The U.S. Census Bureau is gearing up for the 2012 Economic Census and one of the topics it will be studying across the nation is franchising. In the meantime, HVAC contractors are left with a question, the answer to which could significantly change their businesses. “To franchise or not to franchise,” that is the question.
Not knowing what to expect, I stood at attention, braced myself, and saluted smartly. He quickly saluted back, looked me in the eyes, and reached over to shake my hand. “OK, Waldo, it’s a new day, new jet! Are you ready to pass this flight?"
The U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) predicts that during the May-through-September summer driving season this year, regular gasoline retail prices will average about $3.95 per gallon, peaking in May at a monthly average price of $4.01 per gallon.
You probably realize some of your customers are just plain nuts, and others will take a chance on dying if it means they can save a few bucks on a repair or installation. Then there are customers who somehow turn nuts after you’ve done the work for them.
According to contractors, consumers have been deluged with marketing messages touting the benefits of single-room space heaters as a way to cost-effectively heat a space using electricity instead of gas, propane, or fuel oil as the heating source.
Known by such monikers as “fly-by-nighters,” “chuck-in-a-truck,” and “moonlighters,” unlicensed contractors are likely approaching homeowners in your neighborhood right now. While these under-the-table workers may offer what seems like a great bargain, their discounted prices may end up costing much more in the end.
At the 2012 Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) annual conference, attendees had the opportunity to hear top executives from five major industry manufacturers discuss some of the hottest topics in HVAC. Some of the topics included regional standards, dry-charged unit sales, the R-22 price spike, and more.
Many contractors (and big-box stores) try to grab customers’ attention by advertising the ubiquitous $29 tune-up. So is the $29 tune-up an effective marketing tool that can be used to beef up the customer base? Or is it a pernicious practice that lowers the bar for the HVAC industry? It all depends on your outlook.
Contractors across the nation are finding that although the HVAC industry has experienced change in the recent economic crisis, its need for skilled labor and certified technicians has not been completely abated by the influx of displaced workers from the economic downturn. Other trade industries have noticed this problem, too.