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Regardless of whether you are a sole owner, partner or employee of the business that pays you for your labors, your attitude is vital to your future. Attitude is your feeling or opinion regarding anything. It defines your behavior regarding issues.
A negative attitude will give you results you don’t want and keep you from reaching your goals. A positive attitude will provide you with the opportunity to attain the position in life you desire.
I know this to be true because I’ve lived my life with a positive attitude. In 1970, I entered the PHC industry with an academic education and no knowledge of the construction trades. I knew nothing about the PHC industry or working with my hands. I entered my apprenticeship in 1971.
My positive attitude allowed me to position myself to learn and absorb the knowledge I needed about this industry and gain the ability to work with my hands while using my intelligence. That positive attitude got positive results. During my apprenticeship, I was named outstanding apprentice because my mindset allowed me to absorb the culture of the building trades. In 1976, I rose to master plumber.
I opened my PHC service contracting business in 1978 with the positive attitude of delivering excellence to consumers while earning the reward I deserved for the delivery. In 1982, my wife and I attended our first Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors—National Association convention.
That’s when we first became aware of the association’s Plumbing Contractor of the Year award during a convention luncheon. I turned to my wife with a positive attitude and told her I would receive that award someday. In 1990, I was named the national PHCC’s Plumbing Contractor of the Year. That same year, the county executive of my county gave me an Excellence Award.
In 1993, my positive attitude allowed my business to receive the first Quality Award in the surrounding five-county area of the Hudson Valley in New York-New Jersey. This award was bestowed to companies that improved the consumer/business relationship for consumers.
I’m not telling you of these accolades to pat myself on the back. After all, self-praise stinks. I’m stating these awards to show you the importance of a positive attitude to your future.
In the working world, all employees must have a good, positive attitude about the business for which they work. That moniker “employees” also pertains to business owners because owners are the leaders of the employment staff. If an owner has a negative attitude, he or she is leading subordinates down the path of negativity.
Employees with a negative attitude not only affect the business for which they work, but they also defeat their desire to live a content and fruitful life. They become a cancer destroying the company and the futures of all involved — owners, employees, and their families.
Those employees with good attitudes allow themselves to advance in their position of employment and lifestyle. They become indispensable to the business. A positive attitude will enable employees who possess this quality to be productive cogs in the structure of the business.
I remember an incident involving a tech with a lousy attitude who was employed by my business for a short time. He gave me no reason to continue his employment. One day, he came into my office and threw the invoices for the work he had done that day on my desk. “Here’s the money I made for you today,” he said with his over-the-top bad attitude.
His audacity led him to believe that the receipts all went into my pocket. As I pointed to the light above my desk, I asked him where the money came from to pay for its installation and energy usage. I continued by asking him how the truck he drove was paid for as well as the fuel and maintenance that made the truck function.
Then, I asked him where the money came from to pay his salary and all the salary-related expenses such as FICA matching funds, unemployment and disability insurance, workers' compensation insurance, as well as the health insurance that protected him and his family. His bad attitude made him a mediocre mechanic at best. He couldn’t bring in the revenue needed to cover his cost of employment, let alone keep him gainfully employed. And so his bad attitude showed him to the door.
But it’s not only techs whose attitude affects their future and the potential success of the business for which they work. The attitudes of the owner and administrative staff also come into play. They are responsible for laying the groundwork necessary for techs to have positive attitudes.
The staff who address the consumer’s first call for service give consumers their first impression of the business. And first impressions are long-lasting. It doesn’t end with the first impression. Good impressions must be constant to keep consumers coming back. When consumers keep coming back, businesses and those employed there have the opportunity to flourish.
Since business owners must set the pace for the continuing good attitudes of the other employees, they have to possess a positive attitude bolstered by setting up positive protocols that are adhered to so employees know the course they must follow.
In addition to a favorable protocol policy, keeping employees on the right course requires rewarding tech efforts commensurately with their productivity. Techs who have a good attitude, do excellent work, have fewer callbacks and make more money for the business are more valuable to the company. Therefore, they should make more money than clock watchers who put in their time with a poor attitude while delivering mediocre quality to consumers.
Whenever an employee veers from the course set up by management, the situation must be addressed with the right attitude. No yelling; instead, offer a calm explanation of what went wrong, why it went wrong and how it could be remedied in the future. Employees who refuse to change because of their bad attitudes force owners and supervisors to make a change in the employment staff.
Owners must also have a good attitude when it comes to developing their selling prices. If selling prices are incorrectly established, results will be disappointing. There are only three choices regarding selling prices — sell at, below or above true cost. Selling at or below true cost will not allow owners to reward their employees in a fashion that will propagate good attitudes. Selling above true cost allows for compensating employees properly.
Maximizing profits, which means making more than just the minimal amount above actual cost, makes the propensity of good, positive employee attitude higher since there will be more money to keep everyone happier, more content and positive.
Positive attitude and proper compensation allow techs to deliver excellence to consumers. Consumers who see your happy, qualified techs delivering excellence and resolving their challenges will, in turn, have the right attitude when it comes to using your business again for their future needs.
If you choose to be a tech, be a great tech with a great attitude. Understand that the employer who pays you incurs a multitude of business expenses to keep you employed. If you are thinking of being an owner, understand it’s not only peaches and cream. Most of the money brought in to the business goes to pay the expenses it incurs.
As an owner, you also must remember to have a great attitude. You are the leader of the team that makes up your business. It’s up to you to lead your team members positively so they can become champions who exceed customers’ expectations.
Positive owners need to have positive techs and administrative staff to have a positive team that delivers excellence to consumers so those consumers have a positive attitude about dealing with your business.
Attitude affects assets. Bad attitude = bad results. Good attitude = good results. If you need help changing from bad to good, give me a call.