Guest Blog


From the Inside Looking Out

December 10, 2009
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Are you “in the game” or just watching from the sidelines?

There are changes taking place in our industry that are unprecedented. The changes in efficiency were to be expected, along with working through the phase-out/phase-in of refrigerants. Add into the equation the changes in our overall economy, and the results are more than many can keep up with. But like the old saying goes, “the more things change, the more they remain the same.” A variation is “the more things change, the more they remain … insane.”

I like this second version better because it describes this particular time in our industry. One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. I believe this is a good description of how a lot of us are choosing to deal with the changes in our industry, as well as day-to-day business.

Human nature reflects our tendency to sit back and let someone else initiate a change; a change for the better we hope. Rather than “take the bull by the horns” and initiate the change ourselves, we are content to conduct “business as usual” expecting different results.

The times in which we currently live require, if not demand, that we do business differently. You hear all the talk about our political representatives and that they should not be doing business as usual because the business environment is NOT as it was and may never be again. In fact, today, you have to work harder, longer, AND smarter in order to achieve the same level of success as before. But even with this being the case, many of us are content to “watch from the sidelines” and wait for someone else to initiate a change that will yield positive results for us.

These same times in which we currently live also demand we view our customers in a different light. Even if you have provided exemplary service in the past, you need to do an even better job. Following up with customers, requesting referrals, doing that “little something extra and unexpected” is more important today than it ever has been. “Under-promise and over-deliver” is a great motto. Today we are forced to embrace what we should have been doing all along, simply because times are tough. Call it a silver lining. We are doing things today, to promote our service and product, that during more affluent times we would have never thought of doing.

Think about what you do today in order to meet your customer’s needs that weren’t even part of your program say 7 or 10 years ago. How many of you are really, I mean really, doing anything different, or are you doing the same things expecting different results? 

Don’t be spectators; be a participant. Take time to think and be innovative in how you meet your customer’s needs. Get in the game!

John Lloyd of Prudential Heating and Air Conditioning Inc. has been involved first-hand in the HVAC industry in a variety of roles for over 30 years.
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same ol', same ol'

Rob
December 26, 2009
I was reading an article from 1985 regarding contractor profitability. Industry average was 2.7%. What is the industry average today? I still hear 2-4% from consultants. Whether it is advertising, customer service, or pricing, people keep doing the same thing expecting different results. All the best in the new year!

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