Attacking manufacturers may not be the most effective response
On many contractor forums and message boards, there seems to be a lot of talk and anger being generated over Jim Abrams and Terry Nicholson’s new endeavor in the HVAC industry. If you’re not familiar with Jim Abrams, in the past, he has been responsible for the creation of CSG, Service Experts, AirTime 500, One Hour Air, and Ben Franklin Plumbing in our industry. His newest endeavor is called ‘Praxis’, which revolves around an online consumer-direct sales component called ‘Price Fixer’. Much of what I’ve read has been centered around ‘Price Fixer’ and anger at manufacturers like Goodman because it is their equipment being offered through their online sales platform. Many contractors believe that Goodman should shut down the project and are threatening to boycott their products because of the online sales Praxis is doing.
From the comments and posts I’m reading, most of the people still are unclear about how Praxis and PriceFixer.com work. As far as the companies that are …
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How we finally got a handle on our company’s health care costs
By: Dave Squires, President, February 23, 2017
Every business faces the challenge of managing health care costs. These costs will likely remain high even with Congress looking at changing the Affordable Care Act since they are talking about continuing child coverage to age 26 along with no pre-existing conditions. I thought I would share how we solved Health Care for our company—and why you may want to explore the option we took with your own company.
For those of you who don’t already know, my brother Daniel and I have combined ownership of Vincent’s Heating and Plumbing and Online-Access. Since retaining good employees is the battle we all face, we try to offer a good benefit package. We cover 70% of our employee’s healthcare premiums for their entire family. We offer a ‘Gold’ plan with a $1,250 deductible and then a 20% co-pay up to $5,000 ($1,000 per person). The total out of pocket amounts are doubled for a family plan.
In August of 2014, our company faced a combined premium increase that averaged about 37%. Our annual premium was going to be over $160,000 for 6 families, 3 couples, and 4 singles. And the craziest part was, that everything that we were reading was telling us that the premium hikes would not be the last we see under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)— which has proven absolutely true.
By going ‘outside the box’ and working with a self-insurance management
By: Mitch Ortenburg, SEO Specialist, February 23, 2017
... The answer may surprise you.
So, you have a website. You focus on content. You focus on rankings and SEO. Do you think that this alone is the key to success? – No. While all of these are important, each is just one piece of a much larger puzzle.
What if I told you that 85% of the people searching for an HVAC company were actually looking specifically for a company they had used before or had been referred to? It may shock you or it may not, but we’ve found it to be statistically true. The overwhelming majority of traffic looking for an HVAC company already have their minds made up who they are looking for. Now, this may sound like I’m anti-selling what we do here at Online-Access but I think I’m doing anything but that. I’m just trying to paint you an honest picture of your role and ours. Since 85% of the traffic already knows what and who they are looking for, the remaining 15% is “up for grabs” by you and your competition. We can build you a beautiful website, focus on SEO and get you rankings, but do you know what gets you clicked on? Do you know what makes that person call or not call? Your real world reputation does.
I hope that truth-bomb didn’t injure your ego but it’s true. Think about it. When people don’t know who to turn to for something, it makes them uncomfortable. The majority of people in this situation are already stressed out by the dread of having to pay for a large expense they didn’t anticipate. They want to get