One guiding principle can make the ebbs and flows of owning a home services company much more tolerable: offering diversification can be the golden key to unlocking year-round revenue.

Take the entrepreneurial journey of Joe Palumbo from Minneapolis, MN, who has successfully pulled off this concept for the last 25+ years.

As the visionary behind two successful ventures, Ice Dam Guys LLC and Landscape Guys LLC, Joe has seamlessly navigated the seasonal dynamics of the home services industry to ensure consistent business throughout the year. 

The Genesis Of A Dual-Threat Business Model

Palumbo’s story is not just about business acumen; it’s a narrative of innovation, adaptation, and seizing opportunities.

Originally a landscaper by trade, Joe’s venture into the home services domain was focused on providing top-tier landscaping and design solutions through his company, Landscape Guys LLC.

This venture kept him and his crew busy during the warmer months of spring, summer, and even fall, offering everything from meticulous garden designs to sophisticated lakeshore restoration projects.

However, the harsh winters of Minneapolis presented a significant challenge to maintaining a steady flow of business.

Like many landscapers, Joe waded into snow removal services such as commercial plowing and sidewalk shoveling to keep busy.

One day, a subcontractor asked Joe if they could melt ice that had dammed on the side of a customer’s building.

At the time, Landscape Guys had been doing a lot of pressure washing in the summertime, and Joe knew they had hot pressure washers.

Could they do the trick? They did, albeit not as well as his current method, which was refined a couple of decades ago using only 100% steam.

This breakthrough moment propelled him down a path of exploration and experimentation, culminating in the establishing of his second venture, Ice Dam Guys LLC.

Specializing in removing ice dams using steam guns, Joe’s winter business was born out of a single question and thrived on seizing an opportunity through innovation.

image 1

The Impact of Diversification

Palumbo’s dual-business model serves as a testament to the power of diversification in the home services industry.

By operating Ice Dam Guys during the winter and Landscape Guys throughout the remaining seasons, Joe has created a year-round revenue stream that is resilient and adaptive to seasonal demands.

This strategy ensures continuous work for his team (sometimes 40+ subcontractors!) and offers varied services to meet the diverse needs of homeowners and businesses across seasons.

Meeting the needs of many is important because Ice Dam Guys now operates across the entire northern US and into southern Canada. 

The success of this model lies in its ability to leverage skills and resources effectively.

While the transition from landscaping to ice dam removal may seem unrelated, both businesses require a keen understanding of home maintenance and a commitment to providing timely, practical solutions.

This seamless integration of services across seasons highlights the potential for home service companies to expand their offerings and tap into new markets, stabilizing income and fostering growth.

It’s also a great way to win over a customer and share your other capabilities for future tasks!

Key Takeaways For Home Service Entrepreneurs

Palumbo’s journey offers valuable insights for entrepreneurs looking to diversify their service offerings. Here are some key takeaways:

Identify Opportunities Within Challenges

Like Joe’s discovery of the steam method for ice dam removal, challenges can often lead to innovative solutions and new business avenues.

For example, most homeowners don’t like cleaning their gutters because it involves going up on the roof and precariously cleaning debris from various angles on a wobbly ladder.

We’d be willing to bet those homeowners who don’t like clearing their gutters are the same customers open to Christmas light installation.

Why? If they don’t want to climb a ladder 30’ in summer, they won’t want to in winter. Offering decorative lighting installs in winter could be a great way to solve their problem while making extra money for your team.  

Identify Opportunities Within Challenges

Leverage Existing Skills and Resources

Diversification doesn’t always mean starting from scratch. Assess your skills, equipment, and crew capabilities to explore complementary services in different seasons.

Are you a roofer? Consider becoming certified to perform home energy audits in the winter. These audits are best in the winter and often require summer roofing repairs to remedy leaks.

That can set you up for year-round income, and the two can become great referrals for additional business.

Understand Your Market

Knowing your target market’s seasonal needs can guide you in expanding your service offerings.

This knowledge ensures your business remains relevant and in demand throughout the year.

A perfect example is how furnace repair companies provide summertime air conditioning services.

When their customers are cold, they know they’ll have furnace repairs and installations. When their customers are hot, they know they’ll have AC repairs and installations. It’s a never ending cycle of reselling to the customer.

Adapt and Evolve

It is crucial to be willing to adapt and evolve. Stay open to learning and experimenting with new methods, as Joe did when he ventured into the ice dam removal business.

It’s also essential to keep your expectations realistic while this is occurring. Don’t expect your second venture to instantly rival the original that’s benefitted from operating and refining for several years.

Like your first dabble into entrepreneurship, there will be a learning curve. However, if you’re strategic, that learning curve will be shorter the second time. 

What’s Your Next Big Idea?

The story of Joe Palumbo and his companies is a compelling example of how diversification can be a strategic approach to achieving year-round revenue in the home services industry.

By skillfully balancing two distinct service offerings, Palumbo has created a resilient business model and demonstrated the importance of innovation, adaptation, and understanding market needs.

For home service entrepreneurs, Joe’s journey underscores the potential rewards of exploring new service avenues and the power of turning seasonal challenges into opportunities for growth.