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Small Business Ideas Forum

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Old 8th April 2011, 01:37 PM   #1
hvacman
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Default How I Grew My HVAC Company Success Story

Hello! I am new to this forum and have read a lot of threads from here so I thought I would contribute. I started my HVAC company a few years ago when I graduated from a community college in Columbus, Ohio. My HVAC company, Ben's HVAC, started out strong but I realized that since I wasn't operating 24-7 I was losing out on a lot of business.

I finally decided to hire a secretary to take evening/late night calls so that we could operate 24-7 in case there were a sales call that were to come in during after hours (after 5p). This really helped out and business really started to pick up, the only problem was that it was expensive to pay my secretary to work those hours when we were only receiving a hand full of calls per night.

3 months later we decided to let the secretary go because we couldn't afford to employ her for the sole purpose of answering calls.

I started doing some research to find out what other companies do to handle their calls after hours and asked some of my competitors what they were using. I quickly learned about call center outsourcing and how that will allow me to operate 24-7 without having to pay near as much as I was for a secretary.

These are just a few of the benefits I found from using a call center:

1. Most call centers or answering services have generators and back up systems that can sustain the office in case of crisis. This allows my business to operate even if the power goes out. This is GREAT! especially living in Ohio where there are crazy ice storms and other weather problems that can take out power.

2. Customer service. Friendly customer service really adds a nice touch to any business and helps keep clients coming back.

3. I get text msg alerts when a HVAC request comes in. I don't even have to call in to my call center I just get the txt of the address, name, problem etc. and I am off to the next client.

4. AFFORDABLE. This really makes a huge difference and the money I spend on this makes it an easy bill to pay.

As a strong believer that we shouldn't be outsourcing to other countries I really found it important to do my research on call centers and answering services in the United States. Lucky for me I actually found my call center located in Columbus, Ohio.

I think a lot of businesses out there don't realize or know how huge a call center can make your business grow.

Good Luck!

-Ben Issac

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Old 18th September 2011, 11:15 PM   #2
centralplumbing
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Great information. Thank you.

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Old 19th December 2011, 05:27 AM   #3
brianwhitskey24
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It was really great idea man, you have shared some very good tips for retaining customer and getting new clients, but still need more info about this, how you could affort BPO if you were having difficult to pay for a single secretary. as i guess you were a new company right and you said you recieved only handfull of call at that time, sorry but could you plz describe it more elaborately, seems good idea,

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Old 14th January 2012, 01:05 PM   #4
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I'm confuse too, i always thought BPO would be a more expensive option than a single secretary and what does HVAC means?
Can you give us an idea?

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Old 14th January 2012, 06:19 PM   #5
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HVAC = Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning

BPO = Business Process Outsourcing

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Old 16th January 2012, 09:30 AM   #6
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Thanks Spider i really had no idea what HVAC meant?

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Old 5th March 2012, 09:04 PM   #7
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Hello, Im new here as well. I started my HVAC company a year and a half ago. I didnt start out as strong as I though we would. Luckily my company recieved a large job with a apartment complex, that kept us busy for about ten months. Well, we finished that job about two months ago and now we have nothing to do.

basicly, now im trying to find new clients for my HVAC company. I read your post and it sounds great but how does BPO find you new clients? Is BPO just a call center or can they find you some new clients. Also you said that you had a handfull of calls coming in and Im just interested how to get the calls coming in. What did you do to get the calls coming in?

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Old 16th October 2012, 09:57 AM   #8
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Hi,
I'm new here also. Burrhvac, you will have to get ads out, decide what market you want to be in, new construction, remodel, service and replacement etc. focus on that particular market. Hand out business cards, talk to people, got a small job? Ask for referrels. Newspapers, Billboards will get your name out there, but will not make the phone ring immediately. Newconstruction?
Go visit builders. Call centers generally won't get you customers, they will answer the call when it comes in.

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Old 16th October 2012, 03:35 PM   #9
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For the three main construction trades - plumbing, electrical and hvac - you really need to choose your market -- service and repairs OR new construction. To try and do both means you can do neither well. You need to structure your company for the sector you intend to serve.

If you are - and intend to remain - a one- or two person business, then you are limited to service and repair. If you intend to grow to 10, 20 or more employees, then you can choose your sector, but you must organize your business appropriately.

As a micro-business, where you, the owner, works the tools, you will always be chasing that next job. Best to allocate part of your day, or a specific day per week, when you will do nothing but market yourself. Even if you have work to do, you must stop and do your marketing on a consistent basis. Your marketing for service and repair will be very different from marketing for new constrution.

If you intend to work new construction, you must be prepared to turn away jobs that do not fall into that category. You, the owner, must be prepared to give up working the tools and devote all your time to getting new construction work. When you get a project, you will hire craftsmen to do the work, including hiring a lead crafstman/foreman to control the work, and you, yourself, must immediately return to finding more new work.

Why, especially? Because new construction goes ahead in spurts. Your gang will install base lines and then be slack while the other trades catch up, and then your men will do the next phase and then go slack while the rest of the project catches you up again. You need other projects for that slack time, so your men are constantly working at full output. It requires some organizational ability, and if you don't have that, you will need to hire an organizing person to keep the work ticking along at a steady pace.

Working new construction is a different mindset from service and repair. It can be very lucrative for a company that is well-organized and efficient.

I hope this helps.

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Old 19th March 2014, 04:19 PM   #10
mephisto
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Congratulations Ben!

I'm brand new on this forum, so it's great to see some success stories like yours featured here.

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