I had the occasion to attend three functions over a period of five nights recently, each of which included a number of contractors, and in two of the cases, their employees. I was very disturbed at what I saw as I went around the rooms. I’m referring to the dress and appearance of these contractors and their employees.
It seems like costs of everything are going up. In fact, in such a down economy, it’s sometimes very hard to keep up with the increases because we are working so hard chasing jobs and trying to make ends meet. Well, I am going to give you an idea that is an exception to the rule. It is one you might not expect. That one is insurance.
As contractors, we are pretty far down in the food chain, but we are the ones that have the contact with the actual end user of HVAC products. Since we deal directly with the user, sometimes our point of view will differ from those higher up on the food chain. The higher-ups have adopted a very strong philosophy regarding the importance of being green.
Through the years our company has attempted to stay on top of the new technologies which have been developed. Some of these new items actually caught on and have become standards of the industry, while others are merely memories like dial telephones and Edsels.
We anticipated that during the first part of 2011, business would be slow. The new residential construction market is still down over 70 percent from its peak. With new reports that nearly 25 percent of the home mortgages are larger than the value of the home, it is likely that we are probably another year from a real turn around in that market.
now it’s 2011. How are you planning for this New Year? In some ways, it’s going
to be different than 2010. The tax credit has been cut one-third and doesn’t
sound near as inviting as the previous $1,500. And we can’t count on 100 degree
weather in July and August, although naturally that would be welcome.
I just received notice from another manufacturer that they will be offering the “dry charge” condensing units in the first quarter of 2011. They are the latest of many manufacturers who have decided to take advantage of what I can only say is a loophole in the federal regulations and the Montreal Protocol.
A hot topic around HVAC blogs has to do with the issue of “Rules for Cell Phone Use” and by extension, the use of regular land line phones as well. In the first place, isn’t it a shame that we need to have a set of rules for the use of cell phones? Whatever happened to common courtesy and etiquette?
There are several things to consider when making a determination as to services to add to your offerings. Does the new product/service fit within the culture of your company? What are the start-up cost risks in performing that new service? Are there any significant potential future risks or liabilities that you may be incurring?
I have always considered myself an optimistic, positive person. Therefore I was somewhat surprised to find myself halfway through a column which was very negative about the near future of our industry.