Take Your Business to the Next Level with These Lessons from SA6

Published on December 19, 2019

Have you been trying to take your business to the “next level”... 

… But can’t seem to catch a break?

As Service Autopilot CEO Jonathan Pototschnik would say, “It’s time to level up your business,” and that’s exactly what the SA6 annual conference was ALL about.

SA6 speakers provided solutions to the biggest bottlenecks in your business.

We had internationally-renowned experts (such as Mike Michalowicz, Ari Meisel, and Josh Long) give one-on-one professional advice to our attendees.

In addition to talks and one-on-one sessions, we also held workshops to address your biggest pain points… business growth, marketing, and sales.

Check out some of the lessons you may have missed or relive the glory from all that was SA6. 

Day 1

How to Position Your Business for the Future

Jonathan kicked off SA6 with a much anticipated Service Autopilot update and a spirited session focused on leveling up in business. 

First, he shared insight into why Clearent was chosen to help take Service Autopilot to the next level -- because they provide a financial safety net that will allow SA to grow faster and better serve our members. 

Clearent has a vested interest in helping our members get paid faster - something that is crucial for the success of field service businesses, so it made sense from an investment standpoint and from a strategic angle.

“We are extremely happy. We don’t have any regrets. We are confident this was the right decision.”

Jonathan then transitioned into providing core advice on how members can follow SA’s lead and level up in their business. 

Key Takeaways

  • “You have to engineer accountability into your life, into your business, in order to grow.”

Jonathan emphasized the importance of holding yourself and your team accountable, and encouraged everyone to live inside a world where you have to answer for your actions. 

  • We are living in the age of analytics. Having a strong handle on your data can save you time and money, as well as help you run your business more efficiently.
  • “Educate yourself. That’s how you guide your business successfully.”

Growth can’t happen if you stop learning, and there is always another level of education -- whether it be within your business or within yourself, there is always more room to learn and grow. 

What’s New at SA?

Service Autopilot’s CTO John Caldwell and Product Owner Chris Sims delivered exciting news regarding the highly anticipated new version of Service Autopilot.

Key Takeaways

During this session, Caldwell and Sims hinted at a few of the new features members will soon see, including:

  • New functionality on the Team App including integration with new forms and allowing users to manage service and product usage from the field. 
  • More discoverability via consistent design patterns and behaviors across all screens.
  • Advanced functionality integrated into basic workflows so users feel like they are using more features of the software.
  • New capabilities of transferring all property information after a client moves, migrating all the new residents’ information without losing all of the old clients’ historical records.
  • More control over how monthly revenue gets distributed into income accounts. 

“The Bottleneck Breakthrough Method”

Josh Long is a Growth Expert and Author who kickstarted his career as the Marketing Director for Tony Robbins at Business Breakthroughs International. In addition to working with other thought leaders, he’s currently working with Perry Marshall.

The main focus of Josh’s talk is this: YOU are the biggest bottleneck in your business, and it’s your job to fix it.

In Josh’s “Bottleneck Breakthrough Method,” he shows us that the key always boils down to one thing: your leadership.

In his method, he suggests things like… 

  • Accepting that the problems in your business stem from you
  • Solving your own leadership issues, so that your team can properly excel at their jobs

Here’s the main highlight from Josh’s talk:

  • “If you won’t fire, you’re just settling for mediocrity… and that’s okay, just know that’s what you’re choosing.”

It’s your job to provide your team with the proper training and tools to complete their tasks. Just like it’s your job to confront team members who are producing mediocre work. And it’s your job to clearly state your expectations in a way your team can understand.

How to Maximize Your Workflow with a Daily Audit

Certified advisor Mike Callahan and SA Training Director Chris Volpe spent two hours showcasing commonly missed or misused features of the Service Autopilot CRM while showing members how to improve their workflow.

The biggest piece of advice they shared?

Start with a daily audit. 

Much like being new to a town and driving the streets to get your bearings and know where you’re going, a daily audit helps you get your bearings in the SA system and that helps you navigate your day more seamlessly. 

Think about it ...  the more you drive a certain route, the more natural it becomes … the same applies to the more you use SA to run your business. 

First, let’s look at this from a payroll and job costing perspective. 

Imagine one of your crew members gets the day rolling without clocking in. We all know this happens … it’s inevitable.

