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Foreword:by Matt Michel.
The entire Foreword – “HVAC Spells Wealth” is located Here.
Two things make this book unlike any other books on business.
Chapter 1 – Business is Not Complicated
Why do most people make it that way?
(a short excerpt) Here are some of my favorite sayings that illustrate the point. Most of them are original, and some are borrowed. I should explain what I mean by saying borrowed. As a consultant, whenever another consultant takes my material and reuses it, I maintain they are practicing plagiarism; whenever I choose to use material developed by another person, I’m simply borrowing it.
• Stay focused on the basic 101 fundamentals. Using football as an analogy learn how to “block and tackle” and keep doing it. When you throw “long forward passes” three things can happen. Two of them are not good. So, grind it our a few yards at a time and occasionally risk a long forward pass.
• If you hire mediocre people, you’ll have a mediocre company
• Training is management’s greatest responsibility.
• The real purpose of a business is to get and keep customers. Making a profit as a result of getting and keeping customers is a requirement, not the purpose.
• Owning and managing a business is a game. In fact, it is only Monopoly with real money.
• Don’t ever accept “I didn’t have time” as an excuse, either from your coworkers or from yourself. Managing time is a matter of priority.
• Your coworkers are “inside coworkers”.
• You can’t manage people, but you can lead people. In fact, you don’t even manage a horse to water.
• To see a person’s abilities is important, but relatively simple. To recognize his or her potential should be your objective.
Chapter 2 – The Three “C’s”
The Three Entities that Make up a Company.
(a short excerpt) I consider the first principal in managing and building a successful business is to recognize that you must deal successfully with three groups:
I call them the three “Cs”. Your job as an owner and/or leader is to facilitate the relationship among these groups.
I maintain that the first of the Three “C’s” to master is dealing successfully with customers. Without customers there is no business. Yet, with this in mind, why do some companies treat customers as shabby as they do? I’m sure we’ve all been treated badly by a company we were trying to do business with. I can only think of three reasons why a company would mistreat customers. First somebody, usually at the top, doesn’t care. Second, coworkers do not understand the value of each and every single customer. Third, coworkers who have contact with customers even though they have been properly recruited and hired, were definitely not properly trained. (continued)
Chapter 3 – Customers
Your Most Important Asset is not on the Balance Sheet.
(a short excerpt) We determined that many companies are pretty good at attracting new customers, but not so good at keeping them over the long haul. I describe it as “New customers coming in the front door and old customers going out of the back door.” That’s crazy! It costs a whole lot less to keep a customer than it does to get one. In Chapter Two, The Three “C’s”, I mentioned you could, through proper marketing and with a carefully nurtured customer relationship, realize $7,500 in revenues from a single residential customer over a ten-year period. What would you think if one of your coworkers tossed away $7,500 of inventory? What’s the difference? (continued)
Chapter 4 – Coworkers
Your Internal Customers.
(a short excerpt) Six areas must be addressed individually in properly staffing a company.
1) Recruiting: getting people interested in coming to work for you.
2) Hiring: staffing with the right people by making an effective sales presentation to candidates stressing the reasons for choosing your company and the opportunities it offers rather than another company.
3) Orientation: providing them a presentation on the company, what it does and does not do, its role in the community, its products and services, operating philosophies, coworker benefits, career paths, and disciplinary policies. A professional orientation program like this will set your company apart as an exception in the community. I urge that you adopt this practice.
4) Training: making absolutely certain coworkers fully understand all aspects of their positions, and that they are equipped to be effective and efficient.
5) Motivation: inspiring coworkers to take positive action.
6) Retention. Keeping coworkers on the payroll.
We’ll address all six one by one. (continued)
Chapter 5 – Company
Is Yours Really an Organization?
(a short excerpt) Many company owners and leaders refer to their firms as organizations. But, are they all organizations? An organization is a group of people who have a common purpose, or a common goal, or a common belief. A company needs to determine and develop that common purpose. I believe it should be something very easily understood and very easily explained. Do not confuse this company common purpose with a company mission statement. A company mission statement should be built upon the common purpose, however mission statements are more comprehensive and sometimes tend to be lengthy and flowery.
I find it interesting that I have often asked coworkers of various companies to state their company’s mission statement only to find that they cannot do it. It may look nice framed out in the reception area where customers can see it, but often it is not in practice.
