It’s the end of August, and so that means there are only a few more days until Labor Day, the unofficial end of summer here in the United States and the calendar signal that autumn is right around the corner. Schools are starting the new school year, and the other day I saw a restaurant tempting its patrons with pumpkin pie.

So while the temperature still makes you think of lounging by the pool and air conditioning season, it’s time for contractors in northern climes to think ahead to the heating season and get ready for the winds of winter. For those of you who live and work in states that stay warmer longer, you may have a bit more time before your customers clamor for any new heating equipment or service on their current units. It wouldn’t hurt for you to start thinking ahead and preparing for that time, too though.

Teach your sales staff or technicians who sell equipment about any new heating equipment you will be offering this heating season as well as go over the product offerings from last heating season you will carry again this year. As quickly as the weather can change, customers might start contacting you, so you want your salespeople to know what they need to know beforehand.

One place to go for information on this year’s new heating products is The NEWS Sept. 10 issue, the Residential Heating Showcase, and the Oct. 8 issue, the Commercial Heating Showcase. These issues contain lots of information, provided by the manufacturers, on a quite a number of new heating products. There is also an informational grid that helps you to compare what’s available in the heating market.

Also, do what you need to do to prepare for the service and maintenance agreement customers. It’s likely time to start contacting, or at least having a postcard, email reminder, or other contact piece created to reach out to those customers. Remind them to make their appointments for their heating system checkup.

Do you keep extra filters and other parts on hand for your service agreement customers and last minute filter purchasers? Then figure out how much you need to order this year and place your order with a wholesaler/distributor.

There’s likely other things on your to-do list for this time of year; think of this as a nudge to get going on it. As the saying goes, plan ahead or fall behind.