Ep 029 – From Chaos to Control: Embracing Change and Enjoying the Journey

Home / Episode / Ep 029 – From Chaos to Control: Embracing Change and Enjoying the Journey

Think change is too difficult to manage in your landscape business? Think again. In today's episode of Roots of Success, Tommy Cole interviews Kevin Keim, an executive coach and CRO, who shares game-changing approaches to sustaining momentum when implementing new strategies and technologies. Learn how to cultivate a resilient company culture, simplify your service offerings with bundled packages, and adopt the right software solutions to uncover hidden efficiencies. Tune in for practical advice and inspiring stories that will help you elevate your business to new heights.


Enjoy the Journey

Key Moments:

[04:14] Bundling services for streamlined customer experience.
[09:54] Refocus service strategy to set clear expectations.
[13:07] Quarterly service growth outpaced old software.
[21:16] Transitioning to a new role, managing change effectively.
[24:08] Efficient software helped reduce employee needs.
[29:50] Consensus-driven decision-making
[35:54] Embrace change and have fun with it.


    1. What are effective strategies for managing and sustaining change in a company?

    2. Why is it important to have fun at work, and how does it affect productivity?

    3. How can bundled services benefit my business?

    4. What are common challenges when implementing new software in a company?

    5. How do I improve accountability and habit formation in the workplace?

Episode Transcript
Kevin Keim [00:00:00] The Roots of Success podcast is for the landscape professional who's looking to up their game. We've got a brain trust of experts to help you nurture the roots of a successful business and grow to the next level. This is The Roots of Success. Tommy Cole: Welcome to another episode of Roots of Success podcast and I'm your host Tommy Cole. We have an excellent guest here today, and there's never a dull moment with Kevin Kime ever. When you travel with this guy, he's entertaining, amusing, and fun to be around. But we're going to dive in today about how to, how to run businesses and how to implement change. Welcome aboard Kevin. Kevin Keim: Thanks, Tommy. Thanks for having me. Although you did just set the bar really high for me to make this podcast great, which I appreciate it like a good challenge. So we'll rise to the Tommy Cole: there you go. Love it. Love it. So.somewhat new of an executive coach at McFarland. You're coming on on your one year [00:01:00] anniversary. Congratulations. You've survived a year. Kevin's Background Tommy Cole: But you've also been you're at Innovative Pest Control out in East Texas, big town of Tyler, and you're the chief revenue officer there, plus a laundry list of experiences that what got you here today, tell me about your past and where you've been, Kevin Keim: Well, I mean, I can't start this podcast off without giving you a little grief about your alma mater. So graduated from Kansas state. Tommy Cole: You credit. It's the big 12. That's okay. Kevin Keim: you go. All right. I'll take, take it. Came out of college studied business there. I grew up in a family of entrepreneurs. My dad is an entrepreneur and a nice little tie back to our, our McFarland world now, my brother owns a landscape business back home in Kansas. And so I've grown up with entrepreneurs in my life and, and I always knew I wanted to kind of be in that world, but I also wanted to go see this corporate world. So left college, [00:02:00] did a 13 year sentence. that's an appropriate word for corporate job in corporate America. I loved it. I really did. But I also am really glad I'm not there anymore. But so I did a 13 years for what was Dow Chemical and eventually became Corteva. Specifically working in our urban pest division. But actually did work with our turf and ornamental folks as well. So we were at Marty's facility earlier this year and saw some snapshots and some things that were there and I'm like, Oh, okay. Yeah, yeah, exactly. So Enjoyed it. I learned a lot. I went through a massive merger between DuPont and Dow and what that impact is. And. And, and I think the theme you're going to see as we talk through today, at least in my mind is change and nothing, nothing is more disruptive than taking, I think at that time it was like, I don't know, like a hundred thousand employees around the globe between these two mega companies and putting them together and then splitting up into three companies. So. It was a wild, [00:03:00] over that course of that time, I worked with pest control companies and helped them grow their business. And so it's weird. You work for this massive corporation, but I worked with mom and pop companies, predominantly ranging from, you know, a couple hundred thousand dollars in annual revenue, all the way up to Terminex and Oregon and some of those larger companies. So it was a, it was a wild, wild range, but, through that, through that career, met Michael Bosco and Dauphin Ewert and eventually met Chris Penzik and just arrived. Kind of in the McFarland world and and have loved every minute of it. I think it's fun now, but I think my brother is the person who hates this the most. Cause I go and I, I interact with all of you guys Tommy Cole: Yeah. Kevin Keim: all these things and I call