Aire Serv will be attending the Comfortech® 2013 Showcase hosted on September 18th - 20th at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pa. As part of this year’s events on the showcase floor, Aire Serv will be giving away a flat screen television to one qualifying attendee. So be sure to stop by their booth #563, and visit Franchise Directors, Bruce Knudson, Justin Poston, and Bruce Fadal. Not only can you be entered for a chance to win a free television, but you can also discuss new business opportunities and growth strategies with three of Aire Serv’s top developers.
With 165 locations in North America, Aire Serv provides access to a diverse and an in-depth array of business knowledge and expertise including: industry best practices, leadership, financial and marketing training, and continued off-site support through regional meetings and a dedicated franchise consultant. Not only does Aire Serv provide an exceptional business experience for its franchisees and customers, but Aire Serv integrates a Code of Values® from the executive level to the front-line service employees, focusing on respect, integrity, customer focus, and having fun in the process.
“Aire Serv is about so much more than just business,” says Bruce Knudson, the Team Leader for Aire Serv Franchise Development. “Yes, we can offer you tested systems to help your business grow, but more importantly, our developers and coaches have a vested interest in helping our franchisee achieve their personal and professional goal no matter what they may be.”
Find the Aire Serv team at Comfortech® 2013:
Pennsylvania Convention Center
September 18th - 20th
For more information about franchise opportunities in the HVAC industry or more advice about how you can grow your business, fill out the form on the right of this page, and a franchise developer will contact you for a free consultation. For more information about The Dwyer Group® and the seven service oriented franchise options it offers visit the website at www.leadingtheserviceindustry.com.
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According to AMA Research, a market research company, the future prospects of the domestic heating and cooling market are looking promising with planned government measures such as the Green Deal and the roll-out of smart meters across the United Kingdom. With new environmental legislation and market opportunities in the replacement sector, now could be the perfect time to consider starting a heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration enterprise.
In fact, one of the United Kingdom’s fastest growing domestic and commercial service providers is Aire Serv®, a franchise company world-renowned for its unparalleled customer service. For many, the Aire Serv franchise has allowed both experienced contractors and Service Professionals with no technical heating and air-conditioning experience to take part in what the industry has to offer. The franchise model allows the business owner to move into the market with minimal start-up time, and the familiar brand name helps establish a customer base.
One of Aire Serv’s top franchisees in the United Kingdom is Stan Barlow. Stan operates an existing commercial contracting business, as well as a Mr. Electric® franchise in Cornwall. Rolling an Aire Serv into the mix allowed the company to diversify into new markets and increase revenue. Steve Barlow is the General Manager of the franchise.
“Down in Cornwall you tend to find the winters very, very busy and then it quiets down in the summer. On the air conditioning side, everyone is down on holiday during the summer and we can stay busy. So we thought if we could streamline the disciplines it would keep our company busy all through the year,” Steve said.
The existing company would often receive inquiries to provide heating and air conditioning services, but before purchasing an Aire Serv, the company would have given that work away.
“Facilities management companies get a lot of the work, because they can come in and do the plumbing, the electric, the gas, the air conditioning. We thought if we could just offer another service as well as offering our electrical services, we could find additional customers on the back of that. It seemed to be a nice fit,” said Steve.
Although the Barlow’s had experience in the contracting business and could have likely started their own organisation from the ground-up, the franchised business opportunity allowed the company to start quickly with a professional image.
“My father comes from a marketing and sales background in London. He felt he would get the same kind of backing from Aire Serv, with the smart uniforms, advertising and the paperwork. We saw the Aire Serv franchise as a way to pick up more domestic clients,” Steve said.
As a company that is committed to its franchisees personal and professional success, Mr. Electric has assisted many in reinvigorating their careers. The company is keen to hear from anyone who wants to learn more about the franchise business opportunity. Special incentives are also given to qualified candidates who have served in the armed services or as a public defender. For more information call 1 (800) 583-2662 or visit www.AireServFranchise.com.
