HVAC business owners are often torn between being able to serve their customers efficiently and keeping operating costs down. Often as an HVAC business is starting out, the manager is caught between being able to serve customers by always having technicians able to deploy at a moment's notice and having too many workers sitting idle, waiting for those calls to come in.
It's a difficult juggling act, but there are a few ways HVAC service businesses can satisfy customers without harming their budgets. By following these tips, you can save money and ensure you'll stay in business for many years.
- Make workers more flexible. HVAC service workers shouldn't be tied to an office. They should be in the field, where they can leave directly from one job to go to the next. Hire workers who might be open to working flexible hours in exchange for working from home. Those workers could always be on call, working part-time one week while collecting overtime the next, based on workload.
- Hire part-time workers. In addition to your full-time staff, choose workers who will be willing to remain on call for overflow work when your full-time staff has more jobs than they can handle. With many unemployed workers, this can be an option to continue to put money in the bank as they look to full-time work. This is also a great way to try out workers before committing to a full-time position for them.
- Consider retirees. The number of people at retirement age is at an all-time high and, with people living longer than ever, there are quite a few retirees who are still active and able to work. This provides a viable workforce of individuals who would love to keep working without committing to full-time employment. Retired HVAC workers have valuable experience that can greatly benefit your customers and organization.
- Contract work out. There are organizations that specialize in providing workers to HVAC service businesses at an hourly rate. Check with some of these businesses and determine if they can provide the staff in the timely manner you need in order to handle any emergency calls that come in.
- Give full-time workers other tasks. When calls aren't coming in, consider commissioning your regular HVAC workers to do other things, like help with marketing tasks. If you need coupons mailed out, for instance, have these workers stuff envelopes or take mail-outs to the post office. While this may not be the workers' area of expertise, you'll be able to keep your workers productive while still having them available if a call should come in.
HVAC businesses must find ways to keep labor costs low while still keeping workers on hand for when urgent calls come in. This is an ongoing challenge, but by being flexible with hiring practices. HVAC service businesses can continue to operate efficiently while keeping customers happy.
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