HVAC contracting business owners often feel the need to take on everything themselves. Unfortunately, one person cannot be everywhere and do everything. The key to operating a successful company lies heavily in one’s ability to delegate the work.
THERE’S NO I IN TEAM
Letting go is sometimes hard, and that’s why it’s important to decide which tasks absolutely need to be handled personally, which can be delegated, and to whom they should be assigned. It’s just as important to pick the right person or group of people to take on the responsibility.
I recently had the opportunity to attend the National Comfort Institute’s (NCI) annual Summit meeting in Savannah, Georgia. One session, in particular, stood out to me. Rob Basnett, president of Basnett Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning in Littleton, Massachusetts, discussed how best to engage employees in implementing home-performance principles. In 2015, Basnett decided it was time to upgrade his company’s maintenance agreement plans and spent quite a bit of his personal time working out every detail. Once finished, his team didn’t agree with the changes, and, as a result, the company failed to improve.
After being introduced to the Performance Action Team concept through NCI, Basnett created an employee taskforce to address the problem and come up with a solution. The team was made up of service technicians and installers with a designated point person to take the lead. To cover all bases, he included one of the loudest dissenters on the taskforce team. After two months of weekly meetings, and with some input and direction from Basnett himself, the team came up with an acceptable alternative agreement plan, which included the option to pay for the agreement monthly or in one lump sum, which is something Basnett’s program didn’t allow. The employee-made agreement also included a few minor changes regarding the type of maintenance that was included in each of the company’s four maintenance agreement levels.
Basnett Plumbing, Heating & Air sold a total of three maintenance agreements during the first quarter of 2015. After delegating and engaging his employees to come up with a better solution, the company sold 97 agreements during the first quarter of 2016. According to Basnett, his employees have sold a total of 472 maintenance agreements since July 15, 2015, adding an additional $186,666 in sales to the company’s revenue.
“With the team involved in the development, we sold eight agreements in the first week,” Basnett said. “And that was without any marketing.”
“The team was involved and committed because they were involved in the development of the idea,” said David Holt, business coach for NCI. “They know it was their idea, so they’re going to buy into it and get it [selling maintenance agreements] done.”
Since that time, Basnett’s Performance Action Team has met and updated the company’s maintenance agreement plans three more times. “We’re constantly updating our agreements to keep them relevant,” he noted.
USE YOUR RESOURCES
Business owners have to stop believing they’re the only ones who can get the job done right. Think about it. How much time is spent during the employee hiring process to check backgrounds and skills? Only the best and brightest of applicants are offered employment. So why not take advantage of those skills and put them to good use?
Taking the time to delegate work gets employees more involved and engaged with the company and has the advantage of freeing up time so business owners can focus on more important things.
Publication date: 5/30/2016