7 Recommendations for the New Year – Contracting Business

Posted: December 30, 2020 at 5:13 pm

1. Focus on the Trade Press, Not the National PressThe national news is not good. It never is. Good news doesnt sell. It doesnt lure eyeballs. It doesnt generate clicks. Crises and catastrophes do that. So, thats what you are served up. Feed off of it and you risk spiraling down to depression. Instead, focus on the trade press.

Make the trade press the first websites you turn to at the start of the day. It will keep you focused on your business, your trade, and pointed in a positive direction. If you must pay attention to the national trade press, do it at the end of the day.

2. Work on CultureThe companies that proved the most resilient in 2020 were those with strong cultures. It is harder than ever to work on culture at the moment, but that doesnt lessen the importance. Focus on the little things. Keep your team upbeat on a daily basis. Not everyone will care for it, but some will feed off of it. Focus on teamwork, being nice, serving each other and the customer, doing the right thing, being positive, and taking initiative.

3. Market, Market, MarketGetting your name and brand out there is more important than ever. Jump on every opportunity to promote yourself. Do not become overly reliant on any one source of leads. The world is dynamic and changing fast. The search engines and review sites have no qualms about changing algorithms, business policies, or programs on a dime. Depend on them today and you might find lead flow shut off tomorrow.

Utilize digital marketing, but not at the expense of traditional methods. Many contractors are getting excellent results with direct mail. People are home to open the mail. Get creative about ways to entice them to open it.

There are some good mass media advertising opportunities today. Check out the cable TV and digital radio opportunities. Cable and digital radio are excellent because they can be more precisely targeted to match your service area.

4. Be Prepared to PivotParts of the HVAC industry did well through 2020. According to AHRI, unit shipments of central air conditioners and heat pumps were up 8.9% through October. This reflects strong performance on the residential end of the industry, where shipments were up double digits. By contrast, the commercial end of the industry was hit hard with shipments down double digits.

Read the trade press and join contractor groups to get an early gauge on new opportunities and threats.

At the start of COVID, commercial contractors who pivoted towards residential likely outperformed their peers who did not. However, when the economy fully opens up, stores and restaurants open, and people return their offices, there is likely to be a wave of commercial work. In this type of environment, contractors must be prepared to pivot. Read the trade press and join contractor groups to get an early gauge on new opportunities and threats.

5. Stay as Apolitical as PossibleNo matter what your politics, if you are not chilled to your core by todays cancel culture and doxing, you arent paying attention (and that might be a good thing for your attitude). Do not wear your politics on your sleeve. If you do, you place your entire business at risk. There are some vicious people in the world, operating without checks.

Note that this is not about right and wrong. It is not about the first amendment. It is not about what is American or un-American. It is about protecting your business income.

6. Do Not Buy the Panic PornWe live in an age where facts seem fluid. Everyone says to follow the science, but it seems selective. Big tech and big media filter what were allowed to see, hear, and say. It seems like the only science that really matters is the political science. This is why the recommendations are inconsistent. Science seems to follow the politics, not the reverse.

Take things seriously, Take reasonable precautions. But, do not panic.

How do you discern the truth? Who do you trust? Trust yourself. Think for yourself. Ask the right questions. There is no question that COVID-19 is deadly to some people, but who and how many? It is clear that many think masks, social distancing, and lockdowns are the solutions, but what about people who dont follow the recommendations?

Make your own comparisons between places where policies are strict and places where they are not. Compare populations that disregard the orders like the homeless camps with the general populations. Draw your own conclusions. If you think it through, you will likely understand the situation better as it really exists. Take things seriously, Take reasonable precautions. But, do not panic.

7. Understand That You are the X FactorWhen all is said and done. You, personally make the greatest difference in your business success. Make a decision today that 2021 will be the best in your companys history and refuse to accept any other answer. If the industry pulls back, step forward with more effort. If it gets harder to find a customer, increase your advertising and marketing. Contractors who panic will lose. Those who are bold will prosper.

Every contractor should join the Service Roundtable. Stay on the cutting edge of the industry. Interact with industry leaders and cutting-edge contractors. Download HVAC centric content designed to help your business succeed. Save through the industrys largest buying group. Learn more at http://www.ServiceRoundtable.com or call 877.262.3341

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7 Recommendations for the New Year - Contracting Business

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