my brother and I'm like, you know, the job, you have these job tickets that you're doing. This is horrible. What are you doing? Tommy Cole: Yeah. Kevin Keim: How are you measuring? Yeah. How are you measuring this? What? You don't measure that. And I'm like, well, you can't measure it. You can't improve it. Well, it's been it's been a wild Tommy Cole: That's good. That's good. Bundled Services Tommy Cole: So let's jump right in. So one of, one of the first things we want to [00:04:00] discuss is this sales and development of bundle of services into like a package. This is like, icing on the cake, known, you're super famous out there in the United States because of this, you should have trademarked this sort of thing, and we probably wouldn't be here at some point, cause then we would have been really good close friends. So tell me about your experience and, and, and bring us up to speed what all this means for our audience. Kevin Keim: I, I I should have brought my hoodie that Michael Bosco gave me years ago that says the bundler and it says on the back, do you bundle, Tommy Cole: Yeah. Kevin Keim: the bundler really was my nickname or is my nickname in the industry, I guess. So I've helped over a hundred companies go through this concept and at its core, what bundled services is, is it's just creating a streamlined. Service package for your customers. That is easy to buy. It's easy for us to sell. It's easy to service and make things, you know, nice and easy. It creates the, the three [00:05:00] R's that we care about, right? High revenue or recurring and repeatable business. And those are the things that matter to us in that, in, in any business. Right. And whether you're in a landscaping role and you're working on, you know, maintenance or plant health packages or whatever it may be. Creating a comprehensive package and being able to market it that way and get people to buy it is an easy, easy thing to do. And it, it allows you to, talk, look at numbers and be able to forecast labor, forecast services and what you need at a time and when you need it. You also can forecast your revenue, right? I can run a report today and see that on the 15th of April 55 percent of our customer base will hit their credit card or their ACH and I don't have, you know, my cashflow. Is like this now, whereas it used to be like this every quarter is we did quarterly services. And so [00:06:00] and that is incredibly powerful for a business to be able to know money's in the bank. We can, we can invest, we can grow. And that's an important part of it. So it is enabled us to be able to drive growth and sell more work to the same amount of customers. So that maximizes your ROI on your marketing Tommy Cole: Yeah. So our audience is probably wondering, yeah, sounds cool, Kevin, whatever, like bundle all these packages. But what if my clients don't do this and what, what if Sally over there says they want this versus that? And how am I going to get them on a credit card? How am I going ACH? We've heard it all, right? What, what do you say to that? Kevin Keim: Look don't be the cable company, right? I mean, listen, cable companies invented this. I didn't invent bundling. I just helped bring it into our industry and streamline it for us. They did it and then they forced people into things and, well, we all know how that ended well for them, right? And then if you remember Vonage a couple years ago [00:07:00] ran an ad, Don't get bundled, get Vonage. And this is right when we're talking to the industry about bundling. I'm like, Oh God, this could not have gone. So I think at the end of the day just don't pigeonhole people into things, right? So the first half of that question you mentioned is, Create packages that are easy to talk about, you know, lawn, plant health, pest control, whether it's structural or in the lawn, it's complicated stuff, right? We're, it's a regulated industry. We learn these things and then, and then we, we have that skillset knowledge and we turn around to a customer and we just vomit all of them. That's not helpful. What a bundle lets you do is you name it something, right? I'll pick on Michael Bosco because we could not think of what his bundles wanted to be when I was, when I, when he was my customer. And his, he just got back from a flight or his wife did. And as your suitcase was sitting next to us and the American airlines, one world tag was on it. And I'm like, Huh, Ruby, Emerald, Sapphire, diamond. Perfect. Let's just name your bundles that. And when you can talk about our Sapphire [00:08:00] program covers X, Y, and Z. It's easier to talk about. And we're on a level playing field with the customer and we don't have to get into the nitty gritty things that drive, you know, the things that we're used to talking about. So it, I hear it. I get it. Yes. Yes. But, but be flexible you know, our, our approach, our we use EOS at Innovative. And so our, our niche is that we do personalized and proactive pest control. So while we have bundles and one might look at that and say, Oh, that's not personalized. Well, if Mrs. Jones wants something different, we'll customize it for her. And to me, customization, I just see. The revenue go up, Tommy Cole: Yeah. Love it. Love it. Well, you know, it's interesting because I love the model of It's predictable income. And so when you're managing your