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Attend Profit Launch to turn your vision for your business into a tangible reality.

November 16th, 2017

Profit Launch has been added to the BDR University schedule on February 7-9, 2018 in Seattle, Washington!



Success Chalkboard Steps-Recommended Classes


Profit Launch is BDR's exclusive business planning workshop that helps contracting companies from across the nation develop a comprehensive business plan encompassing all departments, front office and back office operations, marketing, advertising, sales, service and leadership development. At the end of this 3-day session, each company leaves with a complete, printed business plan that will drive their profits and growth for years to come.

At this powerful and motivating session, you will work side-by-side with your Profit Coach and Support Team to build your five-year strategic business plan. After 3 days of intense instruction and application, you will take home a completed business plan.

Sound like a class you could grow from? Register now for the February 7-9 session in Seattle, WA! Registrations for our other sessions are coming soon.


If you’d like more details on what this class covers, click here.

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Earn NATE CEUs at Top Gun Technician Excellence

November 15th, 2017

Top Gun Technician Excellence is taking place on February 15-16, 2018 in Dallas, Texas!



021317 _ HVAC Worker - VHC


Top Gun Technician Excellence-Beyond Diagnostics is a to-day team building class that will provide service technicians with the “soft” tools to perform their job better.

Through a series of breakouts, technicians will develop improved customer communications skills, learn how to drive customer satisfaction, sales leads, and referrals through a defined service delivery procedure. This process will help technicians reduce callbacks, improve revenue generation, and increase job satisfaction while increasing their overall value to the company.

Attendees will learn to:

  • Reduce callbacks
  • Improve revenue generation
  • Generate replacement sales leads
  • Increase their overall value to your company

Sound like a class you could grow from? Register now for the February 15-16 session in Dallas, TX! Upcoming sessions for this class include November 6-7, 2018 in Atlanta, GA.

Registrations for our other sessions are coming soon.

If you’d like more details on what this class covers, click here.

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Capture replacement sales at Commercial Maintenance Sales in Seattle, WA

November 14th, 2017

Rounding out the month of February is Commercial Maintenance Sales on February 22-24, 2018 in Seattle, WA!





Commercial Maintenance Sales will substantially impact the capture of high-margin negotiated commercial replacement sales, which is accomplished by creating strong, loyal customers through service relationships. These service relationships assist in stabilizing service revenues, allowing for planning and growth of the service department.

Every $1 of Commercial Maintenance generates $2-$4 of repair and replacement revenue and can be as high as $13. This can continue for several years after securing the service agreement.

Learn how to capture high-margin negotiated commercial replacement sales by creating strong, loyal customers through service relationships.

Topics Include:

  • Surveying
  • Estimating
  • The Proposal
  • Sales & Marketing Process
  • Sales to Service Hand Off
  • Retention & Performance Reviews
  • Tooling & Training Plan


Sound like the perfect next step? Register now for the February 22-24 session in Seattle, WA! This class only takes place once in 2018 – don’t miss out!

If you’d like more details on what this class covers, click here.

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Come join us at Structuring for Profit & Growth in Atlanta, GA

November 13th, 2017

BDR’s February 2018 class schedule is now available. Coming up first again is a brand-new class for our BDR University offering: Structuring for Profit & Growth on February 6-7, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia!



SFPG graphic website


Structuring for Profit & Growth gives contractors the tools to meet the demands of today’s market and allows them to visualize what is possible and get re-excited about their business. This class will guide you through the process of structuring your business for success.

Critical business concepts like blended margin, unbundling, good, better, best, fantastic, and lifetime system enhancement are covered in detail. Other fundamental concepts include: breakeven, gross profit per man day, service and maintenance profitability, managing cash flow, and keeping company overheads under control.

Sound like a class you could benefit from? Register now for the February 6-7 session in Atlanta, GA! Upcoming sessions for this class include March 6-7 in Dallas, TX. Registrations for our other sessions are coming soon.

If you’d like more details on what this class covers, click here.

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March 2018 BDR University classes are live!

November 10th, 2017

Check out our March schedule!



Structuring for Profit & Growth (New class for 2018!)

March 6-7 in Dallas, TX

Learn More | Register Now


Lead The Way

March 27-28 in Raleigh, NC

Learn More | Register Now


If you have any questions before registering, feel free to contact Angie Swartz at 206-870-1880 or

Sign up today and come say hello!

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Sarwesh Kumar Receives Business Valuation Certificate

November 10th, 2017

We are excited to announce the newest addition to the group of Business Valuation Certificate members. Sarwesh Kumar has received his Business Valuation Certificate. He joins Mike Maynard, Barbara Geiger, Kimberly Wibbenmeyer, Gary Heath, Kevin Nott, Scott Tinder, and Matt MacArthur in this accomplishment.

This is a prime example of how BDR team members continually look at ways to improve their efficiency and productivity through certifications. We congratulate Sarwesh on this achievement.

Congratulations, Sarwesh!

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It’s back! Structural Sales – Part 1 is returning to BDR-U next year on January 30-31, 2018.

November 9th, 2017

Start the new year off right by attending Structural Sales – Part 1 on January 30-31, 2018 in Dallas, TX.



Structural Sales – Part 1 Great retailers like Apple and Marriott hotels have high perceived value, loyal customers, and charge premium prices. They do this by delivering a consistently great retail experience for every customer, every time through a structured sales process.

You will learn to:

  • Improve sales and closing rates
  • Increase sales of high efficiency equipment and accessories
  • Generate referral leads and great testimonials
  • Increase net profits

Class Mission: Develop a structured retail sales process focused on communicating the benefits of our company and the products we represent to the consumer in a manner that positions us to be recognized as the right choice.

Register for Structural Sales – Part 1 on January 30-31, 2018 in Dallas, TX today!

If you’d like some more information on this, click here.

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Want to hire the right employee? Learn about our new HR classes!

November 7th, 2017

Our next two classes of 2018 focus on improving your hiring process and finding long-term employees. Recruiting & Retaining Great Employees is on January 25, 2018 in Seattle, WA, and Structuring for Profit & Growth is on January 26, 2018 in Seattle, WA.