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When Eric and Amy Pace were first approached about buying an Aire Serv® franchise they were skeptical. At first, the Paces were wary of how becoming a franchise would impact their family’s small business. However, since acquiring the Aire Serv of Fort Bend name in 2009, Eric and Amy Pace now see their HVAC business in a different light.
“You’ve built this business, you’ve built this baby and you don’t want someone coming in and tearing it apart,” Amy said. “But I think that The Dwyer Group® and Aire Serv teach you how to work smarter. They teach you how to be a business person and how to be proactive and not reactive in your business.”
Based in Houston, Eric and Amy were high school sweethearts. Eric worked for his father’s HVAC business for 18 years before he and Amy decided to start their own HVAC company. When they first started, Amy took customer calls, and Eric was in the field going to job sites.
“Before we started Aire Serv, I was in the office and he was out in the truck on the tools all day, everyday. I think what has happened is that Aire Serv taught us that in order to be a business owner that has to change,” said Amy.
By taking a proactive stance in managing their business, the Paces began to move forward in achieving their goals. They have come a long way with Aire Serv in four years. Today, the Paces operate an HVAC business that employs eight full-time staff with five technicians and three trucks on the road. As their operation has grown, the Paces can have a more balanced lifestyle.
“We recently hired a person to answer phones after hours. Before then I was tied to a phone 24/7. It’s kinda weird to be at home and I can leave my phone somewhere and it’s not a big deal,” said Eric.
Eric and Amy now work in the office together with their desks facing each other. Amy jokes that Eric has time now to take her out to lunch.
Beyond a work life balance, the Paces say the greatest value that Aire Serv has brought to their business is the network of support that an HVAC franchise provides. They attend annual training events, and maintain close contact with their Franchise Consultant.
“There is no reason to reinvent the wheel. It all works, but it takes time,” said Amy. “I think that’s where the help of the Franchise Consultant comes in. They help you figure out what’s going to be your next step.”
The Paces have also found support from other franchisees, as well. The couple says they reach out to other Aire Serv owners and use them as a sounding board for new ideas or for implementing a new system with their staff.
“Sometimes employees will push back when there is change. I will say there is a business just up the road doing the same thing and seeing results. We know it’s proven. We know it’s working everyday,” Eric said.
Amy added, “Normally, A/C guys that own companies don’t talk to each other and they don’t help each other. But the beauty about Aire Serv is, yes, there are other Aire Servs around here, but we aren’t competitors. We’re all in it together. That has been our greatest value, the camaraderie and being able to bounce ideas off each other.”
Eric and Amy Pace have been with Aire Serv since 2009. The pair has three teenage boys who all have a role in the family business. The Paces are also leaders actively involved in their community. For nine years, Eric has been a Scout Master for Boy Scouts of America. The family is also actively involved with their church.
Myth: “I’ll have to do everything your way. I’ll lose my freedom”
In fact, many of the most successful franchisees are those who can think outside-of-the-box. It’s true; there are a lot of rules. However, these should not be seen as a limiting factor, but a framework on which to build a business. There’s plenty of room for the creative entrepreneur in franchising.
Think of the franchise concept like a playground. There’s a fence and certain rules that he kids must abide by, but within those parameters the children are free to have as much fun as their hearts’ content. The fence keeps the children from running into the street and getting hurt.
Franchising works in a similar fashion. The rules give franchisees a tested and established way of doing business that is relatively safe, and most of the rules deal with the very basics of business operation. The rules form the parameter or safe-zone for franchisees to work within.
Beyond the basics though, you’re in charge. As a business owner, you decide how to recruit employees, market your location and promote your business. For instance, did you know the McDonald’s breakfast staple, the Egg McMuffin, was created by a local franchisee?
Room for Innovation in Marketing
As a franchisor, The Dwyer Group® has seen many franchisees who have employed their creative sides in the business. Although the rules vary depending on the franchise concept, there is plenty of room for innovation.
“First of all, we are independently owned and operated. So we are an independent franchise. We do have the option to do what we choose to do to a certain point,” said Steve Johnson, Mr. Appliance® franchisee based in Birmingham, Ala.
