To the Point: Trending Topics, Articles and Updates for Contractors From Around the Web — July 2019

by

The Pointman Team
July 30, 2019
/
2
minutes to read

The home services industry is constantly evolving, and that’s clear from our latest roundup of must-reads for residential plumbing, HVAC and electrical contractors. From how to put a succession plan in place to ways to approach the impending tech shortage, there is plenty here that will help you grow your business and stay informed. 

Here are some recent articles that stood out to our team.

Running Your Business

“Planning For The Future: Succession Planning for Contractors” (ACCA Now)
If you run a family business, you need a succession plan in place. Read some stories about how successful companies like Stack Heating, Cooling & Electric set up a smooth transition.

“How Do You Lead? Identify Your Leadership Type” (Forbes)
What type of leader are you? Find out using some simple steps to determine your leadership type and the types of those around you.


Job Tips

“6 Characteristics of Successful Tradespeople” (LinkedIn)
“Blue Is the New White” author Josh Zolin breaks down some common characteristics shared by successful skilled trades workers. (Sign up now to watch Josh’s interview with the Pointman team.)

“Contractors Share Tips to Avoid Technician Burnout as the Heat Waves Hit” (The NEWS)
Summer is a very busy time for HVAC businesses. Check out some tips from contractors for avoiding burnout.

Customer Delight

“3 Reasons Why Turning Your Existing Customers Into Repeat Customers Is So Important for Your Business” (Pointman)
Focusing on existing customers and encouraging their repeat business is paying off for many home service business owners. Explore three reasons why in this Pointman blog post.

“Soft Skills for HVAC Technicians” (Contracting Business)
Rodney Koop, New Flat Rate founder and CEO, offers technicians some helpful tips for improving soft skills.


Industry News

“Tariffs and Their Impact on the HVAC Industry” (HVAC.com)
Increased tariffs are having a direct impact on the HVAC industry, affecting both manufacturers and contractors, as well as homeowners. 

“Soon-to-be Discontinued AC Refrigerant May Mean Skyrocketing Prices” (KSHB)
Important news for HVAC contractors: Residential air conditioning units could be using a refrigerant that will soon stop production.


Careers

“The Push Toward Gender Diversity in the HVAC Industry” (Facility Executive)
An HVAC company president explains how the landscape of the HVAC industry is shifting and evolving, providing avenues to career success for both men and women. 


Trending

“‘We Are Progressing in a Very Positive Direction’” (Pumper)
Veteran plumbing company owner Mike Stairs says he is upbeat about the industry’s future. However, challenges include recruiting young people to work in the field. 

“The Gray Tsunami” (HVAC Today)
Is there an impending tech shortage in the HVAC industry? National Comfort Institute editor-in-chief Mike Weil says yes, and he believes the answer lies in a new approach to education. 


Did You Know?

“You Can Thank a Western New Yorker for Inventing Air Conditioning” (WGRZ-TV)
Pointman is proud to be based in Western New York. Here’s a unique local connection to the home services industry: WNY native Willis Carrier is credited as the inventor of the modern-day air conditioning system.

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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

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