Chris Lalomia is a man of many hats, a successful entrepreneur, author, and podcast host. In 2008, Chris decided to dip his toes into the entrepreneurial space and began The Trusted Toolbox, a home repair and renovation company located in Atlanta, GA. Since its inception, The Trusted Toolbox has grown into a multimillion-dollar handyman and remodeling business. It took more than luck to grow a business from the ground up during the great recession. Chris believes his success is due to his business acumen. By positioning himself as a problem solver in the home repair industry, Chris gained loyalty from his customers. If you’re interested in learning how to grow a business regardless of the economic climate and are willing to put your customers’ needs first, read on!
Owning his own business was not something on Chris’s to-do list. Chris worked for Sun Trust bank as a mechanical engineer with a master’s degree. Highly successful in his position, he found it left him empty. In search of personal satisfaction and fulfillment, Chris quit his corporate job and ventured out independently. Creating the Trusted Toolbox during an economic downturn was not easy, but 14 years later, Chris is grateful for his journey and thriving business.
When you ask Chris how he started a successful business during a recession and continued to thrive during Covid 19, Chris credits his success to being a problem solver. The One Big Tip he offers audiences is that if they want to own a thriving business, they need to position themselves as problem solvers in their industry. Every day with the ever-changing economic and political climate, things are changing, and suppliers and materials are forever shifting. Being able to ebb and flow with whatever the world throws at you is how you build a successful business.
To be the best you can be, you need to accept that no one person can be an expert on everything. Chris laughingly credits much of his success to his coined entrepreneurial ADD, something many business owners can relate to. Hiring people to run your departments is the best way to manage that. When you outsource your demands to the people who can do it best, you create a successful foundation. This allows you to offer the best service in every aspect of your business. You need to empower your employees. Let them feel proud of the work they do and the success they bring to the company. That is how you grow a strong team that your company and customers can rely on.
Another tactic that Chris relies upon to keep his company strong is hiring people who are the right fit for the business culture. It works out like a self-selection process. The people who won’t succeed end up walking away on their own due to the rigorous business environment and expected work ethic when they join his team.
The last strategy Chris relies on for his business to succeed is reviews and newsletters, keeping his brand at the forefront of consumers’ minds. By creating an email list and sending out a monthly newsletter, his brand is on top of the minds of his target audience. They may not need his services today but will reach out when they do. After that, customer satisfaction is most important. This is probably the most challenging part of being an entrepreneur. In a world where everyone is looking for instant gratification, developing the patience needed to grow a successful business is challenging.
If you’re looking to grow your business or establish yourself as an authority in your field, the most important thing you can do is put your customers first. Be a problem solver and think about how you can make their days easier.
In this episode:
[2:45] Chris shares his road to entrepreneurship
- You don’t always know where you’ll end up, and that’s fine. Just follow your passion
- When you are passionate about what you do, it’s easy to work hard at it
[6:15] Starting a business during an economic downturn is difficult
- To succeed, you need to deliver something unique to your customers
- Always strive to be the best at what you do
[11:45] You don’t need to be the best at everything to excel
- What’s important is hiring the right people to represent you
- Your employees are an essential part of how your company moves forward
[15:01] Know what you want your company culture to be
- Every employee should be on the same page
- It’s essential to have a united vision for your brand that all your employees share
[19:11] Customer satisfaction is the only way to grow a business
- Ask for customer reviews
- Pivot the way you do business to keep your customers happy
- When you have a vision for your company, all your employees should align with it