That crew finishes the job and then realizes he/she forgot to clock it. They immediately go to the mobile app and clock themselves in and immediately out of the job. 


Now, it looks like that job only took them one minute to complete, thus throwing off not only their time card, but also proper job costing for you.

It now seems that instead of getting paid $30 for one man hour, you get paid $30 for one minute … and that just won’t do.

If only you had taken the time at the beginning of the day to make sure your team was clocked in properly.
Or, let’s look at it from a billing perspective. 

Let’s say you go into SA with the intention of billing one client for an hourly job you completed. But, because you didn’t start your day with a daily audit and make sure your day was set up the way you needed it to be, you accidentally end up billing all of your clients for an hourly job. 

Now, you have to spend the rest of your day fixing the mistakes you made because you were in such a rush to get out the door and on the job. 

“You may be tempted to skip the daily audit of your SA systems, but it’s just 2-3 minutes that will actually save you more time in the long run,” said Volpe. 

Create Your Own Sales Playbook

Jim Evans, Service Autopilot’s Vice President of Sales, took members on a journey from the football field to share the importance of having a sales playbook. 

Prepping for a football season all starts with a playbook - a guide full of strategies to deal with the opportunities that present themselves.
The same thing goes for a sales playbook. It serves as a guide your team needs to learn cover to cover and then take it out into the field and execute it with perfection. 

The key here is to share the vision company wide so everyone is working toward the same goal. “Express your story, your vision, so your employees catch and build on your passion for your business,” said Evans.

4 Key Components of a Sales Playbook

  • What your team needs to KNOW
  • What your team needs to DO
  • What your team needs to SAY
  • What your team needs to PRESENT

BONUS: Salesperson Interview Tip

Have candidates explain their sales process — or even better, write out a sales process —  to see where they are. If they can’t do it … or really struggle … do not hire them. 

What Are the Hottest Issues in 2019?

Jason Cupp is a Kolbe Certified Growth Consultant and Motivational Speaker. He’s also the former President of the National Association of Landscape Professionals.

As a returning SA Conference speaker, this year Jason talked about the top issues business owners faced this year, and he explained how to fix them.

Jason kicked off his talk by telling our attendees, “You need to take a reality pill, and be honest with yourself.”

“Worry is worthless,” Jason says, “Turn your worry into a resolution.”

In order to turn your worry into a resolution, you have to address the two key problems in your business:

  1. Complacency
  2. Greed (in business and in life)

These are some of Jason’s top tips for reaching a resolution:

  • Take retreats. This isn’t the same as a vacation… It’s taking time away from the day-to-day to think.
  • Create work/life balance using the 10 steps from Getting Things Done.
  • Prioritize solving the issues in your company first, then you can focus on finding new clients. After all, you can’t find clients if your business is in turmoil.
  • Raise your prices using the CPI index.

Welcome to Service Autopilot’s NEW FORMS 

Joe Hrbacek, Service Autopilot's Training Manager, delighted attendees as he showed off the possibilities of the new version of forms, including:

  • Mobile optimization
  • More customizable
  • Multipage logic
  • Video embedding
  • Automatic saving as you work within the system

What Do Pumpkins and Business Growth Have in Common?

Mike Michalowicz is an entrepreneur and best-selling author. He’s the author of Profit First, Surge, The Pumpkin Plan, Clockwork, and his newest release: Fix This Next.

By his 35th birthday, Mike had founded and sold two companies — one to a private equity company and another to a Fortune 500. Today, he’s running his third multi-million dollar venture, Profit First Professionals.

He’s also a former columnist for The Wall Street Journal and the former business makeover specialist on MSNBC. Over the years, Mike has traveled the globe speaking to thousands of entrepreneurs to share the best of what he’s learned.

Mike started off his talk by giving a thought-provoking statement, “Where you sit in your business today is a result of the decisions you’ve made over the last five years.”

Then, he explained how the outcome of your business is a byproduct of your actions and decisions.

Mike related business growth to a pumpkin plan. In other words, the steps you take to grow a pumpkin farm are the same steps you take to grow your business.

