To the Point: Articles and Updates for Contractors From Around the Web — April 2019

by

The Pointman Team
April 26, 2019
/
2
minutes to read

At Pointman, we are always on the lookout for the latest news and analysis for residential plumbing, HVAC and electrical contractors. Here are some recent articles from a variety of outlets on the topics impacting your industry.

Check out some recent articles exploring online HVAC sales, how to market your air conditioning services and why now is a great time to enter the plumbing industry. Plus, learn why the 2019 outlook for HVAC contractors is so bright.

Sales and Marketing

Online HVAC Sales Are a Small but Growing Market (The NEWS)
Contractors are devising new strategies for handling online purchases. Passing up on taking on these labor-only jobs might mean missing out on profitable work.

Marketing Your AC Services in 2019 (Contracting Business)
What are you doing to market your air conditioning services in the second quarter of 2019? Speed of outreach, image and communication through social media are essential elements.

Reputation Management

How to Manage Your Online Reputation — and Why It Matters (Pointman)
One bad review can hurt your business, even when it’s not justified. That’s why looking at and responding to every review is so important. (A Pointman PACT success coach can help here.)

Professional Growth

2019: A Good Year to Be a Better HVAC Contractor (The NEWS)
The outlook for 2019 is good, although labor shortages and a softening economy may slow growth.

Equipment

Renting Vs. Buying: What to Consider Before Your Next Equipment Purchase (Pumper)
For contractors, there are always benefits and challenges to renting versus owning equipment. The answer lies in determining your needs for each project.

Employee Engagement

To Boost Employee Engagement, Consider Career Stage Before Age (Cleaner)
Age may not be the most important factor when it comes to strategies for engaging your employees. Instead, consider the length of an employee’s tenure.

Careers

How to Become a Skilled Tradesperson (Popular Mechanics)
The demand for trades is strong, and it is growing: “The trades are not merely an alternative to college. A trade is equal to college.”

Look at Pricing

The start of the year is a great time to look at pricing. Usually, you have an idea of how your company fared the year prior, and you want to ensure you will continue to grow in the months to come. Many of us make New Year’s resolutions with respect to spending or saving in our personal lives, and it’s no different for business owners. Making sure your pricing is in line with where it should be is one of the strongest ways to start the year the right way.

Part of looking at your price book is finding where the issues are, and that can take time. An HVAC company in January is going to be very busy, so it’s a difficult time for a close look. However, a plumbing company might not be as busy. Whenever you tackle this job, your best bet is to look at what your labor rates are. Start there, and let it trickle down across the board. Ask yourself, “Are my labor rates helping my business stay profitable?”

Remember, there are many different services out there and many different groups or communities that you can engage. Never hesitate to say, “Hey, I’m a business owner in Florida. What should my labor rates be?” You can build your price from there. There are also some great billable hour calculators available.

Set Goals

There is no better time of year for looking inward than January. Set your personal goals and company goals for the following 12 months. If you can break those down into departmental goals, even better! Perhaps that means a CSR booking closing rates a little better, or a truck doing 250,000 a year rather than 200,000.

Many companies have found that using an Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) goal-setting system pays off. Looking for a guidebook when it comes to OKRs? Check out Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs by John Doerr. 

One key question is the best way to handle setting goals: Is it smarter for business owners to handle this solo, together with staff, or to delegate completely? 

The best approach is to set goals at the department level. As an owner, you need to take the time to understand what the goals are in each department, and make sure they are in line with your goals for the company. No one likes to set unattainable goals for themselves, so make sure you push your departments to set goals that are lofty, rather than simple ones to feel good about hitting. Entrust your staff to aim higher, and watch how they respond.

Pass Along these Points

There's more where that came from.