Recently, Steve acquired a second concept, Aire Serv®, and has developed his marketing strategy to cross-market his appliance repair service and his HVAC service.
“For example, we do a TV commercial and not any of the other Mr. Appliances do a TV commercial. Since we own both franchises, I can do a TV commercial and integrate both concepts together,” said Steve. Steve sees the national headquarters and other franchisees as an advantage to his business, and he uses the network as a sounding board.
“What I like about it is if I choose to look at Internet marketing, I have a marketing person and other franchises I can reach out to and ask, ‘Hey, how did this work for you?’”
Taking on a franchise doesn’t mean your business can’t have personality or that you can’t be creative in business. As a franchisor, The Dwyer Group encourages its franchisees to focus on customer service and the Code of Values®, but how those are interpreted come out in some amazing ways:
Code of Values Rap
Harlem Shake with The Grounds Guys of Owensboro
Franchisees have to play within the franchisor’s rules, but that doesn’t mean they have to lose their freedom or turn off their creativity.
We’ll be continuing the Myths of Franchising series over the next few weeks, subscribe to the Morning Huddle blog to catch the next update.
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The heat is on and summer is almost here, and managing the flood of service calls for air condition repair can be as extreme as the heat. To make the most of the cooling season, follow these tips from Aire Serv® Franchise Consultant Tommy Dutton to help keep your business running smoothly, your customers happy and your technicians productive and safe.
“It seems like [the customers] all call on the same day or in the same week, and if an owner hasn’t done their job… it’s a real challenge from day one,” Tommy said.
Tommy recommends recruiting technicians year-round. This ensures you will always have someone you can call when you’re looking to hire. Don’t wait until the last minute to hire someone for the busy season; good technicians will have already found a job by then. Rather, change your approach to hiring.
“What owners really need to be doing is recruiting year-round. You need to have a file of people you’ve talked to,” Tommy said. “Have that reserved list of people ready to go, that helps a lot.”
During the slow season reach out to those technicians you’ve had your eye on, invite them to your shop to have a conversation about your business and to explore what you have to offer each other. When the time is right, you will feel comfortable calling that person in for a job interview. This keeps you in control of the hiring process.
You may have your trucks cleaned and stocked, and inventory ready to go in the warehouse, but without customers, it’s not going to make a difference. The customer service representative is one of the most important members on your team during the busy season.
“Even though the owner may have done a great job in getting the technicians out, if you don’t have the right people answering the phones you’re going to lose business before you even have the chance to get into the customer’s home,” Tommy said.
Make certain that your call center is well staffed and representatives are trained to handle a large volume of calls. The customer service representative is the face of your company.
Additionally, avoid the temptation to schedule too many jobs during the busy months. The added business may end up costing you more in staff resources in the long run.
“Probably the biggest thing for the technician and the owner is to fight the temptation to rush through jobs,” said Tommy.
Technicians should focus on quality over quantity. Tommy recommends allowing 4-5 calls per day per technician. This helps ensure the job is done right the first time, increases the quality of your customers’ experiences, and increases the likelihood that you will have a repeat customer. Businesses that make mistakes due to overbooking and rushed jobs damage their reputation with current and future customers.
In addition to your customers, keep your team members in mind during the busy season.
“When it gets really hot most air conditioning company’s can easily work 24/7 and not stop until they drop, so to speak. You’ve got to be conscious of people’s time and their need to rest and recuperate,” said Tommy.
Put the health and well being of your employees first because happy employees make happy customers.
With a little bit of foresight and planning, your business will make it through the summer busy season smoothly.
Aire Serv employs innovative and established methods to build a strong foundation for a successful HVAC business. Those interested in learning more about Aire Serv’s business systems should visit www.leadingtheserviceindustry.com or call 1 (866) 696-1504.