           Build & Retain - Diverse Team              SDME graphic 


Recruiting & Retaining Great Employees will teach both required and recommended best practices for hiring and retaining employees in a tight labor market. The class will cover detailed processes that will greatly increase the quality of employee you attract and retain. Also covered will be processes on integrating new employees into your company culture, with a strong focus on the millennial generation. By attending this class, you will be able to identify the improvements you can make in your current hiring and HR processes to attract and retain top talent.

Register for Recruiting & Retaining Great Employees on January 25, 2018 in Seattle, WA today!

The next session will take place in Phoenix, AZ on April 12, 2018.


Successfully Developing & Managing Employees: Running a business today is more about managing people than anything else, yet our industry has not made any fundamental changes in the way we manage our employees, especially the new millennial generation. For a business to grow and reach its potential, it has to have stable, productive, long-term employees. If we can improve the way we manage the employees, we can prevent the turnover and the company has the ability to reach its potential. Middle management is the key to moving through the growth walls of any business. It is important for the owner to understand what their role is in setting up the new manager to succeed.

By attending this class, owners and managers will learn how to develop management processes that cover managing the employee on a daily, weekly, and yearly basis and how to develop long term career paths for their field workers (installers and service techs) from entry level through Mater level, including operational details of how and when to train them.

Sound like a class you could benefit from? Register for Successfully Developing & Managing Employees on January 26, 2018 in Seattle, WA today!

This class will be here one time only this year so register!


Both classes are led by Aaron Schuh, a Certified Senior Professional in Human Resources. He has direct experience in hiring and placing over 4,000+ employees for all positions within the HVAC industry.


Are you interested in attending both of these 1-day events? We have a great opportunity for you! Simply register for both classes at the same time and save!


If you’d like some more information on what all is covered in these class, click here for Recruiting & Retaining Great Employees and click here for Successfully Developing & Managing Great Employees.

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February 2018 Classes Are Here!

November 6th, 2017

Check out the list below to see which February classes could benefit you and your company!



Structuring for Profit & Growth (New class for 2018!)

Feb 6-7 in Atlanta, GA

Learn More | Register Now


Top Gun Technician Excellence

February 15-16 in Dallas, TX

Learn More | Register Now


Commercial Maintenance Sales

February 22-24 in Seattle, WA

Learn More | Register Now


If you have any questions before registering, feel free to contact Angie Swartz at 206-870-1880 or

Sign up today and come say hello!

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Hear about how our Structural Sales – Part 2 class went last week in Atlanta, Georgia!

November 2nd, 2017

Attendees get an in-depth look at the total sales process and their own detailed role within their company at Structural Sales Part 2 in Atlanta, GA.


SS2-1 cropped


“With the daily hustle, it sometimes becomes easy to skip steps. This class has refocused and rededicated me to following the process to grow mine and the company’s profits.”

Josh Smith, Bay Breeze Heating & Cooling


After a detailed analysis of the sales role, students ultimately learned how to maximize the potential of each sale while endearing themselves to the customer. They were ready to return to their business and implement a structured sales process that will:

  • Maximize the potential of each sale
  • Capture a referral
  • Sell $2.5M+ annually
  • Build an outstanding client base that continually gives you referrals
  • Generate a great income



“I am an employee who is new to the Home Solutions Advisor position. As a trainee, I had reached a plateau in my training. Structural Sales – Part 2 gave me the tools I need to become the $2.5 million Sales Professional I know I can be!”

Lauren VanDeraq, Earl’s Heating & Air Conditioning




“This class opened my eyes to what I could do better. I look forward to implementing them and seeing results.”

Sam Rhone, Estes Heating & Air Conditioning


Missed out on Structural Sales this year? Your next chance is on January 30-31 in Dallas, TX! Register today!

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New to BDR-U: Structuring for Profit & Growth

November 1st, 2017

We recently released our January 2018 class schedule. Coming up first is a brand-new class for our BDR University offering: Structuring for Profit & Growth on January 23-24, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona!

Upcoming sessions for this class include February 6-7, 2018 in Atlanta, GA, and March 6-7 in Dallas, TX.

Structuring for Profit & Growth gives dealers the tools to meet the demands of today’s market and allows them to visualize what is possible and get re-excited about their business. This class will guide you through the process of structuring your business for success.

Critical business concepts like blended margin, unbundling, good, better, best, fantastic, and lifetime system enhancement are covered in detail. Other fundamental concepts include: breakeven, gross profit per man day, service and maintenance profitability, managing cash flow, and keeping company overheads under control.

Sound like a class you could benefit from? Register now for the January session on the 23-24 in Phoenix, AZ! Registrations for our other sessions are coming soon.

If you’d like some more information on what all is covered in the class, click here.

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January 2018 Classes Are Here

October 20th, 2017


With 2018 just around the corner, we're excited to announce our January class schedule! Check out the list below to see what classes could benefit you and your company!


Structuring for Profit & Growth - New Class!

January 23-24, 2018 in Phoenix, AZ

Learn More | Register Now


Recruiting & Retaining Great Employees

January 25, 2018 in Seattle, WA

Learn More | Register Now


Successfully Developing & Managing Employees New Class!

January 26, 2018 in Seattle, WA

Learn More | Register Now


Structural Sales - Part 1

January 30-31, 2018 in Dallas, TX

Learn More | Register Now


If you have any questions before registering, feel free to contact Angie Swartz at 206-870-1880 or


We would love to see you in class!

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BDR Now Has 6 Courses That Qualify for NATE Continuing Education Hours

October 5th, 2017

Attendees can now get BDR training and NATE CEH’s (Continuing Education Hours) on 6 BDR courses available at BDR University and our distribution partners:

  • Top Gun Technician Excellence: Beyond Diagnostics
  • Top Gun Installer Excellence: Closing the Loop
  • Residential Maintenance: Maximize Profits through Lifetime Clients
  • Managing & Growing Service Profitably
  • Duct Design for Profit & Growth
  • Labor Management: Retail Focus

We will be announcing dates and locations for our 2018 BDR University schedule soon!NATE - Website

NATE, or North American Technician Excellence, is the leading non-profit certification program for technicians in the HVAC-R industry that is supported by the entire industry.

