What a title to a blog right? I know what you are thinking, and no I have not lost my mind.

A few months ago I had a friend ask me a question that changed my life, he asked me why have I have not written a book or started coaching other business owners on how to kick their companies into the next gear as I did with my first business I owned. I guess the answer is that I have not ever seen myself as a business coach, even though I have seen my share of success.

Let me start by telling you a little about me. I was born in Virginia and had what I think of as a great childhood, with two awesome parents. My mother who still lives close, and my dad who passed away in 1991. I was lucky enough to have a father who let me play with his tools and let me help him with projects around our house.

Together, we did everything from planting a garden, working on the truck or car, or even rebuilding a lawn mower engine, and heck, we even built a go cart using a industrial compressor engine and scrap metal for the frame, and yes it was fast! We worked on our boat just about as much as we went out fishing on it, and created memories that would last a lifetime.

My mom has been there with me through good times and bad, and even worked for me in my heating and air conditioning business (I guess I really worked for her), and after I sold the company in 2007 she has been helping me in my new adventures ever since.

Back in my school days I was not exactly a model student, I was not a bad kid, but I just did not like school, it bored me. After high school, I started working for a local auto repair business. Working on cars came naturally to me (my days of helping my dad really started to come in handy) even though I did not want to do that for long, as it was what I could do to put myself through community college.

I had two semesters in high school in the Votec program for HVAC, and this was something I wanted to do from an early age (for whatever reason).

After a few semesters at the local community college, I had enough knowledge to start applying for jobs with local HVAC companies.

I put in a few applications, and after a week or so I was contacted by the service manager of a very respectful company, I think the best in the area. His name was Jim, a very nice, but very professional guy.

He asked if I could make it that Saturday morning for an interview.  I did and after an hour and a half, he said to me, “You have a lot of potential, but I am looking for someone with at least some experience”, so I said the first thing that came to mind, ” If no one will hire me until I have experience, then how can I ever get it”?

That was the single best question I could have asked, as two weeks later, I started working for him and my future was shaped.

After working for that company for 10 years and learning everything I could, I went out on my own and started a heating and air-conditioning company that would defy the odds. I did something that at the time was probably the most important thing I could have, I modeled my new company off of the one that gave me my start with my own twist. I knew at the time what worked and what didn’t, and as I put the ingredients together for this new company, magic suddenly happened and we grew.

Over the years we expanded into a 7 figure company that changed the rules of the game, as what I learned the hard way was nothing that I could have read in a book. Don’t get me wrong, there were a lot of good how-to business books available, but none that spelled out exactly how to build a service related company, a money making machine where employees would be proud to work and with whom clients would stay. So I have decided to write my first book on this very subject, how to start a company from the ground up with nothing more then your desire to succeed and the goal of making as much money as you want.   You see, the technical service business is one of the most under estimated type of million dollar businesses you can build. A business that can go from zero in sales your first day, to millions by your second or third year. Now in some companies, that might not sound like ground breaking news, but when you begin with little debt and your average service call is $250.00 and your average new system is $3,000.00, that is setting the street on fire with profits reaching into the 6 figure range. Remember, we are talking about one to two years of your new company, not bad if you ask me.

I will also show you how I have taken that knowledge and now started using it in my Construction business which also has a service division that added HVAC to our brand.

If you are a plumber, electrician, or any company that offers a needed service to home owners or businesses, then you will want to look out for my tips on how to start, grow, run, and build a business that your clients will love, and who knows, maybe a company you might one day want to sell.


Duane Cotton


Duane Cotton on EmailDuane Cotton on FacebookDuane Cotton on InstagramDuane Cotton on TwitterDuane Cotton on Youtube
Duane Cotton
Master Builder at Build America Construction