Do you have big plans for your plumbing business? Are you ready to take your company to the next level? If so, you may have been considering expanding your company. Growing your plumbing business is the ideal way to take it to the next level of success, and now is a great time to do Read more
Do you have big plans for your plumbing business? Are you ready to take your company to the next level? If so, you may have been considering expanding your company. Growing your plumbing business is the ideal way to take it to the next level of success, and now is a great time to do it. Right now, the demand for plumbers is high. According to a recent HBI Construction Labor Market Report, there is a 55% shortage of plumbers that are available to work.
The shortage of plumbers provides you with the ideal opportunity to capitalize on this increased demand for your services. But, even when demand is high for your services, choosing to expand your business is still a big decision to make.
Taking steps to grow your business is always something that should be done carefully. Diving straight into scaling your business and investing significant amounts of money and resources to facilitate the expansion can be a costly error to make.
Putting too much of your time, money, and effort into growing your company can jeopardize your entire business and put everything you have worked so hard for at risk. To protect your business and to reduce the risks associated with expansion, it is crucial to take a measured approach. Read on to discover essential tips to help you successfully expand your plumbing business and help your company to reach its full potential.
Carry Out Extensive Research
Finding ways to reduce the risk of expanding your business is always crucial. Doing all that you can to protect your company as it is right now is essential. Otherwise, you risk sacrificing everything that you have worked for up to this point.
One of the best ways to reduce the risks involved in expanding your business is to carry out extensive research. Treating your expansion plans in the same way that you would a new business can be helpful. This means carrying out lots of research to familiarize yourself with competing businesses and the services that they offer. This will give you a far clearer idea of the types of services your business should offer if you want to compete directly.
Make a Plan
Taking a look through all the research that you have gathered together should mean that you now have a huge body of information that you can use to inform your expansion decisions. All of this research information may seem a little overwhelming to start with, but it is worth taking your time to work through it all, as it is the perfect way to understand who your competitors will be and how you can rival them successfully.
Working your way through all your research to build your knowledge is also the ideal way to identify any gaps in the market that your newly-expanded business will be able to fill. Based on all this information, you will be able to write a thorough business plan that details your expansion plans. Your business plan will provide to be vital in the weeks and months ahead, as you can keep referring back to it to ensure your progress stays on track.
When you decide to expand your business, a whole host of opportunities will open up to you. You will be able to reach a whole new section of clients and even have the capability to offer specialist services based on your team’s expertise. Once you start to look for new opportunities, you will soon find that there are lots of options to explore in your quest to grow your business.
When you are just starting out on your journey into expansion, it is essential to keep your cash flow in mind at all times. Keeping your cash flow healthy is vital when expanding your business. Many companies make the mistake of stretching their finances too far during their growth phase, which means that they put their businesses under unsustainable levels of pressure. To overcome this, you may want to seek out contracts that offer your company repeat business to help your business to expand successfully while also maintaining a healthy cash flow. Pitching your business in the commercial sector is the best way to do this. Securing a contract to take care of all of a business’s plumbing needs and ongoing maintenance is an excellent way to receive a steady income for your business. As your team and your reputation continue to grow, you should find you attract more ongoing clients.
Invest in Software
While your business may have been successfully operating for a while now, it is essential to remember that the way you run it will need to change as it grows. More employees and an increase in jobs mean that it will be much harder to keep track of what is happening in your business on a daily basis. However, as your business grows, it becomes more important than ever before for it to stay organized and for you to keep track of what is happening both on a day-to-day level and at an operational level.
When you have employees going off to jobs in many different locations throughout the day, it can be an ongoing challenge to try and keep track of where they are and what job they are currently working on. But knowing this information is vital if you are to offer your customers the very best service and to keep your business running efficiently.
Investing in the best field service management software will make running your business so much easier. You will be able to organize your team’s workload more efficiently while also ensuring that your customers get a far better service. Choosing software that offers live field updates will help you to monitor where your team members are at any one time. This is vital when you run a plumbing business and will help you to provide an emergency plumbing service to your customers and to get your team to them in the fastest possible time.
The No. 1 price generating software provides home service business owners with actionable strategies that help develop financial stability The New Flat Rate, the No. 1 price generating software for home service contractors, showcased their dedication to contractors during their annual Freedom Builders Mastermind by helping business owners develop key strategies to overcome their pain Read more
The No. 1 price generating software provides home service business owners with actionable strategies that help develop financial stability
The New Flat Rate, the No. 1 price generating software for home service contractors, showcased their dedication to contractors during their annual Freedom Builders Mastermind by helping business owners develop key strategies to overcome their pain points and establish financial freedom.
