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The fi rst time we did it, it was a nightmare.We spent several months on it. Now aft er doing it a couple of times, it gets easier. It is incredibly productive. Without all this planning, there is no way we could expand at the rate we are.” Key 2: Training. “We have been the Air- Time Training Company of the Year in ’06, ’07 and ’08.We really believe in training. We have done more training in 2009 than ever before. We have a new service center. We have devoted a tremendous amount of space to training. Th is is a huge help.” Key 3: Marketing. “On the marketing Four AirTime 500 keys that Holm credits for his firm’s growth are planning, training, marketing, and sharing among other AirTimemembers money to spend on himself. But more im- portantly, he uses his standing to give back. Take, for instance, the recent fundraiser for the Disabled American Veterans. Th ompson designed a program for August 08 and September, months Thompson Plumb- ing, Heating, and Cooling call their shoul- der months, when it is more challenging to get calls. What the company did is add $10 to the price of a tuneup and $50 to the price of every piece of equipment. It set that money aside for the organization, and at the end of those two months, they had $22,470. “It was pretty cool. We had budgeted for $18,500, so it really exceeded our expecta- tions,” Holm said. “It put us at a national contributor level.We presented themon Vet- erans Day with the biggest check they have received this year. Th e outpouring from the community was incredible. Two television stations broadcasted live from the presenta- tion. We had an open breakfast and over 150 veterans were there. Th e looks on their faces were incredible. We were on the cover of the Cincinnati newspaper the next day and were mentioned on radio stations and who knows what else — amazing how successful that was. We could not have bought that kind of press for four times that amount of money. We are going to make it an annual event.” LOOKING FORWARD Th e company has been growing ever since it became an AirTime 500 member. They WINTER 2010 • THE SUCCESSFUL CONTRACTOR added plumbing in 2005 and now Thompson Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling does in ex- cess of $12 million of business a year. “Th is year we had 52 percent growth. There is something supposedly called a recession out there, but we have not seen it,” Holmsaid. “We literally took a vote a year ago [Sept. 2008] and voted not to participate, and we have not. Profi ts are up over 300 percent. Life is good.” KEYS TO GROWING How does one see such growth? Holm credits AirTime 500 and specifi cally four keys. Key 1: Planning. “Like Terry Nicholson says, ‘Plan your work and work your plan.’One of their fantastic tools is the complete budget- ing module — a total of 46 interactive spread- sheets for the HVAC side alone. It’s the most eye-opening experiencea teamleader can have. “Profi t Platoon” that gets together three times a year: the day before the expos. We book a private room for the day, set an agenda, and share. In essence, we talk about where we are most successful and our biggest challenges. We share ideas. We also send out financials once a month, line item by line item to the bottom line for every department. We have a spreadsheet with everyone’s financials. We can see who is knocking a certain aspect of the business out of the park, and we can call up and see how they are doing it. “On top of that, we visit each other’s com- panies. If someone is starting something cut- ting edge, we go out and see it. Some compa- nies have even lent out their staff to others in this group to help implement a procedure.” “AirTime 500 works ... What else do you need to know?” Holmsaid. TSC side, I can say that the AirTime tools work very well. About one-half of our marketing budget is direct mail — directly out of Air- Time. Great stuff.” Key 4: Sharing. “We have a smaller, sepa- rate group of AirTime members we call the

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