Whether you’re large or small, you can be assured that, at some time, issues are going to arise that will tax your mind and spirit to come up with the correct answer(s). Without a large internal staff, to whom do we turn to seek advice when one of those issues occur?
Whether the busy season has begun yet or not, I believe it is a good idea to take a quick check of all of your operations systems each year to make sure everything is in place when things really do get busy. For many of you, this may be a regular routine you practice on an ongoing basis. For the rest of us, we should make it part of a regular routine.
One might think that determining selling prices would be a relatively easy task once the costs have been determined. However, I can assure you, based on personal experience and some classes I have presented, even the most intelligent and supposedly sophisticated contractors do not always arrive at the selling price they want and intend to use.
As contractors, if we’ve done a proper job of selling, we’ve convinced the homeowner — regardless of the brand of equipment they are buying from us — that we are the experts. That means, when a problem occurs, in the customer’s mind, we have to take responsibility.
I suggest, as a contractor, you put this show on your 2016 calendar. As an added incentive, next year’s show — scheduled for Jan. 25-27 — is in Orlando, where the weather in January is likely to be much better than it was in Chicago.
If you haven’t already, now’s the time to contemplate your budgets for 2015. I realize the training required to be an HVAC tech is different from being an accountant, and many contractors started their careers working with tools before becoming a contractor; however, some rudimentary knowledge of accounting is important.
If you follow these steps diligently and patiently, you will find the effort will bring returns many times over. Just remember, you are not trying to make a killing with your maintenance agreements, you are simply preserving your company’s future for many years ahead.
The one place contractors seldom look to place blame is in the mirror. Do we look closely enough at ourselves and what we are doing within the business to honestly say that we are not part of the problem?