Industry Rock Star Turned a Corner
With Eye-Opening Conference Conversation
Brian Hegarty is the chairman and founder of A+ Powerwashing and Roof Cleaning, which is based in Monmouth County, New Jersey. In business since 1990, A+ Powerwashing and Roof Cleaning serves the central New Jersey market and offers a full range of services, including roof, vinyl and aluminum, deck, concrete and masonry, synthetic stucco and paver cleaning.
How do you measure success? Is it reaching more than 1,000 five-star Google reviews? Is it measured by a seven-figure yearly revenue? How about a 100% recommendation rate on Glassdoor? Hegarty and his team have met all those milestones. Considered to be an industry rock star by many, Hegarty attributes his business accomplishments to passion, great customer service, transparency, positivity, and wait for it — humility.
“You don’t know what you don’t know,” Hegarty said about a life-changing conversation he had at a professional development conference earlier in his career. He said he was “… a terrible leader. I was a my-way-or-the-highway kind of guy. Actually, I wasn’t a leader, I was a dictator.”
Hegarty said a monumental learning opportunity came to him during a breakout session at a Florida business conference years ago. A question was posed to the table: What’s your biggest problem in business? His response was a complaint about work ethic among his employees. A woman at the table replied, “Well, who’d want to work for you?”
Personal Turning Point
“I’d been in business for 25 years, and who was this woman to say that to me?” Hegarty recalled. “I left the table and went up to my room. I was fuming! It really hit a nerve.”
Hegarty learned “that woman” — Ellen Rohr, a business makeover expert and author of “Where Did the Money Go?” — was one of the guest speakers. “I went back down and said to her, ‘I owe you an apology.’ And she said to me, ‘Yes, you do.’ It took me down a whole bunch of notches!”
Hegarty’s takeaway from the conversation that followed was that his success was irrevocably linked to the quality and loyalty of his workforce. That awkward lesson in humility and self-awareness led him to take coaching classes and educate himself on leadership. Today, a waiting list of prospective employees who want to join A+ Powerwashing and Roof Cleaning is a testament to his making the most of his self-discovery that day.
“The business is easy. Do what you say you’re going to do.” — Brian Hegarty, A+ Powerwashing and Roof Cleaning
“The business is easy,” Hegarty said. “Do what you say you’re going to do.” But to take it to the next level of professionalism, Hegarty said, employees must be empowered with training, leadership programs, and economic incentives. “Cut your people into the profits and give them ownership into the business process.” Hegarty said his people create a process that yields solutions and a sense of ownership. They ask, ‘What are the problems we’re having and how are we going to resolve them?’ Then they do.”
Power Through! Pro Tip
Besides his trademark advice to provide the “Best Service Anywhere” and to keep a positive attitude, Hegarty’s pro tip is to know and understand your profit and loss statement. “Don’t leave it up to your accountant — know what your balance sheet looks like. It’s your responsibility!” Finally, he said owners need to focus on their business planning and inventory.
“I’ve been purchasing parts from EnviroSpec since the ’90s,” Hegarty said. ‘They’re very reliable. They have the parts I need in stock. Their customer service is really good. If there’s ever a problem with the order, they straighten it out immediately.”