Welcome to another exciting episode of the CONEXPO-CON/AGG podcast as Taylor discusses the logistics of building a successful excavation business with his guest, Travis Gemmell, Founder of Walnut Grove Excavating. Today, Travis recounts his remarkable journey from the corporate realm to becoming a passionate business owner in the dirt industry, and shares invaluable insights into the importance of cash flow and strategic planning when starting a business. He also reflects on the challenges and lessons he has learned along his journey, and emphasizes the immense impact of having a dedicated and reliable team, as well as the unwavering support of family.
In this enlightening exchange between Travis and Taylor, they explore the diverse facets of running an excavating business, the recession-proof nature of the wastewater and septic industry and the dynamics of hiring and managing a young and motivated crew. Together, they go on to discuss the pivotal role of social media in building a strong reputation and attracting clients, as well as how Travis successfully combines quality workmanship with strategic social media utilization to showcase his completed projects and stand out in the industry. The daily responsibilities of an excavating business owner, the balance between being on-site and managing operations, and the secrets to maintaining a thriving business are shared as well. Today’s episode offers a wealth of insights into the challenges, rewards, and essential factors that contribute to success in the dirt industry. Whether you're an aspiring entrepreneur or an industry professional, Travis's story here today will undoubtedly inspire you to pursue your own passion and allow you to gain valuable insights into building a successful business in the world of excavation.
- Travis's transition from the corporate world to entrepreneurship
- Factors influencing Travis's decision to start an excavating business
- Challenges and financial considerations in starting a business
- The importance of building a reliable and skilled team in the industry
- The impact of family support and work-life balance on Travis's journey
- The recession-proof nature of the wastewater and septic industry
- Social media’s role in showcasing projects and attracting clients
- Some of the challenges in running a construction business and managing employees
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Travis Gemmell: There's a lot of catches with some of that stuff, where it's like, man, it's the right decision, but at the same time, it's one of those you said it on one of the podcasts. It's scary because it's like, “Oh, that $18,000 or $20,000 could have bought me another attachment for this, or I could have paid for this.”
Taylor White: Welcome back, everybody, to the CONEXPO-CON/AGG Podcast, brought to you by our good friends over at Komatsu. Man, oh, man, they make good machines. With me here today, I have the one and only Travis from Walnut Grove Excavating, who I've been following on social media for a long time because we both share the same love of wastewater treatment and septic tanks and all that good stuff going on. So, Travis, thanks for being on the podcast today.
Travis Gemmell: I appreciate you having me on. I appreciate it. I'm looking forward to our chat.
Taylor White: Travis, I got to say, I've been following you along for a while, and to be perfectly honest with everybody listening right now, too, I have not had a pre-conversation other than over the last few years, we've had a couple of conversations back and forth through Instagram, DMs, and whatnot. But, yeah, no, I'm looking forward to kind of getting to know who Travis is and what you have kind of going on. So for the viewers and listeners at home, who is Travis and what's Walnut Grove Excavating?
Travis Gemmell: I'm a husband, father, and I started excavating about six years ago. Basically, I was in a corporate job for a while and decided I didn't like it and then wanted to figure out what I wanted to do for the next 25 years. So I did some soul searching and a lot of communication with different people, seeing what needs are out there. And I thought, man, it'd be a riot to go out and excavate every day and kind of get out of the corporate world and the politics and some of the other stuff that goes on there. And kind of be out with people, my own customers treating them the way I want to treat them and kind of get back to the basics. So that's kind of how it started.
Taylor White: I like how you mentioned you're a father and a husband first. That's really cool.
Travis Gemmell: I give you a lot of credit. I mean, anyone that's doing excavating that has younger kids, there's a big toll on you because this job, this kind of work is not easy. And the only way it seems like to make it successful is you got to have, obviously, really good people as part of your crew. But that does not mean that you get to sit back and relax. I mean, there is still always so much work. There's so much expense, there's so much cash flow that you really can't let your finger off the pulse. So to have a young kid like you and some of the others, I give you a lot of credit.
I had a good arrangement with my wife. My wife's phenomenal, high school sweetheart, and we've been together forever. So, it's kind of one of those deals where when I worked, it was kind of like, I'm the main breadwinner, I'm the one that's making the money, she's the one handling the household. She took care of the kids, she managed the school, she handled all that. I basically was in charge of providing the income to support the family. So I worked a lot, and I do regret how much I did work because I did miss the kids doing a lot of stuff. I traveled a lot. I mean, that was one of the reasons I ended up leaving. I traveled a lot before, but then my last job I had, I would fly out Monday morning and fly back Friday, and I could fly back for games and I could make those events. But for the most part, I wasn't there, so I talked to them for ten minutes a night. That's about all I kind of had with them, other than weekends and stuff. So that was kind of my biggest regret, was not putting as much time into being home as much.
So, yeah, my last role, I mean, I would leave out Monday, come back Friday, and my wife's my best friend. So it's one of those goofy things where it's like, wait a second, my kids are almost out of school. My wife's going to be home five days a week by herself. This isn't my dream, which is what I worked all the way towards. I mean, I worked 20 years to get to that role, and then it was like, it was a big smack in the face of, wow, this isn't the life I dream of. I want to be home at a decent time, not every day by five, but I want to be home at a decent time. I want to be part of family's life and kind of get back to basics. That's kind of how I started this.
Taylor White: It's really impressive that you're highlighting so much about family and being there for your kids. And there's one thing that I've learned, I mean, I have a two-year-old, actually, she's two on Sunday, having a big second birthday party for her, and I'm having another baby here in about 22 days. And I got to say that a lot of my perspective changed as well. So a lot of my perspective changed as well, whenever I had kids because beforehand, especially being a business owner or not even being a business owner, but just being dedicated to your career, it's a lot of time and a lot of time away from home. And you said you have a good arrangement with your wife, and to me, that's the key to it all, is my wife. I couldn't do what I do without my wife at home. And I think that's the ultimate ticket to making everybody's success kind of happen.
But one thing that you really highlight that I wanted to know your story on is you were in the corporate world six years ago. What were you doing and then what gave you that push to, I'm going to be a business owner, I'm going to get into wastewater, and then why wastewater? Why septic tanks? I know you do more than that and excavation and everything. Excuse me, but why the change and what did you do?
