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HPM September 2017

“Find your strength and focus on this” Robert Harrison, of Marvel Property Solutions, urges people to stop complaining (ironically) Summer is rapidly drawing to an end and the R&R that you've got accustomed to is about to finish. I hope you are fired up and ready to tackle the winter like Jon Snow (of Game of Thrones) with a war cry of "winter is coming" (by the way, I am a fellow northerner, a king no less). If you're not, then I'd be so bold as to say you need to consider if you're in the right job. Plenty of jobs out there for sparks. Those guys don't suffer the seasonal variation we do...you do have to be a bit twitchy though. What makes me laugh when you speak to people in the heating and plumbing industry is someone complaining about a slow summer. Funnily enough, these are the same people that complain that they are 'double busy' in winter. I've definitely been spending too much R O B E R T ’ S R A N T S about too much or too little work and start using their initiative time in the south. What I want to say is: "Wake up you plonker...you do know you’re a plumber, right? Did the same thing happen last year, you know, when it's warmer?” If you are one of these, change your mindset! Soak up the spoils of that labour from the winter months – God knows we have enough of them. Spend time with family, take up a hobby, I don’t bloody know! Just be a bit more content with your lot. Be proud of what you do and don't bitch about it. Back to not having enough work. Look, there is enough work out there, that is, if you are good at what Your company will strive if you invest time in other areas of your work and help your team to develop their strengths you do and actually care about your customers. I've got no time for people who take shortcuts, overcharge and then complain about it. You don't deserve customers! The next logical question with this is: Are you happy with what you do, or not? If the answer is ‘no,’ apart from getting out the industry and turning your hand to something else, you could always grow your business and then focus on the elements that you enjoy. If you try to grow your business you will, ultimately, have to spend more time doing other things, for 32 example, operations, marketing, PR, finance, etc. A word of caution here, I know you know how hard it is to keep on top of the admin. More work means more admin. Get that wrong and you will soon have trouble with your customers. Now, there are some thoroughbred diehards out there that believe if you are not on the tools you aren't a plumber. In reality, I get more sense of satisfaction from talking to customers and helping them understand the problem and how we will solve it than actually doing it. I know, I know! Heathen in the industry. How dare you call yourself a plumber. Well – I do. I'm immensely proud of being so. The truth is the guys at Marvel are better than me. They are on tools day-inday out, and can smash through jobs with ease and experience that I However, if you do decide to grow your business , make sure you understand that you’ll need to dedicate time to the increased admin work simply don't have. My jobs morphed into client relations and do you know what, I like it. Before you shake your head and turn the page, what I'm trying to say is – find your strength and focus on this. If you are great at finding work and getting quotes approved – and you actually enjoy doing this – then find someone who can complete the work to your standard. If you would prefer to keep your head down on site and not talk to a customer that's fine – just make sure you can verbally spar with your foreman. Do you find yourself gritting your teeth when a customer stands over you watching everything? All you are thinking is: “He better not bloody tell me how to do my job!” and “I wanna lamp the guy!” Maybe you get a buzz from being a wizard at faultfinding on a boiler where all else have failed? My point is our industry has a multitude of sub categories that need a variety of skills. If you bring guys and/or gals into your team, find out their strength and help them develop it. Acutely aware I need to tread carefully right now…but if you think woman can't do our job, you are wrong. Full stop hands down wrong. The harsh reality is some of our customers (weirdly, it seems to be woman customers) don't agree with this. Bonkers in my book. It’s a shock that some women are saying this, but I guess it's a case of reverse sexism or some other 'ism.' I have no idea of where it comes from. Jeez, I've digressed again and now I'm in a whole world of potential pitfalls that I am ill-equipped to deal with. Bottom line. Find your strength – but more importantly, what you enjoy and build your world around that. Stay happy and respect your customers. Keep on, keepin’ on...after all, winter is coming. Any thoughts? Contact me at: @marvelplumbing. www.hpmmag.com September 2017 enquiry number 117


HPM September 2017
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