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

by

The Pointman Team
June 25, 2019
/
2
minutes to read


Each day brings articles and social media posts that residential plumbing, HVAC and electrical contractors simply need to read. One of our recent favorites was a video on Twitter highlighting Adrienne Bennett, the first black female master plumber in the U.S. Watch to learn more about her story, and also check out this 2018 profile from CNN.

Another post we enjoyed was a LinkedIn article by Josh Zolin titled “4 Misconceptions of the Skilled Trades.” He breaks down a few of the most common misconceptions that younger generations have about the trades.

Here are some other recent examples that stood out to our team.

Industry News

“Abbott Extends State Plumbing Board Until 2021 After Legislature Abolished It” (Texas Tribune)
Texas Governor Greg Abbott recently issued an executive order extending the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners and its licensing law until 2021.

“ACCA Releases Updated HVAC System Maintenance Requirements” (The NEWS)
ACCA has released 2019 technical standards that provide contractors with a template to create their own maintenance programs.

HR Strategies

“An Expectation of Safety” (Cleaner)
Business owners must create the expectation that safety will always be ingrained into every facet of the company.

“Building a Culture of Health at Your Company” (Pumper)
Developing a workplace wellness program can reduce turnover and boost productivity.

Careers

“Building Space: Women Break Into the Skilled Trades” (C-Ville)
While women represent a small percent of the construction trades workforce, more and more are seeking careers in plumbing and other skilled trades.

Sales and Marketing

“Attracting Residential Customers Is No Easy Task” (Plumber)
When it comes to residential customers, plumbers have a small window to create trust. Check out these tips for building that trust, and keeping it.

“Remembering the Little Things Will Improve HVAC Sales” (The NEWS)
Keys to HVAC business success include discipline, goal-setting, and following up — and making these things a habit.

Employee Engagement

The Loss of Community Impacts Contractors — Here’s How Your Company Can Bring It Back (Pointman)
Want to grow community in your business? Make an effort to celebrate the successes of your team (and their families) with the whole company.

Trending

“Digital Transformation: Critically Important, But Incredibly Complex” (Future of Field Service)
Service organizations need a well thought-out digital strategy in order to deliver the kind of experiences customers want.

“5 Data-backed Social Media Trends of 2019” (Awario)
Contractors looking into social media marketing need to be aware of the latest data. This infographic offers some numbers to explore.

Running Your Business

“The Hidden Cost of an OSHA Citation: What California Employers Need to Know” (Indoor Comfort News)
If you run a business in California, it’s important to know some of the most common penalty amounts. (Download required.)

Equipment

“A Standardized Approach to Equipment Replacement” (Cleaner)
When it comes to figuring out when to replace equipment, it’s best to use hard data to back up your decisions.

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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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