Ep 34 - PCT Top 100 CEO Mark O’Hara on Building a Commercial Empire

Mark O’Hara stepped out to step up the family business. Is this wisdom for future generations of Buzz listeners? Mark served his time at both the US Army and Anheuser-Busch before rejoining Anderson Pest Solutions. Mark built on his non-pest experience to rise in the ranks at Anderson. His dad started it, his brother primed it, and Mark and his nephew, JT Barnard, scaled it. Mark and his nephew ultimately sold Anderson to Rentokil in 2015 with a $21M top-line mark.

People differentiate, not materials. Mark gives tangible examples of culture in this Boardroom conversation. Recruitment became a critical function as the business thrived. Mark tips his hand at a recruitment target outside of pest control. What is Mark’s take on leveraging employees’ relationships to grow the organization? What about recruiting from within the industry? He even shines light on the inevitable blinders surrounding employee interviews. Have you ever felt like sticking your neck out to hire someone? Mark suggests a solution for that.

It is hard to fathom building commercial sales machine without trials and tribulations. The conference room conversation doesn’t shy away from ‘sales vs service’. Town hall meetings, individual performance metrics, and committee feedback built the accountability culture. From grading leads to fixing funnel flow, Anderson’s sales process evolved. Patrick Quigley would be proud to hear that Mark refers to hot buttons and asking for the signature in this visit.

In battle-field fashion, Mark would often start new projects and then walk away. Mark’s entrepreneurial spirit led to switching course too often. It may not have been self-realized though. As ‘The Way of the Shepherd’ and ‘The 4 Disciplines of Execution’ were recommended to him, he gives his seal of approval to Buzz listeners.

When the Chicago climate suppressed pest pressure, how did Mark manage overtime discrimination? In Episode 5, Tony Sfreddo discussed segregating his commercial and residential technicians. How did Anderson structure its technicians’ routes? If Mark was dropped into a $2-3 million business today, how would he think about scaling that business? Tangible takeaways abound in this interview with another PCT Top 100 Great.

Co-Produced, Edited, and Mixed by Dylan Seals of hdaudiopost.com

Welcome Mark O'Hara to The Boardroom
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