Last month we recommended implementing customer-relations training to guarantee repeats and referrals for mechanical, plumbing and electrical contractors who provide services but are not actually in the service business. America’s ongoing need for millions of dollars of maintenance, repairs and replacement of existing mechanical and electrical equipment provides a great opportunity to build and operate a profitable “dream team” service company.
Naturally you have many options, depending on your size and market area, but creating a true dream team dictates using 100% women. Most homeowners and business property owners would be pleased to have a woman carefully work on and respect their premises.
America has millions of women, including returning women vets, who are seeking employment in either a full-time or part-time capacity.
Skills and product traThe first question you will confront is “How will they know how to fix the problems?” Fortunately, many sources and methods are available to qualify these women to do the job.
Begin with a database skills inventory for each participant that must be updated with every new skill she accomplishes. These skills can be learned at your salvage center or even at the do-it-yourself building supply stores.
You will be surprised by the number of skilled craftsmen who will be proud to share their knowledge and skills with women. We’ve always called it “a chance to give something back to our great industry.” This is true with both active union and open-shop craftsmen, and includes those who are retired, handicapped and unemployed. Some of this skill-sharing can be accomplished by cell phone and email. When your dream team member confronts an actual problem at a jobsite, she can take a picture and send it by phone to a craftsman who can give her specific instructions to resolve the problem.
Almost all the equipment manufacturers conduct training classes for installing, maintaining and repairing their equipment.
You definitely need to share your monthly trade magazines for practical advice, new tools, equipment and problem-solving. These women also can learn about available products and services through advertisements.
Most of our apprenticeship programs will welcome a woman to participate in a particular class that she might be interested in attending.
This prequalification and training also is critical for your office staff and company principals. When a customer calls a service company, he expects to speak with knowledgeable service people.
Dream team organizationIt is necessary to organize this dream team service company with a rigid written chain of command, proper titles, job descriptions, performance files, legal registration, insurances and tax records. It is imperative that you collect critical data and maintain active files for:
1. Each individual’s skills inventory with updates for every new task or skill she accomplishes.
2. Customer-pertinent information:
- Location, address, cell phone number, email address and service
- Original blueprints, as-builts, punch lists, warranties and
- Recent service calls and site surveys.
- Maintenance contracts with due service dates.
3. Access to flat-rate pricing data will give your customers a fair price with ample overhead and profit for your dream team. You can purchase this software from companies that advertise in Plumbing & Mechanical magazine. These active files should be available to every member of the dream team service company.
Of course, you need advertisements to attract new customers. A catchy name and slogan on your vehicles is by far the most effective and the cheapest. Many options emphasize the female makeup of the company, such as Mechanical Queens Royal Service in pink letters, with pink professional uniforms and hard hats. Use your imagination or ask the women members to offer suggestions and select the best one.
Emphasize the critical importance of safe and courteous driving, as well as a clean and professional appearance. You want everybody to know these women are the best!
In addition to a noticeable name, you need the same type of ad in the Yellow Pages to promote business. You might contact other female service companies and ask if they would like to cooperate with your dream team. You could possibly share your salvage centers and use their services when you are too busy, and help them out when they need it. A little effort could create a long-lasting, profitable relationship.
Consider creating an effective advertisement-type article on Facebook, stressing the employment of female military veterans, homemakers ready to enter the workplace and single women looking for work. Returning female veterans have served our country well and are dedicated and hard working. A dream team service company would give them an opportunity to use their varied skills.
A good suggestion would be to offer one free service call to show potential customers the value of maintenance contracts. These maintenance contracts will provide a steady flow of work for your service techs.
If you have any doubts that “dreams can come true,” re-read these options again and talk it over with your Home Depot or other do-it-yourself building supply stores. You can make this dream team service company a fantastic reality for a lot of deserving women!