5 ways to be a better business leader today

Part of being a business owner is being a leader.  While leadership comes easy to some, to others it can be difficult. Here are five ways you can improve as a leader today:

1. Take an interest in your employees.

You need to be involved with your employees. If they have a problem, you need to work with them to find a solution. You hired talent, now you need to nurture that talent in your employees. Ways to improve work and life for your employees should remain top of mind. Colin Powell may have said it best, “The day the soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help them or concluded that you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.”

2. Be open to a new way of looking at and doing things.

To be a great leader you need to be flexible and in tune with what is going on around you and you should be constantly looking for ways to improve your business.

3. Set the standards with yourself.

Do not demand perfection, the best leaders inspire greatness. They do this by holding themselves to high standards.

4. Communicate, communicate, communicate

This is one of the most fundamental parts of being a great leader. Being a great communicator starts with being a great listener.

5. Teach and release

Being a great leader requires that you teach your employees what they need to know and then you get out of the way and let them do it themselves. They should know you’ll be there for support, but ultimately they have the ability and your trust to get what needs to be done, done. It’s finding the balance between being in the trenches beside your employees and leading from in front.

To learn more about The Dwyer Group Code of Values, business systems or to become a part of our franchise family, click here or fill out the information form to the side.

Leadership

The Dwyer Group® Brands Are Top Innovative Franchises

dwyerlogoEntrepreneur Magazine recently listed The Dwyer Group as one of their  Top Innovative Franchises. The Dwyer Group, the parent company for seven home service brands, was recognized on the list for a program initiated by Dina Dwyer-Owens, Co-Chairman of The Dwyer Group.

“It is an honor to be listed among the top innovative franchises by Entrepreneur Magazine,” Heather McLeod, Director of Franchise Sales Marketing at The Dwyer Group, said. “We are dedicated to helping people achieve their personal and professional goals in the service industry through franchising.”

Entrepreneur’s  Our Top Innovative Franchises  contained 15 new and 15 established innovators. The Dwyer Group was among the established innovators.

The “Women in the Trades “ (WIT) program, for which The Dwyer Group was  recognized, offers scholarships to women to attend trade or technical schools so they can get service jobs or own their own businesses. The goal of the scholarship is to offer women the opportunity break professional boundaries and pursue life-long goals in the service trades.

As of Dec. 31, 2013, The Dwyer Group had 1,596 franchisees worldwide, selling 120 new franchises year to date and has been franchising since 1981. In addition to the WIT program, The Dwyer Group has programs for Veterans and Public Protectors interested in becoming a business owner through franchising.

The Dwyer Group offers franchises of seven home service brands, Aire Serv®, Glass Doctor®, Mr. Appliance®, Mr. Electric®, The Grounds Guys®, Mr. Rooter® and Rainbow International®.

About WIT Scholarship: Interested candidates can apply for $1,500 scholarship for a trade or technical school for any of seven specialties: HVAC, plumbing, electrical repair, glass repair and replacement, appliance repair, restoration or landscaping. The scholarships are available to women working towards a career in the trades, to students studying for a career in the trades or to front-line female employees at franchise locations of any of The Dwyer Group service brands. The scholarship is open to women 18 or older and covers tuition, books, travel and/or fees at any trade or technical school in the U.S. or Canada. 530885_386348774776854_25784977_n

Rainbow International Restoration® adds new franchises

RMS-130404-2953-Edit

Rainbow International had a shining second quarter of franchise sales in 2014. Rainbow International announced the addition of 10 new franchise locations. In addition to these new locations, four existing franchise locations have expanded their service territory, increasing the availability of their services to customers.

“We are always pleased to grow our service network by developing quality franchise locations,” Mark Welstead, president of Rainbow International, said.

Rainbow International welcomes the following new franchise owners:

Troy Reese, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Jeffrey Finch, Conklin, New York

Patrick Patel, Ventura California

Jason Opp,  Fairbanks, Alaska

Katherine Sheridan, Monterey, California

Dat Nguyen, Warwick, Rhode Island

Kevin McSweeney, Boxborough, Massachusetts

Craig O’bringer, Celina, Ohio

Phillip Miller, Goshen, Indiana

Scott Morrow, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

 

Patrick Patel also owns a Mr. Rooter(R) franchise in Santa Maria, California. He opened his Mr. Rooter franchise in 2011.

“We are pleased with our growth this quarter,” Heather McLeod, Director of Franchise Sales Marketing at The Dwyer Group(R), said. “As a company, we love helping people achieve their goals through business ownership and these new franchisees are warmly welcomed.”

