To the Point: The ‘Fake News’ of the R22 Phaseout and More November Hot Topics


The Pointman Team
November 29, 2019
minutes to read

Sometimes it’s difficult to discern between fact and fiction, and the R22 phaseout is no exception. As Joanna Turpin, senior editor of ACHR The News, put it in a recent column:

“I would posit that much of the information being published about the R-22 phaseout in local newspapers falls directly into the fake news category. Indeed, I have been astounded by the sheer number of articles that I’ve seen from around the country that contain exaggerations and misinformation (okay, lies) about the phaseout.”

So what’s the truth? Read the full article for answers. Then, dive into the rest of this month’s roundup of articles, videos and podcasts, as chosen by members of the Pointman team. 

Business Strategy

“5 Strategies to Shatterproof Your Service Business” (Service Business Mastery)
Listen to part one of a recent episode from this podcast designed to help owners and managers succeed in business.  

“5 Ways to Winterize Your Home Service Business” (Pointman)
Cold and snow is on the way, and that means it’s time to winterize your home service business. 

“Veterans + Franchising = Business Success” (Contractor)
The attributes of servicemen and servicewomen make them ideal entrepreneurs and franchisees. 

Customer Service

“15 Marketing Strategy Tips To Improve Your Customer Experience” (Forbes)
Members of the Forbes Communications Council offer advice to owners and managers in any industry looking to improve their customer experience.

“How Humidity Affects Comfort” (Contracting Business)
High humidity affects homeowners in winter, as well as in summer. You can increase comfort for your customers by controlling humidity better.

Extra Points

“Ken Goodrich: ‘The E-Myth HVAC Contractor’” (Goettl Air Conditioning & Plumbing YouTube)
Goettl Air Conditioning & Plumbing CEO Kenneth D. Goodrich and author Michael E. Gerber discuss their new book, “The E-Myth HVAC Contractor,” in this video. 

“Mike Rowe: Lack of Shop Classes Is Why We’re $1.6T in Student Debt” ( Business)
"Dirty Jobs" host Mike Rowe believes that the loss of shop classes and alternative education is one of the reasons U.S. student loan debt continues to rise.  

“What Brand of Glove Are You Using?” (Humans of Home Service Instagram)
As the weather gets colder, you’re probably thinking about jackets and gloves. What kind of gloves are you using? Recommend your favorites in the comments of this Instagram post.

Human Resources

“Are You Doing Enough to Keep Your Employees?” (Pumper) 
The managing partner of a plumbing company in South Carolina explains how benefits and perks can keep employees engaged — and happy to stay on your team. 

“Glassdoor: 2020 Will Kick Off a 'Culture-first Decade'” (HR Dive)
According to a new survey from Glassdoor, recruiting in the coming year will be shaped by the start of a "culture-first decade.”

Sales & Marketing

“6 Tips for Selling HVAC to Baby Boomers Versus Millennials” (The Refrigeration School)
As the two largest living generations, Baby Boomers and Millennials account for a large portion of HVAC customers. Selling to each requires a different approach. 

“Pricing Your Service Contracts: Three Tips for Greater Accuracy” (Future of Field Service)
Home service companies often find service pricing to be a stumbling block. Here are some tips for informed service pricing.

Software Matters

“How Technology Can Help Hotel Facility Managers Reduce Maintenance Costs” (Hotel Technology News)
Outsourcing HVAC, plumbing and electrical services is helping many hotels keep down overhead costs.

“Schools Want to Control Costs, Showcase Sustainable HVAC Solutions” (ACHR The News)
School districts are looking for HVAC systems that provide more control and efficiency.

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.

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