This is a quick summary of The Pumpkin Plan:

  1. Client analysis
  2. Clone
  3. Quench your clients’ thirst
  4. Root analysis
  5. Pruning process

Mike also mentioned a few other things during his talk such as:

  • Ordinary entrepreneurs think better is better… but unique entrepreneurs think better is different. Clients don’t think better is better. Clients think unique is better.
  • Think about your best customer - and find a way to clone them.
  • “People choose their wallets, not their words.”
  • Quench your clients’ thirst.
  • Market to your segments frequently.
  • Ask your clients for referrals.
  • Find out if your clients’ vendors serve them better than you do.
  • Familiarity and comfort prevent your business’ growth.

“Choose your best customer to clone and you’ll have prolific growth,” Mike says.

“Your biggest opportunity for colossal growth is being DIFFERENT than your competition.”

Day 2

Are YOU a Replaceable Founder?

Ari Meisel is the best-selling author of The Art of Less Doing and The Replaceable Founder and can be heard on the award-winning The Less Doing Podcast.

The main point of Ari’s talk was this: The primary way to grow your business is by making yourself replaceable.

In order to decrease your workload, you need to optimize, automate, and outsource the tasks in your business. This is also known as what Ari calls, “The Art of Less Doing”.

He created the Four Levels of Mindset pyramid in which your goal is to become the Inventor that’s replaceable. Using this philosophy, Ari believes you can create an automated business that stops constantly relying on you.

You can become replaceable and reduce errors in your business by automating your day-to-day tasks.

Ari also provided customized, actionable tips and tricks for companies both trying to reach $1 million as well as companies trying to get to the next level after $1 million.

As a business owner and entrepreneur, your primary goal is to create focus, flexibility, and freedom for you and your business.

A common misconception among entrepreneurs is that Founders need to be indispensable and irreplaceable. However, this is what prevents you from reaching your overall goal of becoming an Inventor (an owner that can step out of the business).

How to Level Up Your Marketing

The SA Marketing Team brought along Patrick Hoffman and Lisa Marino to give SA attendees Marketing Workshops they’ll never forget. Patrick’s talk catered to businesses striving to hit the $1M mark, while Lisa brought home larger strategies for those above $1M.

Patrick, Service Autopilot’s Marketing Manager, has produced blogs, marketing materials, and resources that help entrepreneurs increase their revenue through effective marketing tactics. Through various marketing exercises, he taught attendees how to market to people to make them care about their business.

His primary goal is to get you to do LESS WORK with GREATER RESULTS. His formula for this is: little time + little effort = great rewards… And it all comes down to optimizing your strategies and making the client top priority.

Lisa, Service Autopilot's campaign expert, has over 16 years of experience in helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses by optimizing their marketing strategies. 

Through various marketing exercises, she taught attendees how to maximize their campaign reach and conversions.

Her primary goal is to get you to focus your efforts on creating multichannel campaigns… rather than just sending one-off emails or ads. This multichannel approach brings in more conversions than single channels alone.

Lisa was so motivated to help SA attendees that she actually gave away 30 FREE marketing consultations to SA attendees, and they were instantly booked up!

The main thing Patrick wants you to take away from his workshop is simply this… 

“Always keep the client in mind,” Patrick says, “Your sales, your marketing, all of your growth effort will have better results if you always remember what your client wants.”

The main thing Lisa wants you to take away from her workshop is this… 

“Gone are the days of ‘one and done’. If you’re not doing multichannel campaign approach, you’re missing the mark,” Lisa says, “Single channels brought you to $1M… Multichannel will keep you moving. It takes at least 7 touches to convert a sale - so start pushing more channels!”

Are You Leaving a Legacy?

Jason Cupp retook the stage on day two to talk about the importance of leaving a legacy. 

Opening his session by speaking very highly of his recently-passed mother, Jason opened with a bold statement: “There is no room for pride and ego if you want to build a lasting legacy.”

Following that strong start with some moving references of the impact his mom had on his and others’ lives, Jason shared with members the nine keys to building a roadmap to a legacy: 

  1. Find the time and space to reflect.
  2. Focus on gratitude… be grateful.
  3. Find your passion, and love what you do and who you do it with.
  4. Be adventurous.
  5. Keep it simple - focus on the essentials.
  6. Be compassionate.
  7. Create a sense of community around you. 
  8. Persevere - be resilient.
  9. Be intentional. 

He left members with one final thought: “Challenges you have now, no matter how difficult, are preparing you for who you’re going to be. The acts of today dictate how you’ll be remembered tomorrow.”

