Bundling of Products & Services - How to Survive and Grow A Home Performance Business in 2013 and Beyond?

Working with my customers and friends that are home performance contractors we always seem to be seeking answers to questions such as:

What will make my business survive in the short term?

What does it mean to run a successful home performance business?  

What can I do if my local utility rebates, tax credits, and programs change?

For the most part it is true that individuals and businesses alike do prefer certainty over uncertainty. The problem with this statement is that we (as individual businesses) cannot control what the business environment, the economy, and our customers are about to do. We need to be adaptive and stay quick on our feet.

With that in mind we are always discussing business approaches that focus on home performance contractor taking charge of their own destiny. Instead of allowing third party organization determine the destiny of a home performance contractor I believe that there is a great deal that a home performance contractor can do to becoming or staying successful.

Personally, I believe that there are straightforward products and product categories that can easily be included as standard product and service offers in many home performance jobs:

 

Electric water heaters. If the existing water heater is older than 10yrs old it may be good business to write up a bid to replace it with a Marathon water heater or heat pump water heater. Consider partnering with a local plumber or water heater installer.

 

Ductless mini-split heat pumps. They look all techie, but these are prepackaged systems that can be installed right out of the box. Consider providing a bid to home owners with existing electric resistant baseboard heaters.

 

Advanced home ventilation fans. Personally, I am a victim of a silly jet-engine-noise-producing Broan fan in my bathroom. I wish I had known about whisper quiet Panasonic fans a few years ago. Easy to install. High customer satisfaction. Very high quality without manufacturing defects that I have come across so far.

I am not sure whether this will be controversial blog post or not.  I thought it would be good to get a general perspective from what contractors think. I have written a longer blog entry on this topic this week providing some ideas on how contractors can implement these suggestions

What do you think?  Have you added quick and straightforward product offers in your business model? Do you think it takes away focus? Does it provide the business benefits that you are looking for?

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Tags: business, contractor, credit, development, ductless, fans, financing, heat, heater, home, More…marathon, mini-splits, performance, pump, rebate, tax, utility, ventilation, water

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Comment by Joseph Lamy on September 24, 2012 at 9:18am

The successes come from happy clients telling their neighbors, co-workers, family and friends about how good you were to them, how you took the time to do everything right, and how comfy their place is. 'Kinda happy' is NOT good enough. It's when they're REALLY happy that nobody can shut them up from blabbing about how fabulous you are! Treat 'em like family, and never want for work.

Comment by Bob Sullivan on September 24, 2012 at 9:16am

Diversification works as long as excellence is maintained. If an excellent source of a related product already exists from a reliable source in your market, don't pee in the other person's soup. Collaborating may lead to mutually beneficial reward.

Comment by Joseph Lamy on September 24, 2012 at 9:14am

Mini-split heat pumps are so much better than anything out there that any home performance contractor who does NOT address the potential is NOT leading their clients towards much benefit. Ducts are wasteful, leaky, dangerous and, well, kinda dumb especially running through miles of attics up against a baking roof deck or squiggling around in a cold crawl space heating cats, dogs, racoons and oppossa. Not saying they're the panacea or FINAL ANSWER ... just saying they're quite effective, quiet and reasonable ways of supplying a bit of warmth and coolth.

Comment by David Eggleton on September 23, 2012 at 6:24pm

I think diversification makes a lot of sense.  I think entire property as a (productive) system makes sense, too.  Some can get there by partnering with other contractors, some can hire new talents, some can become permaculture designers, certified or not.

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