Preparation is Key - Nexstar Network

It’s March and the calendar, and our clocks, now say it is spring. But if you are the owner or general manager of a successful air conditioning business you may already have a distinct summer glow. Air Conditioning companies make up to 70% of their profits during the summer months. You are undoubtedly working hard to find employees, review your business systems, and execute your marketing plan in advance of the most important 13 weeks for you this year. You know you need to grow revenue during this short window to make your goals for the year. You know you have one chance this summer to build customer relationships and provide the customer service that makes a positive first and lasting impression. You know one mis-step or unplanned event can have a tremendous impact on your ability to increase profit.

You also know the need to prepare for your busiest season does not change year to year. You know the time to prepare for summer is now, before customers start calling. Here are the top five areas to focus on ahead of time to ensure you maximize your earnings potential for the entire summer season.

  1. Pricing – In order to meet your profit goals, you need to make sure you are priced correctly. Calculate your break-even and desired profit and know what you need to charge.  Your pricing needs to be strategic and not just what you believe your market can bear or just a dart on a dart board.  Set realistic goals for the company and every revenue producer in your company.
  2. Installation Processes – Review your entire installation process with your staff. Revisit the technician training your staff has had or still needs. Include a close look at your transfer process for handing off an installation from Comfort Consultant or Installation Manager to installer if needed. If you don’t have a good process, or if your staff is not comfortable in how to communicate with homeowners, it can be awkward and unsettling to customers.
  3. Hours of Operation – Establish before the season if you are going to extend your hours of operation or how you are handling emergency service calls. Then make sure you have staff trained in customer service working the extended hours. A good place to start is to role play scenarios from call center training with anyone who may answer the phones during regular or extended hours. Customers should never feel like they are talking to your “B” team, no matter what time they call.
  4. Fleet & Equipment – Nothing can stall a good summer like having a truck break down. Make sure you have your entire fleet serviced ahead of time to prevent or fix any minor problems. Inspect your current equipment and make plans now to bring in any additional inventory or equipment you might need.
  5. Staffing – At the end of the day, the biggest key to a good summer is having the right people doing the right jobs. Quality technicians and installers have completely different jobs and skillsets to support what they do. Your job is to make sure your employees are in the right jobs so they can be successful. For more about preparing your staff for the busy season, see my article in the March issue of The Reeves Journal.

If you take the time to focus on these five areas now, you will be well prepared for summer when the customers start calling!

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Jodi is a business coach for Nexstar, and inspires owners to get what they want out of life and their businesses. Her experience managing successful PHCE companies helps her in guiding owners to not only set goals, but exceed them.