Technicians who have earned NATE certification are:

  • Preferred among consumers
  • Require fewer callbacks
  • Generate more income for their employers
  • Earning higher wages on average
  • Demonstrating greater value to employers than non-certified technicians



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Save Your Company up to $240,000 With BDR's Recruiting & Retaining Great Employees Class!

September 22nd, 2017

Did you know that the cost of a bad hire can be as high as $240,000? (source: Forbes) With this number in mind, how valuable is it to find the “right” employee the first time? With blue color workers in short supply, and workers overall hard to find, recruiting and retaining great employees is more important than ever.

BDR understands the challenges facing employers and wants to help you. BDR’s Recruiting & Retaining Great Employees course will give you strategies for recruiting the right employees and retaining them once you have them on board. If you want to avoid the common hiring mistakes and learn how to become the “employer of choice” that people want to work for, register today!

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Technicians Learn “Soft Skills” in Top Gun Technician Excellence in Atlanta and Phoenix

September 8th, 2017

BDR teaches the many valuable and essential “soft skills” needed for technicians to succeed in Top Gun Technical Excellence in Atlanta and Phoenix.


TGTE picture


“I wish I would have taken this class earlier in my career. It would have made me more confident in my approach to move up as an installer to a service tech.”

-Joseph Darlak of Arizona Comfort Systems

Technicians learn how to effectively approach customers and use various tools to provide excellent customer service, offer accessories, and capture replacement leads.




“The entire educational experience was well worth my time. I would strongly recommend anyone in our industry invest in this learning experience.”

-Charles Pritchett of RSP Heating & Cooling




Come be a part of this learning experience at our next Top Gun Technician Excellence class next year in Seattle or Atlanta, or consider hosting one at your place of business! Visit for more information.

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Five More BDR Team Members Achieve Business Valuation Certification

August 31st, 2017

Mike Maynard, Barbara Geiger, Kimberly Wibbenmeyer, Gary Heath, and Kevin Nott achieve Business Valuation Certification. These five BDR team members join Scott Tinder and Matt MacArthur in this category.

Here at BDR, we believe in constant learning. This certification puts our belief into practice.

Congratulations, everyone!

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Dealers Learn to Improve Profits Through Great Design at BDR-U Duct Design in Seattle, WA

August 21st, 2017

BDR gets technical with our dealers in Seattle, Washington for an eye-opening lesson in how great duct design can save time, improve efficiency, and generate referrals.


Raising hands

“I feel way more comfortable understanding how the math comes out to design a great install,” Brian, Bull Mountain Heating.

Equipped with effective ways to save on material costs and labor, our dealers have a new-found confidence in their abilities to design and produce quality work to benefit the home owner and the business.

“This was a great class for changing my design to a better and easier install. Very excited to implement these for my installers.” James Schnell, Jacobs Heating and Air

DD class cropped

“Had no idea how to do duct work. Now I know what’s up.” Nathan Roberts, Electromatic Refrigerator

If you could benefit from new strategies to improving airflow and reducing noise, find your way into our next Duct Design class this August in Atlanta. Register online on our website, at  Hurry, limited seating available!

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Scott Tinder and Matt MacArthur Receive Business Valuation Certification

August 17th, 2017

We are happy to announce a new category of certification achieved by our team. Scott Tinder and Matt MacArthur have earned the Business Valuation Certification.

BDR team members continually strive to improve their knowledge and skills through certifications. 

Congratulations, Scott and Matt!

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Nicole Watson Becomes Kaizen Certified

August 15th, 2017

We are proud to announce that Nicole Watson has achieved Kaizen certification. She joins Gary Heath, Angie Swartz, and Alicia Frias in this achievement.

At BDR, we have an attitude of aspiring to excellence both collectively and individually. This allows us to constantly improve our materials, and to serve our clients in the best way possible.

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Alicia Frias is now Kaizen certified

August 1st, 2017

We are thrilled to announce Alicia Frias has achieved Kaizen certification! She joins Gary Heath and Angie Swartz in this achievement.

Kaizen, also known as continuous improvement, is a long-term approach to work that systematically seeks to achieve small, incremental changes in processes in order to improve efficiency and quality. Kaizen involves setting standards and then constantly improving those standards.                   ~Learn Tech’s website

Here at BDR, we are constantly working to improve ourselves and our products through certifications. With Kaizen, we ensure that we are constantly improving all our materials to ensure we provide the highest quality coaching and training available. 

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5th BDR team member achieves Six Sigma Black Belt certification

July 10th, 2017

Scott Tinder is BDR’s latest team member to achieve Six Sigma Black Belt certification. Scott joins Sarwesh Kumar, Bruce Wiseman, Jeff Turner, and Matt MacArthur as BDR team members with this certification. Team members are pictured Left to Right as mentioned above.

Six Sigma is a set of management techniques intended to improve business processes by greatly reducing the probability that an error or defect will occur (Source: Oxford English Dictionary).

BDR applies Six Sigma principles and methodology throughout its training and coaching processes to ensure we deliver the highest-quality training, products and resources for our clients. BDR will have eight team members with Six Sigma certification by the end of 2017.

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4th BDR trainer becomes ACCA-certified in duct design

June 16th, 2017

Michael Hunter is BDR’s newest ACCA-certified duct design trainer. Michael recently completed ACCA’s Residential HVAC In-Person Certificate Program. He joins Mike Maynard, Dave Consulo, and Shaun Weiss as BDR trainers with this 5-year certification from ACCA. Team members are pictured Left to Right as mentioned above.

BDR incorporates strategies for saving time and labor through proper duct design in its various classes including one that specifically looks at duct design from a profit viewpoint: Duct Design for Profit & Efficiency.

