Experts say most of us give up on our New Year's resolutions by mid-January. You're a business leader, so you're better than that!
Here are 4 key things to prepare for a great season:
Grow your team's capabilities with training. Develop other leaders in your business. Stop trying to do everything yourself. Be more prepared to take on new challenges. Take advantage of the slow season to work on crew leader development, technician training and correcting skill gaps. Build a team that's self-motivated and ready to take on new challenges.
Prepare for up-selling opportunities. The economy is strong. Earn more revenue without adding employees by focusing on enhancements. Set a goal to sell more add-ons and upgrades. These take a little more time to install, but offer a significant boost to your profitability. Ask us for ideas.
Review pricing opportunities. Most contractors have been too slow to raise prices in a strong market. Review your situation and consider a significant change this year. In most contracting businesses, you can raise prices 5% and reduce workload by 15% and still break even! If you have more work than you can handle, you're probably not charging enough.
Strengthen your business for the future. Don't lose the success that you've built. Develop a long term plan for your future. Put a plan in motion to achieve your long term goals while the market is booming.
The Team at North South Supply
How Flow Sensors Are Making Irrigation Smarter
How can an irrigation system notify you or your customer when it has a problem?
A flow sensor is a smart new way to report overflow or underflow conditions. When paired with a master valve, the system can even shut itself down when it needs to.
A flow sensor helps with 2 concerns: 1) Underflow conditions indicate watering isn't occurring, alerting before plants die due to lack of water. Underflow can also mean problems with pumps that if detected early can prevent significant damage. 2) Overflow conditions indicate wasted water due to line breaks, broken sprinklers or a stuck valve.
A flow sensor can alert you to these conditions before they cause problems for your customer.
When a change in normal flow occurs, some controllers can send an email or text message to notify someone that there is a problem, and will shut down the problem zone or the master valve if it sees the change on all the zones. Other systems just put an alarm on the controller display. There are a lot of options to fit most systems. The potential savings and peace of mind are well worth it.
Keeping your team motivated and productive can dramatically increase your success.
Leaders can encourage peak performance from their team by providing tools and supplies that make the job go easier. Your team will be able to complete tasks with less fatigue even on the longest days. And that keeps them happy too.
This video details some smart Christy's supplies to equip your team.
Use Smart Technology to Improve Your Level of Service
Imagine knowing there is an issue in a system you installed before the homeowner knows. We're talking about a new generation of Smart Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) that are rapidly increasing the service level contractors can offer to end-consumers.
If you're not a regular VFD installer, you may not be aware how quickly this technology has evolved. Traditionally, the VFD's primary selling feature has been constant pressure. Without a VFD, a pump operates ON at full blast or completely OFF, and nowhere in between. A VFD allows the pump to start with a low rush amperage and slowly ease into its cycle, extending the life of the pump.
Recent advances have added smart technology to VFDs. This typically takes the form of an add-on device that links to your VFD via Wi-Fi or Ethernet cable. System professionals can gain access to various features of the installed VFD. At the most basic level, the system will send alarms via email or text message when the drive is in a fault condition. On more advanced devices, you can remotely access the VFD with an app to monitor or even change settings - from anywhere in the world, in real-time.
Collaborate with your North South representative to obtain updated quotes prior to bid. Include material cost increase clauses in your bid documents.
While material cost increases may seem to be bad, discover how they can help you. They are an opportunity for you to raise your pricing to achieve a higher profit level. We hope you take advantage of this opportunity!
And there were a couple of customers who drove you crazy with unreasonable demands and abusive behavior.
It might be time to say "goodbye"?
Here are some criteria to consider as you're weeding your client list this winter:
Never Pleased. These are typically customers with finicky preferences, odd-requests and expectations that you'll do lots of extras for free. They want 80% of your time, but contribute very little revenue.
Abusive Customers. Don't allow customers to be mean, condescending and rude to your employees. It hurts morale. It's disrespectful. Draw a line and let them know you won't tolerate it. Your team will thank you!
Slow Pay. You deserve to be paid fairly and on-time. You shouldn't take on financial risks to take care of clients.
Bad Ethics. Avoid associating your company's reputation with customers who don't match your values. Clients who ask you to cheat, cut corners or break laws should be first to go.
Fill your list with great customers. There are plenty out there!