Some people will say this is a self-serving, biased column for Comanche Marketing. So be it. For me, it is an opportunity to state emphatically and clearly my passion for our industry.
What embryonic and developing technology today will become mainstream before you’re ready to pass on the company to your kids? With all of the developing technologies, which ones will become the most relevant to contractors?
You’re listening to an intriguing keynote speaker and trying to take notes when BOOM, something she says sends you down the mental path of “what if?” or “hey, this might work in my company.” Fifteen minutes later you snap back from your productive daydream and think, “oh no, what did I miss?”
Shoulders slump forward as they pull along an imaginary ball and chain in the dreadful hallway on way to an inevitable fate. They walk a version of the Green Mile every Monday, Thursday and Friday morning. That would be the day of your sales, service and install meetings. An outsider’s look at this motley crew? Prisoners on their way to the torture chamber. An insider’s look? Pretty much the same.
Did you ever get into an exciting conversations with your friends? Perhaps you were sitting around a fireplace on the first day of vacation. The relaxing notion of five more days of freedom, a few cold ones and no one looking over your shoulder sets the stage for a spirited exploration on launching a make-believe company. Ideas build upon ideas and soon everyone starts raising their what-if? / could we? eyebrows.
Perhaps it wasn’t make-believe. Maybe you, the warehouse manager and one of your installers started talking about ways to improve your warehouse operation. Ideas started building upon ideas. Like a rock climber who gains a toehold over another building upon his ascent; incremental progress leads to new vistas.
As an HVAC, Plumbing and or Electrical contractor, do you employ human beings? Are your customers human beings? In your world of work, isn’t it really humans being with humans?
Why then do we continue to make it so mechanical, so corporate, so impersonal?
IDEO is a global design company: “We create positive impact through design.”
Design companies like IDEO create, make useful stuff and make stuff better.
While every company in one way or the other solves problems, design companies are paid to solve specific problems. So we shouldn’t be surprised to learn of the science, sophistication and thought that goes into problem solving.
The intellectual firepower of a design firm like IDEO is equivalent to the business and player talent it requires for an NFL team to win seven or eight Super Bowls in a row. In order to design and problem solve effectively IDEO, in spite of its world class arsenal, breaks down a problem to its bare essence. On its way to a clear understanding of the problem, they seek a clear understanding of WHO is involved, they seek to understand those humans being humans.
Let’s explore a company trying to make stuff better. Its goal? To make their workspace more creative.
“Problems, problems, problems all day long
Will my problems work out right or wrong?”
The Everly Brothers’ 1950-related problems are summed up in one more line from that classic song:
“My love life just ain’t swingin’ like it should”
If only your hiring, recruiting, marketing, payroll and vehicle problems could be solved by song and getting your love life in order. On second thought, let’s tread lightly around the love life issue*. It might be that some would welcome the hiring, recruiting and etc. issues.
Some people need to breathe. I need to read. This obsession of mine is not exactly a secret so consequently I’m often asked to name a few favorite books. Flying my homemade sheet metal dustpan to the moon would be an easier task.
So today, instead of a book list, which would stretch to the moon, I chose to list a few of my favorite marketing authors.
“I want to provide a place for my coworkers to thrive.”
“I love teaching service technicians.”
“I want to develop all of my people.”
“I am providing a company where my coworkers can earn a decent living.”
These are indicative of the most frequent response I get when asking the question: Can you tell me about the WHY of why you are in business? Although my quest has been over the past half year, the recent Service World Expo presented a veritable Golden Corral of opportunities to delve into WHY.