Hearn Learning to Build a Better Company at 10KSB
Tom Hearn expanded his business acumen through the 10,000 Small Businesses program
If you’re in business for 74 years, you’re doing a lot of things right. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find new ways to improve.
That’s one of the reasons Tom Hearn decided to enroll in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses (10KSB) program at Cuyahoga Community College in 2015.
Hearn is the third-generation owner and general manager of Hearn Plumbing, Heating & Air in Madison, Ohio. He runs the business along with his wife, Dennielle, who serves as administrative manager.
“I had a couple reasons to enter 10KSB,” Tom Hearn said. “One, it was the opportunity for a free business education. Two, even though we’ve been around for more than 70 years, you always have to be forward-thinking. As a company, we’ve always been good craftsmen, but there’s been room to grow as businessmen.”
Longstanding companies like Hearn can often grow stagnant and risk-averse, but Hearn discovered ways to counter that stagnation while attending 10KSB.
“My biggest takeaway was learning how to digest and overcome fear,” he said. “You discover that you can take a look at different levels of risk by better understanding your purpose, your vision, your customers and key performance metrics.”
Hearn completed the program with a newfound sense of direction for the future of his company. Along with Dennielle and the rest of his staff, he put together a growth plan for the ensuing five years.
“We’ve been able to grow by an average of 30% in each of the past three years,” he said. “Over that time, our staff has expanded from four to 15 employees.”
In the longer term, Hearn said the plan is to grow the company into a one-stop shop for HVAC and plumbing services and possibly bring in electrical services as well.
“10KSB really helped me see what’s possible,” Hearn said. “It teaches those of us who tend to get sucked into the day-to-day operations of the business that you have to kind of pull back and understand the importance of working on your business from a higher level.”
Since completing the program, Hearn has recommended it to at least half a dozen other Lake County business owners.
“It does require some time, especially if you’re driving to Cuyahoga County from a place like Madison,” Hearn said. “But if you can spare the time, you’re going to get a well-rounded business education that can help remove hurdles to growth. It’s well worth it.”
March 30, 2020
Erik Cassano, 216-987-3577 or firstname.lastname@example.org