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Take a Team Approach to HVAC Business Planning

Oct. 15, 2021
Bring the entire team into planning as much as is practical and possible in certain areas.

Business plans are a vital part of long-term business growth, knowing where you want to go so that you can plan on how to get there. Of course, having goals is always the point of a business plan, but you need to take it down further and into small baby steps and goals. This is where you need to work with your team and staff to determine because you can’t do everything! 

Goal #1

The first step of every plan is your long-term goal. Do you want to sell your business, double its size, open a new location, or hire more staff? Once you determine this goal, we want to make sure that you know how to get there, and that is when you first bring in your key staff. Start with your office manager and see what is going on right now, and if you were to double what would change for her, do you need another receptionist or a better phone system, or does she have some things that are needed to streamline the job so she can still manage it. Next, bring in your lead tech; how much work can they do, and how many people can they manage? Get their insight to understand what it is like in the field right now if you aren’t there day to day.  

Secondary Goals

With your long-term goal in place and input from lead staff, you can now flesh out secondary goals to work on to accomplish that primary goal. Is it marketing, client relations, pricing, costs, or something else? Bring in those key staff once again to review your secondary goals and make sure they are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relative, and Timely) goals, not just a random goal that you set up and cannot achieve. While talking with these key staff, get their input to see if there are any other staff members you should bring in to get opinions on or to set up specifics about one or two of the goals. 

Bring in your lead tech; how much work can they do, and how many people can they manage?

A great way to work on this is in collaboration through a system like Microsoft One Drive or Google Docs. You can get all key players involved to review and add notes or input without having to call multiple meetings that may not be as productive on small minor tweaks. After small tweaks are made, you can have strategic group meetings to go over more significant tweaks and adjustments to your plan and goals. While these systems are great, and most people have access to them at no charge, there are better options out there designed specifically for business planning opportunities that help to guide you through the things to consider and think about while prompting you on key points. My favorite right now is LivePlan which allows you to connect to several different accounting systems to help you create a financial forecast in addition to your budget.  

Are All In?

Now that you have a plan in place, you need to make sure that not just your support staff is behind you, but the entire company is. You may choose to do this by informing the company of what the plan is, how you will achieve it, and why it benefits them to help you reach those goals. You may choose to inform specific divisions of specific goals if you have multiple different business areas with goals tailored to each; that way, not everyone knows the entire plan. However, if you are adamantly against everyone in the business knowing where you want the business, then make sure to come up with an in-house slogan and or go over company values that encompass the core of what everyone needs to do to achieve your plan and goals.  

Now that you have a plan in place, you need to make sure that not just your support staff is behind you, but the entire company is. 

Now that everyone is on board, it’s all about executing and delegating, and this is the true reason you involved key staff so much previously in the planning stages. You can’t do everything yourself and thus need to delegate but make sure that it is something that they are comfortable doing. For example, maybe you need your office manager to start going to BNI meetings for you to free you up; but ask your officer manager if he or she is OK with that first, not just tell them to go and do it.

With the key staff already knowing goals, they can do things for you before you even delegate stuff to them, and they can act for you on certain activities allowing you more free time to focus on owner-only tasks. However, just because it is not your responsibility doesn’t mean you shouldn’t follow up on their progress. Depending on the task, set up individual meetings monthly, or maybe even weekly, to check in on progress and how everything is going, perhaps the plan needs to change, or new developments can help you reach your goal. 

Progress Checks

Ultimately,  you should pull your key team together at least quarterly to report on the progress of your goal as a company and then reassess smaller goals to see if things need to be adjusted. A business plan is not a one-and-done thing. You need to review financial performance, employee performance, customer satisfaction, and company performance regularly to determine if your goal still is attainable and makes sense for the company and if your steppingstones to get there will still hold up. 

In business planning, always remember that while it may be your business, you can’t do everything. Without trusted employees being empowered to help, you may be holding yourself back from outside improvements that could significantly benefit the company. The more eyes on a problem, the more opinions absolutely, but your goal as an owner is to organize those opinions and consider them on growing your brand so that you can go home at night and relax, not worrying 24/7 about the next day.  

James Griner is owner and manager of Waterford Business Solutions, LLC, providers of custom accounting, software solutions, business services and accounting resources. Find them online at https://waterfordbusinesssolutions.com.

About the Author

James Griner | Owner

James Griner is owner and manager of Waterford Business Solutions, LLC, providers of custom accounting, software solutions, business services and accounting resources.