If you came into my house you would hear a lot of things, but mostly my kids. 

My neighbors can attest to this if you need a reference. 

Being a Louisiana family with five kids it is often everyone grabbing for attention, the moment, or the next word. They are all striving so hard to get the next phrase or sentence in. 

“I can only listen and process so much at a time.” runs out of my mouth at least 50 times a day. Though I want to hear everything my kids are saying (depending on the day) I physically and mentally can not take it all in unless I slow all the incoming messages down, and focus on one at a time. 

You may be thinking, what the h3LL does this have to do with growing my HVAC business? 

The truth is, there are so many people that are going to come with valuable insights on the “correct” strategies to grow your business. While they may be great, you are only able to really process a certain amount at a time, and when it comes to business it is a lot more than processing. 

Knowing what my son ate for breakfast can be heard, processed, and forgotten (hopefully) but proven strategies to grow your business must be heard (or read in this case), processed, applied, communicated, and implemented before they ever make real lasting change in your business. 

At Clover, we believe that knowledge is potential power, but to really move the needle you have to implement. So instead of giving you the sexy 7, 10, or top 50 things to grow your business. We chose to start with just three of the main foundational principles for growing your business. 

 

Foundational Principle #1: 

Know your numbers  

I’m going to give you the three reasons why this is important first, then give some practical ways for application. Depending on luck, previous skill, and timing, you can get results, but from talking with most of the top contractors in the industry over my career, knowing your numbers is crucial to avoiding the plateaus and pitfalls to take the next step. 

Knowing your numbers : 

  1. Provides confidence in decision making
  2. Indicates what is working and what is not 
  3. Provides clarity of direction the business is heading 

Before we jump into this: You may be a person who is numbers and data-driven (Like Josh) and just gravitates toward numbers and it is never intimidating. Although, you could be like countless other business owners that we have connected with, that the idea of tracking, reporting, and understanding a PNL is overwhelming. So all of this might sound like a breeze or it may seem complicated, but it’s a pretty simple concept when you break it down. 

The Goal in knowing your numbers is to understand exactly where your money is coming from and where it’s going so you can make the very best decisions for your business and life. 

Here are a couple of big buckets to track, and some quick implementable tracking sheets you can use to start moving the needle. 

What you are bringing in: Revenue

This is probably the most common metric that is being tracked in business; however, the question here is not “Do you know your revenue,”

Most business owners and entrepreneurs can spout out what they are generating monthly or annually.

In order for this to be useful, providing confidence in decision making, telling you what levers are working or not, and giving you clarity of directions you need to take, tracking this on a daily basis is key. 

We at Clover use the DP Report and we go through it as a team daily, to track our current progress toward the goal and to pivot as a team as necessary. The whole meeting takes about 30 min and is crucial to our success. This not only is great for the results but also affects the culture as well. Creating a culture of people caring, and generating ideas around revenue with only a 30 min-a-day investment. Sounds like a dream, well it can be your reality by doing this daily. 

What you are putting out: Expenses 

Expense tracking is done in multiple ways and can seem pointless if done poorly. Budgets are great, and knowing where every dollar went is important, but knowing how much money you spent on electricity last month is not what I am talking about here. 

If you want more on expense tracking look here: Stop the Drip: How to Analyze your home service PNL 

Here I am referring to the specific expense categories that you are spending money on frequently and usually a lot of it. Marketing,  Labor, and Equipment / Materials. 

Most of the loss in the HVAC business is in the gross margin. Tracking these below can really help you make the most of every job. 

  • Marketing
  • Labor
  • Equipment / Material

But here’s the point…

Having a clear outcome and a way to measure that outcome is critical to understanding what’s working and how to strategically move your business forward.

The important part, we’ve found, is to get started.

We know there’s always room for improvement in the way we collect and interpret data. But if we never got started, we would have never gotten to where we are now.

Tracking and understanding your numbers is like turning on the lights in a large house you’ve never been to before. Sure, you don’t know what’s around every corner—but you have a much better idea than if you keep the lights off. 

Start tracking these things by calculating the ROI, setting goals/targets, and begin communicating them in the form of KPIs to your team. 

 

Foundational Principle #2:

Create USP Branding 

A unique selling proposition, more commonly referred to as a USP, is the one thing that makes your business better or different from the competition. It is a benefit that allows your business to stand out in a crowd of other businesses that may do the same industry of work. Forming a USP helps focus your marketing strategy and influences how you speak, how you look, and how you are perceived by your audience. 

At the core, a USP should quickly answer a potential customer’s most immediate question when they encounter your brand:

“What makes you different from the competition?”

Your USP displays your strength and speaks to directly what is most valuable to your potential customers. 

A compelling USP should be:

  • Clear: 
      • “If you confuse, you lose” Donald Miller
      • Clarity is extremely important, if your USP doesn’t make sense, it communicates nothing.
  • Caring: 
      • Speaking to the care of the customers is important. 
      • I do not mean that your USP must be “Caring” in nature, I mean it must be something that your audience cares about. 
      • If they do not care, it communicates nothing. 
  • Consistent: 
    • While a slogan is a way your USP can be communicated, it shouldn’t stop there. 
    • For a USP to be really effective, it must be seen, experienced, and felt by your customers through every part of your journey. 
    • If the USP is not consistent it communicates nothing.

Foundational Principle #3:

Learn From Others

Many people in business often think that business coaches, consultants, or teachers are not valuable to them. (and I’m with you to some degree, some are not) 

You must be extremely cautious when choosing a coach. If you need more on how to choose a coach, check out this post that gives you some great insights and filters on how to do this. 

Having someone that has been where you are, overcome the struggles you are facing, and have seen what you are experiencing can take years off of the learning curve.

Bringing outside influences into your business that are not as close to the business, offers an immense amount of valuable insight. 

 

Three main benefits of business Coaches: 

  • Identify Problems: 
    1. Coaches can help you identify the problems you may or not have seen in your business. Because we are all so close to our businesses, we can often become numb consciously or subconsciously to issues around us. Bringing in a coach helps us look at things from a different perspective, and allows us to face things we may not have seen before. These can have huge dividends of growth in your business. 
  • Avoid Issues 
      1. Coaches can also help you avoid problems before they happen. Great Coaches have been where you are and can identify potential problems before they happen. Need I say more on this? This is a huge benefit. By not having to experience the cost of not knowing, you can not only save time but also lots of cash. 
  • Work through Challenges 
    1. Coaches, Coach. As we discussed they can see problems, avoid problems, and most importantly work through current challenges. Coaches help you by being available to you during the challenges you are facing. It is a person that, in the moment, can offer insight into what needs to be done. Who wouldn’t want someone like that? 

Working through these foundational principles will begin moving you in the direction of growth immediately. 

 

Stay tuned for more blogs coming soon. 

 

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