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How to Thrive in a Slumping Economy With HVAC Guru Ken Goodrich

From episode: TGMS Ep: 132 Words of Wisdom from the Industry Titan - Goodrich!

talk about in 2008, we were up about 46 % when everybody else was down and I bought pins that all my techs wore. We don't participate in recessions. And like you, we just thought different. I didn't hunker down like everyone else. I increased advertising, I hired, I bought more equipment. You know, we're kind of, you know, with this inflation going on and everything like that. And I guess we're, I guess the HVAC world, we're experiencing somewhat of a slump right now. I don't recognize it, but a lot of people do. What kind of advice can you give them a little bit about what, how you dealt with that? And that's just one of them, I'm sure, but 2007, 2008, 2009. I Well, guess number one is you don't have a choice. We don't have big funds backing us and most small businesses, we don't have big cash backing us. We don't have big lines of credit that can keep us running for five years, all that nonsense. We have to go out and make it happen, number one, so get it out of your mind. Like you said, we don't participate in recessions because we can't. And over the course of time, I've been in business a long time, I've been in the air conditioning business for over 50 years. And so I've been through a lot of challenges that affect the economy. I've been through some wars and elections, 9 -11s and all this stuff. And just like you said, I thought, well, that's terrible, but I got to do what I got to do and feed my family. And I just kept marching forward, I didn't let it affect me. And what you said is the perfect guide for the listeners, which is we don't participate, we just don't participate in those things, right? And that's what we tell our people. Right now there is a slowdown in leads and certainly consumer confidence is going down a little bit. Finance is a little more difficult, so we see it. And so it's a good time to tighten up, tighten up your loose ends. Everybody was running pretty fat and happy, 2020, 2021, 2022 even. But I think we pulled forward a lot of demand. Everybody's numbers shot up, everybody was putting in more equipment, prices went up because of inflation. We just kind of enjoyed a perfect storm of opportunity. Now, but it was kind of normalizing, but we keep thinking that what we just went through was the reality. It wasn't, that was a blip. Now we got to go back to work and be serious and make every single customer encounter count. Every phone call has to be perfect. Every job has to be on time. Every customer action has to be pleasant. We just have to execute better. We can't be fat and happy anymore. And same thing like you said earlier, it's going to be the same formula as we talked about in the Great Recession. There's going to be people retracting on their advertising and trying to shrink back. And I think that's a bad plan. I say lean in on it, be more precise and go keep gathering customers. So, a lot of people think, a lot of companies think when it gets tight like this that we should just lower our price. What's your opinion on that? I just think that's a death nail number one for them. I just think it's a bad idea. I don't think us as an industry, I think that many, many contractors way underpriced their services. And it's tragic that they work so hard and take so many risks for so little profit. And taking it down a notch from there is just suicide as far as I'm concerned. I think you always got to provide a good value for your customer. And you have to be conscious of that you're spending their money. But you also have to do it in a way that you can afford to provide the service that you know that they need and want and what kind of maxes core values of your company. So do not, do not lower your prices. You just go and be better. Go be better.

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