business, I feel like owners can sit there and go, we understand it like, Oh yeah, that's that service. And that's that. And yeah, and they chose that, [00:09:00] but our clients really, they don't understand our business model. Our backstory of, cause we've been in this business for 20 years. Like we know everything. Why couldn't the client know it? So it's almost a simplicity of like, take the guesswork out of the client, right? Of like, do you do this? Or do you do that? Or is it this, is this included? You know, we hear it all the time. It's like bi weekly service or once a month service or all. Or every now and then we do this. How confusing as heck is that from a client standpoint perspective, but not only that, like onboarding new team members, right. That's not industry related. I would be lost if I had to rememberize every client of what they got. Kevin Keim: Yeah. Streamlining is what you're saying, right? You're streamlining our message, whether it's internal or external and it applies for both. Right. And it's so funny how, I mean, look, we're business is business. And so it is all connected, but. You know, what, two or three weeks ago, whatever that podcast came out with. the lawyer [00:10:00] from the industry. And she talked about agreements and, and talking about how an agreement sets expectations. And I literally thought to myself while driving to Tyler, I thought, holy hell, that's brilliant. Right. I mean, we call it a service agreement, but I don't know if we're delivering that information the way we should be, but you're right. Whether it's a bundle, whether it's an agreement, Whether it's an in house training program for your employees, you're setting expectations because you have this, for lack of better terms, you have this marketable entity, and when you invest in it, you brand it, you market it, it becomes a more common conversation. And you've streamlined that conversation to be the same. And it, and it sets expectations, right? So it's really easy for us to say. You know, our advantage plan covers this and doesn't cover this. Well, if they're calling for something else, then we can say, well, it sounds like you need to be in our advantage total program. And if it's as simple as that website I don't need to get into the [00:11:00] nitty gritty details. I just need to say, well, that particular issue isn't covered. Right. And that, whether that's a bug or whether that's something else that you're doing from a maintenance perspective, it's one in the same. Right. Set that expectation. Tommy Cole: Love it. Love it. Industry Software Tommy Cole: Switching gears. We're going to the sensitive topic. You know what I'm talking about. Software, that sort of word that just hits the nerve. There's like two nerves that owners don't like to discuss, money and software. Like it's like, software is like, everywhere I go, it's like software, software, software. And I'm like, I'm tired of talking about it. Pick a software and do it, but you have a lot of experience in this whole software thing. Kevin Keim: I do. Tommy Cole: that? Kevin Keim: Yeah I am going to make a lot of people nervous cause I, I enjoy software. I have a lot of really good friends. My husband is in the industry software specifically, right? So I [00:12:00] understand software. And so I probably, I'm going to, I'll check that bias of the door. So people understand that. Look, human capital, time, energy, labor, it's expensive and software can Accomplish things a lot more easily. Data drives the world, right? I mean, anything we do there was a study a couple of years ago. I'm sure y'all have read it on LinkedIn. You know, data is worth more than a barrel of oil. And I, even in today's current fuel prices still matters, right? Data is still more important because. Well, quite frankly, you're going to spend the time on the fuel, driving people all over the place. If you don't have data that informs what you're doing. Right. So, yes. When I left corporate America and joined innovative last summer, I was very specifically told by the owners, you can change a lot of things in our company, but not software. Tommy Cole: Oh boy. Yeah. Here's your red Kevin Keim: We Been on our new software for the last 30 days. [00:13:00] So it did not it did not go as they had probably planned. The funny thing about that is, is they're probably the most on board with it now. So let's start with, you know, a little, a little bit about us and then we'll talk a little bit specifically about the industry. So we were on software when you have a highly scalable and repeatable business. I can't exist without software, right? I have 3000 customers. We service once a quarter. You're not doing that in Excel spreadsheet. You're not doing that in a Rolodex. You're, you know, you're not doing that on paper. And so software is important. So we did have a software. But software also has to be able to scale with you. And we are blessed in the fact that we've had about a 27 percent growth average the last four years. We hit a point where we had outgrown our software. And so when you're looking at software. Do your due diligence, right? Don't just pick one because your buddy's buddy's buddy or somebody in your ace group is [00:14:00] using the software. Do some work. So we took our leadership team. We interviewed five software companies in our