October ♦ 2017
In This Issue...
Meet Our Team [Bill Kinnard]
Is Your Company Prepared for an Unexpected Storm? [Tom Grandy]
Outdoor Signage: Do's and Don'ts [Nancy O'Hare-Zika]
Set Personal Goals [Tom Grandy]
Planning For Profit: Workshops locations available [Grandy & Associates]
Profit University Audio Series: Managing Stress Through Humor [Jeff Justice]
Meet Our Team
Meet our Training Team! Like any great company, it takes a team of dedicated individuals working toward the same goal to accomplish a stated vision. The mission of Grandy & Associates is to teach contractors how to run a profitable business. That mission is being accomplished each day due to the combined efforts of the following individuals.
Bill Kinnard, President
Bill joined Grandy & Associates in 2005 and is the President of Grandy & Associates. Bill has 29 years in the trades industry with experience in HVAC sales, service management, sales management and customer service. Bill has worked with both large and small companies and has a passion for teaching contractors to better understand their businesses and help their employees become superior performers.
Tom Grandy, Founder
Tom Grandy is the founder of Grandy & Associates. Tom is an industrial engineer by training, has worked as the general manager of a service company and was previously the Director of Company Development for Dial One franchise. Tom founded Grandy & Associates in 1987 to teach contractors how to run profitable businesses.
Rob Rusniaczek, Trainer & Business Consultant
Rob joined Grandy & Associates in 2015. As an engineer and entrepreneur, Rob has over 25 years of experience in business. He has worked as Director of Operations, responsible for HVAC sales, service management, implementing technologies and day-to-day operations.
Patrick Chapman, Trainer & Business Consultant
Patrick joined the Grandy team in 2017. He has 17 years industry experience including warehouse and inventory management, service management, new construction management, installation inspections, and HVAC sales as a home comfort consultant. He also served in the role of Territory Manager with CE Southeast.
Gene Heacock, Team Solutions Manager
Gene joined Grandy & Associates in 2014 as the person in charge of our Team Solutions division. He brings a wealth of experience in personel training that will enhance any business and help make our customers more profitable.
[Back to Top]
Is Your Company Prepared for an Unexpected Sortm?
by Tom Grandy
This article is being written less than 24 hours before Hurricane Irma is set to make landfall in Florida. Just a week or two back Hurricane Harvey hit Texas and Louisiana leaving many dead and untold damage. It seems that the government has learned a few things from past storms and appeared to be well prepared for Harvey and Irma. Past mistakes can be very useful if we learn from them in terms of preparing for the future.
The business world has similar storms that hit, sometimes with warning and sometimes without warning. The weather can take a drastic turn causing the business to be super busy or perhaps experience an unexpected “slow season”. The general economy can rapidly change causing individuals to feel good, and ready to spend more money than expected, or perhaps the economy turns sour causing people to hold onto their cash. A sudden change in interest rates can make borrowing more difficult and therefore cause unexpected cash flow issues. Smaller storms (raising medical insurance costs, a gasoline spike, or a shortage of available techs just when business is picking up) can occur at any time. The question is the same one the government faced, are we prepared with a plan in place……just in case the next storm hits us?
None of us can ever be totally prepared for every storm but we can take some logically steps to help prepare ourselves, should the storm come.
- Review Your P/L with Your CPA – Few small business owners meet with their CPA except at tax time. CPA’s are trained for taxes but good ones also have the ability to look at your numbers and offer helpful insights. Outside eyes often see things we don’t. My suggestion is simple: Meet with your CPA within 15 days of the close of each month to review and analyze your numbers.
- Create Cash Reserves – Few things help you whether an unexpected storm more than cash in the bank. As a matter of fact, cash in the bank can also help you sleep well at night. My suggestion: Build a cash reserve dollar amount into your overhead and therefore into your pricing. Each month take those dollars out and place them in a mutual fund or savings account. The goal is to have enough cash reserves to cover 3-6 months of fixed overhead.
- Pay off Debt ASAP – Debt causes pressure on the owner and especially on the owner’s wife. Fixed debt payments are just that, “fixed”. If a storm were to come those payments still have to be made. Take the pressure off yourself and the company. My suggestion: Accelerate debt repayment by building extra payments into your budget and therefore into your pricing.
