Editor’s note: We're rerunning some of Andy’s articles earlier articles while we tool up for the new “Ask Andy Fracica” format.
HVAC BUSINESS OWNERS, we need your help, because without your questions, there will be no articles to write. Please email Andy with your questions at [email protected]. This article has been updated since it was first published in December of 2013.
I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season. Before we say goodbye to 2014 while we are in that lull between holidays, it's a good time to review 2014 and reflect on your "hits and misses" for the year. If you haven’t done your strategic planning, for 2015 now is a good time to get started. Don’t forget to write down your personal and business goals for next year as well.
Think about things that went well this year, and what didn’t go well. When you review the things that you did especially well this year, try to imagine ways that you could have made it even better, you can always improve performance even if it is only a little. What if you can find a way to improve performance by 5% or by 10% what would that do for your bottom line?
You can learn a lot by analyzing your failures. Thomas Edison said, “Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” He also commented on his invention the light bulb saying, “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” Have you found your 10,000 ways yet, or have you given up?
Remember the words of James Joyce who said, “Mistakes are the portals of discovery.” We all make them, but the successful only make the same mistake once. Learn from last year’s mistakes and improve your business.
If you're striving for organic growth, how will you add new customers? If you're planning to grow by purchasing competitors, how will you integrate their structure into your own?
Strategic planning is essentially the process that a business uses to determine its direction and to develop its strategy to achieve its goals and allocate company resources towards reaching those objectives. It is helpful to focus on what you do whom you do it for, and how to you plan to attain your objectives. Think about how you plan to grow, is it organic growth or do you plan to use acquisitions to grow your business.
If you are striving for organic growth, how will you add new customers? What you will you do marketing wise to attract them or to get your phone to ring? You have to cut through a tremendous amount of clutter to get reach your target audience, how will you be different enough to get the attention that you need?
If you're planning to grow by purchasing competitors, how will you integrate their structure into your own? What will you do to retain their loyal customers? How can you welcome them into your company? How will you allocate resources toward training of your newly acquired service techs and how will you train any office staff that you intend to retain? You have many other questions to consider as well if you go this route. Other business owners have been very successful by buying up their competitors.
Goals are important. Written goals are even more important. As 2014 ends, pull out your written goals and see how many of them you hit. If you didn’t hit some, reevaluate them and determine if those goals are still important to you. If they are, reset them and write them down again for 2015.
Recently, a client thanked me for my help and guidance, sayng that this is the best year that he's had since the 90’s. He thanked me for helping him refocus and reignite his passion for his business. I’m happy to have helped in some small way. I hope that these articles will help you refocus and reignite your passion for your business and that you have your best year ever, in 2015. Until next year…
Andy Fracica is the author of Navigating the Marketing Maze, he is, a speaker, a marketing coach, and president and CEO of Fracica Enterprises, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in marketing, and social media strategy. He has over 30 years of sales, marketing, and product management experience in the heating ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) industry. He concentrates on helping companies deliver their message in an ever increasingly crowded market by helping HVAC dealers more effectively market their businesses without breaking their budgets. Contact him at 260-338-4554, [email protected] or visit the Fracica Enterprises, Inc. website.
Copyright 2013, Fracica Enterprises, Inc. all rights reserved