(47:57) – How do you identify potential Salespeople and how do you design the training process?
(49:27) – What’s your philosophy for compensation and incentivizing Salespeople?
(50:51) – What’re your thoughts on scaling in terms of cash flow?
(53:43) – What other impediments to scaling are top of mind for you day to day?
(55:15) – What are you most excited about for Flint over the next 2 years?
(56:05) – What’s a strongly held belief you’ve changed your mind on?
(57:25) – What characteristics of folks make them desirable to work for?
(1:00:10) – What’s the best business you’ve ever seen?
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