Continuing with the theme of the National Chimney Sweep Guild Convention in Orlando, our guest today is a long-time chimney business owner. As you’ll hear on our episode, we are big fans of rubbing shoulders with others in the same industry you are in, and as important as the vendors and educational content are at trade conventions, the biggest value is to be gained from networking.
Interview – Jim Brewer, Magic Sweep, Chesapeake, VA
Key points from the interview:
- One of the hardest things for Jim to deal with and overcome in his business is the loss of an employee. Questions to think about:
- 1) Do you have a strategy for how to deal with an employee if they are no longer around?
- 2) Do you have a repeatable, solid training plan for onboarding employees?
- One of my favorite points: You can teach people a trade, but you can’t readily teach people to be decent human beings. If I ever have a form that I work through for hiring, I will certainly add on the question Jim mentioned: “Would I trust this person to be in a home alone with my wife?”
- (For the most part copied and pasted from the episode 13 show notes…get on board, people!) “Yet another proponent of E-Myth! If so many people mention this book (like Joby in episode 12, Nick in episode 9, and both Clay and myself are huge fans), shouldn’t you consider checking it out? Click this book image below and make it happen!”
- Jim’s advice is that nowadays, you have to be quick in the marketplace…what are you doing to make sure your schedule is set up to keep you busy, but also flexible enough to add in customers who need that immediate service?
After the interview, well…I got a little excited! As you will read in E-Myth (you bought the book from the link above, right? RIGHT?!?!?), a key element in building a stable business is recording your process. This means taking every aspect of the home contracting business that you are in and capturing it in written form so that it can be trained to as new people take new positions, or as new hires come in to your business.
- How do you want your employees to dress?
- How do you want them to address customers?
- How do you want your office personnel to answer the phones, or to suggest other services?
- How do you want your techs in the field performing certain services or jobs?
All of this should be written down. If it’s not written down, it will vary and, therefore, leave more of an impression of your company not being as professional as it should be.
While we’re at it…over the coming weeks and months I will be digging deeper to help you take practices I’ve learned in the manufacturing realm and applying them to your home contracting small business. Many of these things don’t take a lot of manpower or capital to put in place; they are simple disciplines that help take your business from a patchwork organization to a top-notch, well-oiled machine.
So, if you have questions about anything I’ve mentioned in passing and don’t want to wait for an episode about it, please call and let me know! I’m happy to reach out to you and help, or can take your question and make it the basis of a future segment.
Mailbag Question – We want to hear from you! Send us your questions!
Hope you enjoyed this episode…see you next time!
— Chris —