industry. Again, back to data. I created this incredibly overcomplicated Excel spreadsheet where I was putting weights, numbers, trying to take bias out of it. Okay. Reading scale and, and it output the top three, we had done those are the first round of demos. And then we did a second round of demos where we could come back and we could ask additional questions specific to, you know, what we thought they were weak at or strong at, et cetera. And then as a leadership team, we voted. And I think that's an important part of it too. It goes back to change. We knew the why, the why was we were growing. And the next step was being able to make sure everybody understood how this could go, because here's the next thing I want everyone to know do your homework, do your research and then know it will never, ever go as planned. And just, you gotta just [00:15:00] embrace that. That's just part of it. Right. And it's never going to be perfect. If it was perfect, you, the only perfect software is one that you build for yourself and even then. Your business will evolve. Right. I can't tell you whether it's pest or lawn, cause this is a common thing. There's like this aura out there. Everyone's like, I'm going to go build Salesforce. Right. And you hear this, right? Tommy Cole: No, no, no. Kevin Keim: I don't have the ability to hire. Well, I, we could hire developers. I don't want to hire developers. I don't want to manage them. I don't want Tommy Cole: engineer. I'm out. Yeah. Kevin Keim: you'll find the one that fits and fits It's the old 80 20 rule applies in so much in life. And so if it's 80 percent they're good and you might have to modify your business a little bit with software. And that is okay. Don't give up your core. Right. You know, don't give up big things. Tommy Cole: yep Kevin Keim: But, but, you know, There might be a 20 percent change that you got to make to fit your software to really hit that stride from, for lack of better terms, optimization, [00:16:00] optimizing the efficiencies you can gain from that. Well yeah, so it's important. It's important to do your research, figure out what you want. It's important to then make those changes internally. As you roll out that software and then look, it's like I said, it's not going to go as you want, but you got to just be a master at pivoting. And I, I just always think of the friends episode. In fact, I've sent this meme 80 times inside of our office in teams, like just, it's just Ross holding the, holding the couch in the stairwell going pivot, pivot, pivot. It's what you got to do. Every day it's like whack a mole, like we'd find a problem and we'd fix it. And then it would lead to another problem. And I'll tell you the silver lining that anyone will go through when you roll out or change software. We found so many things. In our own customer base, that was horrific people weren't billing, but we were servicing people. We were billing like 10 a month when it should have been [00:17:00] 50. And I mean, like, you want to talk about P and L and direct impact. We, cause you, why would I look at all 5, 000 of our accounts? You know, on a regular basis. I mean, look, we've made a process change. We will be now, Tommy Cole: yeah, right, right. Kevin Keim: but the software dug that out. Right. Cause we went from one to another and we're like, wait, this doesn't make sense. Why is this that way? Right. Tommy Cole: Like at the end of the day, we were mentioning before we got on is like this is going to suck like Kevin Keim: Embrace it. Yeah. Tommy Cole: is suck it up buttercup. Like you gotta get this done. Like I don't want to be talking about this for five years. That you're implementing software and at the end of the day, you just got to do it in the 80 20 world. You're gonna find all reasons why a software doesn't work. Yes. You're gonna find a reason why products don't work. You're gonna find a reason why that pickup truck that you bought is not the perfect pickup truck that you would ever imagine, right? [00:18:00] it, embrace it, and suck it up and get it done. Kevin Keim: No, a hundred percent. And you just, if we don't do that, then like you're just sitting on, you're just sitting on the edge doing nothing. Right. And what's the old phrase that, you know, you're living, if you're not living on the edge, you just take it up air at this point, you know, just, you, you gotta, you gotta do it. And, and, and for those who are listening to this and thinking, you know, but my paper ticketing system works great or whatever it may be, you Software is not an option anymore, right? I mean, it's just, we're at a point in that we're past. It, whether it's a novelty, it is, it operates and runs our world, our iPhones that we use, I mean, the software on there, right? And at one point that was just a phone and it is now, it is your phone. It is your, it's your fitness app. It's yeah, it's everything. And your software needs to, you need to approach our software in the same way, whatever. Right. And here's the next thing. [00:19:00] It's not going to be just one. I think we probably have eight different softwares that we use on a regular basis because they have a fit for one thing or not. You got, you have your enterprise software, you run your company with, but then you're always going to have other things, right? Whether it's Salesforce for a