By Dave Frame
When my father handed me the keys to our family’s company, it became clear that running a small business required wearing many hats, making it really difficult to be an expert at any of them!
I realized then and there that I couldn’t do it alone. I got involved in my local PHCC chapter to find out who everyone else was using in terms of bankers, lawyers, accountants, etc. I didn’t have to reinvent the wheel on best practices regarding hiring and marketing and so much more. There were people who had the resources I needed, and there was no way – and no need – for me to figure things out all by myself.
That really is how PHCC got its start. More than 140 years ago, 125 concerned contractors gathered to do what they couldn’t do alone. These master plumbers were determined to take control of economic forces that threatened their profession and the health and safety of a nation. They proved that their collective voice was much more powerful than their individual ones.
Best Practices From Peers, Experts
I was recently reminded of the power of industry forces coming together. At two Collective Bargaining Seminars offered in Illinois by PHCC’s Union-Affiliated Contractors (UAC), I saw like-minded contractors, chapter executives, and management industry leaders gather and willingly share best practices on how to effectively prepare for collective bargaining agreement negotiations. These events were examples of collaboration at its best, with the UAC, PHCC of Illinois, and PCA of Greater Chicago working together to offer these first UAC in-person meetings in about three years.
Your Own Intelligence Department
PHCC’s 2023 Contractor Confidence Index results revealed that many of our member contractors are worried about things like economic uncertainty, healthcare benefits, inflation, interest rates, recent bank failures, and the like. I hope you’re reading those monthly Insta-Intel reports from PHCC’s Business Intelligence Department, because its members-only resources are providing strategies and best practices that can help you avoid the negative impacts of these issues on your business.
Most contractors don’t have in-house resources to stay on the pulse of these types of factors on their businesses, but – as a member – you have through our BI department what you couldn’t have alone: knowledge on what’s happening in today’s environment so that you’re equipped on how to respond.
New HVAC Training Coming Soon
I’m really excited about the brand-new HVACR offerings from the PHCC Educational Foundation (see page 20). Both PHCC and the Foundation have pulled together a team to develop a new online HVACR training program, not only providing effective resources to current members but helping non-members realize the value of joining PHCC.
And again, these are courses that most individual contractors couldn’t provide alone. Foundation Chairman Kevin Tindall recently shared that that’s why he is so grateful for contractor support for the Foundation … because “individual contractors and even most PHCC chapters don’t have the resources available to create programs like these.”
Strength in Numbers on Capitol Hill
A prime example of strength in numbers within PHCC is our annual Legislative Conference. Alone, you could never make the impact needed to influence our nation’s decision-makers on issues that impact your business. But, together, each year we have a strong delegation of PHCC members, chapter executives, and industry partners joining their voices on Capitol Hill.
At the Legislative Conference in May, we had nearly 100 representatives meeting with policymakers on the need to protect America’s energy future through fuel choice, the costs and realities of building electrification, and the importance of legislative support for workforce programs and registered apprenticeships. That made a big difference!
Priceless CONNECTions with Your People
Of course, your best opportunity all year long to benefit from the collective knowledge of like-minded professionals is at PHCCCONNECT2023, Oct. 25-27, in Cleveland, Ohio (see page 28). We’d love for you to join us! I can honestly say that – even after 43 years in this business – I get so much out of CONNECT every year, and my son and daughter have grown up going to this event and now are the ones leading our business. It’s where learning happens. It’s where growing happens. It’s where preparing happens.
And the best part is that you’re experiencing it together with the people who know this business, your challenges, the latest products, or maybe a business strategy you hadn’t yet considered. It’s where you can work on your business with all the right people and resources … at one time, in one place. It’s where you can accomplish so much more in three days than you could ever achieve alone.