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Chair’s Column: Taking the Time from Working “in” Our Businesses to Work “on” Them

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There are many challenges that we air conditioning contractors face today – rapid inflation, continued increases in government regulations, anti-business sentiment across much of society, too many reliable workers retiring, a dearth of new workers with the right technical skills entering the industry, and increased competition from a range of new competitors with seemingly unlimited marketing budgets. 

At times like these, it is important for honest contractors who are facing these and other challenges to take time out of working “in” their businesses to work “on” their businesses. 

Being a part of a 50-year-old small family-owned contracting business has taught me that there have always been ways to zig while everyone else zags. By that, I mean that we have always been able to find a way to distinguish ourselves through products or services that generated enough business from customers to provide for our family, as well as for our employees. I encourage you to study market needs and business opportunities so your business can thrive – even in today’s uncertain business environment. 

One of the best things we did many years ago that paid tremendous benefits for our family’s air conditioning service business was to join other like-minded contractors through the local, state, and national ACCA chapters. We began listening to the people we met through ACCA who were facing many of the same challenges and had found ways to be successful. 

I learned through ACCA that many elected officials and government regulators would listen to the thoughts and requests of individuals, especially if they had come together as a group with agreed-upon thoughtful and respectful requests. Moreover, I recognize that today’s ACCA structure, along with our state and regional allied contracting associations, are just as effective as they were in the past. In fact, they are needed more than ever for representing the interests of contracting businesses and contractor employees. 

So, how can you take advantage of all that ACCA has to offer? First and foremost, invest in the cost of membership so that ACCA can continue to represent us all through governmental affairs, including notifying our busy contractors when our help is needed in responding to calls for action notices.  

Second, support the allied contracting associations with your membership investment so that we are represented on the state and regional levels as well. 

Third, take time to join successful contractors across the country by attending ACCA events and taking advantage of training opportunities as often as possible. We have a great annual conference, ACCA 2024, coming up in March in Orlando, FL, for example!  

Fourth, seek out the training resources available through ACCA’s extensive knowledge library developed from the brightest minds in the industry over many decades and participate in the regional training sessions held across the country with our allied contracting associations. 

I would also encourage you to consider joining an ACCA MIX Group®. These groups match up non-competing businesses across the country to serve as peer advisors for each other. 

The challenges we face today may be as worrisome as any time in recent history. However, it is comforting to know that we are not alone in facing these challenges. We must all remember to take time away from working “in” our businesses long enough to work “on” our businesses. Joining ACCA and actively participating with fellow, like-minded contractors is a great way to do just that! 

Check out the entire January/February 2024 digital issue of ACCA Now here.

Dr. Stephen Pape

Posted In: ACCA Now, Leadership & Planning, Leadership Development

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