How Efficient is Your Home Efficiency Business?

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Muda in home performance - Waste reduces value and hurts profits

We talk a lot about “efficiency” and “reducing waste” in homes. But what about efficiency and reducing waste in our home improvement businesses? Can we get do better by getting leaner?

Lean home performance is an approach to design delivery systems, whether we’re talking audit, air-sealing, or air-conditioning, to minimize waste of materials, time, and effort in order to generate ...

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Building Quality with Intention

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Quality - Foster QuoteQuality doesn’t come from an inspection after the work is done. Instead, it is built in, from the beginning.

It must begin with intention not just on the immediate outcome, but as part of a process of continual improvement, always searching to increase value.

In the home improvement world, make sure that value includes not just how well you’ve air-sealed around ...

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Don’t let sunk costs rule your business

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Watch out for the sunk cost trap.Contractor: “I hate our new CRM system system.”

Me: “What don’t you like about it?”

Contractor: “It’s too hard to modify for our business. And the mobile app is clunky. Half the time the guys can’t use it and they’re either calling into the office or just missing things. I can’t really blame them though–it is hard to ...

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Your Weekly Sales Meeting Can Help You Sell!

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Home Performance Sales Meeting Infographic 3Dusting off and reworking a post from a couple of years ago because it’s still too true today! Many of you aren’t having regular sales meetings, meetings not just to meet, but to improve sales performance. Others aren’t sure what to do in a sales meetings. Let’s change that.

Next Monday morning—I like Mondays, but choose whatever slower sales morning works best for your team—start to turn ...

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Opportunity with a First Call Close

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Many home performance contractors, and even a surprising (to me anyway) number of HVAC contractors, have a multi-visit sales approach, or its evil cousin where a proposal is sent to the potential client some time, some long time, after the first visit, but without any further homeowner contact.

Opportunity

It doesn’t have to be that way. Even for contractors with average project sizes of $40,000, first-time closes are possible for as many as one-third of the sales. This is a big ...

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6 Ways to Screw Up Hiring a New Sales Person

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Following on yesterday’s post about good people in the industry, I wanted to talk a bit about hiring.

I’m working with a few contractors who are looking for additional sales staff right now.

Hiring good folks is difficult. Hiring good home performance sales people…that can be very difficult. This is particularly true if you’re some of these classic blunders in your recruiting and hiring process, making it harder to find and hire the right sales person.

How can you find the wrong ...

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Thanks for the people

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RR quoteOne of the great things about this industry is the people I’ve had the chance to work with. And hope to work with again.

I’m grateful for that.

Contractors (and everyone else), when you’re hiring, you want to add to that collection. Most of the technical skills they’ll need can be taught. Character can be, too, but that’s much harder and my less likely ...

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Owner’s Salary v. Profit

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I had this conversation again.

The owner’s salary is not profit. And the owner’s salary shouldn’t come out of profit.

If the owner works in the field, her salary comes from the cost of sales just like any other crew person. If she works in the office, her salary is built into the overhead, just like the person who answers the phone.

This salary is a cost of doing business. If the owner wasn’t there, she’d have to pay someone else to the ...

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Program Folks, What’s the Value Proposition for Contractors?

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<Insert the sound of my palm hitting my forward here>

Potential Client X recently launched a pilot efficiency program. Following a long-standing tradition, they designed the program without talking to the contractors that they want to participate. They’ve got some robust technical training, and mentors whose field M.O. leans heavily toward the “you’re an idiot; here’s how to do it the right way” rather than “let’s see how we can help you do this and still make money”.

Strangely enough (or ...

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Going for cheap

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In our industry, the company trying to win every project with the lowest price is often the one who goes out of business.

Or arguably worse, stays in business, and struggles and stresses every week to keep things going, hiding from a supplier so they can make payroll this week. Maybe doing subpar work along the way.

Being the least expensive shouldn’t be your goal. And it doesn’t have to be if you provide value, including the things that make a ...

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