Rainbow International franchise owners have access to training in cutting-edge water and smoke restoration techniques and support from IICRC-certified staff leaders. In addition, franchise owners are equipped with marketing support, access to national accounts, vendor rebates and incentives, as well as, a dedicated franchise consultant.“Each new Rainbow franchisee’s goal is to offer top quality service, by bringing the highest standards in restoration to their area,” Welstead said.

How To Use The New Twitter Layout For Your Business

new twitter layoutTwitter rolled out a new design for users worldwide. The new Twitter layout has great advantages for marketing your small business.

Here is what you need to know:

New header image is giant

This area consumes a large part of the new Twitter profile now. It is a great opportunity for some free advertising. Not to mention, you can create a high impact first impression for your business with this area. Think about your branding when selecting your header image.

Try to create your header at the full recommended size. If you don’t, when you upgrade Twitter will just enlarge your older much smaller header image into something that is out of focus and leaves a bad impression.

For image size details for the new Twitter layout see the cheat sheet at the bottom of this post. 

Twitter feed is now highly visual

Photos, images and videos have always had a stronger impact, but this new Twitter layout increases that impact. They stand out from the traditional text and link only updates in your followers twitter feed. Plan your content accordingly.

Why should you change now?

As an early adopter of the new Twitter layout, you stand out compared to competitors and this will increase the chances for more engagement. Plus, it gives you more time to learn all the ins and outs of this new Twitter layout before everyone else makes the change.

Visual freedom: Tweet more pictures

You can now upload more than one image at a time in one tweet. But, they do not carry the same impact as featuring one full width image would because these multiple images are partially shown while in the default collapsed view.  Take note that even the partially shown images are still more eye catching than tweets without images. This is a great place to post pictures of new products or services, company get togethers or even infographics.

Pinned Tweets

You can now select a tweet and pin it to stay at the top of your profile view. This presents another great opportunity for marketing. Best of all, it’s free. This is a great place to pin any tweets about a promotion you might have going on at the time or any recent news items about your business.

How to pin a tweet?  See those three little grey dots below your tweet? Click on those. Then select “pin to your profile page” and you’re done. It’s really that simple.

Other new features you should know about:

Big Tweets

Tweets that have received more engagement will appear larger than other tweets in the Twitter feed. This gives you an opportunity to see your engagement at a glance.

Tweets are now filtered

 You can choose which timeline you want to view when checking out other profiles. Your options for this are to see tweets in the default view, tweets with photo or video or tweets and their replies.

 Twitter Image Size Cheat Sheet

Image Type

Width

Height

Header Image

1500

500

Image size for Tweets

876

438

Ratio

2 (width is two times the height)

1 (height should be 1x smaller than the width)

*Image size is in pixels.

 

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 For more information about franchising with The Dwyer Group®, please fill out the contact form to the side.

 

 

How Growing Your Landscape Business Can Hurt You

arbor

Growing your landscape business?

It could hurt you.

But, not if you are prepared.

Avoid these five common mistakes, and growing your landscape business will be much easier and a lot less painful:

 

1.Growing the company before systems are in place.

Success in the landscape industry, or really any industry, requires a system that allows your business to function without continuous micromanaging. You cannot grow your landscape business without successful systems in place. With these systems in place your company should have the means to add additional full time crews, grow and produce optimum results.  You do not want to be creating systems through trial and error while managing the day to day problems, it’s next to impossible. Sometimes the best way to be successful is to be prepared to do the work before actually doing the work.  Without systems in place the transition from being a hands on owner to becoming business owners that hire people to create projects at the same quality, while you still earn the same profits, will be much harder than it needs to be.

2. Growing too fast.

Growing your landscape business is a great thing. Until it isn’t. It boils down to supply and demand. If you can’t meet the needs of your growing business, it’s going to be a constant uphill battle to regain the balance and control you need in a business.

3. Not identifying all-star employees.

By identifying and leveraging these people, you can provide a more entrepreneurial environment and pay structure; you can grow your landscape business while reducing your personal workload. You don’t want to lose all star employees, which generally happens when they don’t see what their future in the industry could be. If you don’t do this, then chances are that you will be surrounded by employees that work only for a paycheck, which could reduce your company expansion and add to your personal workload.