sales organization. So maybe you use an LMN or an Aspire to run your company, but you may still use Salesforce to manage. You know, your sales team or management, you know, maybe, maybe not. Those are two different softwares and that's okay. Tommy Cole: So, so much agree. Don't be the blockbuster, right? Kevin Keim: Yep. Yes. Tommy Cole: Love it. So that feeds into our, to our next topic, which is, which, which I love about, right? So we've talked about these bundled services. We talked about software and change. But then that also opens the whole dynamic of like when you're implementing software is this company culture that we often talk about all the time that everyone strives for culture, but every company has [00:20:00] culture, period, end of story, Kevin Keim: You have humans. You have Tommy Cole: good, bad and ugly, right? At the end of the day, it just, it's on a grading scale. Tell me about your experience in culprity culture. How to be on the better side of Company culutre Tommy Cole: You had some events occur recently, but talk about that and how to manage it and be consistent and be on the better side of culture. Kevin Keim: Yeah. So real quick culture to me, to your point, if you have humans, you have culture. And if you hire and retain and or lose employees, the culture will shift. It's a moving target. It will always be moving. And I think that so many people will go to conferences or they'll read books and they'll be like, okay, our core values are our culture. Know your core values help define your You know, that is the thing that, that I, I would first take away from this, right? Your core values is what keeps a company. We're a family owned pest control company who's grown 36 percent last five years. Our current, you scale out over 10 years, we're going to be, you know, five times bigger than we were. How do you [00:21:00] keep it family operated? Core values, the core values that we talk about, right? That drive it. So that's part one. And then part two to that, as you make changes to this and you deal with it as realizing that you've always heard this phrase higher, slow, fire, fast, No, hire fast, fire fast, right? I'm Tommy Cole: right. Kevin Keim: in higher and in discipline and fire to your core values, right? Cause that's how you protect your culture. So whether it's me coming into the company in general and taking this, this new role of CRO, which will eventually will morph into president of the company, whether it's that, whether it's software, whether it's. People changes, whether it's an individual process on something changes, change and you gotta, you gotta manage that. And so we were talking earlier. One of the things I took away from corporate America, which I still love is the change model. So for those watching, you've got and [00:22:00] I'm credit, credit strict to Dow chemical for giving me the knowledge and this document to be able to go through it, but essentially what it lays out is if something is missing in these seven steps. You end up with a result. That's not what you wanted, which is change. Right? So Tommy Cole: Kevin, that you have? Kevin Keim: you got to have a case for change or your, why your vision, your skills, incentives, resources, and then an action plan. And I won't go through every step of them, but like, if you, if you don't have a reason for change, you end up with status quo. So that's why it starts with that, right? If you don't have incentives for your team, you have changed, but it's gradual change. Right. And then it's, it's just, you did all this work and you're not getting the results and that leads to frustration. And the one that, that matters to me the most probably is if you don't have the resources or the skills for your employees, you end up with either anxiety or frustration. And, and that's exactly kind of what led to this case. So we talked about software and I made a specific [00:23:00] planted seed in that conversation earlier, which is our leadership team agreed and voted on because as we've gone through this change. The phrase, I was worried would happen, happened, which was an employee saying it's your software you made. Tommy Cole: okay. Kevin Keim: All right. So then we were able to go back and say, no, no, no, no. We all made a case for change and we knew why we needed to change. And so you can then go down this line and see where did we lose that employee? Well, it was skills. That employee elected not to learn the new software. Well, once we got into it, she was stressed out. She had all this anxiety and I could look at this curve and start to quickly realize what was going on. Now, if that was just a regular, like a customer success employee in our company, probably not a big deal. It was our office manager. And so we ended up, she ended up deciding that she wanted to part ways with the company and, and that in the moment of thinking, Oh, God, we've switched software. Now we have an employee [00:24:00] change. And, you know, now what? Right? And someone on the leadership team level change, but I'll tell you that culturally, the rest of the group. Was on board with the change. They were there. And, and when that change happened, it was like a pressure relief valve just went off and the office just rolled up their sleeves and got to work. So we were down two employees from our normal headcount. One