At this class, attendees will learn how to correctly design a residential duct system using ACCA's Manual D to save money and labor. BDR will be offering this class through BDR University in the month of August.

Join us to learn how to improve profits, save time & install better jobs through proper duct design. Space is limited, so sign up today.

Learn more: Seattle on August 15-16, 2017

Learn more: Atlanta on August 29-30, 2017

Reasons to attend Duct Design for Profit & Efficiency

  • Differentiate from the competition & own your market
  • Increase comfort and efficiency
  • Increase sales by adding value
  • Leverage high value equipment, increasing GPMD
  • Overcome price objections – increase average sell price
  • Reduce noise and operating costs
  • Reduce labor costs – install more jobs with same crew
  • Reduce warranty costs and customer complaints
  • Take pride in doing the job right
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Dealers Learn How to Build Long-Term Value in Their Business in Atlanta and Phoenix

June 1st, 2017

Have you ever looked at your company from a buyer’s perspective? Students at BDR’s Building a Company with Great Value (BCGV) class, held last week in both Atlanta and Phoenix, learned to view their business from a buyer’s perspective as they discovered the options for selling their company. What an eye opener that was!

“The discussions around the ways to buy, sell, and finance were pretty awesome. The valuation information was also very helpful. I would recommend this class to anyone even if they think they are not in selling mode, mainly so they have a clue as to what to do if something comes their way to buy,” Donna Kimble at AA Air Company remarked. 

Classroom 3






Attendees built a plan to grow the long-term value of their company by building a solid structure, assembling a loyal team, and achieving financial success to ultimately position themselves for a great future; whether they decide to sell or keep their business. 

“Thank you for your class. Another benefit for our industry! Well laid out. I encourage Owners to take this class long before considering selling or buying,” said Julie Howard from Howard Air.







The classroom format allowed attendees to work together and brainstorm toward their common goal. By networking with other business owners, students could see that they are not alone. Many dealers are facing these same challenges. Students left with the knowledge and tools to build long term value and plan for the eventual sale of their business. Watch for the next class in 2018 and build value!

Attendee working



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Dealers Learn the Language of Business at BDR-U Accounting Training in Phoenix

May 23rd, 2017

BDR University does it again! We rocked Phoenix with our Accounting & Office Management class led by Kim Archer. Who knew Administrative Assistants, Office Managers, Operations Managers, Bookkeepers, and Owners could learn so much about the fundamentals of accounting in two days!

Attendees learned how to look at their businesses both as a whole and as a system of parts through the lens of accounting. Students found new ways to think critically about the way these parts interact, and for what purposes. 

In addition to learning how to apply the principles of HVAC-specific accounting, our attendees are now fully aware of structure, how companies go through overhead cycles, and have a better understanding of how to reduce growing pains. 

Dealers left with expanded accounting knowledge and were enthusiastic and recharged about returning to their businesses to implement what they learned.

Accounting & Office Management will return to BDR University in 2018. Stay tuned!

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Baby Boomer contractor attends BDR training to supercharge his exit strategy

May 2nd, 2017

Duff Branin is President of Universal Mechanical Service in Redmond, WA. He started his company in 1986 and has grown it to become a leader in the design build market in Seattle and the surrounding region.

As a Baby Boomer, Duff has been thinking about what he will do with his business when he eventually retires. He attended BDR’s Building a Company with Great Value: Maximize your potential sales price, Plan for a smooth transfer or succession, Prepare for a successful future sale to learn how to supercharge his business exit strategy.

Here’s Duff's story:

“I just wanted to drop you a note regarding the Building a Company with Great Value class we just attended. Timing is everything!! 

When you sent this to me, I had been thinking in the back of my head what my exit strategy might look like in the next few years, and I thought I had a pretty good plan… WOW!  I realized that I have a bit more work to do and will someday have an exit plan that is a WIN/WIN for everyone!

During this class I started to realize all of the Training and Business Planning that our Universal Mechanical Service Team has been doing with the BDR Profit Coach Teams the last 20 years. It occurred to me that there are many connections with our continued BDR Classes, Annual Business Planning with Bruce, Monthly Profit Coach with Jennifer, and just how valuable the past training has added to our business.  In fact, I realized, we not only survived the last 30 years and made a good living, but were pretty darn good at what we do!! We could not have done this without the relentlessness of Barry and Bruce and the whole BDR team to make these achievements come true!!

Your selection of the coarse leader Mike Maynard, sure is a great choice! Mike gave several real life scenarios, because he’s been in the battle, sold a business and understands what it is like from an owner’s point of view. And Mike’s just a genuine likable guy!!

For anyone that has done “Business Planning” with the BDR team, they must realize how important it is to PLAN AHEAD!! Even if we are 10 years out from the Exit Point, this is just another part of the journey to insure that someday we may have a great Exit Strategy!! It is much more FUN and easier to sleep at night, when we plan ahead and pretty much predict the outcomes of our journey.

All of this collectively will lead to a successful journey and create a much more detailed and better exit plan. 

Thanks again!!”


Over 2,000 hours of research, analysis, and content development went into creation of Building a Company with Great Value: Maximize your potential sales price, Plan for a smooth transfer or succession, Prepare for a successful future sale. We believe it is by far our most powerful and impactful course yet and are offering it through BDR University in Atlanta on May 16-17, 2017 and in Phoenix on May 18-19, 2017.

Whether you’re nearing retirement (next 3-5 years), thinking about it (5-10 years out) or just getting started in your business, you owe it to yourself, your family, and your employees to attend. The process of building a company with great value starts with you and starts now.

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Dispatchers learn to drive revenue and efficiency at SDU

April 25th, 2017

Over 60 hardworking individuals came together in a big way at BDR's Service Dispatch University this past week in Seattle. Service team members were able to come together and develop an understanding of their role, improve customer service abilities, refine dispatching and scheduling techniques – all to drive more revenue.

SDU class photo

Together we came up with new telephone scripting and tested them through skills practice. We built strategies to manage and increase maintenance agreements all while familiarizing ourselves with skills to manage conflict within the team.