4. Trying to operate without the right equipment.

Equipment is expensive, we get it. But, this is one area where it is best not to be cheap or “make do” with tools. That doesn’t mean you should go bankrupt buying the biggest and baddest tools you can find. Finding a balance between high quality equipment and price is difficult for any business owner.

5.  Hiring the wrong employees.

All business owners have been in this situation at least once. It’s one thing to hire the wrong employees for your landscape business; it’s another to hang onto them. With landscaping skills being in demand, highly usable and the current state of affairs in the business world you need to hire the best employees that you can, because you can’t afford to let any of them go.

The Grounds Guys® is a great example of a landscape company that continually survives, possibly due in large part to the systems that they have in place. These systems help franchisees avoid making all five of these mistakes. All franchisees get business training, access to a network of vendors and a trained consultant for extra guidance.

 If you would like more information about The Grounds Guys, then please feel free to fill out the contact form to the side. Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog, so you don’t miss a single business tip!

 

 

Why Should You Celebrate Easter at Work?

How to celebrate Easter at workAre you celebrating Easter with your employees? Why not? Celebrating holidays like Easter can make a positive impact on your employees, no matter how small the celebration. Easter is a great way to have some fun around the office, create different office traditions, increase employee motivation and employee loyalty. So here are a few ideas to help you celebrate the holiday in your office.

Easy Easter Baskets

                Easter baskets are a great way to celebrate the holiday with employees or customers. Small baskets full of candy, homemade treats, and gifts let employees and customers know you are thinking of them during this holiday. Small basket ideas include: chocolate eggs or bunnies, cookies, bunny ears and plastic eggs.

Egg Hunt

                A business-wide egg hunt is a fun way to take a break during the Easter holidays. Fill plastic eggs with candy or even coupons from local businesses. Egg hunts bring out the competitive side in everyone, so a fun twist on a regular egg hunt would be dividing into teams and having a grand prize for the team with the most eggs. You may even want to put a special “day-off from work” in an egg.

Easter Pot Luck Lunch

                Host a pot luck lunch for your employees the Friday before Easter to encourage team building and camaraderie. Employees can bring their favorite Easter dish or dessert and combine food for everyone to have a fun Easter party. This is a way to bring the office together to celebrate and have fun while at the office.

At The Dwyer Group®, we look to not only work hard but also to have fun in the process. Easter is one great way to let employees know they are valued, ease the everyday rush of the workday, and even show customers that your company is a business that cares about people.

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7 Social Media Marketing Mistakes To Avoid With A Plumbing Business

Social Media ROI

Social media is one of the building pieces of a successful marketing strategy for a plumbing business.

Using social media properly will help you connect with customers, increase your search ranking and it provides you with a great way to distribute important information.

For social media to be used successfully, as a marketing tool for any business, there needs to be a plan in place.  To create a plan it is often helpful to know common mistakes you can make.

Here are seven common mistakes you can make using social media marketing for your plumbing business:

No Profile Picture or Cover Photo

People are more likely to connect with someone, brands included, if they can visually see what or with whom they are connecting. This picture also serves as the first impression of your business to consumers. You can creatively use this to take your marketing a step further. It may be difficult to select a profile picture for your plumbing business on Facebook, consider using your business logo or a great picture of your store front. Don’t forget you will need a cover photo as well. Your profile picture and cover photo should be different. An idea for a great cover photo for your plumbing business would be a picture of your staff or your branded company vehicles.

Inconsistent Branding

With so many social media sites, businesses now have more than one page or profile to maintain. It is important to maintain branding across all social media. Use the same pictures and logos. Keep the theme common and consistent. The content does not have to be identical on every page though.

Not Creating a Business Listing/ Profile

Having a separate listing and profile for your business aside from your personal social media is a definite must.  On Facebook the business listings are called “pages” on Google Plus it’s Google Local, on LinkedIn it’s a company page. These pages are designed with businesses in mind, they help you display your professional brand and in some cases can boost your search ranking.

Inconsistent and Infrequent Posting

To be successful using social media to market your plumbing business, you need a steady flow of information. A steady flow does not mean that you post hourly, in most cases, posting daily or every other day works perfectly. Don’t spam your clients! As a plumbing business you have the opportunity to use social media to share important information with your clients. An example would be a post about water conservation tips or content related to plumbing and holidays.

Not Using Social Media

It may seem unnecessary for your plumbing business to be on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn but this is untrue. People use each site differently and seek content differently depending on the site. Thinking that you don’t need a LinkedIn page for your plumbing business, because you don’t do B2B might be a common thought. However, LinkedIn is a great place to establish yourself as a leader in your industry, and once you have established that the chances of new opportunities are elevated. Explore all of your different options for social media and decide which sites will work best for your business.