Travis Gemmell: So to start out, I was a truck driver. I got kicked out when I was 16. And then I found myself working on a dock, and then I realized I could make more money by being a driver. So as soon as I turned 18, I got my CDL. By the time I was 21, I got into the company I really wanted to be at and then started as a driver a year later, was an assistant manager, then a manager, then a director, and then kept growing, moved all over the country for them.
And then basically where I finished at was supply chain. I was a process manager. So basically I'd fly into different divisions, meet with the manager, the president, the financial officer, meet with everybody, and kind of say, "Okay, here's a number that you're not hitting. Why are you not hitting it?" And then I would help create a way to help them hit that number. I worked on driver comp projects, so there's 10,000 drivers I'd work on. Taking Canada's pay scale and making US pay scale and trying to make those merge to where people transferred from one part of the country to another. It was a very explainable pay change and why it was different. So I worked on a lot of process stuff.
I went back to school seven years before I finished. So, I mean, I went back and got a master's in Strategic Leadership and Business Development. So that's kind of how my brain works. I'm a process guy. I think through how to be the most efficient possible, how to put things together the most efficient way, not have any wasted time, parts, etc. And these guys kind of get probably tired of hearing it out, but it's one of those simple deals. Like if you have 10,000 drivers and they're making a $5 mistake a day, it's a $50,000 mistake for the company every single day. So how do you minimize all of these simple little things that we're doing to waste time or waste product?
And what got me down the septic path was I actually started with just really simple projects most guys wouldn't take. And then I started my first septic, worst septic still to date that I ever did. But I still loved it. It was a challenge. There was a lot of different aspects of it that I had no clue on. I was so nervous the first time I put one together, thinking that the inspectors would come out and check everything, the 10th on the grade and all. The pipe just perfect. And it was horrible. I mean, I was so stressed out. That was a good one, too, because I didn't bid it right. So I had another excavator in town help me. I said, "Okay, I planned on 200 yards of material,” and I needed 450 yards. I was like, "Oh, my gosh, I can't go back to the customer and tell them I messed this up." The insurance company said, "If you can prove the receipts that you actually bought the material, we'll reimburse you." But I was about ready to throw up my first week because I'm like, I'm supposed to make $3000 on this or $4000 on this, and I'm going to lose $8000. So if I'm going to lose $8000, it's going to take me three weeks to recover from the $4000. It was just one of those crazy deals.
But septic I landed on because to me, it seemed like that's the one thing that even if the economy slows down, tanks, anything goes wrong, septics are still going to be there. It's kind of the dirtier side of excavating, but at the end of the day, COVID for us was kind of our best time ever because we were important because you can't have a home that you have sewage backing up, so you were a priority. You could actually get in and do it. But then everybody being home all day every day compared to being at school or work, made the systems that were borderline fail. So there was a lot of work for us to do, and that was kind of what helped answer the question for me of this is definitely a side that I want to make sure we have covered pretty well.
Taylor White: I mean, everything that you say, totally, 100%. I mean, septic and wastewater, everyone needs to go to the bathroom. Recession-proof industry, although they're super expensive, at least up in our area. Up here, to be honest with you, the average system now is between CAD$40,000 and CAD$60,000. So are you guys up near like, the average system? What's the average system worth?
Travis Gemmell: A normal gravity-fed drain bed is about $10,000. So two tanks, 20 x 50, 20 x 60 drain field. No pump, just gravity system, stone tanks. That's pretty standard. You get into the pump systems and treatment systems, and a lot of those they'll start getting into between the $15,000 and $40,000, so they can start adding up.
Taylor White: Wow. Yeah. Even in our area that we're in, we have really high prices. But, I mean, just for a tank replacement, we're $8000 to $10,000 just for a tank. I mean, cost of materials, the inspection, it's insane.
Travis Gemmell: That's where we are.
Taylor White: Okay, going from what you did, corporate, I feel like there's more I'm missing out on here because to go from, okay, I know I'm getting a paycheck every week to hey, I'm going to open my own business and do my own thing and maybe not get a paycheck every single week. And maybe it'll work, maybe it won't. Obviously having your background, which, by the way, is super impressive, in strategic planning and business development and all that stuff. I love hearing that because that is amazing, and I see that even on your work on Instagram. The way that you're like this crew is doing this today, this crew is doing that, this crew is doing that. You're so like, boom, boom, boom, we're doing it. So I see that as well, too. But what was the big leap to actually running your own business from getting a paycheck every week to maybe not getting one every single week?
Travis Gemmell: That's a great question and to keep it as short and simple as possible is they did a lot of cuts. I started up facilities for them. So I started up five facilities. I'd fly to Pittsburgh, example, I'd stay there for three, four months, come back on the weekends, but help them get all the leadership hired, get all the equipment transferred, basically get all the routing set, work with 1000 people. But you basically had a 300-point checklist that you did this in an exact order that I helped create. But this is how you did it to have a successful startup. So you're taking 3000 customers from one facility in Ohio and now you're going to move them to Pittsburgh or Pennsylvania or you're going to transfer them just so they're going to get deliveries Friday and all of sudden a Sunday they're going to get it at a complete different facility. So you got to have everything lined up perfectly.
But when I was done starting up facilities, they wanted me to be in charge of all of Canada and all of the US for backhauling product. Backhauling is basically you go out and deliver product all day long, but then you're going to bring product back. So you're backhauling the product. And the new leadership came in. The family I worked for were truly amazing. The new leadership not so much. Didn't agree with their process, didn't agree with their thoughts, didn't agree with finance over people. It was always people than finance. A lot of the dynamics changed. So they basically eliminated my role and said, we really want you in here. It was a substantial pay cut. So we talked in the sense of severance package and I chose at that time I didn't really want to be part of that company anymore and left.
So I luckily had enough cash flow to start out. This kind of business is pretty insane. A lot of people talk about rentals, a lot of people talk. I mean for me, I will work 24 hours a day to not fail. So for me, I bought a skid steer and a mini, and I bought a trailer and said, that can get me 90% of the little jobs I need get done done. And I did the math. I mean, it's just simple math. It's like, okay, the two payments on that is $2300 a month. The trailer is paid for. I've got three months of cash flow because of my severance. I'm going to go give this a whirl and try to make it work because this definitely seems like where I'd want to be.