The three-day event, held in Gatlinburg, Tennessee in early May, saw contractors develop implementation tools aimed toward taking their businesses to the next level while also spending time with some of the top minds in the home service industry. Different from most business-building events, Mastermind focuses on small groups workshopping together to write processes that can help them overcome major pain points in their business.
“Freedom Builders Mastermind is built differently than any other event out there,” said Matt Koop, vice president of The New Flat Rate. “We trade away the glitz and glamor so that we can get to the root of the problems that contractors are trying to solve. By working in small groups with like-minded individuals, it creates a comfortable atmosphere and camaraderie that empowers our attendees to discuss their business concerns openly.
“Ultimately, we want contractors to walk away with actionable steps and processes that will lead them toward real solutions. When our attendees left Freedom Builders Mastermind, we were confident that they did so with powerful tools that will drive their revenue up over the next 12 months.”
The Mastermind provided attendees with information on several topics geared toward helping businesses improve revenue while also developing freedom in their personal lives. Those topics included: bridge building basics, driving revenue, simple systems profit, and much more. Primary speakers at the event included Koop; Danielle Putnam, president of The New Flat Rate; Chris Michel of Coach Chris Consulting, a sales trainer at The New Flat Rate; and Roger Daviston of The Daviston Group, personal development, boundary setting and habit coach.
“Making the lives of contractors easier while also helping them gain financial freedom has always been a primary goal for The New Flat Rate,” said Putnam. “The Freedom Builders Mastermind is a key element of that goal. When business owners come to this event, they know they are going to leave with extremely powerful tools that will make them successful. Plus, they get an opportunity to meet other entrepreneurs who are likely suffering from similar problems, and together, they can build those processes to overcome pain points that have been dragging them down for years. If you are a struggling business, you need to attend a Mastermind.”
For more information about The New Flat Rate, please visit https://thenewflatrate.com/.
For more information about Freedom Builders University, please visit https://freedombuildersuniversity.com/.
The No. 1 price generating software company displays commitment to growth, contractors with new additions The New Flat Rate, the No. 1 price generating software for home service contractors, announced three key new hires to their expanding leadership team. The additions add valuable skills, expertise and capacity to maintain The New Flat Rate’s dedication to Read more
The No. 1 price generating software company displays commitment to growth, contractors with new additions
The New Flat Rate, the No. 1 price generating software for home service contractors, announced three key new hires to their expanding leadership team. The additions add valuable skills, expertise and capacity to maintain The New Flat Rate’s dedication to supporting home service business owners around the country.
Erika Mosteller, Cynthia Wilson and Madeline Hughes join The New Flat Rate’s leadership team in various roles, thus positioning the company for continued success.
“At The New Flat Rate, we remain committed to providing our members with innovative pricing solutions to ensure they are prepared when they are out in the field,” said Danielle Putnam, president of The New Flat Rate. “To ensure we are positioned to meet increasing demands, one of our top priorities is investing in the right team to meet the everchanging standards of the home service industry.
“Adding Erika, Cynthia and Madeline to the team not only guarantees exceptional leadership, but it also increases our ability to bolster our relationships with current and future members while continuing to build and increase brand awareness for The New Flat Rate.”
Mosteller joins The New Flat Rate as the director of partnerships and events. Earning a bachelor’s degree from Furman University and a master’s from The University of Georgia, she will be directing tradeshows and events while overseeing vendor partnership strategy for the company.
Specializing in fundraising, membership development and project management, Wilson was announced as the new director of operations for The New Flat Rate. She holds a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership and a master’s in public administration, both from Valdosta State University. She has prior experience working with membership-based nonprofits in addition to social services.
Hughes joins The New Flat Rate team as the sales manager, where she will be leading the sales department in providing face-to-face meetings with potential new members. In her position, she will be providing resources to potential members to help them develop a strategy for success, as well as answering any questions they may have about The New Flat Rate’s menu pricing system and training. She has a bachelor’s in business administration from Georgia College & State University.
For more information about The New Flat Rate, please visit https://thenewflatrate.com/.