Not filling out your profile 100%

This goes back to the making sure you have a profile picture, but you also need to make sure you have completely filled in the information on your page. The more information customers can find about you that is directly from you, the better. Your page should include information for contacting your plumbing business as well as a link to your webpage.

Talking AT your followers instead of TO them

This is a common problem with business pages, and often with personal pages. So many people just talk to say something and never actually listen or engage with their following. Stop trying to sell everyone and start genuinely engaging and help customers when you can.

When you purchase a Mr. Rooter ® plumbing franchise, you purchase a system. Part of that system includes valuable business training for franchisees, some of which covers marketing and social media. For more information about purchasing a Mr. Rooter plumbing franchise click here or fill out the contact form to the side.

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How A Franchise Saved My Business: Ben Goergen Tells His Story

Saved my business

Don’t let one accident cause you to lose your business.

It’s hard to find a career that provides the same level of the freedom and control that owning a business can offer, but Ben Goergen came face to face with the reality of being the sole owner and operator of his business with just one misstep. Ben soon discovered that a franchise could do more than increase his revenue, streamline his operation, and provide operations and marketing support. More importantly, he said, “It saved my business.”

Franchisee for Glass Doctor

Ben Goergen, “My business was completely and utterly dependent on me. I didn’t have anybody else that could manage the business like I do, so I had to close for a whole week after the accident.”

“I felt it all the way up into the back of my knee. I thought I had snapped my Achilles,” said Ben. “I thought it had snapped and recoiled into the back of my leg. I was scared. I was absolutely panicked. So, I slowly put my foot down. Everything was fine, but I thought, man, is that a precursor to what could happen?”

For one very long moment, Ben was concerned about his personal health and the health of his business. Thankfully, his injury was relatively minor…this time. Yet, the incident gave him a whole new perspective about his business and what could have happened to it if the worst had happened that day.

“The accident just stopped my heart, and I started thinking about it,” said Ben. “I needed to create something that if I were to go down I would have a business that could survive without me. My business was completely and utterly dependent on me. I didn’t have anybody else that could manage the business like I do, so I had to close for a whole week after the accident.”

At that moment Ben realized that if he ever suffered a serious injury forbidding him to work, his business would have no chance of recovering. It was at that moment that Ben decided that he needed to make the move to something bigger than himself. Ben realized he needed to pursue another business path that yielded more employees and a larger support system. In the end, he found Glass Doctor®.

“Coming down to [corporate headquarters], I was expecting to learn about the support systems, the help, and the structure that I didn’t know about,” said Ben. “It’s not that I haven’t found that, but I’m more surprised by all the other stuff that I found out about the people who work at Glass Doctor and The Dwyer Group®. Now that I’ve met the people of Glass Doctor and I’ve seen their hearts and sincerity and values, I’m completely and utterly floored.”

“I have the marketing team working for me and the operations team working for me,” Goergen said. “All of these people working to help me succeed. You have hundreds of incredibly successful professionals with years of experience in every facet of the business as your support team. How can that not be a good thing?”

With over 100 years of combined experience between the members of the Glass Doctor support team, Glass Doctor offers opportunities to small business owners looking for a supportive business environment. Whether you’re just like Ben, one accident away from shutting down, or even an established business owner looking for ways to improve sales or streamline your business so that you have more control over your life, Glass Doctor may be able to give you the support that you need. Fill out the form on the right side of the page to be connected with a business specialist who can help you get started today.

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Mobile Friendly Websites Predict Business Future

Technology in the hands

Having a website that is mobile friendly is no longer about making a few more sales; it’s become a critical component of creating strong brands.

A study conducted by Google on mobile use in the US found:

96% of consumers have encountered a website that did not have mobile in mind.

75% prefer a mobile site.

67% said that when they visit a mobile friendly site they are more likely to buy a site’s product or service.

50% said that even if they like the business they will use them less often if the website isn’t mobile friendly.

52% said that a bad mobile said made them less likely to engage with the company.

48% said that if a site didn’t work on mobile it made them feel like the company didn’t care about their business.

The numbers are very sobering, and it’s apparent that mobile friendly websites are a necessity to be a successful competitor in the marketplace.

Curious if your brand is meeting this need? An easy way to check if your business website is mobile friendly is to visit the page via your smartphone.