And that was kind of the part that I was very fortunate in the sense of I landed in some pretty good money. I made really good six figure income. So I got a severance, I had pretty good little pay package to leave, and that helped me get this started up. So, yeah, I mean, the cash flow piece is absolutely huge because I learned a lot of important lessons, hard lessons that I didn't really do anything for builders. I had a builder call me. I put in a $40,000 septic. $25,000 of that was expensive material, and then he didn't pay me. So when you have $30,000 to $40,000 in the bank and then you have somebody wipe out because you don't have all of your accounts set up yet, with all your vendors and your pits and your suppliers and you're on shorter terms, you don't have that extra cash flow. So, yeah, that made it pretty challenging when I first started. And some of those bigger jobs were pretty nerve-wracking because you needed pay, and then when they didn't pay, they’ll finally had to put a lien on the property. That was all new to me and all that kind of stuff. That's kind of how I ended up where I was at.
It was in a weird predicament where the corporate life changed and it kind of flipped on me, where everybody was kind of backstabbing. You couldn't tell the truth to the leaders because they didn't want to hear the truth. There's a lot of those aspects where I just hated my job and it made it to where I hated it, where I worked. And then I thought about, I got 25 years left, I can go to another company. I mean, I get offers all the time, but is it really going to be better? And then if it's not better, then do I really want to change again? I want to put my heart and soul into whatever I'm doing. So I'm not a job hopper. So that was the part that didn't excite me too much in the thought of having to leave and go to different places if it wasn't the place for me.
And that's kind of where I said, I want to have my own business. I've always wanted to have my own business. And what I did was almost like having my own business. You'd go hire people, you'd go get it started up. You'd have your cash flow. It wasn't my cash. But you'd have your budget, you'd have your goals. So, I mean that was kind of the catch where I always wanted it. I had no idea what I'd want to do. But yeah, once the excavating world kind of started up and I kind of looked out too, and you can again, from a strategy standpoint, you look out and go, okay, there's a lot of guys six years ago in the mid-50s, 60s that are going to be retiring and they don't have kids taking over. They don't have anyone taking over. So around here we've got like 11 excavators within probably a 10 square mile area. There's a lot, but a lot of them will be closed up probably within a year or two just from retirement.
Taylor White: You're in a good spot.
Travis Gemmell: Hope so.
Taylor White: You're dead right about like you said, the company, I was actually just at lunch today talking to a friend where he actually did the same thing. He was working at a company, company sold to a larger corporate kind of company. They came in, made it a miserable place where nobody wanted to work. He quit, started his own thing, and now he's doing seven, eight figure business, which is insane. But culture can kill a business and kill, losing really good employees. But it's a pro for you because you got into this next chapter of your life, which, what you're saying is you're now able to carry this on. You'll be able to provide for your family, for your kids, carry that kind of legacy on, which is super neat.
But why the dirt world? Like you mentioned, obviously wastewater being recession-proof and everything like that, but coming from trucking, okay, how did you know? I want to know. How were you like, okay, I'm going to do excavators and dig dirt and that's what I'm going to do? Is there something when you were younger or how? Why dirt?
Travis Gemmell: It's honestly a great question. I'll have a great answer for it. Other than it just seemed like it would be something that I would literally enjoy waking up every single morning and going and doing. I don't mind getting dirty. I have no problem doing construction. I've flipped homes, I've done all sorts of stuff. That's really kind of what it came down to was more just I would love to be in a machine. And at first it was a machine by myself to be left alone. And then finally got over, I wouldn't say bitterness, but I got over the fact of not really wanting to necessarily deal with people. And then again, it's one of those when you get really good people knocking on the door, how do you not invite them in. And I had really good people.
It's every business, you kind of have a cycle you'll get really good guys in, and we just went through this. We had really good crew for the last year. There's no turnover in the last month. There's three of them that we've decided to part ways, and we have three new guys in and they're fantastic. Hard part is I'm okay with hiring guys. I think you have the exact same thing with the young kid and your Cat is I've got a young crew, but they're willing to learn, they're willing to listen, and they take advice and they catch on quickly. I'll take that all day long.
That means I got to work 20 more hours a week because I got to be on site to help them and guide them and show them. So be it. Compared to a guy that thinks he knows it all and just beats the hell out of everything, I mean, that's kind of a part that you can't recover from. It becomes very painful every week. You've got okay, yup. Hit a fiber line. Okay, now you broke my tilt rotator. Okay, now you broke– It's like you can't make enough money to recover from a guy that's not doing 100% everything on what he's supposed to be doing every day.
Taylor White: Yeah. And you can't teach an old dog new tricks.
Travis Gemmell: That's why I like the younger guys. Yeah, I love them. I love them. Like I said, we got a great crew. They get along. They're all willing to work. No one's standing there holding the shovel and not willing to grab it and jump in the hole with somebody and keep digging. I mean, that's my mindset. It's kind of nice because a lot of the guys know they've got the mindset. I'm not one to stand ever. So it's kind of like I'm not going to stand there and watch you dig. If anything, if we got to shovel something, you're going to take ten scoops. Get out of my way. I'm going to take ten scoops. We're going to do it 50-50. We're going to split this workload. I'm not going to sit there because I'm the boss and watch you do this.
But they'll get mad when I get in the hole and say, no, that's not what you're supposed to do. I still do it. But they at least acknowledge like, hey, I'm the one you hired to do this stuff. Let me do this stuff. We've got a good process going. We got a good group going. It's just painful because it just usually means more hours. This last winter was pretty good. We had a good crew and we could kind of cut everything. I got a great estimator. My father-in-law is my estimator, and my sister-in-law is my office manager, so they're fantastic. They manage everything. She usually handles the schedule. I help oversee it a little bit, but she manages everything from the day-to-day to phone calls to scheduling. Len, which is my estimator, to go out and do all the estimates. He's out visiting all the customers, shaking all their hands, doing all the estimates. He can do pretty much 95% of them by himself.
Every once in a while I'll get one that help. Today we went and spent 3 hours driving around to five of them that he had questions on. So for the most part, that's been huge. It's kind of funny because he came on and I bugged him for years to join, and then all of a sudden he just said, “Oh yeah, I'm putting in my notice. I'm coming to join.” I was like, “Oh, that's great. Okay, where am I going to put you? Because I just hired two other guys.” And then my wife, of course, being right, she's like, “You should have them do all your estimates.” I'm like, “Oh, I can't have somebody do all my estimates that will make or break you.” And he's been fantastic.
Taylor White: I need to find money for your salary.
Travis Gemmell: Yeah. So, yeah, it's been good. They're fantastic. It's kind of the whole roundabout piece where you got to have it all covered.
