We seldom talk about what the Better Business Bureau Integrity Awards mean in today’s world. As the world seems to crumble around us, those awards could be considered a “parachute in life that take us to safety”. They are an “insurance policy” for consumers and also hard-working employees.

As consumers, we want it all. We want peace of mind in knowing our purchases have quality. We want to be treated with respect. We always deserve to be treated fairly. We want a reasonable price.

Let’s talk price. One of the toughest things a company does is set the price so it is fair and also a profit can be made. Profit is not a dirty word. Businesses that fail to make a profit go away.

Setting prices sounds simple but it’s so tough that 90% of the plumbing contractors and 95% of the HVAC contractors fail within 10 years. Typically, they fail to understand their true costs; however, some are so inefficient they could never charge enough and still have customers!

Years ago, I asked a plumbing contractor what his costs for a technician per hour were and he said, “I have no idea. At the end of the year when we do our taxes, we either make or lose money”. He didn’t have a clue if he was too low with some prices or gouging customers. Maybe you were his customer and still feel that sting? It’s important to know the profit margin on every single service and then adjust those costs continuously.

Integrity awards indicate we are being fair with the pricing needs of our customers because otherwise, we would have multiple unanswered Better Business Bureau complaints. At the same time, there will always be some frivolous complaints because some customers will never be happy unless the prices are unreasonably low. That’s where quality at a reasonable cost is important. It’s not the same as cheap. When it comes to costs and profit, integrity works both ways.

Winning BBB Integrity Awards are about balance in all aspects of the business. They can be considered report cards that tell us we are covering the majority of bases in a fair manner. It indicates the entire team understands and appreciates the company’s direction.

The awards have made it easier for me to slowly back away from being a hands-on manager to an owner that will be able to retire someday from a company that has a great future. That’s important because John Henry's Plumbing, Heating, Air, and Electrical’s is much bigger than Deb’s or mine. John Henry's Plumbing, Heating, Air, and Electrical is about improving the health and safety of our community. It’s also about building a team of future leaders that will be second to none.

For Deb and I to retire someday, it’s important to continue setting the direction. We started by building Standard Operations Procedures (S.O.P.s) to guide John Henry's Plumbing, Heating, Air, and Electrical. We have worked beside Lindsey, our daughter, for the last 10 years in hopes she will follow in our footsteps. Our managers also continue to take on bigger roles. They welcome the challenges because their direction is honorable. Together they will carry out John Henry's Plumbing, Heating, Air, and Electrical’s tradition.

During the last year, John Henry's Plumbing, Heating, Air, and Electrical has won the Angie’s List Service Award, the KFOR Best of Lincoln Award, and the BBB Ambassador of Integrity Award for the second time. We won the BBB Integrity Award in 2004. These awards tell us what is in the hearts of John Henry's Plumbing, Heating, Air, and Electrical’s team.

A driven team that works with continuous integrity is so much easier to manage. There will always be mistakes, but knowing they were just honest mistakes makes it easier to correct them truthfully. It’s easier to stand behind a team with integrity and always do what’s right.

On behalf of John Henry's Plumbing, Heating, Air, and Electrical’s team, thank you for your ongoing support and feedback. The BBB Integrity Awards reflect what you believe in and need as consumers. You make a difference in our community. These awards are about you!

Since this article is supposed to be about heating and air conditioning, let’s close with a reminder the heating season is just starting. It’s a great time to get a service maintenance agreement on your HVAC equipment from John Henry's Plumbing, Heating, Air, and Electrical, which offers more than typical service maintenance agreements and scheduling is second to none. Our team will work at your home or business 7 days a week from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM with no overtime during those hours. 24-hour service is always available!

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