Chapter Corner

How to Make Another Million Dollars Next Year With This Brain-Meltingly Powerful Strategy

Posted in: Features, September/October 2016

money.jpgWould you like to make an extra million dollars of income next year without adding any more employees to your payroll? What if you could do it without any capital outlay?

The skeptics among you just read those sentences, rolled your eyes, and thought about flipping to the next article. But if you keep reading, I’ll show you exactly how to do it. It works, it’s amazing, and it will totally change the game for you. And yes, you can start doing it in your electrical business as soon as you get back to the office.

How much can you make? You can use this strategy to make $50,000 (if you just want to dip your toe into it), or you can go all the way up to $50,000,000 (if you’re the kind of electrician who rolls up your sleeves and gets stuff done). It’s entirely up to you.

For me, it all started with a bet over dinner.

The Dinner Bet That Started It All

A few years ago the sky was falling in America – it was a tough economic time for a lot of people. I was at a dinner with a friend and fellow service business owner, and we were talking about how to grow our businesses in spite of the economic situation.

I wondered aloud if another trade-line could be added to increase revenue, and I suggested that perhaps waterproofing was the best trade-line to add in my business. The other person doubted that I could do it. He pointed out that I was an electrician who ran an Electrical, Plumbing, and HVAC company, and then followed up with the question, “What do YOU know about waterproofing?”

The truth is, I didn’t know anything about waterproofing. But I also love a challenge! So I made a bet at that dinner that I would add the waterproofing trade-line and it would make a million dollars in my business in the first year.

My dinner companion laughed at me, and he continued to laugh until he learned that my new trade-line made a million in the first ten months. Not only that, my company did it with no new employees on the payroll. That trade-line has increased in revenue every single year since we started.

I did it again with water filtration, which also makes more than $1 million. And then again with one-day bathroom solutions. And then again with indoor air quality.

I’m not telling you this to brag but to share with you that it can be done over and over, with significant upside and very little effort. Not only have I done it in my business, I’ve shown many other people how to do it.

Adding one or more new trade-lines is a powerful way to grow your business and a significant amount of new revenue to your business. If you can do it without new employees or any capital outlay, doesn’t it make sense to do just that?

Underlying Concept Behind the Strategy

You might be reading this article and thinking, “Why would I want to add a new trade-line to my business?” Or, “I think my customers are fine with the services I already provide.”

While that kind of “specialist thinking” might have served a previous generation of business owners and the customers they served, the customers you serve today want something different. Your customers want a one-call provider who can help them with everything.

Life is busy. People are desperate for more time. So if they can call one number and get electrical services, plumbing services, HVAC services, and waterproofing services (plus any other number of trade-lines), they will value that convenience. Unfortunately, those who are fiercely focused on just one trade-line will lose customers who favor the convenience of one-call help.

If a customer trusts a brand, they trust everything you do. When you prove yourself with one service, they’ll think of you first for other services, too.

Want to see a company that has perfected this? Visit your local Walmart: You can get everything at Walmart – from a lawnmower to underwear – and now you can even get your groceries there. As a service business, you need to be worried about Sears, Lowes, and other companies for similar reasons: They're adding trade-lines to be the one-stop call who will steal your customers.

Two Pieces You Need to Take Care of First

Before you get to the actual nuts-and-bolts of how to add a trade-line, there are two pieces you need to take care of first:

Strong business: Make sure your business is solid and running well. Another trade-line isn’t going to fix what’s broken in your existing business; in fact, it could make it worse. So make sure you get your existing business on the right track and then branch out.

Address and destroy limiting beliefs: Some of you might be reading this and thinking, “I can’t add a trade-line because I’m just an electrician. What do I know about other trade-lines?” Or, “I’m sure it will be difficult.” Or, “I don’t know where to get started.” Or, “It’s probably expensive.” Frankly, these are just excuses and they hold people back.

Step-By-Step Strategy to Add a Trade-Line

Step 1) Identify the low-hanging fruit: Adding another trade-line can seem like a lot of risk, but it doesn’t have to be. Start by answering this question, “What are you customers asking you for right now?” They’re probably asking you for a service that you are either saying you don’t do or you’re just sending that business off to someone whose phone number you remember.

Trade-lines you should consider include plumbing and HVAC, but there’s much more: Any home-related service from painting to landscaping or from concrete repair to roofers are an ideal starting point. As you add these lines, you’ll hear about more opportunities from customers.

Step 2) Find an aligned company: You’ll want to make sure you are referring only the best professionals who will treat your customers as well as you treat them.

Create a shortlist and interview a few companies and tell them about your plan.

Step 3) Develop an affiliate program: When you find a company to work with, create an affiliate program. It may vary, depending on what you each sell, but a good starting point might be that you each pay the other 10% of each sale they make for you, or you each charge the other a flat fee.

Then get their flyers and put a tracking number on it as well as provide them with your flyers, also with a tracking number.

Step 4) Promote: When your experts complete their service at your customer’s house, they can hand the flyer to the customer and say something like, “By the way, we work with a great landscaping company. We’ve also negotiated a special rate with them because we love their service. If you want to have your lawn mowed, here’s a flyer of all their services.”

Meanwhile, your affiliate partner will do the same for your company.

Step 5) Get paid: Once a month, sit down with your partner and look at the work sent and received. Then cut a check for what you owe them, and have them cut a check for what they owe you.

Step 6) Repeat: You can do this over and over by “cross-pollinating” other services that are complementary to what you offer, so that when you wrap up electrical work at a client’s house you can hand them a number of flyers for services that they very likely need.

Bonus strategies: This is the fastest way to get this strategy going, but it’s just the beginning. You can take it to the next level by working with service providers who will wear your uniforms and put your company’s logo on their trucks, and you may eventually bring this in-house.

This Is the Fastest Way to Get Qualified Leads

There isn’t a faster, easier way to dramatically increase your income without bringing on more staff or making a significant capital investment in your business. It allows you to cross-pollinate without having to first become an expert in an entirely new trade-line.

Most service business owners spend a lot of money on cold lead marketing, and they hope it will bring in the right customers. But you can use this strategy to find thousands of qualified homeowners who are paying money to a related service, allowing you to crank up your business very quickly.

Now you know the strategy and the steps to implement. You can start working on this today and have more revenue coming into your business next week.

Mike Agugliaro is the "Business Warrior" and founder of CEO Warrior, a business consulting and mentoring form, providing tested and proven methods to defeat the roadblocks that prevent small- to mid-sized businesses from achieving their ultimate success. He has played a key role in building Gold Medal Services success as co-owner of the company. For more information about CEO Warrior, visit