Taylor White: Yeah. The dynamic, Travis, was actually something that I was really interested in talking to you about because much as myself, I'm very hands-on and I'm the same. I have an awesome operations manager, estimator, supervisor, kind of good management team that kind of handles everything day-to-day paperwork, kind of stuff like that. But are you in the office more? Are you on site more? I mean, you got a good tan going on, so I'm assuming maybe you're outside a little more than usual. Are you a bit of a site guy? I'm kind of curious on what your day-to-day looks like.
Travis Gemmell: Right now I'm more out in the field, but I'm trying to get people hired up to where I don't have to be out in the field unless it's like a bigger job that I would like to help oversee or anything. I don't have an operations manager or anything yet. I mean, we still only have six guys, so it's not anything crazy. But what I've tried to do is be out in the field three days a week, be in the office a couple of days a week.
You understand? I mean, that's kind of what you're doing. You're out networking, meeting people. I mean, social media is a huge thing. People always ask, how much do you really get out of social media? It's definitely worth the investment in the sense of I don't get business from it, but we land business from it. It doesn't bring you business, but it gets you. It's kind of a weird dynamic. I don't feel like people are calling me because they saw me on Instagram. What they're doing is they're doing their research. And we almost have a couple of 100 5-star reviews.
Taylor White: That's impressive.
Travis Gemmell: So, I mean, we have the five-star reviews, but what we do is, not to give away our tactic, but you kind of go to a job site and say, "Oh, you're getting a quote? Okay, well, here's our quote for the septic system.” By the way, we just did three of these last week. Go check us out on Instagram, Facebook, whatever social media you want to look at. You'll see what it looks like before we got there. You'll see what it looks like during, you'll see what it looks like after, and you'll see what kind of performance we have based on all those pictures. And we're happy with how we provided this work. So take a look at it See what the quality is going to be. See if that meets your needs. By the way, check out the competitors. See if their pictures meet your needs. And I mean, luckily there's still nobody around here that has anything. Most of them have websites with, you remember the pictures I used to have, the orange numbers with the date on it?
Taylor White: In the corner?
Travis Gemmell: There's companies around here that still have those pictures from 25 years ago uploaded on that. That's the website. And it's not to embarrass anybody, but it's the fact that we take a lot of pride in the work we do. And to be honest with you, Durbin actually mentioned this a long time ago. It's pictures on Instagram that do a phenomenal job for you and your crew for the fact that it's hard to make dirt look good. So you are going above and beyond to make that septic picture look better. You are producing a better quality product because you are getting a picture of that. And it's important because 95% of what we do gets covered up. So, I mean, you really could do a bad job. No one's going to know it for five to ten years until things start happening, but you really could go in and do a really poor job and nobody would even know it. But the important thing is to do it right, even though no one's watching. But if no one's watching, here, let me take some pictures and show that I did it right. That type of thing.
Taylor White: Yeah, that's what we try to show as well.
Travis Gemmell: Yeah, I love your videos. I mean, I would rather be interviewing you, to be honest with you, but I like your interviews, I like your YouTubes, I like a lot of that stuff. You're very quirky and funny, and you're different. I'm not, I guess, brave enough to be as far out as kind of how you are. I love it.
Taylor White: I appreciate it.
Travis Gemmell: I think it's funny, and I think it's very real and it's not a persona or any of that kind of stuff. That's just who you are, and I love how you carry that. I think that's why you have a lot of followers because–
Taylor White: Unfortunately, that is just how I am.
Travis Gemmell: Yeah, but that's good. I mean, I think that's a great dynamic because it's fun to watch. One of my favorite videos that you had was The Year in Review. It's goofy. You're sitting in the lawn chair with your drink and talking about last year. And I thought, what a great video, though, like, from an excavator watching an excavator. Like, here's the good things, here's the bad things, and here's kind of a real look at because I don't think a lot of us do a good job of showing how hard this business is.
And you've talked about that on different podcasts and stuff of just anxiety and the pressure and the stress and the difficulty with cash flow and managing a family and managing people and knowing that if you make the wrong decision, you could have 25 people that impact it for that. But it's not even really the 25 people you have employed. It's multiply that by their family, multiply that by X amount of different things that that's going to impact. That stress is big and as I think you're the exact same way. I mean, you're always trying to provide more and more for your employees and your teammates and people around you. So there is a lot of stress that goes into that.
Like I said, we have mistakes and we have different things. And it's like sometimes we've done a couple of those videos where it's like, okay, this is a good thing to know. But at the same time, it's like you don't want to look like you're an idiot out there not knowing what you're doing. But it happens. I mean, every great excavator, they get a dozer, they get a dump truck stuck to the axles when they shouldn't have taken that path, but they do. But then the same thing, like, there's a $50,000 expense that I didn't know was coming and how am I going to make ends meet this week? There's a lot to it. I enjoy your videos.
Taylor White: I appreciate that. I appreciate that. And it's too bad because, listen, my favorite part that I wish I could show, because I would be very transparent if I could be, is like the actual true conversations. When I have to give a guy constructive criticism, when I have to talk to him in that, hey, man, you're doing this, I need you to be doing this. The actual conversation talks. But there's a part of that that I don't want to embarrass them and put them online of like, my boss had to come and talk to me and kind of tell me I was doing a bit of a crappy job on this. So there's a part of that that I can't show, which is a lot of the time, a lot of conversations, especially growing from four years ago when we were three, four people, to now 22 employees, it's insane, the dynamic and dealing with the people. And like you were saying earlier, which is really interesting, it's kind of like you had three people leave and three people come and go. It's like we don't talk about that enough as well, too. Like turnover.
Now more than ever, a long-term employee now, I mean, obviously we have lots of long-term employees, but a lot of the newer guys too, it is a higher turnover. It takes one wrong conversation with employee and they go, well, I don't like the way my boss talked to me that day because he was upset so I'm going to go over here and work another job. Because that's just the demand in construction right now. It makes it hard because you try to put so much into your employees and make sure they're kitted out in the right gear and do camp days and do barbecues and make sure they're taken care of. And then at the end of it, you're like, really? You're going to go leave me for them, man. I know we had our differences on that one job, but what's really difficult.
I saw a thing on Instagram that you do for your employees and I wanted to ask it's like you took your employees to Mexico or you guys went to Mexico or how did that work? What was that all about? And how do I get invited next year?