of them, selfishly, I knew I'd probably be down. That's why we have software. I was like, the software is going to, I'm going to reduce. We calculated a number of hours. I didn't think we would need. So we just were like, okay, we'll see. We'll we'll let that prove out through the new software. It has. And so we've been able to run the company with two less employees in and not have this frustration or this confusion or anxiety, because we've paid attention to this change curve and modeled. Ourself after it and said, look, as long as we have a plan and we've got these resources and we've got training and we [00:25:00] put an incentive in place, right? Like we set our employees down and said, look, you help us with this change. You know, we're going to expand your responsibilities with the company and let you do more and then compensate them for it. You know? And I looked at it as like, I have a budget for office staff. I'm just going to reshuffle those dollars around to our current staff and. course, help our P& L out a little bit with some savings here and there, but then let the software do its job and make it efficient. Tommy Cole: Yeah. I love the change model. That's, that's great. And you probably use it a lot for your, your, your coaching aspect, but embrace the change and change is going to happen. Like at the end of the day, you're not going to have this perfect team. That's going to be with you for 50 years. It's just, it's not going to work. But what I like about the change model is it's the foundation of our business. And so you can get to see these. Sort of different levels or these things that happen over time. And you're like, you think you hit the nail on the head with the two of them, [00:26:00] anxiety and frustration. Cause if I look back into my career or, or anyone else's career, that's very real and true in businesses because they're like scared shitless, right, for something to happen. And then, and then there's just like this. I don't have the skill set for anything like this. I'm not even here. Right. So I love the fact that you have this change model sets the tone and what you love the best is the expectation. This is how we're going to follow it moving forward. I love it. Yeah. Kevin Keim: that all the time. Well, they're just not good at change. And, and, I, I don't know. I, I'm sure there are all kinds of psychologists who are probably right. There are people who aren't good at it and whether it's a Colby score, a CliftonStrengths, whatever. There's, there are all kinds of backgrounds to it. But at the end of the day, the only thing that is guaranteed in this world is that it will keep changing. And so we just need to. We have to learn to change and I think that that where you can take something like this [00:27:00] model and you can look at it and say, if I, if I have to go back to my little, if I have all of them in a line, then you're going to get the result that you need at the end. And I think that's. That's how you manage it. So not only did we change software, we changed our pay structure for our employees to streamline our payroll. We put, we've always had KPIs in place, but we never had an easy way to hold somebody accountable to them. So we changed those. I mean, at one point in, in, in Tony and Kelly, the owners of Innovative who are in a, the one that pays 48, 000. Pest control peer group. I'll let them joke to the crew at McFarland, because they're probably, I guarantee you, they're saying, he's changed everything but the logo. Which is not wrong. Like, they're not wrong. Tommy Cole: Yeah. Kevin Keim: We changed a lot. Yeah. I have a piece of paper over here this morning. We were talking about how do we shovel the office around and not yet. Not yet. [00:28:00] They did jokingly ask that, you know, we'd at that point, I'm like, yeah, down the road. But I, I mentioned that by saying, You that's a lot of change and, and have we nailed this change curve perfectly every time? No. But we, but by following this, you can keep yourself or just thinking ahead and getting everybody on the same page is what led to us being able to make those changes, right? Because going through software change and then telling the employees that you have, we're going to pay you differently. Wait a minute. What? And so that is uncomfortable for a lot of people. Take the time and you explain to everybody like, okay, let's give you the why, right? We're changing our, our, our, cause payroll took us an entire day. I had an employee who spent the entire day and I can do it in an hour now. And, and then, and then I can go back to building a better schedule for you so you get paid more. I'm like, do you like this cycle can improve you'll let us, right? And so that's kind of, but that, that goes back to [00:29:00] setting that and then having a plan in Tommy Cole: So Kevin Keim: telling. Tommy Cole: here's, here's my next question. As, as we wrap things up and, what I hear a lot of is as owners, we want to change things, right? We want to better our company, but oftentimes we get really excited about a change, so we come back home from a peer group, we come back from a conference, we come back and we're going to make a change. And then when you talk about that, talk to that person again, to follow up on the change two months later. It's died or it's not there, or it was