As we start a new year, there’s one question every HVACR owner and manager needs to ask themselves: “How can I make this year even better than the last?”

The right answer to this question will not only give you the strategy and steps you need to focus on for the next 365 days, it will also move the needle when it comes to the strength of your business and the way it can change your own life (and the lives of your employees and customers).

To help you answer the question, here are five strategies that any HVACR business should consider focusing on for the coming year.

Set targets — Unlike the word, “goals,” which tends to be flexible and fuzzy at best, the word, “targets,” is a very specific, measurable destination for your business. Identify a few targets that you want to pay attention to, and then identify the number you want to hit.

What targets will have the greatest impact for you? It could be a company-wide target, like sales or profit, or it could be a more specific number, like your average ticket income. Choose a couple, and make those your primary focus for the entire year.

Establish reviews — When was the last time you reviewed each team member? Maybe it was last year, or maybe you never have. Well, now is the time to change that and conduct quarterly reviews for each team member. This can seem like a lot of work and a daunting task, especially if your employees are not used to it, but quarterly reviews will help you stay connected to your team and keep them on pace.

Ask just a few questions, and measure everyone against benchmark key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs allow you to take the guesswork and emotion out of a review and assess your team on their actions and efforts.

Implement follow-ups — One of the biggest opportunities HVACR companies overlook is following up. Your prospective and existing customers both need to be followed up with to help you close more deals. You’ll see a spike in sales simply because you followed up more diligently than your competitors.

Create two follow-up tracks, one for prospective customers and one for existing customers.

For prospective customers who have contacted your company, added their name to an email list, or received an estimate from you but have not bought anything, follow up regularly with reminders, advice, and incentives for taking action today.

For existing customers who have bought before, follow up with a different set of reminders, advice, and incentives.

For each follow-up track, create a full year of follow-up touchpoints that include email, phone calls, direct mail, and even personal visits.

Be a strong leader — One of your jobs as the owner of an HVACR company is to lead. It means showing up every day and not letting the challenges and stresses show. It means being decisive and commanding. It’s a skill that doesn’t come naturally for everyone. However, learning this skill and implementing it will help you create a strong culture and a team that gives their best every day. It starts with a decision you make to be a strong, confident leader.

To learn the skill, find someone who is a strong leader — someone who has built a successful service business — and learn from them. Model their behaviors and actions and ask them to teach you how to be a better leader.

Pump up your team — As a leader, one of your jobs is to inspire your followers. They need to feel like they are part of team, working together to move the company forward.

Bring your team together for a New Year all-staff meeting. Present an exciting vision for the year, and ask if everyone is on board. Make it a fun, energetic meeting, and make sure everyone has a reason to be excited about what you plan to accomplish for the rest of the year.

Then, when you’ve pumped them up, show them how their daily effort can help that vision become a reality.


2017 is over, and 2018 is here. The choice is yours — do you want to keep things the same this year? Or, do you want to stretch yourself and your team to reach a higher level?

These five strategies can change the game for you in 2018 if you implement them and focus on them throughout the year.  

Publication date: 1/8/2017

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