Travis Gemmell: Well, it’ll be a riot. Two, three years ago we went to Dominican and that was just, hey guys, we killed it, great job. Thank you. This last year we went to Mexico and basically, it's an all-inclusive trip for them and their spouse, girlfriend, whoever they're with. So pretty much what we did last year, to be honest, and truthful on this whole thing, we ended up overbooking work. And like I said, I try to be a good family man in the sense of if you have a sporting event for your kid, I'm going to do everything I can to make sure you're off. If you got a doctor's appointment, anything that you got going on family related, we can pretty much work it out. We're not ever that busy that I can't let you leave a couple of hours early or take a day off.
Taylor White: I'm the exact same.
Travis Gemmell: My guys can take vacation in summer. And some days I get really mad at myself for going, how do you let these guys take vacation in summer? But at the same time, it's kind of ridiculous to say you can't take vacation in the summer.
Taylor White: It's the best season.
Travis Gemmell: Yeah. So what we had is we ended up booking a ton of jobs and we kind of looked at the schedule and said, okay, wow, we're really going to disappoint some people because we are not going to get this done in time. So we try not to ever work Saturday. But I threw a thing out saying, okay, you have a buy-in and your buy-in is you're going to work a Saturday. It's a full eight hours and that's your buy-in, and you have to complete the job accurately, not have any callbacks, not have any issues, but it's an eight-hour day, and we're going to get all these jobs caught up. You don't have to do it, but if you want to go on the trip, you have to work that.
And then we were killing it last year, but our expenses were killing us even more than the jobs that we were getting done. So we're going, and everything was working, but I had a lot of guys just breaking stuff, forgetting stuff. I mean, after you pay $1000 in shovels because you forgot shovels again, it just gets exhausting. So we also did the buy-in, and then we did a $1500 kind of accounting credit. So basically if you didn't blow $1500 worth of money, so whether that was a screw-up and Len had to run you apart even though you knew you needed it, if you broke a tool, that got deducted out of the $1500. And if you had any money left– So you could have blown the $1499, but if you had $1 left, in that account, then you went on the trip. And really, that whole thing was just to make people aware of how much money we're spending on stupid things.
And as a business owner, I get really upset in the fact that if we didn't blow through $20,000 in just stupid mistakes, that's $20,000 that I can help go towards something else. It's not so I can become this wealthy guy that's got all this stuff and I can go buy another boat. I mean, that's not who I am. So it's kind of this piece where it's like, I'm trying to give back, and you're making it impossible for me to give it back. So that was the part of that contest, was just to be– The thing that stinks, and this is a lesson for everybody, and this was a lesson at a company I worked for, they didn't care. Like, if your goal was 100% of something and you hit, 99.8%, you didn't hit 100%.
And I had a guy, he was, like, $300 over. It's one of those awkward things, like we're a small team and part of this is about team building.
Taylor White: Yeah, exactly. It’s Camaraderie.
Travis Gemmell: Yeah. I can't have a guy not go, so I end up having him go. He's the one I just got rid of because he kept breaking stuff, even though– So it's like I rewarded him, and I rewarded him because a lot of people forget is, yes, the employees are very important. But the spouses are even almost not as important, but pretty darn close. And a lot of it is almost like a spouse trip.
Taylor White: Especially in this industry.
Travis Gemmell: Yeah, that's more of a spouse trip also because that is the piece that I do have guys that will be an hour out, and they're like, well, you know what? We should get this thing finished so we don't have to drive an hour back out here tomorrow, and we'll stay until 8:00 tonight and get this thing done. They didn't have to, but they did it. Who benefit or who kind of gets hit with that a little bit? It's the spouse that's taking care of the kids or had something planned that night that they didn't make it home for. So it's the acknowledgment of it is, your teammate, it is your spouse.
And that was a huge thing when I'd hire leaders. When I'd hire a leader, I'd get them to the final interview, and then I would go out to dinner with them and their spouse. Because we said it kind of earlier, you can have the best person in the world, but if they're married to the wrong person, it doesn't matter how great they can be, they never will be because that spouse will pull that back and just drain on them. You can't have someone that can give it all when you also have somebody at home saying, "It's 4:30, what time are you going to be home? It's 4:30. What time are you going to be home? It's 4:40. I thought you were going to be home."
You need to be home, but you also can't have that person having that stress on you every day saying you got to be home. So not when you're out there trying to provide the living.
Taylor White: It's interesting that you do that, especially, like you said, like somebody coming in kind of as a leader position, leader role. I never thought of that. That's actually very smart because you're dead right? I mean, if you have your spouse, husband, or wife on the other end saying, “Hey, when are you going to be home? Hey, when are you going to be home? I just made dinner.” And that's going to affect their job 100%. So I've actually never heard that. That's very smart. I really really like that.
Travis Gemmell: Yeah, I love it. My wife's great, she's very quiet, introvert, though she knows you, but she loves the internet. I mean, she'd go to dinner with us and she would just as easy kind of say, I don't know, I don't think this is the person and this is why, or that's the guy get him hired. She's good at character, judging character, and if they're the right person. So, yeah, that's been absolutely huge.
Taylor White: Your wife, you may have mentioned this earlier, does she work in the business or does she do something else? Or is she at home taking care of the kids, making sure the house is all in order? Or does she have a job somewhere else?
Travis Gemmell: She does taxes for three months a year, but she does work for us. It's her business. It's our business.
Taylor White: Same with my wife. That's awesome.
Travis Gemmell: Yeah. So she does all the finance side, and then she does all the payable and all that she handles, which, again, back when we were smaller, it's not that big a deal, but when you got 80 invoices a week, it adds up. It's just a lot of checks to write to a lot of different vendors and all that other stuff. But yeah, she helps keep us going. And then my son worked with me. He worked with me about a year and a half ago. He started up Walnut Grove Hydroseed.
So that was kind of a hard– You have the dynamic with your dad. So it was kind of one of those deals. I didn't realize how much I truly miss having him work with me. I loved it, but then I pulled myself out of the picture and the guys were nice, but some of them weren't so nice. And it was just one of those deals. It's like, it's your kid. You can be the excavation world. You can be hard on some guys, but there's also kind of a little too much. And then he likes excavating, but he doesn't really like running the machines. He's phenomenal at it, but he just doesn't like running the machines right now. So it was kind of one of those deals.
