This year’s ACCA 2014 has already come and gone. Now that the 3 days of events are finished I will take this opportunity to share a few highlights from the event. For those NOT familiar with ACCA’s national conference – it is a gathering of many of the nations top HVAC contractors.
As a preface, 2014 was my first time attending a national ACCA event. My company is a relatively new member to the community, still, it was amazing to be so well received by many longterm members. I had countless open and honest conversations with fellow contractors sharing their struggles and successes. Aside from comfort and reassurance that many of us experience the same struggles it was a great opportunity to dialogue on how to overcome those sticking points in our businesses.
From the conversations and the various workshops I have two primary lessons that I will take back with me to Houston.
1. There is no silver bullet……. or is there?
This goes for advertising, marketing, culture, customer service(most of the learning labs I attended revolved around these elements).
Many of us attend events like these in order to search for some gold nugget. Some little crumb that is mentioned in conversation or heard in a learning lab that alters our way of thinking and how we should run our business. Many of us walk around with ears wide open. Looking to find that element that will set us on a new and brighter future for our customers, staff, and our profits. Still if you listen hard enough you’ll notice that even some of the ‘best’ contractors don’t have some silver bullet. They lack a single trick that will change it all. To the contrary you hear many quotes that go something like this:
“Be consistent. Put in the time and commit fully. Work hard. Get the right people into the organization and take care of them. Have higher standards and hold to them.”
Perhaps there really is a silver bullet? Perhaps it is the bullet that we didn’t really want to hear. The biggest driver seems to be consistent hard work. Relentlessly pursuing excellence in all that you do. And being different than our competitors. Setting us apart. Easier said than done, I know.
During the afternoon on Day 2 we had the opportunity to hear some “best ideas” in an open mic format. 20 or so men and women stood up and shared some tactics and stories. A theme that came up over and over was CHARITY. Through various stories, generosity proved to pay great dividends back to companies. Not that ROI should be the purpose of charity but that by being gracious and giving to others is important enough in its own right. For the impact on the community and company culture.