- Focus on YOUR Business - When a storm arrives the tendency is to look and see what others are doing. Wrong…focus on YOUR business. Who cares what others are doing. You are only accountable for decisions YOU make concerning your business. My suggestion: Forget others and focus on what can be done to improve your situation.
- Minimize Overhead Costs – When sales are up year after year the tendency is to spend more. Why not, you can afford it! That is a great theory…..as long as sales continue to go up. Increasing sales tend to cover up a lot of problems. When things are good, that is the time to reduce overhead while you can. My suggestion: Review your total overhead, fixed and variable, with the entire management team and set goals in terms of reducing the cost of overhead.
- Reward Performance You Want Repeated – When storms come, retaining employees can often be difficult. One of the keys is to reward behavior you want repeated. That means setting specific productivity and profit goal for every position within the company. If the employee exceeds their goals, reward them for it. Most individuals will meet, or exceed goals when they are set and especially if there is a vested interest in doing so. My suggestion: Look at every position, management to techs, and set performance goals. Measure performance against those goals each month and reward those who hit them or exceed them.
- Understand the Business Side of Your Business – Most companies that go out of business, storm or no storm, go out because they don’t understand the “business side” of their business. The tendency is to think that bringing in a lot of money “must” mean you are making a profit. That can be true, but it doesn’t always happen that way. My suggestion: Invest some time and money into learning the “business side” of your business. If the storm comes, you will be prepared. If the storm does not come you will simply make a bit more money that you would have otherwise.
Weathering a storm requires planning and execution. I would suggest you seriously think about one of the areas we just touched on and get it accomplished. That will bring you one step closer to weathering the next storm no matter when it might occur.
Preparing for storms really means planning ahead. This month’s Website Special is a great planning tool. Our Labor Pricing modeling software will allow you look forward and do some “what if’s” to see how possible changes will affect your hourly rate, cash flow and overall profitability. The software is normally $399.95 but this month it is only $299.95. This industry leading software is 100% warrantied. If you don’t like it, send it back for a full refund. Order today and join the thousands of happy users.
Like all our products if you are not 100% happy simply return it for a full refund no questions asked.
[Back to Top]
Outdoor Signage: Do's and Don'ts
By Nancy O'Hare-Zika
“Sign, sign, everywhere a sign…Blockin' out the scenery, breakin' my mind…
Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign?” These are lyrics from the 1971 song "Signs" by the Five Man Electrical Band and could arguably serve as the marketing theme song for any company’s outdoor signage campaign.
Outdoor signage, namely billboards, have a definite place in a marketing plan. They CAN be a very effective campaign tool IF the message is effective and the board itself is placed properly. I especially like billboards in smaller markets of 75,000 people or less. Billboards can also serve as the first calling card into a new market when spreading your services to a new area. But, like anything in marketing, it needs to be done properly.
A few things come to mind immediately when someone asks me for my opinion on outdoor signage. First and foremost… location, location, location. If you have the desire to place outdoor signage, PLEASE invest the time yourself or enlist someone you trust to actually go out and scope out the options. The local billboard representative will give you what they call “avails” and a map as to the exact location of your choices. I have heard stories of billboards that are wonderful in the winter when foliage on the trees is at a minimum… but in the middle of July, the entire board is obstructed when the trees are in full bloom. In larger areas, as infrastructure such as buildings and roadways change, boards that were once in a prime location may be completely devalued due to structural interference. Don’t get stuck paying for a board with an obstructed view; be patient and the perfect board will come along.
If possible, select a “same side view” board versus a “cross traffic view” board. This means that the billboard is located on the same side of the road as the car viewing it and does not force the driver to look across traffic to the other side of the road to view your message. This is not a deal breaker, but whenever possible, I choose “same side” placement.
When deciding on messaging… the KISS theory (“Keep it Simple Stupid”) applies. I like to see the company logo and URL placed along the bottom edge of the board. There is NO need for telephone numbers. In our industry, billboards are for branding…not “Call to Action”. People are driving while viewing your message. They are NOT going to pick up the phone and give you a jingle at that very moment, which makes phone numbers an unnecessary piece of information. If you're concerned with “tracking” your campaign, consider investing your money in other types of marketing because billboards are not a trackable form of marketing. As much as the Billboard company's reps will tell you differently, it's nonsense.
