6 Quick Business Wins
By Mathew PottinsHPAC General Human Resources Management business management networking
Simple tips to keep your mechanical contracting business on track.
When I’m not reading hydronics textbooks or watching YouTube videos about boiler technology, something else I have been obsessing about lately is the business side of the HVAC contracting industry.
I’ve asked questions. I’ve read books. I’ve studied financial statements. I’ve watched even more YouTube videos. And here’s what I’ve determined.
As an industry, the HVAC trade in Canada has some of the most skilled technicians and artists (artists is the right word, trust me). Daily on social media we see how HVAC contractors are very creative. We’re seeing installation photos that measure up to the likes of Picasso—the major difference being I can understand what I’m looking at when I see a boiler install.
While creativity and execution for HVAC contractors is at its peak across the country, running an efficient business (and staying in business) can be challenging.
Some contractors are doing a great job designing and building their businesses as thoughtfully as they build out their installations, but in my experience those owners are the exception – not the rule.
So, what needs to be done?
Here are six quick business wins that can be executed right away to keep your company on track and viable:
- 1. Reactivation: This is the lowest hanging fruit. It only costs a little bit of time to send an email or make a phone call. Reactivation is the process of contacting a past customer and seeing if you can work with them again or follow up on a quote that you never heard back on. Make it a priority every three to six months to contact your lapsed customers with another offer and see if you can encourage them to engage your services again.
- 2. Community Presence (via social media): Increase your social activity! You don’t have to post a photo of your face (not yet anyway) but entering community groups on Facebook is a great way to start putting yourself out there. There are multiple Facebook groups for every neighbourhood in the world. Yours is no exception, so throw your company name in the mix, provide some commentary and shake hands with some local homeowners. Hey, you might make a few new friends while increasing your revenue. If you’re feeling generous, maybe even provide a group only discount for the next three months.
- 3. Website: As nice as it is to have your leads come from word of mouth and referrals, it’s still important to look like a professional company. You can create a very simple website for very little cost, and the result is that you look more polished than the next guy or girl. Some online website platforms have freelance designers that work quick and cheap and will make your site exactly how you want it.
- 4. Google SEO: Yes, I know, Google blah blah blah, but if you are intentional with your Google presence and don’t stretch yourself too thin with your marketing budget, Google can provide a huge payoff. The key here is to measure your ROI. Work with a firm that can give you the right analytics and show you what your cost of customer acquisition is. I might know a guy.
- 5. Back to Social: I said not yet, but now is the time you must start taking some photos if not of yourself, at least of your work. No one is asking you to gain a huge following, become an influencer and earn sponsorship deals, but being on Instagram is a good way to document and show off your projects. People are very visual (refer to my opening monologue) and love to see your skilled handiwork. It can help you sell jobs when you’re in the final stages of locking down a new customer, and Instagram is also a great way to collaborate with and learn from fellow technicians.
- 6. Referral: It’s always awkward for me to ask friends and family to pass along my information or to reach out to their network on my behalf. But the truth is, you’re running a business and people want to help — I’ve learned this firsthand. Ask for those referrals and throw your hat in the ring every chance you get and grow your network. You never know, one job could lead to a massive snowball effect.
These are just some examples of inexpensive ways to better market your company. Of these six suggestions, only two are going to cost you money, and if approached correctly, the return on the investment will come sooner than you think. <>