As a speaker, Kenny Chapman was good enough to share the stage with other professional speakers like Les Brown. He was building a name for himself as a keynote speaker when he decided to return to his roots. What he really liked was helping other contractors.
Kenny commented, “I’m no different than any contractor out there. I started in this industry with no experience, no education, and no understanding of business. Through hard work, mentors, reading good information, and a lot of strategic implementation, I’ve arrived at the point to be able to help others. I still feel like the very best of my work is yet to come.”
Starting as a Single Truck Operation
He’s not kidding about starting with no experience, education, or understanding of business. Kenny came up through the plumbing industry in a similar manner to many HVAC contractors. He bought a one-man band, drain cleaning company in 1994 in Grand Junction, Colorado. For the next two years, Kenny did it all, running every call and being on call 24/7.
Slowly, he added people and began studying business. Like many in the plumbing industry, he discovered Frank Blau, listened, applied Frank’s recommendations, and began to turn his “job” into a “business.”
Next came acquisitions. Kenny moved from drain cleaning to full service plumbing. A decade ago, he added HVAC.
A Business That Can Run Without Him
One of the distinguishing characteristics of Kenny is his continued operation of his business. Peterson Plumbing is run well enough that Kenny is able to travel across North America and Australia, speaking, consulting, and generally enjoying different places for a month at a time. He’s built a business that can run without him and helps others accomplish the same feat. If that’s not every contractor’s goal, it should be.
Because of Peterson, Kenny does not need to speak or consult. He’s doing it because he enjoys it and sincerely wants to help other contractors.
The Biggest Challenge Contractors Face
According to Kenny, “The biggest challenge contractors face is a limiting mindset and negative belief about what’s possible in this industry. Sure, the easy answer is recruiting, retention, and making the phone ring, but every contractor in every market has those same challenges. The winning contractors know that they have to think differently about what’s possible and provide a compelling enough employment packages to attract and keep quality people. Top contractors also study marketing and know that they must make the absolute most from every opportunity their technicians get. This is why a consistent training program is paramount to success.”
10% to 20% Ticket Increases
Kenny teaches a well-regarded training class for technicians. Mark Johnson said the first call one of his techs went on after attending Kenny’s class resulted in a sale that “was enough to pay for the entire school, airline tickets and hotel for both techs! Talk about ROI!”
Kenny has published a book, “The Six Dimensions of C.H.A.N.G.E.” He also offers video training, a Mastermind Group, business and personal development products, and private onsite training and coaching. According to Kenny, most contractors “experience at least 10-20% ticket increases after utilizing our video training membership and/or sending their technicians to our live training schools.”
Contractors are effusive in their praise of Kenny. “Kenny has helped me literally double the size of my company thanks to his expert coaching,” said Santa Cruz contractor, David Rosenthal.
Because of his roots as a one-man shop, Kenny works with all contractors who want to grow, ranging from single truck operations to $80 million behemoths.
“My goal,” says Kenny, “is for my legacy to leave the industry in a better place than when I came into it. I want to help contractors simplify their businesses and lives, have more fun, and achieve more success than they ever thought possible in this great industry.”
Kenny says, “Beyond our training, I believe Service Roundtable is a great resource for contractors, and I think they need to travel to events like Comfortech and other national meetings. It’s important for perspective to get out of the office and have conversations with like-minded contractors from other markets to learn what’s working and what needs to be changed or improved.”
Come to the International Roundtable in Las Vegas this April and Comfortech in Nashville during September!