Entries accepted through August 9th The AHR Expo (International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition) is now accepting submissions for the 2023 Innovation Awards. Exhibitors are encouraged to enter recent or upgraded products for the competition. Entries are welcomed through August 9, 2022. The 2023 AHR Expo will return to Atlanta at the Georgia World Congress Center Read more
Entries accepted through August 9th
The AHR Expo (International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition) is now accepting submissions for the 2023 Innovation Awards. Exhibitors are encouraged to enter recent or upgraded products for the competition. Entries are welcomed through August 9, 2022. The 2023 AHR Expo will return to Atlanta at the Georgia World Congress Center February 6-8, 2023. To request more information about the Innovation Awards, or to receive forms for entry, please email Kim Pires at email@example.com.
“If Vegas is any indicator of what’s ahead for HVACR then Atlanta will certainly be an impressive showing,” said show manager Mark Stevens. “Our ten category winners and 2022 Product of the Year winner, Danfoss, blew us away with innovative solutions that demonstrate just how revolutionary the technology within this industry is becoming. It’s really a remarkable gauge of just how fast this industry is moving,” continued Stevens.
The Innovation Awards aim to honor the most inventive, useful and original products, systems and technologies in the marketplace. Exhibitors are encouraged to submit products and technologies to showcase solutions for new and existing challenges and new avenues for industry growth.
Once submitted, all entries are evaluated by a panel of third-party ASHRAE members with over 20 years of professional engineering experience. The panel uses a review process to tally points based on application, innovation, value and market impact. Winners are then selected in ten industry categories, including building automation; cooling; heating; indoor air quality; plumbing; refrigeration; software; sustainable solutions; tools and instruments; and ventilation. An overall Product of the Year will be selected from the pool of category winners and will be announced at the show in Atlanta.
The Innovation Awards as an investment in our workforce
In 2022 AHR Expo introduced a workforce development program in which entry fees from the Innovation Awards program were used to support a local dual-HVAC high school. With the success of the awards in Vegas, AHR Expo was able to donate $25,000 directly to the program as well as host 25 students for a field trip on the show floor. In 2023, AHR Expo aims to work with the Atlanta Public School district to award donation funds to a similar program, with the hopes of growing into other areas of service within HVAC including computer programming and engineering.
“This industry is special,” said Stevens. “If you’ve been to the AHR Expo you understand the feeling of community and connectedness−even more now than ever coming out of the challenging years behind us.
“We are poised to build a fantastic future with HVACR leading the transformation of our built environment. The Innovation Awards lend a preview of this and it is encouraging to see how we are moving forward as an industry. Manufacturers continue to exceed expectations by showing up, making improvements and pushing forward; and while we award only ten companies, we see hundreds in our submissions. We can’t wait to see what’s to come in Atlanta,” concluded Stevens.
How to enter the 2023 Innovation Awards
The awards extend an opportunity for manufacturers to validate their dedication and hard work with strategy, planning, execution and market realization through the recognition of the industry’s most prestigious award. Winners are encouraged to learn more about the awards and view the 2022 winners on the Innovation Awards webpage. All applicants can submit their entries via the dedicated portal. The deadline for entry is August 9, 2022. Questions can be directed to Kim Pires at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are many benefits to participation, including:
- Winners and finalists will be recognized at the 2023 show with special booth signage
- Finalists will be announced on social channels one week before winner announcements, extending the opportunity for exposure longevity
- All winners will be invited to celebrate with their colleagues and industry leaders at a closed reception
- Winners will be interviewed for a custom video months before the show and will be featured on the AHR Expo website and social media channels, as well as in industry media coverage
- Winners will be encouraged to promote their win on their communication channels
Registration for the 2023 AHR Expo is open and available on the AHR Expo website.
Attendees are also encouraged to sign up for the show newsletter to receive updates as they happen.
ABOUT THE AHR EXPO
The AHR Expo is the essential event for HVACR professionals, attracting the most comprehensive gathering of the industry from around the globe each year. The show provides a unique forum where manufacturers and suppliers of all sizes and specialties come together to share ideas and showcase the future of HVACR technology. Since 1930, the AHR Expo has remained the industry’s best place for OEMs, engineers, contractors, facility operators, architects, educators and other industry professionals to experience everything new in HVACR and build relationships. The AHR Expo is co-sponsored by ASHRAE and AHRI and is held concurrently with ASHRAE’s Winter Conference. The next show will take place February 6-8, 2023, in Atlanta.
Throughout the years, the forces that have driven the plumbing industry to change and improve have been diverse. From competitors trying new things, to technological advances pushing boundaries, contractors have had to adapt, or get left behind. One driving force that hasn’t always been recognized, however, is the customer. Sure, good contractors and managers have Read more
Throughout the years, the forces that have driven the plumbing industry to change and improve have been diverse. From competitors trying new things, to technological advances pushing boundaries, contractors have had to adapt, or get left behind. One driving force that hasn’t always been recognized, however, is the customer.