SDU dispatching photo 2

Dispatchers who attended SDU will be well prepared to implement positive changes within their role by improving efficiency, reducing drive time, and growing revenue.

SDU table group 2

Who’s ready to be dispatcher of the year?  Attend our next Service Dispatch University training in Atlanta, December 7-9, 2017.


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The Retirement of Baby Boomers will Change the Face of the Construction Trades

April 17th, 2017

“10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 each day.”[1]

“66% of all businesses, nearly 4 million companies, are owned by Baby Boomers”[2]

The retirement of the Baby Boomer generation will have a huge impact on the construction trades at all levels. As shown by the statistics above, most small business owners in the Baby Boomer generation will be looking to retire and sell or transfer their businesses in the next 5-10 years. If you’re the owner of one of these businesses, do you have a plan for your business when you retire?

BDR’s studies of its coaching clients who have sold or transferred their businesses show it can take up to 10 years to find and train an internal buyer (a team member or family member) and complete the sale. Other types of sales may happen faster, but just because you offer your business for sale, doesn’t mean it will sell. In fact, only 30% of businesses offered for sale actually sell [3]. If it can take up to 10 years to close the deal with an internal buyer, and only 30% of businesses offered for sale actually sell, shouldn’t you start the process now?

Here are some of the key steps to prepare in advance before putting your business on the market for sale (adapted from “Selling a Small Business – 12 Crucial Steps” by Peter Siegel):

  • Review and prepare financial records – This allows you to correct any items that need attention while also reducing the time you must spend later during due diligence.

  • Complete professional business valuation – Having a professional complete a business valuation will show you key items that buyers will look at when evaluating your company while giving you a starting point for calculating your sale price.

  • Determine if you will work with a business broker – There are pros and cons to working with a business broker, but using one can help you stay focused on running your business during the sales process.

  • Develop a marketing piece that highlights the reasons to buy your company – A potential buyer (or a business broker for that matter) will not necessarily know all the things that make your business unique and valuable. Build a marketing piece to sell your business that highlights what makes your company great, but don’t give away your company name or specific numbers.

  • Prepare all necessary legal agreements to protect your business information – Having legal protections in place are critical when selling a business. Make sure you work with an attorney experienced in business sales and acquisitions who can help you.

  • Understand the importance of financing –, a site for business sale listings in California, says that financing is the biggest challenge in selling a business today. As a business owner, you may need to consider financing the sale of your business to make a deal.

  • Build the right team for support - Make sure to consult an attorney and CPA with experience in selling small businesses and/or family business planning.

BDR has built a class to share specific strategies for building value in your business and for creating a business that you can sell. Over 2,000 hours of research, analysis, and content development went into creation of Building a Company with Great Value: Maximize your potential sales price, Plan for a smooth transfer or succession, Prepare for a successful future sale. We believe it is by far our most powerful and impactful course yet and are offering it through BDR University in Atlanta on May 16-17, 2017 and in Phoenix on May 18-19, 2017.

Whether you’re nearing retirement (next 3-5 years), thinking about it (5-10 years out) or just getting started in your business, you owe it to yourself, your family, and your employees to attend. The process of building a company with great value starts with you and starts now.




[3] Selling a Small Business – 12 Crucial Steps by Peter Siegel, MBA

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Are you Maximizing the Value of Your Greatest Asset?

March 29th, 2017

What is your most valuable asset? For most Americans, their savings, their 401K, or their home are all common answers to this question. For business owners, the answer is slightly different. Your most valuable asset is likely to be your company. It can generate an income stream as long as you own it, and one day it can be sold.

According to Inc Magazine, up to 75% of small businesses will be sold in the next 10 years. Sadly, most business owners will not be properly prepared to maximize their company’s value at sale. Are you doing all you can to maximize the value of your most valuable asset?

How do you increase the value of your company? Think about your home. Each improvement you make to your home can directly increase the home’s value. When we get ready to sell a home, we typically spend time and money making improvements to make it as attractive to as many buyers as possible. With your company, the same concept applies. By making improvements, you can not only advance your company’s current performance, but you can directly increase your company’s value to a potential buyer. The outcome of this effort is building a company that is not reliant on you, the owner, for everything.

Here are four ways to improve your company’s value:

  1. Build Structure – Build a company structure with managers in place and an owner-independent sales team that reduces your personal functional responsibility. When a buyer looks at your business, they will look at what functions they must replace when you leave. If you are involved in all the functional details of your business, the purchase will look a lot riskier to any potential buyer, lowering what they would be willing to pay.

  2. Diversify – Do you do business in more than one market segment? If you’re reliant on a single cyclical, “boom or bust,” market segment, a small number of key customers, or just a few products, your business will look a lot riskier to a potential buyer. Having a broad customer base where no single customer generates more than 5% of your revenue reduces risk – for you and for a prospective buyer.

  3. Be Profitable – This one is a no-brainer, but this is about more than just being able to show you had one great year. A truly valuable company will be able to show many years of excellent profitability and project future profitability through their business plans. If you have a great record of net profit that can be backed up by a history of 3rd party facilitated and produced business plans, the value of your company can be calculated on future earnings, not just past ones – a huge difference.

  4. Generate Recurring Revenue – Businesses with large, profitable recurring revenue streams typically sell for more than those without. Profitable recurring revenue streams reduce risk, increase peace of mind, and improve your company’s value. Having a large base of profitable maintenance agreements is a great source of recurring revenue that you should focus on growing.

BDR has built a class to share specific strategies for building value in your business and for creating a business that you can sell (but may not want to). Over 2,000 hours of research, analysis, and content development went into creation of Building a Company with Great Value: Maximize your potential sales price, Plan for a smooth transfer or succession, Prepare for a successful future sale. We believe it is by far our most powerful and impactful course yet and are offering it through BDR University in Atlanta on May 16-17, 2017 and in Phoenix on May 18-19, 2017.

Whether you’re nearing retirement (next 3-5 years), thinking about it (5-10 years out) or just getting started in your business, you owe it to yourself, your family, and your employees to attend. The process of building a company with great value starts with you and starts now.