3 key ideas to remember in making a mobile friendly website:

  • Don’t let your customers get lost. Having a place where users can click to call your business and find your address easily is a necessary first step.  If they can’t find you, you’ve lost them. Literally and figuratively.
  • Easily clickable links. Links should be large enough that they can be easily clicked by hand or trackball.
  • Say no to thumb fatigue. Limiting content is helpful as most do not want to read a large block of text on a small screen.  Also, limit the number of times they must input information into a textbox. Nobody wants to spend five minutes filling in multiple text boxes with their thumbs.

With the ever-growing numbers of smartphone users, businesses should consider adapting their websites to mobile friendly versions. This requires an investment of time and money for business owners.

Making your website mobile friendly makes it future friendly. By adapting your website for mobile use you are positioning your business to meet the needs of a base of customers who are already familiar and very comfortable with mobile browsing and emerging technology.

Making a  mobile friendly website requires time and money. But, franchisees that purchase a franchise system from The Dwyer Group ®have someone to help them with this so their time and money can be applied to more important aspects of business.

If you would like to learn more about purchasing a franchise, fill out the contact form and someone will be in contact with you shortly. Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog, you don’t want to miss out!

HVAC Business Recovers From The Brink of Disaster in a Bad Economy

Aire Serv Van Best Franchise Opportunity With more than three decades of HVAC and plumbing experience under his belt, John Goldberg knows the ups and downs of the HVAC business, but like many in the HVAC industry, in 2008, John felt the heavy weight of a bad economy on his business. In a recent interview John explains his experience becoming Aire Serv® of Southwestern New York and how the franchise assisted him in bringing his business back from the brink.

What was your business like before expanding as an Aire Serv?

Before Aire Serv, we had traveled through the ups and downs of business. The word we used for going broke was “downsizing.” By 2010, I was in the field with a helper and we had a girl that answered the phone one day a week. It’s amazing how hard we worked for our little bit of sales. But it’s all we could do; it was all only one guy could do.

Since joining Aire Serv, it has helped us rebuild our business. Today I have 5 technicians, 2 people in the office, a sales person—the home comfort designer, and my wife, Tiffany, who does our marketing. We just took a photo of our team the other day and there are 9 people in it!

What made you decide you wanted to start your own business?

I would say an ambitious personality. I want to control my own schedule. That’s what drives me today is the ability to make my own decisions, be an entrepreneur—control my finances, my future, on a day-to-day basis.

How did you hear about Aire Serv?

John-Goldberg-2Early on we were a new-construction-based plumbing and HVAC company, and in 2008, we hit THE WALL. I decided at that time that we needed to transition into a service maintenance and replacement business. We had actually tried some other things before Aire Serv. We had worked with some consultants, but hadn’t been able make it happen on our own. Our switch to Aire Serv, all started with a phone call and a simple conversation with an Aire Serv Franchise Developer.

*Get in contact with the Aire Serv Franchise Developer for your area by filling out the form on the right side of the page.

What made you decide to become a part of Aire Serv?

There were several steps before I decided to go with Aire Serv. When I attended Orientation, I talked with other HVAC contractors there looking at the franchise. We all had a protective curtain up. However, we all talked about the same things. We all had the same problems and pains in our businesses. Aire Serv seemed to offer the solutions we were looking for.

What recommendations do you have for someone interested in Aire Serv?

I’ll be honest. Joining Aire Serv was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. It’s not easy. But Aire Serv, by far, is the best thing that has happened to us. The hardest thing to do is make the decision to go with it. Once that choice is made, you strap on your helmet and it’s game time. If I made a mistake, it was that I waited too long to become a part of Aire Serv.

What are some of the goals you have for your Aire Serv location this year?Alicia Lloyd and John Goldberg

What we are trying to do this year—drill down with a laser focus—is lead generation for replacement sales. That’s our daily effort: find places for our sales people to go to give presentations. Aire Serv is at the core of the business, helping achieve our goals.

Would you like to expand like John? An Aire Serv may still be available for your area. You can receive more information by filling out the form on the right side of the page, or visit our website to learn more about us at www.AireServFranchise.com.

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  • About Us

    Why Morning Huddle? Every business owner needs a time to refocus their business goals and stay apprised of new industry trends, a morning huddle. That’s where we come in.

    The Dwyer Group® has led the service industry for 30 years and owns seven top home-service franchises with 1,600 locations worldwide. Our mission is to help everyone we touch lead happier, more successful lives through our principles of personal and business success.

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