If I had a bad day– He was still at home at the time. And it was kind of one of those I didn't want him to be part of that bad day conversation, and I finally said, “You know what? We sub out all of our hydroseed to a landscaper. We ran the numbers and said, they do a fantastic job, but why don't you start up your own? And it can be your own business, your money, your success, your failure. Why don't you do that?” So he started that about a year and a half ago, and he loves it. I mean, it's kind of one of those deals. We went and met with another hydroseeder that we know locally and said, "Hey, we want to start this up.” He's a little bit outside our area. He showed us how to do it. It was awesome because my son's name is Brock. He hopped in the truck and “So what do you think?” He goes, “I love it.” So he went and bought the hydroseeder. It's his business, everything's in his name. But yeah, so he runs that.
And then my daughter, she works in the healthcare field, but we started a landscape supply two months ago. So now she's in here on Saturdays taking all the orders and handling that kind of stuff she's looking at. And this took off, which is good. We were going to be open three days a week, and now we're open like six days a week because everybody's showing up regardless if we're open or not, which is good.
Taylor White: That's awesome.
Travis Gemmell: So, I mean, now we're looking at well, we weren't really expecting that, but now you really got to have somebody that can be here almost all day to take the order and go load. So it's been fun. It's been good growth. But, yeah, it's an interesting dynamic you have with your dad. And I give anyone that can work with family a lot of credit because a lot of people I know you've said that before, people go, "Oh, yeah, your dad's money." I mean, yeah, some of it, but what you've done with the company since you've had it, that takes a lot of guts and that's a lot of stress to go from that size to where you are now, taking on some of the things, the big, crazy things, which people–
I go through the same thing. It's like, I bought a brand new Dunk truck and painted it black. People like, "You are an idiot. That is the gorgeous red. Why would you– I want everything that's marketing. I want everything that looked the exact same. When we pull in, every single thing matches. It's big. But paying to have your excavator painted, I mean, there's a lot of catches with some of that stuff where it's like, man, it's the right decision. But at the same time, you said it on one of the podcasts, it's scary because it's like, "Oh, that $18,000 or $20,000 could have bought me another attachment for this, or I could have paid for this, and all it is, is paint." But it definitely sets yourself apart. Not everybody can do that when they start.
Taylor White: Yeah. And last year, I definitely could have used that $18,000 or $20,000 in some instances, too, just to cover payroll for the week or something. But you're right, and I do love the way that you have your machinery set up and your excavators look beautiful. I know you got some Komatsu and some Volvo pieces and stuff. But I just want to say to you, though, Travis, I really respect how you talk about your family, involving the family, and I want to make sure that you understand that that means a lot for me.
And especially with a daughter and then a son on the way as well, too. I mean, that's life. That's the goal. I want to take care of my family. I want to take care of my employee's families, but ultimately my family. And like you said, your daughter doing a landscape depot. That's why I was just smiling because I almost just got kind of chills. I really envy that about you. I really appreciate that. And I think that that's super impressive and understanding that, hey, son, you're really good at this, but I understand that maybe you're not loving it so much, but here's another avenue. And your son acting on some opportunity, too. Maybe he gets some help from dad. Maybe he can't get some help from dad, whatever it is. And like you said, people always want to speculate. Daddy's money, daddy’s this. And he worked within the business, and I went through the same things when I started working for my dad in the business. The employees didn't respect me. I was treated terrible. But my dad is super old school as well, too. Kind of suck it up and get over it. And then he also kind of kicked me off. I worked in Alberta for a little bit as well, too. Because you said you got kicked out when you were 16. I didn't so much get kicked out but kind of told the, "Hey, we'd really appreciate if you kind of just left for a little bit." So I moved out west and worked out west for a bit.
So we share a lot of the same values and I didn't know that about you prior to this conversation. And I want to say that I really respect how tight-knit and important family incorporated into your business is and ultimately that will make your business really successful because of the way that you think.
Travis Gemmell: I appreciate it. Yeah, I appreciate it. Like I said, I've learned some lessons. I didn't always treat family as the top priority and I really do regret that, but I mean, you'll never regret being there for your family when you're supposed to be. You'll never regret that. I mean, there's days I look back and I gave everything I had to that company and it was kind of just kind of goofy because I always thought, "Well, this is family." But when it really came down to it with a different leadership, it's not and it was kind of bizarre to me to see that die. I mean, I still try to read a book, not as many as what I used to. I used to read a book a week, all that kind of stuff.
Taylor White: That's impressive.
Travis Gemmell: They always said in the books and stuff, but it's like I never understood how fast culture could turn bad and it can extremely fast with just one bad leader. It's truly amazing. I got to see it. Not that it's fun to brag about that, but I definitely got to see that. That's what's kind of goofy is again, my father-in-law is the estimator. I had a brother in law that was one of my main excavators and sadly he left and started his own. He partnered with one of his friends.
Taylor White: Well, good for him, but damn.
Travis Gemmell: So, yeah, I mean, he's doing good, but it was kind of a family affair. And, I mean, it sounds stupid, but the guys I have working with me, that's where I always take it personal. And I think it's probably the same for you. It’s like you do everything you can to take care of them like they are family and they do feel like family. And I have to every once in a while kind of remind myself that I like my guys, so it's like if I want to hang out with them, but it's like you always got to watch that. They want to give me a shirt that says hashtag fine line because I always say it's a fine line. I want to be your friend. I want to help you. I want to coach you. But I also got to be careful of how close I get, because if I spend time with you outside of work, then this guy will be upset that he didn't get time spent with him. So it's kind of one of those everybody's got to be invited or no one's got to be invited type of things.
Taylor White: I totally agree.
Travis Gemmell: Yeah, that’s the thing. You just try to treat everybody and have a good time and take care of them all.
Taylor White: Sounds like you have some really good morals in the business there. I mean, hell, if things don't work out here, kill my construction, maybe I'll come over to Walnut Grove Excavating. Well, what's next for Walnut Grove? Where are you going? Where are you headed? What's the plan? Do you want to grow? Do you want to stay the same? Do you want to perfect what you have and then grow? What's next?
Travis Gemmell: That's a question I probably try to deal with every day, and I don't have a good answer.
Taylor White: That's what keeps you up at night.
Travis Gemmell: Oh, it is. I mean, there’s the days that it's like if I just had one guy with me, how simple this would be.
Taylor White: Oh, man.
Travis Gemmell: You know what? It's one of those. Like it'd be so nice to just have me and one other guy.
Taylor White: What am I doing?