Bruce Wiseman

BDR President

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What Does Today's Customer Want?

June 17th, 2016

Today's customer expects choices. Regardless of the product or service they are purchasing, today's customer wants to be aware of all their options so that they can make an informed decision.

This desire is prevalent in purchase decisions across nearly every industry, not simply HVAC equipment.

Consider the tactics often employed by truck manufacturers. They have expanded their original strategy of offering three options equipped with various features and accessories marketed as "good-better-best," to add a fourth tier: "fantastic."

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Demystifying the Mechanics of 'Winnable' Goals

May 16th, 2016

Is what you're doing right now moving you closer to your goals?

I’m sure we’ve all read studies that show fewer than 10 percent of the population sets goals, less than half of these people achieve their goals, and yet everyone believes goal setting is very important. So, why do we all agree having goals is important yet more than 90 percent of us don’t set them? A quick Google search shows there are generally four main reasons why people don’t set goals: they’re not aware of the importance, they don’t know how, they‘re afraid of failure, and they’re afraid of accountability or humiliation.

Do you believe that? Are goals really so complicated and intimidating that nine out of 10 of us simply avoid the entire process? After spending years working with service managers and leaders, I believe most of us never really learned how to properly use goals, yet we found ways to get things done, so we came to the conclusion that having formal goals isn’t that important to success. The reality is, goals are extremely important to having intentional or planned success (as opposed to accidental success coming from shear effort) and really aren’t that complicated.


So, let’s see if we can demystify this incredibly important yet rarely used concept of goals and get on the path to becoming a better service manager and leader.

Most service managers are mechanically inclined, so let’s look at goals from this perspective. In a gas furnace, we must have three things for combustion to occur: a fuel, oxygen, and an ignition source. With the proper fuel/oxygen mixture, an adequate spark, and, in the proper sequence, gas will ignite. If we leave any of these out or they are out of sequence, we’ll have a failure. These are the mechanics of combustion.

If we think of goals in this way, what are the mechanics of a “winnable” goal? A winnable goal must include all of the following:

1. Something you are trying to do or achieve — This doesn’t need to be anything spectacular or grandiose, it’s just something you want to do or achieve.

2. Be specific and include an ending target — For example, a goal of improving your service agreement retention rate by 10 points would be incorrectly stated as “We’re going to improve our retention rate by 10 points,” and correctly stated as, “We will increase our service agreement retention rate to 90 percent.” This nuance may be subtle, yet it’s very important to crystallize the goal.

3. Keep track of your progress — If we simply say we’re going to improve our service agreement retention rate, we’ll have a tough time measuring our success and sharing progress. However, if we say, “We’re going to improve our service agreement retention rate from 80 percent to 90 percent,” we can easily measure progress and share results with our team using visual aids such as graphs or charts. Things that get measured get done; things that don’t get measured don’t get done. It’s that simple.

4. Set a specific completion date — Without a completion date, we’ve set more of a hope or dream than a goal.

5. Goals must be realistic and achievable — If we’ve been consistently running an 80 percent retention rate on our service agreements for the past five years, it may not be realistic to set 90 percent as a goal to achieve in six months; however, a completion date 12 months out may be appropriate. You have to believe in the goal.

6. Go all in — If you, as the leader, believe in and are 100 percent committed to the goal, but key members on the team aren’t committed or don’t agree, you’ll have a very low probability of success.

7. Document and share the goal with at least one other person. This is critical; however, it’s usually overlooked or intentionally ignored because we don’t realize its importance. Documenting and sharing our goal openly makes us accountable to ourselves and others for its success.

While there may be slight variations, these are the mechanics of a winnable goal: it is clear, easy to understand, has a starting point, an ending point, a completion date, is realistic and achievable, mutually agreed upon, committed to, has been shared with others, and is in writing. A well-written winnable goal begs you to take action, plan a strategy, engage your team, measure progress, share results, and celebrate its achievement.

In closing, I want to share a statement I learned about 15 years ago regarding goals. “Is what I’m doing right now moving me closer to or further away from my goals?”

What a simple yet great question to ask ourselves each day. If you have a goal, you can answer; if you don’t have a goal, you can’t. I still keep a printout of this quote on my office wall. Best of luck with taking the first step by creating your winnable goals.

Publication date: 5/16/2016

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A Service Management Manifesto

July 27th, 2015

Anyone can learn from their own mistakes, but a wise man learns from the mistakes of others...

See if this sounds familiar: You’ve continued to grow in your career and are inching closer to achieving your goal of becoming a service manager. Eventually, an opportunity becomes available, you’re selected for the position. Wow, finally realized the dream, and life is good. If you’ve been in the role for a few months or a few years, you’ve probably figured out there’s a lot more expected of this position than you realized. Now what?


I started in the mid ‘80s as a service technician for the Trane commercial service franchise in Kansas City, Kansas, performing factory start-up and warranty work as well as traditional service work in the mid-to-heavy commercial and industrial market. After several years, I wanted something different from my career and pursued the sales avenue before moving into increasingly responsible positions of management. Over the past 20-plus years, I worked my way up, holding sales rep, field supervisor, operations manager, sales manager, and general manager positions. Most recently, I’ve worked as regional vice president of service operations position for one of the largest non-union mechanical contractors in the country, and now I provide HVAC coaching and consulting services for Business Development Resources Inc. Along the way, I’ve learned the service business from the ground up; discovered things that work and don’t work; been around successful and unsuccessful people; and watched companies grow, collapse, or just indefinitely struggle to maintain.

Depending on the size and breadth of your company’s offerings, the service manager can be responsible for a seemingly endless number of things. Some obvious areas:

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Service Dispatch University Featured Article

June 10th, 2015

Dispatching for Customer Service and Growth

president, Parker’s Heating & Air Conditioning

Here in Georgia we’re not too far from where Spanish conquistadors once spent decades looking forthe Fountain of Youth. As we know, they never found it. Their quest was as achievable, some might say, as a contracting firm doing an end-run around the down economy.