In 2012, Dina Dwyer-Owens, Chairwoman and CEO of the Dwyer Group®, donned a cap, a wig, and a set of pearls to go undercover in her very own company. Faith Brown, Dina’s undercover alias, was an ordinary office assistant who was ready to trade-in her desk for a drill to get hands-on experience as a technician. As Dina received hands-on training in four different branches of her franchise, she not only received valuable insight into the front-line operations of her company, but also met some of the extraordinary people who make The Dwyer Group a leader in the service industry.
Deeply dedicated to her employees, her father’s vision, and a strong advocate for the company’s Code of Values®, Dina continuously demonstrates the qualities of an “epic boss” even after her experiences on the original episode. As such, Dina is scheduled to appear on a special episode of “Undercover Boss: Epic Bosses” airing nationally at 8 p.m. EST, Friday, May 17 on CBS.
Be sure to tune in with Dina as she reflects on the impact of her experiences as Faith Brown, and how The Dwyer Group has grown since last year. In the meantime, Dina shares her wisdom and experience for being an epic boss.
“The best tips I have for being a great boss is to focus on the 3 things that help a boss be great,” says Dina.
- Be your Best Authentic Self- in my case it’s living my faith and leading the company by living R.I.C.H.:
- Customer focus
- Having fun in the process
- Surround yourself with a great team, both professionally and personally.
- Have clear systems for success and train to those systems.
To learn how to apply systems for success, recruit a strong team, and implement the Code of Values® into your current business visit www.leadingtheserviceindustry.com or call 1 (866) 656-1504 for more information.
For Jared Teague, working in a heating and air conditioning environment is no stranger to him. His stepdad started Metal Craft in 1963. Metal Craft handled sheet metal work, heating and cooling and design and installs. Teague grew up around the business and has worked in HVAC from a young age.
Teague, and his sister, Carla McMullan, bought Metal Craft about 10 years ago. In 2009, Teague received a phone call about an opportunity to be an Aire Serv franchise. He listened to what they had to say and realized he was already implementing many of the Aire Serv systems. He really enjoyed the benefits Aire Serv had to offer Read more
As February drew to a close last week, The Dwyer Group® celebrated a milestone, the largest-ever orientation of future franchisees at its headquarters in Waco, Texas. The dynamic group of 45 outgrew the company’s Training Lodge and had to move over to the nearby Hilton in downtown Waco.
CEO and Chairwoman Dina Dwyer-Owens commented on the successful event, “Our service brands’ growth and achievements speak volumes in today’s economy that the right team and the right systems are in place. In the state of our economy, more and more people are looking at franchise ownership and our service brands have stood out as the right choice. Already serving the U.S. and Canada with more than 1,300 franchise locations, our growing number of franchisees is proof of the positive impact that The Dwyer Group can make. The 45 future franchisees that we greeted last week is a testament to that.”
Several of the participants in last week’s orientation took a few moments to reflect on their journey in the franchising process that had brought them to The Dwyer Group’s door, and shared some of their reactions to the orientation event.
We believe that The Dwyer Group service brands attract franchisees because of our commitment to our mission, vision and Code of Values, which in turn create a family business atmosphere.
Every franchisee has a story. Each new franchise owner brings a host of skills and leadership abilities to his business that is different from the last.
Future Aire Serv® franchise owner Larry Colley is no exception. Colley joined the Army at the age of 17 and began a 21-year career in the 82nd Airborne Division and the U.S. Army Special Forces. With deployments spanning from Somalia to Iraq, Colley received many accolades over his military tenure, including the prestigious Bronze Star. However, Colley had always dreamed with his father of starting his own business.
A TIME article recently highlighted why veterans make excellent entrepreneurs—both are “hard working, dedicated, disciplined, multi-skilled, and self-sufficient… they are strong-willed individuals who put the mission before the man.”
Colley had the leadership skills it takes to own and manage a business: “I’ve spent my entire career leading, teaching, and mentoring,” he says. He also has experience in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning industry, but didn’t have the tools it took to strike out entirely on his own. After hearing about The Dwyer Group and Aire Serv®, he saw franchising as his solution.
