Top 5 Strategies for Growing Your Plumbing Business

WWETT presenter says success begins with change in mindset
Top 5 Strategies for Growing Your Plumbing Business

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As the co-owner of Gold Medal Service — New Jersey’s largest home services company, offering plumbing, heating and cooling, drain and sewer cleaning and bathroom remodeling — Michael Agugliaro has played a key role in building the business’ success. Since 2005, the company has earned over $190 million in revenue, served over 126,000 customers, grown its fleet from two vehicles to 125 and grown from a staff of four to 165 employees. A dedicated practionioner of martial arts and an instructor for over 25 years, he brings a fresh energy and tell-it-like-it-is style to his presentations.

Agugliaro's WWETT Show education session (9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 17, in rooms 140-142) will discuss five strategies for growing a service business:


  • Breaking the myths about sales and why others have been lying about what to do to improve
  • Why your marketing is poor and how to do it like the largest companies on the planet
  • How to create a thriving culture that has your employees not wanting to go home
  • How to hire endless “A” players with ease
  • The secret weapon behind having it all in wealth, freedom and market domination

Q: Where did the idea come from for this session?

A: For the first 10 years we were in business, we struggled and didn’t get the growth we wanted. For 10 years, I did everything wrong and I was desperate for change. Then someone asked me, “How is what you’ve been telling yourself serving you?” And I thought, 'Not too damn good.' And that was my light-bulb moment. I thought the world was in charge, not me. And I needed to change that. I am in charge! As soon as we changed our mindset, it made all the difference.

Teaching this message is rewarding for me. I’ve watched people respond to a question: “Who do you have to become to double the size of your business in 2016? Or to have the greatest relationship, or to be twice as wealthy?” Most freak out, unsure of the answer. Then they realize they need to become somebody different. Yes, you do. If you had the right skill set now, you wouldn’t need to change. And I can provide those steps for change. I’ve gone through it.

Q: Tell us more about the five strategies.

A: Our company has done over $190 million in the past 10 years. By stepping back and really looking at how we got there, without any new construction or additions, just residential service and repair, I realized there are five strategies that can really move the needle to see that type of growth.

  • The first one is marketing. I think one of the biggest misconceptions today in the minds of business owners is what business they are in. They say it’s about customer satisfaction. But really, every business is in the business of marketing. Direct marketing is every conversation they have, with every customer, vendor or anyone. Service companies are in the business of marketing themselves every day, in how they come across.
  • Secondly, sales. Everyone is in the business of sales. Yet, no one wakes up and says, 'I hope I am going to be sold to today.' I focus on the art of serving by creating a “wow” level of service. I want to create the lifetime transactional value of a client, versus a one-time transactional value of a client. When companies talk about sales, they focus on going in and getting the most out of that one time. One time is not the solution for a long-term business strategy. I would not be in business for 21 going on 22 years if I had a one-time transaction mentality. Breaking this sales myth is about an industry that has been coached a certain way, and when I started thinking differently it made all the change in the world for me.
  • Next is leadership. Most owners, myself included, don’t start with all the skill sets: how to manage a business, how to hire, how to manage employees. I’ve learned by studying my own faults, and it’s very hard to study your own faults. Now I am able to see things at a 10,000-foot view — to see what others can’t or don’t see. I know how to deliver a paradigm shift that delivers permanent change. Ask yourself: How do you run your day, what are your actions, how do you communicate? Employees really pick up on every emotion you bring to the office. Stress, anger, whatever it may be. The way you do anything is the way the culture and team will do everything.
  • And then there’s a business culture. Culture is either by design or default. Most business cultures are by default. How many people do you know who love their job, but hate the environment? I find that many do. Everything about culture counts. To get the culture you want, you need to write down what you want the culture to exactly be. How you want people to communicate? How they should behave? Design the culture.
  • And finally, it’s the individual themselves; the owner’s mindset. Do you have a different mindset for home versus work? People create a split personality because they think they need to act a certain way at work and a certain way at home. Most people have limiting beliefs — mindsets on how you should be behave, about what’s possible.

Q: What’s an example of that mindset?

A: You always hear business owners say it’s difficult to hire good people. You’ve convinced yourself that you can’t, so you believe that you can’t. So why attempt to try? But what if that’s not true? Can we challenge that, test it and see? We have 165 employees now, and we bring people in to “try” our company to see what it would be like to work for us. We get 20 to 50 people doing that per month. Most companies are fighting to get people to work for them.

Question yourself. Question your beliefs. You are the number one game-changer to have the business, health, freedom, relationsip and life that you want. The reality is, personal limiting beliefs, not outside influences, make your life and your company what it is.

Q: What type of person should attend this session?

A: Anyone who wants to make a change in their life, be it personal or in business. The number one thing I run into the most is skepticism. Don’t be skeptical about this class. These five things can really make a difference. This is my passion. I only want one outcome: that someone attending will change some aspect of their life. I want to change as many business owners’ lives as I can.

Q: What is the biggest takaway you hope they get from your session?

A: I hope that they will have a permanent shift. A change that makes them better; makes them make better decisions. I hope they think differently today than yesterday.

I also hope it makes them take action. My content and information is only as valuable as the implementation they take. Don’t go back Monday and stay the same. I will give you the steps, the action steps for change. If you follow them, you will get the change that will change the game.


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