10 Rules for Growth Your Competitors Won't Follow
Want an edge? Here are 10 rules for rapid growth in your HVAC & Plumbing business that your competitors won't follow.
When I say your competitors won't follow them, what I mean is that 99% of HVAC companies won't follow all 10 rules.
I've had the privilege of working with many fast growing, successful, top tier HVAC & Plumbing companies. While many follow 5 or more of these rules, almost no one follows all 10. If you can find a way to do that, I want to meet you, because you're truly headed for greatness.
1. Clearly define your vision and goals.
Know yourself, as deeply as possible, and know what you truly want to accomplish in business. Some people want to give $10k extra to their church each year. Some people want to pay for their kid's college. Some people want to build a 10 company HVAC empire. If you don't build a vision and clearly defined long term goals, you will be planned for. You will be stuck in a state of reaction; reaction to the economy, to competitors, and to one-off opportunities that come your way.
Having a clearly defined vision and long term goals, and continuing to develop and refine them over time, will give you an unbreakable edge.
2. Understand and actively work on your personal identity.
Invest in your identity. If you want to grow your company to $5M+ per year, then you need to know that you're a $5M/ yr guy or gal. If you think your a $500k/yr guy or gal, you'll never be able to break past that for long.
Study folks who've done what you're trying to do. Meet them. Join their Facebook groups. Listen to their podcasts. Whatever it takes to help you get your identity to the level it needs to be, get it done!
Further reading: Secrete of The Millionaire Mind
Further reading: 25 Laws for Doing The Impossible
3. Learn to say NO.
This is hard. As soon as you start having any measure of success, "opportunities" will start flowing to you, and you need to learn to say no quickly.
In a perfect world, you would be left alone to work on your own vision and what you're trying to do. But remember, there are billions of people on this earth with their own visions and goals.
I've had so many "opportunities" come my way in the form of more powerful men with more money recognizing my talent and trying to absorb me into THEIR vision. I've also had dozens of clients offered to me who were outside of my specialty. Without a vision of steel, I could have gone off course so many times. Learn to say no and do it quickly!
I can't stress this highly enough. If your a relatively small business (under 2 million/yr), there's almost no reason to go outside of doing HVAC only or plumbing only. The exception to that rule is if you're an absolutely brand new business and still in survival mode, and need a few one off projects just to survive at all.
But as soon as possible - start specializing in ONE THING! Specializing in just one thing will allow you to 1) get better at it, more quickly 2) charge more 3) stay focused and deliver a better customer experience 4) spend less time and energy on your marketing 5) spend less time on one-off side projects, and more time working ON your business!
Then start expanding - slowly and carefully - as the business becomes self operating.
This goals back to saying NO!
5. Have leads coming in at all times.
ALWAYS have leads coming in, even if you can only afford to spend $100-$200 per month. Rather than holding on to business profits tightly, think of ways to leverage them for growth. Make your money work for you. Always having leads coming in is important to help sustain you during slow times and to keep the confidence of yourself and your team up. A lot of your competitors like to react and respond to the weather; not YOU! You've got to think differently.
6. Follow up faster, follow up more, follow up everywhere.
If your company is the first to make contact with a fresh lead looking for HVAC or plumbing work, you're more likely to book and close that lead. Aim for under 2 minutes from the time you receive the lead till the time you dial.
2 days might not seem like a long time to wait to follow up with a lead. But 2 days - I kid you not - is enough time for someone to forget that they filled out an inquiry form at all. Oh sure. 3 months later they'll remember they need a repair. Once they've forgotten all about you!
If you can get your speed to lead down to 2-3 minutes, you'll have a serious edge.
But don't stop there! Follow up more.
Calling a lead 3-4 times isn't enough. You've got to text & email as well. Looking at our client data, we see about 25% of all leads get booked through text! You can't afford not to text.
Increasing your booking rate by 10% could mean $250k in additional sales next year.
7. Spend more time working ON your business.
Seriously. I realize startup HVAC companies stay very busy, but if you're willing to put in a few extra hours than your competition is, you're already ahead of the game.
8. Read more!
There is a wealth of knowledge from people just like you who've already done what your trying to do. Want to get to $10M/Year+? There are several books on how to do it. Hearing real stories from real people will also help you build your identity and give you more confidence in your vision. (See recommended reading for HVAC companies here.)
Also, if you're a slow reader I highly recommend audio books with audible or some other app. Reading quickly is a challenge for me, but I can listen to audio books at 1.5X the speed and comprehend perfectly.
9. Track all your data.
Track your data. TRACK YOUR DATA!
Track things like...
- What your spending on marketing
- How many leads you get each month
- What your CPL is
- What your booking rate is
- What your closing rate is (on marketed leads)
- What your average cost per new customer acquisition is (by marketing source)
- Your average ticket
- How many new customers send a referral your way
- Your maintenance agreement sign up rate
Once you get 1-2 years of data, you'll become aware of EXACTLY what numbers you need to manipulate to hit future growth goals.
10. Be humble.
Be humble & open minded. Be willing to listen to others and explore new perspectives. This applies to employees, peers, coaches, etc.
If aren't hitting numbers or goals, challenge your way of thinking. How did my current way of thinking lead to this result, and what do I need to change?
Here's a nice little secret: the unsuccessful business owners I talk to are also the loudest and most opinionated.