After being approved to open an Aire Serv franchise, the greatest barrier to entry remaining for Colley was the initial franchise fee. Even with his 25% VetFran discount, a daunting figure of over $50,000 still remained. Colley pledged to pay down 20% of the fee, but stumbled across an innovative solution to raise the remaining $42,000.
Boost a Hero is a brand new program powered by startup company Sprigster that allows veterans to raise funds for franchising through crowdfunding, a means of soliciting micro-donations from large groups of people through social media. Through Boost a Hero, Colley will be able to tell his story to a mass audience and will connect with potential donors online.
Boost a Hero’s official fundraising website launched on Saturday, Feb. 11, and is gaining traction online and in the franchising and military communities. Donations start at $1, and result in increasing “perks” as a thank you from The Dwyer Group and Colley personally. For donors, the program allows them to support transitioning veterans in a tangible way. For franchisors, the program helps decrease barriers to entry and in turn, grows their franchise network.
Colley’s wife, Tracy, is also a veteran, and his son, Justin, is currently serving in Afghanistan with plans to return to Florida and join his parents’ new business. Larry Colley’s story as a business owner is just beginning, and we’re looking forward to welcoming him officially to The Dwyer Group family.
To find out more or to make a donation, please visit http://boostahero.com.
By: Leila Roche of the Suffolk News Herald
As the mercury in thermometers is dropping, most people are eager to pull out fall and winter decorations and pull on their boots and gloves.
But homeowners should take the time to ensure their homes and heating systems are just as ready for the change of season.
“You want to make sure your heating system isn’t going to go out at 2 a.m. on a 10-degree night when companies are swamped with calls and you have to wait 10-12 hours to get your heat back on,” said Vinie Copeland, president of Aire Serv of Suffolk franchise. “If you do preventative maintenance now, your chances of that or any other malfunction happening go down.”
Dominion Virginia Power recommends replacing or cleaning filters of forced air furnaces monthly, having your heating system inspected, inspecting your home’s ductwork to ensure no heated air is escaping and sealing up windows and doors with weather stripping or caulk.
“Air leaks are the first thing we look for,” Copeland said. “They can be at the windows, doors and access doors going into an attic. You need to make sure there’s a rubber sweep or something at the bottom of the door and that that your windows are properly sealed. Double pane windows are a good idea.”
If your home isn’t keeping heat like it should, Copeland also recommends taking a look at the insulation in your home. Once the walls are built in a home, it’s hard to do much about insulation, but take a look in your attic.
“Especially if you’ve been living there awhile, your insulation can get moved around while you were getting Christmas decorations or something,” Copeland said. “Either put it back, or put in thicker insulation. It can save homeowners a lot of money over the years.”
One of the most important checkups doesn’t just keep you warm, but it can keep you healthy, as well.
“The emissions from a heater with stress spots or cracks in the heat exchanger can contribute to high levels of carbon monoxide exposure,” Copeland said. “The air we breathe indoors can actually be more dangerous than the air outdoors, so it’s important to check any fuel-burning appliance or heating source to make sure it’s working properly annually.”
While death by carbon monoxide poisoning isn’t common, it can cause less fatal health effects such as headaches, dizziness, disorientation, nausea and fatigue.
Warning signs that you may have a potential carbon monoxide leak include a gas flame burning orange or yellow instead of blue, sooty stains on heating appliances or around heating registers or a noisy furnace.
Before you turn on the heater for the winter, Aire Serv recommends taking the following precautions:
Install a carbon monoxide detector outside the sleeping quarters on each floor of the home.
Keep generators in a well-ventilated area and away from the house.
Have the furnace and any heating equipment checked by a heating specialist. In addition to cleaning your system, checking refrigerant levels and adjusting your system as needed, your contractor should look for cracks or damage to the heat exchanger.
Remove any clutter around the furnace, particularly flammable items.
Check your furnace air filter monthly and replace as necessary. Air flow can be restricted if the filter is dirty.
Remember that your pets are as attracted to the warm fireplace and heater as you are, so make sure they can’t burn themselves or knock a heat source over.