At Modern Air we introduced this common purpose “Get and Keep Customers”. (continued)
Chapter 6 – Marketing
It isn’t Necessary to Spend a Lot of Money.
(a short excerpt) There are seven steps to a complete marketing plan. They are:
1) Determine three geographic marketing areas.
2) Calculate an estimate of the total annual residential retail revenues in your selected marketing area.
3) Separate your present customers into groups.
4) Determine your portfolio of products.
5) Determine an annual retail revenues marketing budget.
6) Complete a 12-month marketing calendar.
7) Understand basic marketing principles and methods.
Marketing, step 1:
When working with a company we start our marketing plan by determining three geographic marketing areas:
1) The dominant area. You will be proactive there.
2) The response area. You will be reactive there.
3) The no service area. You will not be doing business there. (continued)
Chapter 7 – Sales
Turning Marketing into Results.
(a short excerpt) There are 13 steps to structuring a good sales program.
1) Sales lead coordination.
2) Determination of the portfolio of products and services.
3) Sales leads.
4) Presentation manual and other sales aids.
5) Pricing strategy.
6) Documents and forms.
7) Consumer financing.
8) Budget and sales goals.
9) Commissioned compensation plan.
10) Comfort consultants.
11) Sales training and sales management.
12) Effective sales presentations.
13) Installation and service assurance.
Sales, Step 1. Sales lead coordination.
Every sales lead is precious. However, most companies do not carefully protect sales leads. It is a shame to know that money is spent in order to attract sales leads, yet at the same time some are being lost or not completely followed through in an effort to get sales. I only know one way to guard against this happening and it works very well. In a structured sales lead coordination process all sales leads are assigned by a sales lead coordinator to comfort consultants and then tracked to final disposition. In addition, some very meaningful information is compiled. Sales lead coordination is often the first process or system I implement with a new consulting client.
Here is how you do it: (continued)
Chapter 8 – Processes and Systems
Certain Ways of Doing Things.
( a short excerpt) I maintain that it is management’s job to:
1) Determine how it wants things done.
2) Document those decisions with forms, flow charts, manuals, established pricing, systems and processes.
3) Carefully and diligently teach all coworkers on how to use the forms, flow charts, manuals, established pricing, systems and proposals.
4) Empower the coworkers to use the forms, flow charts, manuals, established pricing, systems and processes.
5) Get out of the coworkers’ way by not micromanaging them.
This book is full of processes and systems, often referred to as “best practices”. Many of them are forms and documents that are included as 41 separate single page and multi-page Exhibits.
Six of the Exhibits are appealing in color, customer friendly forms that can be purchased, if you wish to do so, from a recommended source, The Transform Group located in Lawrenceville, GA. Phone 800-226-2564 or 770-729-8585 to get more information including pricing. When placing your first order you will need to supply your company logo and other required information to make certain that your forms are headed up properly. (continued)
Chapter 9 – Industry
It’s a Good Business!
(a short excerpt) It is a sad commentary that our three industry players that make up the food chain that eventually gets the product to the customer: the manufacturers, distributors, and contractors often operate as adversaries. It is unfortunate that there is basically a prevailing lack of trust with one another.
Why does this adversarial relationship exist among the three major groups? Generally, manufacturers, distributors and contractors are not bad people who want to make life difficult for the other two parties. It is my contention that after all of these years none of the three fully understand and appreciates the other two parties’ business challenges. It really is a sad situation as I feel like it is one thing to co-exist, it is another thing to work together in everyone’s best interest. Some of my very best friends and business “partners” were manufacturers and distributors. (continued)
Chapter 10 – Summary
Now, it’s up to You.
(a short excerpt) Several times friends, family members, and interested parties have asked me how long I have been working on this book. They knew that I was not using a ghost writer, but rather compiling and actually typing every word myself. The answer is it took well over two years before I could even submit it to be printed.
But, it took a lifetime of experiences!
I’ve covered a lot of in this book and introduced you to a multitude of changes you can implement in your company. Implementing and managing change is difficult. It’s been over 30 years since I attended Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Program and I’ve forgotten almost everything I learned there (which, frankly, wasn’t much that was practical) except for one thing and I’ll never forget it. We were introduced to a technique on how to manage change. In fact, we were given a formula and it goes like this: M x P x D equals COC.
How would you describe change? Think of it as this: moving from the present state, whatever that is, to a future state, whatever it will be. (continued)
Index of Exhibits