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


The Pointman Team
May 15, 2019
minutes to read

At Pointman, we are always on the lookout for the latest news and analysis for residential plumbing, HVAC and electrical contractors. Check out some recent articles exploring why profitability rather than revenue should be your goal, which states pay the plumbers the most and why HVAC maintenance is so important.

Sales and Marketing

Get More HVAC Sales By Making More Friends (The NEWS)
An HVAC technician discusses how he “became an A+ people guy” with the help of Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”

How to Shift Your Business Focus From Revenue to Profit (Pumper)
While overall revenue growth is important, your long-term goal should be profitability.

The 3 Marketing Shifts No One Wants to Talk About (ACCA Now)
“The one-way marketing monologue is over.” Since the market has changed, your message must change with it.

HR Strategies

Why Hiring Millennials Will Help You Grow Your Business (Pointman)
In the first of a two-part series (read part two here), Pointman’s Andy Bagner outlines why hiring millennials makes so much sense for business owners.

The One Conversation to Have With a Troublesome Employee (Cleaner)
Need to discipline an employee? An adult conversation, rather than a “progressive discipline policy,” could be the best approach.

Job Tips

HVAC Maintenance: Unnecessary? Think Again (Contracting Business)
Recent studies show that clean, well-serviced HVAC systems outperform those that are neglected.

Industry News

Which States Pay Plumbers Top Dollar? (Contractor)
Which states pay plumbers the best wages? The Bureau of Labor Statistics has been gathering data to answer that question.

New Thruway Authority Scholarship Promotes Skilled Trades (WKBW-TV Channel 7)
The New York State Thruway Authority and the State University of New York system are teaming up for a new scholarship program.

Blue-collar Jobs Like Plumbing Pay $90,000 Without a College Degree, and It's Driving More Workers to Trade School (Business Insider)
Blue-collar professionals are earning more than the average salary for white-collar jobs, and don't require a traditional college degree.

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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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