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    By Nate Winans


    What’s the difference between you and your competition? If you’re solely basing the difference on price, that’s a red flag for many people. When you’re in the store and you see two identical products but one is $50 less, that’s typically a good indication that you’ll be sacrificing quality for price. Unless of course it’s an Apple product and something else, Apple is just always more expensive, good quality, but always more expensive.

    What can you provide that’s different from your competition? Can you service them faster? Is your quality better? Do you do something specific on all your repairs that gives added peace of mind? The top tradesman/women provide something extra for their customers. Show off those skills, you worked hard to perfect them, so why not flaunt it!

    1.Read Blueprints

    Having the ability to properly read floor plans and blueprints is a huge plus. Many contractors know how to do this already, but there are many who may not understand how to properly do so. Clearly understanding the dimensions of a building and the size of a unit can be a tremendous plus since many contractors would just put a unit where they can fit it.

    2. Properly Connecting Units

    Yes, this one should be a no-brainer but you’d be surprised. How many times have you or your company gone to a job to clean up another business's work? I’m guessing the answer is many times over. Just a simple guarantee to your customer that things will be connected properly and that you won’t need to return to check over your work will go a long way. Homeowners don’t want to worry about return visits, they also get extremely upset when they just paid hundreds or even thousands of dollars for something and it doesn’t work properly.

    3. Testing Equipment

    Really, testing equipment is huge! It’s not just that you can hook something up, it’s that it needs to work properly too! Just a quick run of the system will cancel out any return trips, will give the customer peace of mind and will add that added act of valor to your customer. Seriously, they’ll appreciate that their unit is running properly!

    4. Safety and Government Regulations

    When you're handling gases, refrigerants and other hazardous materials, knowing how to properly handle them is key. You don’t want to be walking through a customer’s house with toxic gasses leaking from what you’re trying to dispose of. Many HVAC companies will only hire technicians who know and understand the Occupational Health and Safety Act and environmental refrigeration laws. Just think, your company reputation relies on how a technician handles materials that could be hazardous to the homeowner’s health!

    5. Computer/Technology Skills

    Here we go, I can hear the groans coming already for those of you who want to stick to your pen/pencil and paper. It’s worked for years and you’re not changing now. That’s ok! However, other businesses are making the transition to technology. Homeowners like having their price provided on a phone/tablet/computer, it’s easier to read opposed to someone's handwriting. It also makes it easier to have an email or text sent with the receipt included instead of having a paper receipt which can be crumpled and lost in seconds.

    You can learn more about Coolfront Mobile here!

    6. Personality

    Personality reigns king...or queen. Would you call back a company who installed a system in your home but was rude and blunt with you? It’s great if they do great work, but there are many companies that provide good services. There are also many people who can be rude when they come into your home. I get it, you don’t want to disrupt the person, you’re a guest in their home, but even a polite, “hello, how are you” goes a long way.

    To summarize, find your niche. In business, you have to find something to separate yourself from the competition besides price. Price can easily be beaten, but customer service, personality and expertise are hard to beat. Take a look at your reviews, if you have some, and see what customers are saying about you. Maybe they’ve already said what separates you from the competition. Take it and run with it!