In HVAC as it is with all field services businesses, it usually starts as a one or two man band and grows from there – getting bigger and bigger (sometimes really quickly and others are a medium pace).
More often than not, though, something goes pear shaped and this causes a shrink back in size. it then starts all over again – a cycle of growing and contracting.
What is actually happening during these cycles? Unfortunately none of this is due to lack of hard work; we know for a fact the growth is because of extremely hard work but often that growth is being undermined by the failure to systemize and automate processes to sustain the growth.
It is possible to grow with just working your butt off but it’s not sustainable because you end up creating a key-man risk where one person becomes the hub of everything and that means that person can’t take a break or that person gets injured or burnt out because there is never any down time.
So you want to create a situation where as you grow you build a repeatable business underpinning it all. What is a business? It’s a funny question. What is a business?
It’s a group of people running around doing stuff providing a service….. Not really, it’s a group of people and systems operating autonomously without a leader. That’s a business. Otherwise, it’s just a bunch of people working their butts off with no clear direction aligned that everyone has signed up to.
A business really should be supported by systemization; otherwise, it’s just this expansion, contraction and expansion, contraction OR expansion and collapse!
The systematization of a business allows you to scale and here at FieldInsight we’re working really hard to build out a set of systems for HVAC businesses to help them systemise and to give a template to work from. A set of different systems supported by our software to help automate parts of your operations to increase efficiencies and bring repeatability to your day to day.
Would you like things to be easy?
Our goal is to simplify the process and make it easy….you can take those templates and stick them on Google Drive (or equivalent) and build out a process register. You can share these documents/templates with your team and its visible to everyone.
Systems, templates and training – all of these operate together to give you the foundations for a business that will scale and grow and not be constrained by inconsistencies. You would have seen our 3 Pillar Process we use to ensure you get the right start using our software.
The best part is, job management software can improve the adherence to your systems; you can control what is meant to happen at each point in the process; ie
- this checklist is completed when you start a job
- this information is processed when I send out an invoice
- I take this step when a job goes outside of parameters (time, cost etc)
It’s one thing to have the system, but quite another to ensure people follow it and check it off. This is where software automation gives you the WHAM factor…..when its not followed and checked off you can action it straight away – it sticks out like a sore thumb when someone hasn’t done something the way it is supposed to be.
It gives you the chance to manage it at the time, not days/weeks later and at an in-measurable cost to your business for loss/reputation.
It has nothing to do with hard work, it’s just people get distracted and if there isn’t a process supported by automation in job scheduling software for assuring adherence, stuff gets done once, twice if you’re lucky, three times is a miracle, and then never again. You need to systemize and automate.
It’s like a dream really when everything runs as it should… wouldn’t it be great if that was the norm
(not an exception!)
So if you’re thinking “Man this is the umpteenth time this problem’s occurred, more hvac problems” just think is it missing a system? Even a small business executing against their own systems makes it look easy….someone new comes in you can say, “Hey look, this is the system I use. I want you to start doing that now.”
- It validates that it works, because you’ve done it
- You can train it up really well ’cause you know how to do it’
- It’s written down somewhere and someone else can follow it
Growing your business is a lottery without systems and more like Russian roulette without automation ’cause at some stage, that guns gonna be loaded and it’s gonna to blow’.
Or it’s just gonna be another contraction and build up again and that’s frustrating. As a small business owner and an entrepreneur you’re driven to build something for yourself and your family, that imminent frustration of watching it all slip through your fingers for a second or a third time, or probably the first time is the most shocking time. That can be stopped.
You need Help….dont think you have to do it alone
I believe the value of a Business Coach to help Businesses avoid some of the pit falls for setting up repeatability within their business (regardless of industry). I think the right business coach for the right stage of your business is invaluable. A good business coach is someone who has been exposed to hundreds of other people/businesses and condensed that experience into something which you can understand and allow you to ask questions and solve your specific problems.
Steps you can take:
- Work out what stage your business is at and make sure your energy is focused on the right thing for that stage.
- If you’ve got sales and marketing going really well then you’re problem might be
- delivery or
Work out what area you’re gonna focus on and nail that one before moving on. We have all experienced something working well in one area will probably break something somewhere else….so always looking for the area of focus will help you plan for those difficulties.
Nobody likes writing stuff down and many find it difficult to get organized in this manner. Get someone to help you write them down if you need to – hire in someone who can help you map out those processes, get the support of your software partner to help map out your workflows.
Get them written down and somewhere where everyone has access to the same stuff. Share it with your team. We talk our own talk and use FieldInsight to manage our checklists to make sure that a process is executed when it’s meant to be executed and it can’t be completed until that checklist is done. That’s us managing adherence.
I’ve tried systems and processes before and I’ve written them and I’ve prayed someone will read them and I’ve emailed them out and I’ve brought people in and I’ve showed them. Consistent execution has always been the problem (not willingness). They don’t get executed because there’s no follow up or visibility that somene has missed a step. Seeing this a glance gives us the control we need to grow and expand in consistent/repeatable manner.
Challenge: Systemize one system this week. Get a system in place and see the difference it makes. Let us a note below to tell us how you went….would love that chance to converse with you on it 🙂
All right. Take care. Have a great week everyone.