Travis Gemmell: And then there's days where it's like, I want to conquer the world, and I want to have 50 people, and I don't want anybody else to do a residential septic because I want it all. So it's that dynamic of if it's a good day or bad day, but the way it's been, I've been very fortunate in the sense of I've had steady growth, not crazy growth, but I've added people when the right people have come. So I really haven't advertised that I'm hiring. It's usually you get a person that comes in, you're like, this is a great person. I don't have a role, but I'm going to create a role for you, and then you adapt to that, and that's kind of how I've done it. I feel pretty safe with that.
But, you know, too, we're just struggling. You almost have to be mental to get into excavating. And I say that in the sense of I have electricians that charge $125 an hour. They have a pickup truck and Milwaukee Kits. So they got $3000 in materials. I've got $1 Million worth of equipment, I charge $125 an hour, and anytime something breaks, it's $2000. You have to literally almost be insane to do excavating because it's just so capital and cash flow, and I want to grow. Well, if I want to grow, I got to add $750,000 in equipment, and that $750,000 is going to be $10,000 a month in equipment. Well, then I got to get people for it, but hopefully I'll get that. I'll make $5000 a month, I mean, it's just like it's fun. Don't get me wrong, it's fun, but it's just one of those deals where you really look at the numbers and you go, what are you thinking?
Taylor White: I know exactly what you mean. I'm laughing because everything you're saying is me and my dad over a glass of Scotch. So and so, “Buddy owns an electrician company. All he's got to buy is a freaking van and some Milwaukee tools. Got to buy a $600,000 excavator.” And it's so true. We're on some bigger jobs right now. We found a good deal on the 336, but we're like, we'd be really nice with a bigger dozer. Let's go look at a dozer. So we demoed a Komatsu dozer, and then at the end of it, it's like we'd, like, one size bigger. And it's like, well, it's $670,000. And it's like, okay, maybe I don't need one right now. Then maybe I'll just– You know, what I mean?
You're right. The upfront cost in excavating is insane, and I love that you said that because those are conversations that if you're in excavation, then you're laughing when you hear that because every person in the business says that too. The upfront cost, the overhead, and it is insane. It is insane. Especially dump trucks. Dump trucks, CAD $320,000. And we charge out on our jobs at $120 an hour. It's like you got to spend $350,000 to get $120 an hour.
Travis Gemmell: Yeah, that's exactly what I'm talking about. We just looked at a quad. It was $280,000, and the last quad I bought was $205,000.
Taylor White: Yeah, they've gone up.
Travis Gemmell: So it went up $75,000. So I can sell my triaxle for $75,000 to $90,000, and if I put that money down, I still have a $4000 payment on a $200,000. It's like, okay, well, I mean, everybody's finally starting to increase their prices a little bit. I mean, we still had a lot of old school people that the equipment has been paid for for 25 years. Should never be on the road, but it's on the road, and they're still charging the $85 to $100 an hour because they don't care. They're going to retire in a couple of years, and everything's paid for. But it's like for the companies that are out there trying to grow and invest, it just makes it challenging in the sense of the cash flow piece because it's, again, like you said, $120 an hour, and you got a $300,000 machine, and that thing's got to stay busy. And if it doesn't stay busy, it’s insane.
The fun part is the financials. I have a spreadsheet that literally breaks down every single thing and it pulls all the way down and says, okay, this is what you have to make an hour, this is what you have to make a day, a week, a year. And then it basically takes, okay, here's the nine months you're really going to make money. Here's the three months that you're going to make minimum, and you're going to lose $20,000 this month and $20,000, but you're going to have to offset it with this. And it pulls all that stuff together to tell you what your true financials are. We had the exact same thing happen with we were looking at adding a guy on for a train, a lead and a pup.
But it's one of those deals where it's like if everything goes well and you can make $60,000 after you pay somebody, but if things don't go well and you only work nine months to twelve months, you lose $30,000. I mean, it's just one of those deals. Like, if you really don't truly understand your numbers or run your numbers, you could really get in a really bad spot quickly. People are on rent right now. I don’t know how you rent.
Taylor White: We stopped renting.
Travis Gemmell: I know a lot of people say rent. Rent until you know rent until you know that you need it. Now, my dozer, when I got it, my dozer payment, and I'll thank God that was before everything went up. But my dozer payments like $1150, I did a lease, so one $150 for the lease. We had a job that I just quoted out. The excavator was $4500, I think, for the week with transport. Well, you start doing the math and it's like, well, shoot, if I just use that three times a year, I've got all 12 months paid for. If I rent it for the one month for that. So it's just one of those crazy things when you start doing the math. It's like, I don't know how you can afford to rent. You're better off buying everything. I mean, within certain extent. But yeah, you start doing the math on rentals at $4000 a month, compared to your payment being $1000 a month, you could technically have that machine for four months what you would have paid the same for one month of rental?
Taylor White: Yeah. The interest rates have to make sense as well, too.
Travis Gemmell: Yeah, they do. Right now they're not the best.
Travis Gemmell: No, honestly, where we're at this year is everyone keeps saying everything's going to die and the world's coming to an end and everything, but we try to be optimistic and say it's not, and we're not really seeing that. But at the same time, I'm really kind of hoping to think almost stay somewhat where we are. We got a couple of things we'd like to buy this year, but really kind of stop investing so much into different machines. We bought a screener, we bought a dozer. I mean, we bought some fun stuff that will really add to the business, but like the topsoil screening and how you really figure out the financials on that because there's a lot of different aspects. It's like, oh, you're making all this money for free. Well, no, I got a guy running a loader. I got a loader. I got time there. I got fuel in the machine. The machine breaks. I mean, there's a lot of different things that go into it.
Taylor White: Lot of fuel costs.
Travis Gemmell: Oh, yeah.
Taylor White: Getting the soil to the yard. There's a lot to it.
Travis Gemmell: So there's a lot of different things there. So this year is about honing in our skill, watching the details, over excelling on everything we do. Basically just trying to continue to impress customers to where– 85% of our stuff is still referral. So if you're getting that kind of referral rate and we answer the phone. There's some simple things if you're a business starting out. When I first started, that was probably the hardest thing for me is I got to the point where I was getting two or three phone calls a day. I'm in the excavator. I'm trying to have a crew. I'm answering. I'm not trying to be rude.
Taylor White: Doing the shoulder, the shoulder with the joysticks.
