ou've heard of BHAG?

A big hairy audacious goal.

And it's what John Wilson had when he bought his family's little plumbing business in 2016.

John actually acquired the business from a position of weakness, as you'll hear.

But he quickly decided that there was opportunity here, and that he wanted to do something spectacular.

In his case, it was:

Become the largest licensed home services business in Northeast Ohio.

7 years later, and he's achieved it.

Some numbers:

The business was over 60 years old when he bought it; his grandfather had founded it.

But it was doing just about a million bucks in annual revenue. Not a lot.

The first full year of John's ownership, 2017, saw the business grow to $1.7m.

Flash forward, and the Wilson Companies did that much revenue this past January alone.

They're gunning for $26m this calendar year.

And, John sees a path to $100m — his latest BHAG.

John Wilson at The Wilson Companies
Feels good

John's story is a hopeful example that you can buy a quite-small business and grow something very large.

And John himself is an advocate of buying small.

But — do be careful.

John chose a big market: licensed home services, which includes plumbing and HVAC and electrical.

The path to a big company would be far different in a market with less aggregate demand, like window washing or septic pumping.

Also, timing. John took advantage of a golden window of opportunity in home services, when digital marketing in the category was just starting to mature. That window has long since shut.

We get into that and much more on the back half of the interview, where John breaks down the whole home services category. It's a great primer, a must-listen for anyone seeking fluency in what is the most common type of SMB, home services.

Please enjoy this interview with John Wilson, owner of The Wilson Companies.