there. And then, and so now you're talking about an incentive program. You're talking about a career ladder. You're talking about a software change that just doesn't get anywhere. How to drive change Tommy Cole: How do you, in your experience, how do you. Get the consistency of executing that change on a longer period of time. Kevin Keim: Well, it's like, there's three things that come to mind right off the bat. One it's, it's gotta be top down driven, right? It is, is [00:30:00] the owner involved, but the rest of the leadership team not involved. And in making sure everyone's on the same page, right? Going back to that question of when I asked everyone, I made everyone vote on our software because now everyone has skin in the game. You melt, make this decision on this very capital intensive, long term investment, because I don't want to go through another software change, not in a while. Right? So, and we. Almost doubled our cost and software. And so you gotta be all on the same page in the first thing. And then, and then get everything that you should do should be driven with the why. Why are we making this change? And there should be why. And if you don't have an answer, if you're an owner and you hear this amazing thing at a conference or, you know, in your peer group, first question you should ask yourself is. Okay. It's amazing. Why do I think it's amazing? And why should we do that at our Tommy Cole: You'd love it. Kevin Keim: And cause you can't, if you don't have that, then you don't have the rest of it just doesn't matter. Right. I mean, you, you got to understand the why, cause you didn't got to go tell a story [00:31:00] to your first year leadership Tommy Cole: right? Kevin Keim: instantly. Tommy Cole: Yes. Kevin Keim: like, look, it takes 30 days to create a habit. So, so just hold yourself accountable. I'm going to make Chris so happy when I say this, put calendar notices on your own calendar, say you need to do it. Right. So, you know, we, it's uncomfortable, right? You hear all these people talking, I don't want to, I don't want to waste time. I don't want to have meetings to have meetings. Look, there are bad meetings, a hundred percent agree with that, but you, you also have got to have those touch points to hold yourself accountable. You get past that 30 day mark, then things start to happen and you start to see results and look, not every, not all change is great. Like that's the joke I always used to make is do an A B test. You know, one's going to work. One's not going to work. Okay. Back to our thing. Pivot. Tommy Cole: Yeah. Kevin Keim: You know, it doesn't mean the idea is bad. It just, it just may be, maybe it's not perfectly working. Right. Processes are meant to evolve because [00:32:00] the company evolves. Tommy Cole: Love it. Love it. It's like 30 days to create a habit. It's no different. I was using an example on the call earlier that. Explain the seatbelt, right? Remember trying to use a seatbelt every day, right? You're like, Oh, I got to do this thing. It's uncomfortable. It's awkwardness, right? Like, but now you just, it's just customary. It's, it's the thing. Now you just get in and do it. And you know, when you have kids, it's awkwardness, it's uncomfortable and you're crying and screaming. It's feels weird, but now the kids get in the truck and you just put on the seatbelt and you just go like, it's a habit. So don't get all upset and freaked out and why, or this awkwardness of like, is my team going to morale, like top down driven, get the why out there and get a habit of creating it. So it's longevity. And if it takes three months, great to do a software. If it takes six months, great. the idea is like be consistent about what you're doing to implement that change[00:33:00] Kevin Keim: Yeah, right. And, and, and just know that it's going to, it's going to take you some time and you'll, but your, your, your crew will figure it out. And again, if you've done those things, if you've set that expectation, they understand the why they understand where they're going with it. They'll come along with it. They may not fully agree with it. Right. I mean, but they'll understand the why behind it. And we, we would just explain to our employees, like, yeah. From the back to the pay example, it was easier for us in the office, but it also gave them transparency to their pay. We have this complicated way of paying guys and they didn't know what they were getting. And now you can be like, look, you can look at your daily schedule and you can calculate your pay. And that's amazing. I've just given you transparency. That's the action plan piece of this that comes along with it, right? To where they're like, all right, I see what's in it for me now. Not just. You know, you keeping less time in the office, which that might've been the only thing. But again, that still goes back to helping them because if I'm keeping their customers happy, then I've got more work for them. And if I'm building a better route for them, they get, they're getting more work in and the same goes for like, you know, whether you're doing plant health or whatever. [00:34:00] Right. I mean, I remember talking to a a lawn care company and they're talking about managing. Inbound, you know, leads and how do you get a quote out to them? And I was like, you should streamline it, man. Like, I'm