Our SA Trainers Help You Maximize Your Account

Two of SA’s veteran trainers, Scott Howard and Brian Minter, took members through a deeper look into how to maximize their Service Autopilot accounts. 

Brian showed members how to use the document editor to build eye-catching invoices that fit a specific brand and message. He also covered how to streamline the invoicing and payment processes in order to get paid faster and easier.

Scott walked members through the process of customizing KPIs to fit their business. He also shared a bundle of KPI analysis, reports, and dashboards from the Marketplace for members to implement into their businesses to help them evaluate and measure success with specific goals and targets.

Has Your Business Been Struggling to Make It to $1 Million?

Josh Long (creator of The Bottleneck Breakthrough Method) joined us again to help businesses struggling to escape their “revenue plateau” and reach $1 million.

He encouraged business owners to be honest about the bottlenecks in their businesses. Afterwards, he helped them pinpoint and solve their biggest problems keeping them from reaching $1 million.

These are some of the solutions he provided for different revenue plateaus:

  • $250K Plateau
    • You need to hire “longer arms” (more employees) to complete tasks.
    • Batch out your daily distractions.
    • Prioritize your sales by answering and returning all phone calls (even if you can’t service that client).
  • $500K Plateau
    • Create perfect profiles of your ideal client(s).
    • Hire a Field Manager.
    • Provide excellent basic training.
    • Answer and return all phone calls (even if you can’t service that client).
  • $1M Plateau
    • Hire an Operations Manager that’s the opposite of you and compliments your weaknesses.
    • Find a secondary lead source.
    • Create better videos by using the Splice app GoPro (it’s free!).

How YOU Can Make a Difference

Steve Gilliland is an author, motivational speaker, and entrepreneur. He can be heard daily on SiriusXM Radio’s Laugh USA. He shows audiences how to open the doors to success in their careers, relationships, and lives. 

Steve took SA attendees on an eye-opening journey to uncover their hidden abilities, unleash their inner energy, and shared the key to accomplishing their goals.

He gave a wealth of new ideas, workable tactics, and useful tools that (when put into practice) make a considerable impact on their professional and personal lives.

From the ground up, Steve built a multi-million dollar company on the same philosophy that he expounds to his audiences: “If you continually learn more about your company, your industry, your customer, and yourself, you will always be a leader.”

His motto is straightforward: “If you take care of people, the business will follow.”

And the Winner of the 2019 Biggest Badass Award Goes to… 

Every year, we ask our Service Autopilot Academy Members to send us videos of the personal and professional advancements they’ve made in the past year because of Academy. The Top 3 nominees are then voted on by all attendees at the conference. This year, our three finalists were Cory Bettinghouse, Chase Coates, and Marvin Salcido.

On the last night of SA6, it was announced that the winner of the 2019 Biggest Badass Award is… 

… Cory Bettinghouse!

Cory ended 2018 with $830K in revenue, and this year his business’ revenue is projected to be $1.3M. Due to the resources he’s found both within Service Autopilot and Academy, he’s not only grown his business past the $1M mark, but he’s also been able to spend more time with his family.

The Epic 2019 SA6 After Party

After every SA Conference, we host the BIGGEST and BEST After Party! And this year’s venue did not disappoint.

The Glass Cactus at the Gaylord Texan Resort overlooks beautiful Grapevine Lake.

Its expansive dance floor, flowing drinks, and lively entertainment came together for one EPIC event.

From casino tables… to a human velcro wall… to motorized toilet bowl races… cigar bar… and even a slow-roasted bacon-wrapped alligator!... this After Party stood true to its epic name.

Want to Hear More About SA6?

At every SA Conference, Cody and Bear interview SA Members to catch up and get actionable advice.

This year, Ted Glaser returned to the Profit Roadmap to talk about what he’s been up to for the past year. Get caught up on part one and part two of his episodes before part three is released!

The Profit Roadmap also welcomed Simple Growth founder and SA Certified Advisor, Mike Callahan, to the show. Mike gave us a “peek behind the curtain” at how he transitioned from lawn care owner to starting Simple Growth. Catch up on Mike’s previous episode before his new episode is released!

Related: The Top 9 Books You Should Be Reading After SA6

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Service Autopilot is software that will help you grow - and automate - your service business. From Lawn Care, to Snow Removal, to Cleaning, we help owners learn how to run healthier, more profitable businesses, and give them the tools to win in their markets.

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