Fluid Mechanical Masters Its Growth Potential with Help from Advantage Insights

Imagine planning and planting a garden. You carefully gather supplies, dig rows for planting, put down stakes, and depending on what you’re growing, use plenty of fertilizer. You expect the garden to take all season to grow, so you know you won’t need help with the harvest for quite some time.

But your expectations were wrong. You wake up at dawn, put on your wide-brimmed hat and go out to the garden to find… unexpected growth. The garden is teeming with life, ripe tomatoes are sagging off the vine, and if you don’t harvest soon, the veggies will rot and you’re going to miss the opportunity to replant!

The True Story of Unexpected Growth

Without magic, the scenario I described above is impossible, but it’s not unlike the real situation Rich Hazuka encountered with his business, Fluid Mechanical, LLC. Rich, along with his cousin Luke Hazuka, founded Fluid Mechanical as a commercial mechanical contractor in 2020. Their team performs complex plumbing and piping work for schools, hospitals, offices, and other commercial construction.

They both had experience doing the same kind of work at other companies, but together, they envisioned a better business model based on transparency and shared success with their team. Professionals at Fluid Mechanical have a clear understanding of their compensation, potential bonuses, performance metrics, and even the business’s fundamentals, as Rich and Luke maintain an “open book” policy with their staff.

It turns out, that kind of transparency and respect is appreciated among skilled workers, and Fluid Mechanical was able to assemble an incredible team. They started earning projects right away and began growing an excellent reputation in Omaha and surrounding areas. But growth came at a much faster rate than expected.

To illustrate how fast they were growing, consider this: Rich and Luke had built a month-by-month, ten-year business plan. After one year in business, their scale of operations was on year 8 of that model. Everything that had to go right, did. Loyal clients paid on schedule and became advocates for Fluid Mechanical. The bookkeeper they had hired to help them manage the business was overwhelmed by the rapid pace of growth and financial management became more complex as the business grew.

As the business scaled faster than they had dreamed it would, Rich and Luke knew they would need to drastically adjust their plans and improve their team’s capacity to manage that intense growth in a responsible way. Their tax accountant recommended they meet with Mary Ferry from Advantage Insights.

Fluid Mechanical Gains Control of Its Success

The owners of Fluid Mechanical met with Mary to discuss their unique struggles and expectations for financial management. Rich says he appreciates that Mary was able to break down and organize their performance into key indicators that actually mattered to their business.

“I liked the fact she puts a lot of time into KPIs. We were in the early stages of defining them ourselves, and with her help, we got there.”
-Rich Hazuka, Owner, Fluid Mechanical, LLC

Along with their growth trajectory, the group discussed QuickBooks integrations, especially with their construction accounting software. They talked about processes and new approaches to budgeting that would better support their growth. 

In short order, Advantage Insights became the accounting department for Fluid Mechanical, providing ongoing financial management services and additional support as needed. Mary and Ellen from Advantage Insights provide monthly reports and reviews, and they handle the weekly payroll. Fluid Mechanical is a union contractor, so payroll is complex, with no room for error. 

Now, all checks are run through Advantage Insights. They reconcile Fluid Mechanical’s accounts as a continuous stream of unique projects are won, completed, and paid. According to Rich, Advantage Insights has been able to adapt their services to the complexities of the commercial construction industry.

“They are all really hard workers, which fits well with our culture here. When I have a question or emergency, I know Mary or Ellen will respond efficiently with the help we need.”
-Rich Hazuka, Owner, Fluid Mechanical, LLC

Rich acknowledges that the process of adapting their budget and accounting efforts to a faster rate of growth has been difficult, but Advantage Insights has helped him see light at the end of that tunnel. Access to the Advantage Insights team has allowed Rich to focus on the present operations of his business, knowing that the processes that drive it are continuously improving. Upon reflection, Rich cautions business owners who choose to rely on their own limited understanding of programs like Legal Zoom and QuickBooks to get by.

“I know a lot of people try to handle things themselves in QuickBooks. You really need a good bookkeeper and accountant you can meet in person. Find people who understand your industry or show the capacity to learn.”
-Rich Hazuka, Owner, Fluid Mechanical, LLC

Continued Growth, Confidently Managed

Fluid Mechanical achieved tremendous success not long after its founding. But the unexpected rate of growth brought immense accounting and management challenges to the team that had to be dealt with. Owners Rich and Luke knew they would need partners in accounting who were as attentive and diligent as they were in order to maintain growth that was sustainable and responsible.

Although their initial approach was a good fit for their expected rate of growth, the business quickly became a bucking bronco, fueled by success and high expectations. Like conscientious business owners, they understood their limits and sought help in key areas, including business accounting. 

“Seeing our team develop and grow into their roles, the stress level has gone way down. It’s nice to have the structure and expertise that Advantage Insights provides.”
-Rich Hazuka, Owner, Fluid Mechanical, LLC

Even before you start business, a clear and complete understanding of your financials is key to smart and judicious management. Whether your growth has outpaced or underperformed against your expectations, adjustments must be made with the right data and expertise at your disposal.

Advantage Insights designs its services to meet the unique needs of your business. No matter what your challenges are, a discussion with Advantage Insights can be the first step to overcoming them and putting your business on a confident and sustainable path forward. Email us for a free consultation or give us a call to learn more.

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