HVACR Business

MAR 2014

Help hvacr contractors master the critical components of business management.

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HVACRBUSINESS.COM HVACR BUSINESS M A RC H 2 0 1 4 5 Terry Tanker Publisher ttanker@hvacrbusiness.com Jack Hutchinson Vice President Sales jhutchinson@hvacrbusiness.com Jim McDermott Vice President Editorial Director jmcdermott@hvacrbusiness.com Jenn Lonzer Managing Editor, MA jlonzer@hvacrbusiness.com Megan LaSalla Art Director mlasalla@hvacrbusiness.com Angela Vannucci Circulation Manager avannucci@hvacrbusiness.com Barbara Kerr Executive Assistant bkerr@hvacrbusiness.com submissions editorial submissions: jlonzer@hvacrbusiness.com advertising staff SOUTH CENTRAL SOUTH EAST Jack Hutchinson Vice President Tel 440-471-7810 Fax 440-471-7943 jhutchinson@hvacrbusiness.com MIDWEST Mark A. Wiebusch Midwest Regional Sales Manager Tel 440-835-9733 Fax 440-835-9734 Cell 440-915-4773 mwiebusch@hvacrbusiness.com EAST COAST Jim Clifford East Coast Regional Sales Manager Tel 201-362-5561 Fax 201-334-9186 jclifford@hvacrbusiness.com WEST COAST Terry Tanker Publisher Tel 440-471-7810 Fax 440-471-7943 ttanker@hvacrbusiness.com HVACR Business, founded January 1981, is a monthly national trade magazine serving contractors, mechanical engineers, manufacturers, manufacturer represen- tatives, wholesalers, distributors, trade associations, and others in the heating, ven- tilating, air conditioning and refrigerating (HVACR) industry primarily in the USA. HVACR Business does not pass judgment on subjects of controversy nor enter into dispute with or between any individuals or organizations. HVACR Business is also an independent forum for the expression of opinions relevant to industry issues. Letters to the editor and by-lined articles express the views of the author and not necessarily of the publisher or the publication. Every effort is made to provide accu- rate information; however, publisher assumes no responsibility for accuracy of sub- mitted advertising and editorial information. Non-commissioned articles and news releases cannot be acknowledged. Unsolicited materials cannot be returned nor will this organization assume responsibility for their care. HVACR Business does not en- dorse any products, programs or services of advertisers or editorial contributors. Copyright©2012 by Hutchinson Tanker Ltd. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, or by recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system, without written permission from the publisher. Subscription Rates: Free and controlled circulation to qualifed subscribers. Non- qualifed persons may subscribe at the following rates: U.S. and possessions: 1 year $48; 2 years $75; 3 years $96; Canadian and foreign, 1-year $108 U.S. funds only. Single copies $8. Subscriptions are prepaid, and check or money orders only. Subscriber Services: To order a subscription or change your address, write to HVACR Business, 24651 Center Ridge Road, Suite 425, Westlake, Ohio, 44145 or call (440) 471-7810; or visit our Web site at www.hvacrbusiness.com. For questions regarding your subscription, please contact bkerr@hvacrbusiness.com. HVACR Business (ISSN 2153-2877) Published monthly by Hutchinson Tanker Ltd., 24651 Center Ridge Road, Suite 425, Westlake, Ohio, 44145. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to HVACR Business, 24651 Center Ridge Road, Suite 425, Westlake, Ohio, 44145. Periodicals postage paid at Cleveland, OH and additional mailing offces. (USPS 025-431) www.hvacrbusiness.com THE HVACR MANAGEMENT MAGAZINE 24651 Center Ridge Road, Suite 425 Westlake, OH 44145 Tel: (440) 471-7810 Fax: (440) 471-7943 Web site: www.hvacrbusiness.com (ISSN: 2153-2877) Publisher's Page BY TERRY TANKER Winners and Losers T he difference between winners and losers is how they handle losing. Let's face it: you're not going to win every time. An effective leader must be resilient because no one can win all the time. The pitfalls and troubles that come with owning and operating a business are immense. As the old saying goes, "if it were easy anyone could do it." The fact of the matter is that it is not easy. It's far from it. Entrepreneurs must be willing to fail and try again — to learn how to come back after setbacks and, most importantly, to avoid making those same mistakes time after time. The last several years have tested our management skills, as disruptions and setbacks seem almost common — even among the most successful companies. Resilience, according to Webster's, is the ability to recover from change or misfortune and become successful again. This resilience is the ability to adapt, and it builds confdence in those leaders willing to get back up and try again. Successful people will tell you they've learned more from their failures than their successes. To quote Dale Carnegie, "The successful man will proft from his mistakes and try again in a different way." For those of us who watched the Olympics, there were dozens of inspirational examples and stories of athletes whose resilience and ability to overcome adversity ultimately landed them on the podium. Business owners rarely have such publicity and acknowledgement of what they've overcome. However, the most important people in your life (i.e., your family, friends and co-workers) are always watching. Ultimately, this builds a stronger network and team moving forward. The adversity we deal with generally falls into two categories: circumstances outside our control; and those roadblocks we put in our own path. The winter of 2013-2014 has presented signifcant opportunities for HVACR contractors, as it well documented that our industry prospers on weather extremes and the associated equipment failures. But this winter has also been challenging. I've spoken with dozens of you who have more work than you can handle and are dealing with employee burnout, especially the service techs on the front line. Many of you have been down this path before, the question is: what to do now? What did you learn in previous years when we faced what seemed like a never-ending winter? Did you turn down work? Were you honest with customers about long lead times? Did you hire additional, perhaps temporary, staff? How did these decisions play out for you in the past? As business owners, it can seem heartbreaking to turn down good money, especially for after-hours emergency repairs and installs. Sometimes hiring new employees can help lighten the load; sometimes, if we're rushed through the hiring process, we make hasty decisions and end up hiring inexperienced people who tarnish our brands. It helps to take a step back — if only for a moment — to consider past decisions so we don't keep repeating the same mistakes. Of course, weather is just one unpredictable circumstance that can impact our business. What about those factors actually in your control? The self-inficted wounds? One common regret of business owners is that they failed to view a specifc line item as an investment rather than an expense. Investments involve a temporary outlay of cash or time. Good investments generate returns over and above the initial cost. For example, some business owners don't invest in employee education and training. They can't afford it, or are concerned that once properly trained, the employee may leave for a different, higher paying job. The irony here is that if you don't invest in your employee's training, they are likely to pursue opportunities in companies that do offer educational programs. Marketing is another line item that is an invest- ment, not an expense. Marketing and advertising generate sales and sales leads, and you would have signifcantly less business without them. Sometimes, new trends like social media stop us in our tracks. You might wonder if it's just a fad or a lasting change worth the investment of time and money. Let your past experiences guide your decisions they will help you make better choices. Entrepreneurs take calculated risks. They view mistakes as learning opportunities. When they fall, they may feel sorry for themselves for a few minutes, but they pick themselves up and begin again with new perspectives. n

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