Classroom, online, and virtual reality training set people up so that when they get in a truck with a senior tech, they’ll start to pick up things faster.

For me, that is the most essential point of this entire article. Shortening the learning curve is so important for the success and growth of any HVAC business.

Shortening the Learning Curve

For example, my senior technician Jesse has been with Baggett for 12 years. Jesse had a lot of electronics and construction experience when he joined Baggett, but he had no heating and air conditioning experience. We have been on an 11-year journey together to where he is today.

My next most senior technician is Ed. He has been with Baggett for around five years, and even though Jesse is still the most senior tech, our last line of defense when no one else can fix it, Ed is close.

We shortened the learning curve from 11 years to five years. That is what we’re trying to do.

I recently onboarded a maintenance technician with nine months of new construction installation experience. But in around 60 days, we got him in a truck, and he’s running maintenance independently. Talk about shortening the learning curve!!! And he is doing a good job.

We’re trying to shorten the curve by doubling down on training, mastering skills, and setting up the next generation of technicians for success and growth as they join the industry.

In the end, for me personally, I’m still a work in progress 22 years later. I guess we’re all students and should be all our lives.
The day I walked across the stage to receive my college degree, there was a lady in her 80s who was also getting a degree. It was like her 7th one. She never stopped learning. There’s a lesson in that.

Alana Ward is the second-generation owner of Baggett Heating in Clarksville, TN. The $1.6 million residential replacement and service business opened in 1974, and Alana took over in 2006. She is a member of NCI and was named Woman of the Year by Contracting Business magazine in 2012. In 2021 the Service Roundtable named Baggett Heating one of the top 10 companies in the U.S. providing customer satisfaction. She can be reached at