Travis Gemmell: Yeah, I'm not trying to be rude, but I'm like, “You know what? I'm in that excavator right now. I really can't talk. Can you just text me?” Well, then you get all these texts, and then you forget to follow up. It's just real simple stuff of we answer the phone, usually within the first three rings, and we're usually out to your site that day or the next day, and we have an estimate in your hand by the next day. So if we answer the phone, show up, quote it quickly, our percentage of landing our jobs goes up exponentially, especially if it's a referral.
So if you get referred and then you complete all the things that they're expecting from you as an excavator, they're not calling anybody else, and especially if your price is fair. So that's what we try to excel on and try to keep up on. So we redid our website, and the guy that redid our website, we were talking about getting the search engine optimization kind of going again. And I said, well, it's really more for winter. But he's like, well, let's get it going. Let's see how long it's going to take to kind of kick it up.
And it's like, okay, you kind of got it going a little too well, too fast because we get the emails of how many Google calls came in and how many people searched and all that kind of stuff. And it has skyrocketed. And now it's to the point where you've got to dance that line of the fine line of you can't have 14, 15 phone calls a day and then not be able to get to them within the next day, and then quote the next day because then you become like everybody else, where if you answer the phone, you can't get there for a week. Then it takes a week. People are very impatient. So you have to be there. You have to communicate clearly.
We've got a software that we fell in love with what I started a year ago. I wish I had started that a long time ago, but it communicates to everybody perfectly. I mean, when a guy starts the job, it says, "Travis is on his way. He'll be arriving at this time." When we take pictures, they can see everything - all of our notes, all of our pictures, all of our permits. Everything for that job site goes–
Taylor White: To the homeowners, you mean?
Travis Gemmell: Yeah, homeowners. They can see the very basics. They can't see everything that our guys can see.
Taylor White: But what's the app called?
Travis Gemmell: Housecall Pro.
Taylor White: Okay. Interesting.
Travis Gemmell: Yeah, it's kind of interesting because it's designed more for plumbers, electricians, HVAC, that kind of thing.
Taylor White: That's really cool.
Travis Gemmell: Well, what we kept running into is that you're on the job for this septic, but now all of a sudden, you're not going to be on that septic, you're going to go on to this septic. And then we are passing out paper permits, and here's what you need. And, oh, here's the supplies. And, oh, I don't have pictures. And then the estimator is telling you, well, this is– Now when he goes to a job, he takes pictures of the parking, like the front of the house, side of the house where we're going to enter, back of the house. So you can look at the pictures. And then they'll have notes saying, "I told the homeowner that we weren't going to drive on their parking or on their driveway. Enter through the east side. By the way, they're okay with us cutting the trees down.” That's in there. The customer's phone number, email, text, everything's in there. So if they ever have a question for the homeowner, they can call without their cell phone being used, their number being recorded, or whatever.
So, yeah, when they're done, they take pictures of everything - all the permits are in there, all the pricing. My guys can see all the pricing. And then when they hit Done, it sends them a text saying, "Your job is completed. If there's any follow-up, we'll be in reach within the next few hours." And then when they're done, they usually call the office, talk to Lisa, and say, "Hey, this is what we got to make sure we follow up with them on." And then she calls.
And then same thing if you look at her schedule, you can see there are 18 jobs scheduled this week, and who's on what and who can see what. And you can make it where the customer can see as much or nothing at all - you can actually put in, which is a really nice benefit, PIA. So if the customer is a pain in the ass, you can put PIA in the notes. If they're just a really touchy customer, you can put that in the note. And it won't send them any communication. It won't send them a review form. So it’s kind of neat.
Taylor White: I like that. That's a really cool feature. You're really embracing the technology. And, I mean, for being in business six years as well, too, I got to say, again, super impressed with your vision and the way that you're running things. And kind of when I asked you about what your plan is for growing or staying the same, I would have the exact same answer. It's like, well, I don't have some days my plan is to downsize and go to just myself and my dad, but then some days I want to be 110 employees and conquer the world.
And like you said, you've kind of just been growing with the demand, and I really respect that. And that's what we did as well the last three years. I mean, we capitalized. I've acted on opportunity my whole life. I acted on an opportunity with family business, acted on an opportunity with the last three years being an insane construction boom. And we did that. We bought when the money was good, and now the money's not so good. So we're not doing as much buying, still buying, and we're kind of holding on to the same. But our values, Travis, I got to say, that was my favorite thing about talking to you today.
And again, I want to thank you for coming on the podcast as well today, too, but your values of family and taking care of your employees and culture, especially coming from a previous corporate job where maybe the culture kind of deterred you away from that. I really respect that, Travis, so I want to make sure that people take that away from today's listen.
Travis Gemmell: No, I appreciate that. I feel the exact same thing back. I love cheering you on. I'm in the background. I love watching what you do, and I love watching these other guys and talking to them, and it sounds crazy, but Instagram is absolutely huge. I mean, Devin Dyer, he is one of the first guys I reached out to a year after I started saying, "Just asking for financials, I see you got new trucks. Why? Because I can see why new trucks make sense, but nobody around here has new trucks. Can you tell me why you do this?” And it's fun, and it's kind of humbling at the same time where you get two or three messages a week saying, "Hey, I got a question. What would you do in this situation?" And I really wish I could do more YouTube like you do. In the sense of it sounds insane, but I watched a lot of YouTube to figure out excavation.
Taylor White: Nice.
Travis Gemmell: So I watched Dirt Ninja, I watched a lot of those guys. And I was kind of saying, boy, if I can really make a run at this, I would really love to pay that forward and make videos and training and do some of that. I haven’t had the time yet to really do a lot of that, but I love what you do. Yours is very entertaining. It’s fun. But you also get a good view. But same thing, you can see that you just have–
It's fun watching people succeed. And you cheer them on and you really wish the best for them because, again, you got 22 people. They all need you. I mean, they need you to show up every day. They need someone that cares for them and is going to treat them right. And people just want to earn a good living and have a good life. And it's fun being people that can do that. People are going to talk about you at the dinner table, whether you like it or not. It's going to be your decision whether it's a good conversation or a bad conversation. So it's fun talking to someone with the same values and characters. Enjoyed our chat a lot.
Taylor White: I agree. Travis, thank you very much. Again, this is another podcast brought to you by our good friends over at Komatsu. Travis, thank you very much. I can't wait to keep kind of just chatting to you. We're going to have to swap numbers after this to keep more contact. Thanks for coming on, man. I really appreciate that conversation today.
Travis Gemmell: Yeah, thank you very much.