Well, not so fast. We’re a 36-person HVAC firm with 12 service techs located in southern Georgia, where the economy’s been hit hard and where there’s plenty of competition for business. Yet, through these past couple of years, we’ve endured and even grown. I attribute our ability to gain new ground in the toughest of times to an incredibly motivated, customer-oriented workforce and smart business management.

One of the key facets of our success has been the recognition that we need to stay apprised of new technology and the latest techniques in running the business. To learn and experience the best of it, I attend training when my employees do.

A recent experience helped us sharpen our ability to meet and exceed customer needs. Last November, our service dispatcher Brent Davis and I attended Business Development Resources’ (BDR’s) “Service Dispatch University” in St. Louis, Mo., offered for the first time outside their Seattle headquarters.

We both came away from the two-and-a-half day training experience newly committed to making changes and adjustments that would improve our ability to get to jobsite locations faster and more efficiently. We now manage dispatching with fewer hassles and miles traveled and with an approach that’s more sensible for each of our 11 service technicians.

Because of our rural location, our service area is within a 65-mile radius of our location in Americus, Ga. We’re learning new approaches to zoning our territory of operations; the training has helped immensely.

The key objective of BDR’s interactive, hands-on, service dispatching workshop is to develop and refine scheduling techniques that improve labor management and customer service and drive revenue. Instructor Jennifer Shooshanian, who really knows her stuff, said that “the key idea here is to keep techs on the job, to maximize their effectiveness and billable hours and to minimize travel time, disruption and inconvenience.”

Our class consisted of about 50 attendees, mostly service dispatchers from across the country. It was a very diverse group. I believe that each person left with a much better ability to apply reporting tools and techniques that track and improve a service department’s daily performance.

“The 10-minute rule” = $66,000/tech

We learned to reduce time spent on service calls. I was amazed to see that, with a savings of as little s 10 minutes per technician, per call, we could save an extra $66,000 in annual revenue per technician. Brent and I developed better, more natural telephone scripts that now provide consistently higher levels of customer satisfaction.

One of the advantages of the workshop setting is that students are frequently interactively involved. This isn’t a topic where book learning is very useful. Instead, we participated in frequent role-playing or mapping exercises in which we had to move technicians across our own work territories, looking at the influence of time, a tech’s location and then, unexpectedly, at a customer who places new demands on us or at a higher-priority call that’s just come in.

Participants in the training session learned to be resourceful, flexible and creative when scheduling. Trainer/coach Angela Coombs said that’s hard to do when dispatching isn’t given great importance as part of a company’s operations. Coombs and Shooshanian helped to guide us into an efficiency groove that looked at the dispatcher’s role from every conceivable angle. That wasn’t easy, because of all the variables we deal with on a daily basis, including jobsite delays, geography, the needs of priority customers, owner requests and technicians calling off.

Conflict resolution

During a breakout session, class participants were engaged in “difficult customer” role playing. We had some interesting challenges! No doubt, some of the actors drew from experience on both sides of the fence; exasperated, but steady service dispatchers and unreasonable, hot-tempered customers. Of course, some interactions were easier that others, but the most memorable “skits” were the ones where “customers” put the squeeze on dispatchers.

Then we dissected each call. BDR pros helped us understand options, suggesting ways to calm and neutralize upset customers.

When I saw “conflict resolution” on the program syllabus, this is what I expected. But the BDR course ventured into territory I wasn’t anticipating; solving conflicts in the workplace, among colleagues. We learned that these types of challenges can be more difficult than dealing with unruly customers. Unresolved conflict among company employees causes pain to employees and customers alike, becoming a constant source of tension. We learned to take steps to prevent or resolve conflicts by recognizing them early.

Class attendees also learned the value of scripting, a practice that can be especially helpful to new dispatchers, assuring consistent and accurate communications. “The key is to practice customer scripts until they roll naturally and spontaneously,” assured Angie Swartz, BDR training and event coordinator.

Zone mapping

One of the most useful segments of the course dealt with zone mapping. All participants were asked to bring maps of their own territory so that BDR’s instruction wasn’t just theoretical: We were soon hard at work on real service territories, making recommendations that would positively impact company operations.

One of the course attendees was 11-year service dispatch veteran Erica Vrentas, assistant service manager with R. Brooks Mechanical, a 17-person contracting firm based in Rising Sun, Md. She and Hank Duus, estimator, were hard at work on a review of their service map, while improving the level of definition for their three service technicians.

I checked with Erica recently to ask whether the SDU training helped. She said that they have implemented some very helpful changes to their service zones based on the training they received. Erica added that — with new insights into improving service zones, based on geography, population, demographics, road quality and conditions and the locations where the service technicians live — they’ve achieved substantial improvements in efficiency and profitability.

“We’re doing a better job of connecting service techs with jobs that tap their core skills, and we’re also doing better at keeping them in tighter areas geographically. It’s improved our profitability,” she said. Erica was especially inspired by suggestions about how company managers and dispatchers can help technicians improve their time management, looking closely at travel, billable hours, maintenance and call-backs. Not only that, Erica also contributed the idea that the contracting firm call in truck stock on the day of a service call so that truck inventory is replaced immediately.

Liz Walker is a dispatcher for Custom Air Inc. in Sarasota, Fla., a 50-employee firm with 11 service technicians. She said that they developed a structured rotation for all service technicians, who now drop off paperwork and pick up parts they’d soon need on the jobs. Previously, a parts runner did many of these things.

Also, Custom Air now rewards service technicians for equipment replacement referrals. Apparently, it’s one of the most successful changes they’ve made, tied to BDR recommendations. Custom Air managers are working routinely with BDR to tighten and improve company operations. Another happy attendee is Don Mumma Jr., general manager of service for Lititz, Pa.-based Haller Enterprises Inc., a full service mechanical contracting firm with close to 300 employees, currently deploying a field service staff of 37.

