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You Have a Lot to Teach Each Other

Originally published: 05.01.16 by Pete Grasso

Being the editor of the industry's business management magazine certainly has its perks. These past several weeks, I've been reminded of that simple truth as I've had the pleasure of getting out of the office to meet and interact with many contractors, suppliers and distributors.

As most of you already know, there is no shortage of educational opportunities in this industry. From the numerous industry events to supplier dealer meetings, distributor open houses and mix group opportunities, you have a variety of sources for valuable information to assist in running your businesses.

Of course, I'd be remiss if I didn't also mention what could be considered the most valuable resource & association meetings. Recently, I had the pleasure of attending the annual conferences of both the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) and the Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA).

The ACCA annual conference was chock full of educational seminars, informative general sessions and a large industry vendor showcase.

One of the great things ACCA does every year & and this conference was no different & is assemble a conference faculty of the nation's most profitable contracting business owners. In addition, Friday morning's general session featured a roundtable discussion with chief executives from the top manufacturing companies in an open forum to address contractor issues.

Perhaps the most valuable aspect of those four days in beautiful uptown Charlotte, however, was the chance it afforded conference attendees to network with each other.

I cannot underscore enough how valuable it is to network with your peers. You can learn so much from the people who face the same situations as yourself. Tips, tricks, advice … sharing information about your businesses with each other is quite possibly the most valuable learning tool of all (it's why we feature so many articles from successful contractors).

At the MCAA convention in sunny Orlando, the nation's most successful mechanical contractors met up for what can only be described as an awesome time & big name keynote speakers, lively educational sessions and a supplier expo that buzzed with excitement.

During one of the sessions, industry consultant John Koontz addressed a packed room with lessons learned throughout his years of working with many great mechanical contractors. "Great companies," he said, "spend the most money on education."

As with ACCA, the MCAA conference also left plenty of time for the contractors in attendance to network with one another.

Of course, these are just two examples of the sort of stellar opportunities contractors have in this industry. Outside of association meetings such as these, many smart contractors communicate with one another through mix groups and online forums.

There are many similar events throughout the year where you can share ideas and learn from those who have been where you are and where you plan to go with your business. If you're lucky enough to attend, I urge you to learn all you can from them. Learn from the informational presentations, and learn from your peers through networking.

Get out there and make the most of what this industry has to offer.


Pete Grasso is the editor of HVACR Business magazine and the Ahead of the Curve enewsletter, as well as web content editor for and author of the blog Keeping it Simple.


About Pete Grasso

Pete is the former editor of HVACR Business magazine. He has spent his career working in and with trade media, both as a public relations practitioner and as an editor. He gained a great deal of expertise in the B2B arena, within large and medium sized advertising agencies. Be sure to follow Pete on Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn!


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