Sure, good contractors and managers have always taken into account that customer satisfaction is what keeps a business running, from invaluable word of mouth recommendations to the ever-profitable returning customer strategies, but the fact of the matter is that customers themselves have changed. Tech giants like Amazon and Facebook permeate every aspect of our culture and they’ve reshaped expectations so much that simply doing a good job just isn’t enough anymore.
The fact that customers expect so much from every company they interact with (even if they’re not a tech giant) has already been discussed and dissected. After all, 2020 was the year customer experience became more important than price. Now, the pressure is on plumbing and contracting companies to make sense of these expectations and find a way to implement changes. That, however, is easier said than done. How do you turn a plumbing company into Amazon?
This is where customer journeys come in. And no, that’s not a typo. We do mean customer journeys, as a plural. That’s because the complete sum of interactions between a customer and a field service business is not singular; their experience is made up of many interactions that require individual attention, but ignoring this fact is an error that many managers make.
1. The customer isn’t the most important one, they’re the only one!
For example, what’s the first thing a customer has to do in order to hire you? Book an appointment, right? Well, that’s the booking journey. How many steps are there to go from needing a plumber to having an appointment scheduled? Where do you lose customers along the way? How can you remove friction so that the process is so smooth, the customer never gets a chance to change their mind?
Basically, if you can turn your booking journey into something resembling Amazon’s “1-Click Buy” button, you’ll have significantly improved your lead conversion rate. You’ll earn more money for each dollar spent on getting leads to your website, increase your chances that the customer will continue through to the next journey, and encourage re-bookings in the future.
The same applies throughout each additional journey, as highlighted in the image above. The more points of friction you have, the more negative the overall experience and that’s even if the customer’s problem was fixed! It can be overwhelming (especially to smaller businesses) to take into account every single interaction, but by mapping the customer journey, it becomes far more manageable.
For example, in the booking journey we mentioned above, most people expect to book an appointment the same way they book a dinner reservation. Therefore, an automatic booking portal is the tool you need to offer that experience. A quote? Why would they wait days for the office staff to send one, or even weeks, when they’re so used to seeing prices online?
Providing instant digital quotes will impress the customer, help upsell them on premium plans (because they can clearly see their options and the benefits shown on multiple quotes), and save your admin time.
2. How do plumbing technicians benefit from great customer journeys?
The reason customer journeys will define 2021 as well as the coming years (a bold claim, we know!) is because despite the name, rather than targeting a single shareholder, it stands as a holistic strategy for a business.
From a technician’s point of view, an easy job is one they can do as efficiently as possible. That means taking as few trips back and forth to the office between jobs (ideally none), for the customer to be aware of the visit & available when they do arrive, and finally: to be able to support any query the customer may have, all whilst in the field.
When you’re aiming to offer a smooth pre-appointment, call-out, and inventory journey to your customers, all these imply having the right tool to make your technician’s day fly by. The customer is kept up-to-date via notifications so they know to be are available, and technicians can expect to know whether the parts the installation needs are available; these are just a few of the benefits that work to make everyone’s lives easier.
3. How does your office staff benefit from great customer journeys?
Frictionless customer journeys are tightly linked to the concept of customer self-service and business automation. Much like booking a stay on Booking.com, the customer does part of the work, whilst software takes care of reminders, invoicing, and even feedback requests.
On the customer side, they’re happy because they feel in control of their experience and can get results quickly with near instantaneous confirmations every step of the way, establishing peace of mind.
The admin side is where the greatest benefits truly lie.
Software automation can’t replace office staff when it comes to complex tasks and building relationships, but it can support them to deliver their best work by removing repetitive and time-consuming parts of their day, like emailing confirmations and double-data entry. More efficient admins means you can hire more technicians, and get more work done with the same amount of resources.
4. The Takeaway
All in all, customer journeys are a complex concept and no one expects a business owner to get it perfect from the beginning. However, as we move into 2021 and learn to live with the challenges we’ve faced in 2020, it’s true that customer expectations will continue to rise, but quality customer journeys can help you face them.
Digital tools are already a mainstay of our everyday lives and Commusoft is one that strives to make remarkable customer journeys a breeze for any contracting business. If you’re looking to learn more, check out our Customer Journeys page.
Cristina Maria is a Marketing Executive at Commusoft, a job management software company, where she helps educate and empower field service businesses to deliver a remarkable customer experience.