Five Reasons Why HVACR Business Systems are Essential
Originally published: 01.06.15 by Wendell Bedell
Whether you are a one-person operation and want to stay that way, or a 200 tuck company, you need to implement systems and procedures. Here's why.
Consistent Work Delivery
Today customers demand having their expectations met exactly the same way every time they buy a service or product. If you can't deliver consistently "they" won't call you back.
Consistency is the reason many companies follow franchise models like McDonald's, Best Buy, and Dunkin Donuts. Each of these franchises' have a manual on company standards and checklists to deliver everything the onsistently each and every order. Notice their people always ask, "Would you like a pie with that?" It's in their "how-to-do-it" manual. They understand that consistently asking customers what they desire using forms for comfort, health, safety, property or savings has proven to result in 65 percent more sales.
The best contractors increase their average repair and replacement ticket and prevent costly callbacks by using proper call handling procedures, onsite call assessment forms, pricing standards, and work delivery checklists for every job they do.
Pricing & Payment Protection
Today, customers expect upfront repair and installation pricing. Given the fact that the average technician is only 52 percent efficient over a 12-month period, Flat Rate pricing has become the only way to for contractor to make a fair price without alienating their customers.
In addition, the best contractors use invoices and proposals that provide payment protection terms, as well as, liability protection terms and conditions. The best part about flat rate pricing it provide you with pricing credibility and is its ability to help prevent competition by quickly pricing and proposing work right on the spot.
Tracking your daily billable hours to service calls and jobs is the single best way to know what is needed to stay busy, as well as, to justify your next hire. Tracking also allows you to implement such things as performance based pay for technicians and installers or when pricing needs adjusting to remain profitable.
Tracking billable hours, number of service agreements sold, and accessories sold and replacement sold per number of call made or hours billed to a job versus job labor budget is simple. A one truck company can use a pocket note pad and log billable hours after each call, more than one technician or installer have then call in post call to debrief.
Most contractors know if they are profitable without having to looking at their financials by simply tracking billable hours.
Learning Best Practices
Most HVAC business owners find it difficult to find the time to learn best practices. It is important to find the time in order to survive. At the very least you should be reading HVACR Business or attend GrowMyHVAC.com's FREE business training webinars offered through its Business Builders Club , participate in their forums, follow a few threads, ask a few questions, or simply attend.
This is the most often overlooked business system no matter the size company. HVAC business owners know they need to keep their employees motivated and should have systems for this. Performance based pay should be integral for management, office and field staff. But how do owners themselves stay motivated?
It happens to all of business owners - when we're faced with obstacles, we often lose our focus and drive. As an owner, you are faced with business challenges of every magnitude on a day-to-day basis and it's hard not to feel overwhelmed. Being your own boss is a rewarding experience despite the challenges. The best contractors employ these ways to stay motivated:
- Talk to your customers. This is the best way to get motivated. Customers provide you feedback to help you find more ways to improve your business and to generate ideas to improve business.
- Get customer reviews. There is nothing more powerful to feel good about your business as when you get positive customers reviews. The best ask customers at the end of each call to visit their website to write a review or go to the company's website or visit their various Social Media sites to post a review. GrowMyHVAC.com clients can have their customer visit their website to post reviews through a revolving review links to various weighted in importance social media sites such as Google+, Yahoo+, Angie's List, YP, Yelp, etc.
- Establish goals. Break down your business improvement goals into smaller milestones to make them more approachable and manageable. Don't know where to start? Get a Business Fitness Coach. For example, GrowMyHVAC.com's clients simply compare their business operations to our best practice business systems and then jointly prioritize, with their assigned business coach, weekly goals based on greatest to least revenue and profit gain potential and owner and staff participation available time bandwidth. It important to remain realistic about what you can accomplish.
- Reflect on your accomplishments. Always look at the big picture. Taking a look back from where you started compared to present situation is a powerful way of knowing just how far you have come and to re-motivate yourself as to why you even started the business in the first place.
- Think about your business's contributions">. Think about your business's impact and contributions on your customers and employees. Studies show that small businesses like yours provide more than 55 percent of all jobs in the US. Think about your business as a means for positive change for customer, company and employees. Your business has more impact on your local community than you can even conceive.
The above examples demonstrate why consistency is needed. Naturally, there are other business systems and procedures you can easily put in place to help make your business operate consistently efficient.
Wendell Bedell is CEO of www.GrowMyHVAC.com, a division of Building Services Institute, Inc., the nation’s premier online HVAC staff training and process implementation support membership organization, focused on helping contractors grow and become more profitable. His email is wendellb@GrowMyHVAC.com. To see what the positive financial impact is to your business by implementing the above professional service call handling blueprint simply go to bit.ly/contractorneedsanalysisor call 800.240.2823.