like, you got to use like software, use Zillow or something and map. Tommy Cole: Yeah. Kevin Keim: Yeah. Yeah. And like, just find a way to like, make it easy to be able to, to be able to get that quote out and so that you can earn their business and then get back to moving and growing the organization for that. Tommy Cole: Love it. Love it. We have covered an incredible amount of information. And I want to do a quick recap on that, but, talk about the sales, the bundles that what, you know, you trademarked. We'll give you all the credit in the world because you. we, you, I know how you love that but don't be the cable company and stuck in, don't be the blockbuster, set the expectations, streamline it. So it's easier on your, [00:35:00] on your, your team and easy for your clientele. Love it. Software changes. Suck it up, Barna Cup, do it and shut up and basically just get it done. Like embrace the change. You got to pivot, you got to have an 80 to 20 rule, do your homework, do your research, love that. Company culture is just a game changer. You gave us all the reasons why, the case, the vision, the skills, the innovation Drive your culture. Okay. So I love it. I love the, the change is from top down driven. You got your why, and you got your 30 days to create a habit. Lots of good stuff. Kevin, I need to know one more thing from you. The audience loves all the golden nuggets that we, we give to them. But what is one thing that you have for our, our audience that you live and die by that says, yeah, man, put in the work, get this thing done. What's one more thing to leave our audience? Kevin Keim: Well, dude, you already mentioned it started with [00:36:00] the podcast. I, I do not take all of life super seriously. I, Tommy Cole: that is the truth, right? Kevin Keim: I have 24 full time employees and that sounds real bad when you say that out loud like that. But I think at the end of the day, what I, all of this change you gotta have fun and you gotta have fun with your crew and, and whether that's virtually or. In person, like, you know, there's just all these ways that you could do it, whether it's teams, channels and sending gifts and doing all of that. So I just, to me, that's the biggest thing is like, if you're going to do these heavy, heavy things, cause change is heavy. Software is heavy. Like all these things that just can be intense. You know, make it fun while you do it in, and that goes back to your culture. One of our core values is O F F T one fun family team. And so it just. That was our little, we used to just say one family team and we added the word fun in there because I was like, we got to have fun. Let's have fun. [00:37:00] That's me. That's my impact on the company. So that's my, my one advice to everybody is like, Don't get too stressed about this and, and have fun while you do it. Try to have fun while you're doing it. I will tell you that while we went through the software conversion and while we were bleeding out cash, we're hiring virtual assistants to help us. And I'm working 80 hours a week. I was like, where's the fun in this? Tommy Cole: There's no fun. Someone help me out. Kevin Keim: And then you get to this moment where the software does its job for the first time, and you're like, that used to take us five hours and it just in four minutes. And you're like, now I'm fun. Tommy Cole: This is great. Kevin Keim: what, you know, what are we going to do with all this time Tommy Cole: Yeah. Yeah, this is great. Kevin Keim: So anyways, that's my Tommy Cole: That's great. You know, at the end of the day, we got to have fun. And sometimes we just get too stressed out, too worked up. Anxiety, the pressure, just breathe, enjoy the journey that you're going on. Right. You're not going to fix it overnight, but have fun. I totally agree with you. Like I started off this podcast, there's [00:38:00] never a dull moment when we travel because someone will send something in the group chat and everyone's serious. And here comes Kevin. Doo, doo, doo, doo. Boom. He throws up something funny and everyone's dying. And then you got 38 messages laughing. Right? Kevin Keim: It's typically, it's typically a gif or a meme. I joke that I speak fluently in images. Tommy Cole: So true. Kevin Keim: so I can, I can deliver the laugh through an image, then I've done a better job than me, you know, trying to type Tommy Cole: Yes. Love it. Kevin, it's always a pleasure having you on. Thank you for joining and sharing all your experiences. We're going to have you again on the show. Kevin Keim: Sure. Tommy Cole: get all the haters in our other comments about change that I'm looking forward to hearing from, right? Kevin Keim: Yeah. Me too. Me Tommy Cole: Love it. Uh, thanks again, Kevin Keim: all right. Tommy Cole: Kevin. We'll see you soon. Kevin Keim: All right. Thanks, everybody. John: Ready to take the next step? Download our free Profitability Scorecard to quickly create your own baseline financial assessment and uncover the [00:39:00] fastest ways to improve your business. Just go to McFarlinStanford.com/scorecard to get yours today To learn more about McFarlin Stanford our best in class peer groups and other services go to our website at McFarlinStanford.com And don't forget to follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. See you next time on the Roots of Success.