We can all agree that gold is a very precious metal of significant value. Therefore, gold should not be wasted or treated carelessly. It is highly esteemed, greatly loved, treasured, collected, and cherished by many.
Gold is valuable to mankind because…
- It’s considered a “noble” metal that stands apart from all others
- Gold is pretty rare, so increased demand increases its worth
- It’s very malleable, has excellent ductile strength, and conducts electricity well
- It barely reacts with other elements, so it retains its properties and does not tarnish.
While it’s a naturally occurring element, gold isn’t easy to locate, collect, or refine. It takes a lot of hard work to transform it into the raw material used to produce bullion, coins, jewelry, art forms, industrial processes, product manufacturing, infrared shielding, colored-glass production, gold leafing, tooth restoration, and medicines, just to name a few of gold’s many applications.
Even though it takes a lot of work, people continue to search worldwide for a “mother lode” of gold every day. While many fail, successful prospectors earn huge fortunes. But the real value is earned by those who turn the “located, mined, and refined” gold into useful products desired by lots of paying customers.
Data is “Business Gold”
Following along the same lines as the gold discussion, let’s change a few words to see how “data” is so important to your business.
We can all agree that data is very precious and of great value. Therefore, data should not be wasted or treated carelessly. It must be highly esteemed, greatly loved, treasured, collected, and cherished if you’re to enjoy a successful, High-Performance HVAC Contracting business.
Extremely valuable business data includes but is not limited to…
- Contact names, mailing and shipping addresses, phone numbers, email addresses
- Equipment types, model numbers, serial numbers, installation, and warranty expiration dates
- Invoice numbers, dollar amounts, transaction dates, due dates
Receipt numbers, receipt types, dates, dollar amounts, apply-to-invoice numbers
- Payment numbers, payment types, dates, dollar amounts
- Building dimensions, orientation to the sun, construction types, heat loss/heat gain
- Static pressures, temperatures, amperages, voltages, the air volume
- Agreement types, dates, dollar amounts
- Call type, schedule date, rep assigned, reasons for the call, recommendations, resolution
- and many more data elements.
While data is all around you, it isn’t always easy to locate, collect, and refine. It takes a lot of hard work to transform it into the raw material used in customer relationship management, sales lead generation, scheduling, scope of work development, product pricing, invoicing, payroll, purchasing, and financial reporting, just to name a few of data’s many important applications.
Start Turning Data to Dollars NOW
On October 2nd, NCI’s David Holt and Dominick Guarino will present a full-day workshop on how HVAC Performance testing generates more profitable sales — by turning data to dollars.
This workshop is part of the EGIA EPIC event and will help you learn how to turn simple HVAC system diagnostic data into a new source of business from both new and existing customers.
Learn more by visiting the ncilink.com/EPIC19 and register today.
Even though it takes a lot of work, business owners and managers continue to search all over their company for the “mother lode” of data every day. While many fail, those successful high-performance data prospectors earn fabulous fortunes. But the real value is earned by those who turn the “located, mined, and refined” data into useful products desired by lots of paying customers.
Locating the Gold
Gold ore is found in rock formations while native gold is in lode deposits. Gold is also discovered as free flakes, grains, or larger nuggets in and around streams. It takes skill to locate it, although luck has played a role in many of the significant discoveries of the past.
“Business gold” (sometimes called data) is a part of every transaction you have with employees, vendors, and customers. It’s not terribly difficult to identify, but much of it simply passes through your fingers every day and cannot be mined for its greater value in the future.
I believe this is true because most people don’t understand the long-term value of data. They don’t look ahead and ask, “why is this data important to my future ability to take great care of my employees, my vendors, and my customers?”
Understanding the “why” in your business is like honing a laser to a razor point that’s sharp enough to cut through steel. The “why” isn’t just the reason you do what you do, it’s a consistent reminder that keeps you and your team grounded, energized, and focused on goals. It’s your cause, purpose, motive, proof, and your values. The “why” is the core belief that drives what you do every day.
While there are way too many reasons to identify in this article, Table 1 will get you thinking about why data is so important to your future success:
But it’s not enough to just know “why” this data is important. Your entire team must take consistent action to accurately collect the data and store it somewhere so you can easily access it in the future.