In keeping with the “KISS” theme, your message should be 10 words or less in a font that is easy to read. Sans-Serif fonts such as Arial, Calibri, Verdana, Tahoma, Helvetica and Lucinda Grande are the most commonly recommended.
When it comes to color selection, Black on Yellow, Black on White, Yellow on Black, White on Black, and Blue on White are known for being the most vibrant and “pleasing to the eye." Of course, you need to take your company logo into consideration and find a color scheme that marries well with it.
Creativity is a major player in the success of an outdoor billboard campaign. The most effective, award-winning billboard creations are always short and sweet. The more clever... the better. Enlist the help of a graphic designer or a marketing agency, or perhaps hold a contest at a local university to see what type of creative concepts you can tap in to.
Outdoor signage is a relatively simple process that can definitely yield positive results. In order to get the best rate, I would recommend committing to a one year contract with a new board each month. People will come to anticipate the next board. Stick to the same general theme…but change up the creative message.Most importantly--- K.I.S.S!
* Nancy O'Hare-Zika is the co-owner of Swick Media Services, a Michigan based media company that focuses on the marketing needs of companies in the PHCE industry. You can find more information from Nancy O'Hare-Zika at: www.SwickMediaServices.com.
[Back to Top]
Set Personal Goals
By Tom Grandy
Great athletes don’t become great overnight. They work hard every day and try to get a little better each time they practice and/or play a game. Gradual improvement eventually accomplishes great things. Bottom line? Set a goal and move towards it … daily!
Yes, pick daily goals to shoot for. It might be a performance goal if you are paid on a commission basis. Each day try to earn an extra $10.00. That may not seem like much but that would be an additional $50 a week or over $200 in a month. Imagine the numbers if you worked toward that goal month after month!
Your goal might to have a great attitude that creates at least one smile from your customers each day. How about a goal of show up on time…every day! Perhaps your goal is try to help one of the other techs get a bit better each day. What the goal is not nearly as important as simply setting a goal and working towards it. This simple process will help you become a better person and a better employee every day. You might even want to write your goals down and post them someplace where you will see them every day.
Web Site Special
If you goal is to move into management than invest in your future. You might want to purchase a copy of Grandy & Associates Labor Pricing modeling software. That way you can start learning the “business side” of the business in preparation for being a future manager or owner one day. This month’s Website Special is a great planning tool. Our Labor Pricing modeling software will allow you look forward and do some “what if’s” to see how possible changes will affect your hourly rate, cash flow and overall profitability. The software is normally $399.95 but this month it is only $299.95. This industry leading software is 100% warrantied. If you don’t like it, send it back for a full refund. Order today and join the thousands of happy users.
Like all our products, if you are not 100% happy simply return it for a full refund, no questions asked.
[Back to Top]
Planning for Profit: Workshop locations available on our web site
Planning for Profit seminars are two-day workshops held around the country and are in-depth trainings on how to significantly increase profitability.
You will learn exactly what you have to charge per hour to cover costs while generating the profits you want. The program will also create month-by-month, department-by-department cash flow budgets, set proper residential and commercial maintenance agreement pricing, and let you bid jobs for profit (based on your cost of doing business).
Attendence to these events are limited and space is still available. Learn more and register today!
If a workshop isn't scheduled for your area, we encourage you to talk to your Distributor to see if they will be sponsoring a workshop in your city!
[Back to Top]
Managing Stress Through Humor
By Jeff Justice
Short Presentation Description:
Most of us have heard the term “humor is the best medicine”. However, humor will not make problems go away but it will open up lines of communication. This is a refreshing presentation with a few practical suggestions on how to use humor to remove stress in the workplace and in life.
Listen to a sample of this months' program! The Profit University Audio Series features a new trade focused audio presentation every month. These programs are designed to provide the trades contractor relevant information that can help their business immediately. Get more information on this program or sign up for a monthly subscription today.
[Back to Top]