“I was especially impressed with recommendations for improving our zoning and dispatching,” said Mumma. “We’re working on it now, with the goal of shaving 10 minutes per call per technician. Multiply that by 37, and you can see why we’re so eager to see it happen. We expect to have five branch locations by later this year and, with a large, highly populated territory and rising fuel costs, we’ve made it a top priority.”

Mumma was also affected by the energy of the training and the level of interaction among attendees.“There’s no question: BDR has helped our firm grow, and we’re committed to keeping pace with the training.”

Kevin Reeves is president of Americus, Ga.-based Parker’s Heating & Air Conditioning

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Business Coaches Provide Playbook for Success

November 1st, 2010

Does your team take the field without a game plan? Do they know the company’s goals and aspirations? A business coach can help you become better organized, and develop a winning company culture.

Just as a good hitting or pitching coach can help a baseball player succeed, a good business coach can help a company succeed. At Mason Mechanical, we're living proof of this. This year, even with the slow economy, we saw our highest profits ever. We had to work hard to succeed, but the key advantage is that we also worked a lot smarter — thanks to the valuable help from a business profit coach.

My wife, Deanna, and I run Mason Mechanical, a 29-person, full-service mechanical contracting firm in Mesa, AZ. Rather than outsourcing or hiring for management responsibilities, Deanna and I like to be deeply involved with all of the day-to-day decisions.

What kept — and is still keeping — our firm from being a casualty of the times was the realization that we needed to make some serious changes. Through training sessions we had attended, we knew that the financial organization of our firm was a real mess. In addition, we wanted to be able to rely entirely on referrals to drive new business.

In 2006, we started working with a training and coaching firm. From the moment we first applied this company's insights and recommendations into the management of our business, our profitability has grown. If your company needs help, or if it just feels like your company isn't running as well as you would like, our advice is to turn to a business coach, and the sooner the better.

New Approach to Service Work
Our company needed to be reorganized. We broke down the financials by department, no longer looking at one big, vague bottom line like we had in the past. We examined each department individually to see where we were making money, and where we were losing it.

For us, our service department was a key concern. In the Southwest, service work is very seasonal, for obvious reasons. For the better part of the summer it's not unusual to go for weeks with daytime temps of 110F. Another aspect that makes service less profitable is that good technicians don't come cheap. But if you don't have good technicians, your service department is doomed to fail.

Our profit coach took a look at our list of service accounts, and recommended how much time we should be spending on each one. He also set guidelines for how much money each individual account should be making. It came as no surprise to learn that we had several accounts that weren't making the company any money at all.

We also learned to analyze our finances every month, for a clear picture of what changes needed to be made. It's a big improvement over wondering where the money went at the end of the fiscal year.

Having an organized business also makes for better, more productive employees. A company's employees — just like everyone else in this fast-paced world — have a lot going on at home. If you can provide them with an organized, well-structured work environment, one that lets them regain their focus, you're going to get better work out of them.

Small Things Make the Difference
In today's trying business environment, the most important asset that a dealer can have is a consistent, high-quality lead generation process.

Our profit coach taught us much about lead generation, product and company branding, social networking, spiff programs, and quality control. A seminar sponsored by our coach’s company covered all the facets that will help us reach a key goal: to become a 100% referral-driven company.

We learned that lots of little things make the biggest difference — things that you think you should know, or should have thought of on your own. For instance, all of our technicians now wear disposable booties when they enter a home, and everyone has matching uniforms. If our technicians are going to be touching finished walls when installing a thermostat, they wear latex gloves. We want every client to refer us to their friends as the most professional, friendly contractor they've ever dealt with.

We now mail newsletters twice a year. Our mailing list receives updates about the firm, and specials that we're running at the time. It keeps Mason Mechanical fresh in their minds, and is relatively inexpensive.

Our profit coach helped us see the importance of developing a genuine company culture that plays a key role in identifying who we are during and after company hours. Our service department's revenue is up 50% since last year, due to the changes that our coach suggested and we implemented.

My wife and I first heard about our profit coach in 2001, but we didn't start working with them until 2006. My only regret is not beginning our involvement with them when we first had the opportunity. In a nutshell, they've converted us from air conditioning mechanics into true entrepreneurs. We're glad to be among the small percentage of contractors in the country who have taken advantage of the help available to us from a business coach. Don't wait, as we did. The sooner you start, the sooner you'll see positive changes at your company and on your balance sheets.

Since 2006, Mason Mechanical managers have worked with Seattle-based Business Development Resources, Inc. (BDR), a training and coaching firm exclusively focused on the plumbing and HVACR industry. BDR's Profit Coach program offers guidance specifically focused on contracting firms. For more information, call 206/870-1880, or visit

Steve Mason is president of Mason Mechanical, Mesa, AZ. He can be reached at 480/835-9928 or by e-mail at

Coaching End Game

A successful approach to business coaching consists of a simple game plan, although the steps in following through will always require some sweat.

BDR, the group enlisted by Mason Mechanical, emphasizes four primary goals with plumbing and HVACR business customers:

  1. Drive profit and growth.
  2. Create a self-sustaining, recurring revenue, referral-driven business model.
  3. Strengthen ownership and management business and leadership skills.
  4. Implement changes that drive a customer-first culture, with a profit-center focus.

— Source: BDR

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Contractors learn, recharge at Commercial Maintenance workshop

August 1st, 2010

Commercial Maintenance Sales featured in the August 2010 edition of the PHC News

I’ve flown to Seattle twice every year for the past 10, and each time, return home reinvigorated, newly inspired, and having learned something new and valuable for the business each time,” said Mark Stout, president of Stout Heating and Air, an 18-person, full-service mechanical contracting based in Salisbury, NC.

Stout and his son, Ryan, were among the 52 contractors from all corners of the nation that came to the mid-March Commercial Maintenance Sales (CMS) workshop conducted by Seattle-based Business Development Resources (BDR).

A training and coaching firm focused exclusively on the HVAC/R industry, BDR unveiled the new two-and-a-half day class as part of their comprehensive Profit Coach program.

“BDR training’s as thorough and complete as it gets, with all facets of the training focused on improving company success and profitability,” said Stout.

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