La Mesa, CA-based HVAC digital marketing firm All Systems Go Marketing recently uploaded a video to YouTube that explores a concept very few HVAC companies even consider during what the industry terms as the "shoulder season" - hiring new employees.
In the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning business, so called "Shoulder Months" are the times of the year when outdoor temperatures are typically quite people friendly and are between 40 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
For many HVAC companies, particularly those that obtain new customers via old school methods such as the Yellow Pages, referrals and word of mouth, Shoulder Season is a tough time each and every year. This is typically when HVAC business revenues shrink, work is less frequent, and many midsized companies have difficulties maintaining work schedules for their employees.
"Talking to HVAC company owners during this period always makes me realize that there are both haves and have-nots in the industry," said Craig Wright, owner of All Systems Go Marketing, which has been providing digital marketing solutions since 2001. "The have-nots tend to worry a lot about where their next job is coming from and if they can keep on their best employees. It's super common."
The have-nots, says Wright, all share a single trait - no cohesive strategy to attract new customers and a real lack of consistent marketing.
"It's always funny to me that the shops that are the running overtime all summer just absolutely limp through their fall season as if this is an annual necessity," said Wright. "The fact is, there is absolutely no reason why sales should drop off come fall and spring. If you're prepared, it can actually turn out to be the most surprising profit generator of the year."
For most HVAC companies, hiring during the Shoulder Season is just simply not considered. But, as Wright notes in a recent episode of The All Systems Go Marketing HVAC Coffee Break, smart HVAC owners need to open their eyes precisely at the time when others are closing theirs.
"If you talk to almost any HVAC owner about hiring new techs and installers during Shoulder Season, you're likely to get laughed at," said Wright. "But All Systems Go Marketing clients rarely experience the ups and downs that other shops do, and consider this part of the year to be a gold mine when it comes to bringing on new skilled help."
It's a classic contrarian move that works wonders. Many shops fail to plan for Shoulder Season and as a result find that layoffs and shorter work weeks are sometimes unavoidable. Meanwhile, smart HVAC companies begin recruiting when good people are let go. It's a strategy that isn't very well known.
"Another key point here is that when you have to bring on a new hire, Shoulder Season is perfect because it's a lot slower paced than during the summer," said Wright. "The smart HVAC owner has more time to train and get to know new hires, and to monitor their progress. Plus if things don't work out with the new employee, they can move on and not find themselves with an instant work backlog."
All Systems Go Marketing also provides its clients with recruiting campaigns that have proven to be surprisingly effective. When it comes to hiring, one HVAC company's crisis truly becomes another company's opportunity.
"Strong HVAC companies understand that digital marketing is the number one killer of lumpy, inconsistent sales during the shoulder season," said Wright. "A month after we begin working for any company, they immediately see that this form of marketing is easily the best return on investment available. It has a price, but we've been told that the peace of mind it creates is priceless."
SOURCE: Press Advantage [Link]
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