Collecting the Gold
Once gold is located, mine development begins. This involves the planning and construction of the mine and associated infrastructure. Mining companies must obtain appropriate permits and licenses before they can begin construction.
DATA THAT IS GOLDEN
|Anniversary recognition (hiring, birth, marriage, review, pay adjustment, certifications, licenses)||Anniversary recognition (years of service)||Anniversary recognition (years of business)|
|Goal achievement (education, calls, leads, presentations, sales, installs, quality)||Prompt payment (discounts earned, discounts taken, discounts lost)||Equipment (recalls, warranties, repair part orders, repair costs, service life)|
|Performance reviews (attendance, production, testimonials, complaints)||Volume discounts (item quantity purchases)||History (communications, repairs, maintenance, recommendations, upgrades)|
|Warranty claims (claims filed, claims paid, claims unpaid)|
Table 1: Types of useful data that can be mined and converted into dollars
This will generally take several years, although time frames vary greatly depending on location.
You have it a little easier in the service business. There are many “data mines” you can employ to collect and protect your valuable information. From manual forms and filing systems to the latest in cloud-based technology, there’s no reason to avoid collecting the important data that impacts your business.
If you’ve been part of the NCI family for more than five minutes, you know that our motto of “If You Don’t Measure, You’re Just Guessing™” is based on Lord Kelvin’s famous quote.
What we choose to measure is a window into our values. It proves to the world (including our team) what we really value and how important the related information is to us.
If the data is important, it’s worth collecting, storing, and protecting.
Refining the Gold
The refining stage represents the productive life of a mine, during which ore is extracted and processed into a metallic alloy – known as doré. This typically contains between 60-90% gold. During its life, a number of business factors dictate how much mining work is performed. Gold mining operations are regularly re-assessed as market conditions change and new technical information comes to light.
Business data mining and refining work much the same way. Here’s an example. When business factors suggest that you need more sales to keep your crews busy, you begin digging in your mine to find people in need of safety, health, comfort, or energy efficiency upgrades. This is where computerized databases can really strut their stuff.
Let’s say you’re fast approaching the end of winter and expect milder weather just around the corner. The “raw material” we are looking for is contact information for all those customers who have aging air conditioning equipment with a high lifetime repair cost.
Here’s another reason why collecting data is critically import to your success: your software can’t provide you what it doesn’t have in the database. If you don’t record the customer contact information, equipment type, age, and repair history, there’s no way to identify customers who have the highest probability of upgrading their system before it breaks down on the hottest day of the summer.
To provide the high-performance customer service levels your customer deserves, you must be able to consistently do the things that keep them safe, healthy, comfortable, and energy efficient all year round. It’s your job to alert and educate them of pending trouble before it becomes an emergency. This is the professional way to WOW your customers and earn premium profits for the premium products your team delivers.
Producing Great Value
Artists, jewelry makers, pharmaceutical companies, electronics manufacturers, dentists, and many others rely on refined gold to produce their products and services.
While the folks involved in locating, mining, and refining the gold earn good money each step of the way, the biggest money is earned in the retail transaction between the manufacturer of products that use the refined gold and the consumer.
As High-Performance HVAC professionals, YOU are the “manufacturer” of the indoor comfort system that your customer enjoys. Sure, the manufacturers that supply system components to your business are important, but the most important person as far as the customer is concerned is you and your team.
They rely on you to design, select, and install the proper components in such a way that their completed system consistently delivers the safest, healthiest, most comfortable, and energy efficient results possible.
Zig Ziglar is famous for saying “if you help enough people get what they want, they’ll help you get what you want.”
When your team can locate, mine, and refine data that is relevant to your business, you will have no problem helping enough people get what they want. Your biggest challenge will be keeping up with demand!
Turning Data into Dollars
Data is precious to your business success. I can’t think of a single reason why any High-Performance HVAC Contractor would want to operate without a great data management system in place.
Think about static pressure measurements. The numbers you measure are just data. It’s up to you to evaluate the data, act on it, share its meaning with the customer, recommend solutions, and turn that raw data into new dollars.
My dear friend and former NCI Coach, John Garofalo, used to ask a simple yet profound question: “Is the juice worth the squeeze?”
Yes, friends, the “juice” of premium profits is well worth the “squeeze” of locating, mining, and refining data.
Now get out there and turn some data into dollars!