Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

Written Policies and Procedures Help Everyone Sleep Through the Night


I grew up in my family’s plumbing, heating, and cooling company and among my earliest memories are my Dad getting calls in the middle of the night from people with heating emergencies—a homeowner whose furnace had quit or a bakery where they needed the steam from the boilers for their baking. When this happened, rather than leave me at the house, he’d take me with him.

I remember it being fun to go on those calls. The bakers liked me and would feed me bagels, cookies, and cake while my dad toiled to get their boilers up and running. Not so much fun for my Dad, though, who had worked hard all day and was now working late into the night!

I followed my Dad and brothers into the business and eventually rose through the ranks to the point where I started to get the middle of the night wakeup calls. And I quickly learned it was not nearly as much fun to wake up and run those calls as it was to be that kid tagging along.

The problem was not so much that I was getting the middle of the night wakeup calls it was that I was getting them on a too regular basis. Even though our company had grown to 25 techs and a real set of shifts existed from 7:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., 10:00 a.m. – 7 p.m., 2:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. and even 5:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m. during the busy season.

This wasn’t on-call like you probably know it; we actually had tech teams who were out working their shifts and running scheduled calls at those hours.

What this amounted to though was my trying to sleep but not really sleeping because one part of me was busy waiting for the phone to ring. And it usually did.

I totally hated my team for this. That is until I realized who was the real culprit.

It was me!

I had not documented any of our policies and procedures for my techs nor had I trained them on those things. I hadn’t created the hands-on training required either, so it was like there was a giant imaginary sign in my office that said, “MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT EMERGENCY: CALL AL!”.

Time and aging can be a good thing because together they remove the illusion that you can make up for all your failings with youth and energy.
I’m here to tell you that you can’t do what you did at age 20 or 30 by the time your reach 40 years of age. And when you reach your 40s, 50s or even 60s that myth should have long disappeared.

Your only hope is to do what I finally did which is to swallow hard and get down to doing what you need to do to fix it, which is creating operations manuals that define the way you do your work.

It’s a bear of a task. I’m not going to lie. Luckily, I was smart enough to realize that early on. So, I enlisted a lot of help. Paid help. And I paid gladly because I was born to be a tech, then ultimately a businessman, but not the writer I’ve become all these years later.

So, what do you get if you do this hard thing?

Well, for one, you get your time (read: life) back.

“Before we made the manuals, techs were constantly calling their field supervisor to ask, ‘Is this right?’ says client Mark Paup, President, Golden Rule Plumbing, Heating and Cooling, Grimes, Iowa. “Now the tech has a written description of exactly how to do 80% of his job with him at all times. The manuals make the tech more confident so the field supervisors have time to do their own jobs.”

What I got was the ability to sleep through the night. And when I was awakened on the rare occasions, my techs were in much better shape for me to help them over the phone or if need be at the jobsite.

Operating manuals will change your life. More than any new truck. More than any new piece of equipment. Your business cannot improve until your operating manuals are in place. Find a way to make it so and reap the rewards you deserve for all of your hard work and years invested. And get some sleep!

Al Levi teaches contractors how to run their businesses with less stress and more success through his book, seminars, webinars and his exclusive 1-to-1 consulting practice.

 Also check out Al’s latest business adventure as part of Zoom Franchise Company at www.zoomdrain.com/franchise-opportunity. It’s a living example of the power of manuals and more— in action.

More Ways to Become a 7-Power Contractor

The 7-Power Contractor book lays out 7 simple business powers to help you run your business with Less Stress and More Success. And now, it's available in paperback, ebook, and audiobook.

The Build Your Operating Manuals (BYOM) Program provides you with 90% done manual templates plus step-by-step instructions on how to edit them, roll them out, train with them.

Get Your Life Back: 7 Secrets of Super Effective Time Management will show you where you time is really going throughout the day so you can begin to get some of it back immediately.

Enter Your Info Below

To Get The 7-Power Contractor Cheat Sheet

®

Enter Your Info Below

To Get The 7-Power Contractor Cheat Sheet

®

Enter Your Info Below

To Get The 7-Power Contractor Cheat Sheet

®

DO YOU WANT THE BUNDLE?

THE FULL BUNDLE INCLUDES

Free Chapter plus

The 7-power Cheat Sheet

10 Reasons to Choose Us 

10 Golden Rules for Family Businesses

Close

ENTER YOUR EMAIL TO GET YOUR RESOURCES

Before you leave, do you want the

FREE Book Bonus Materials

Great! We'll send you the bonuses!

What's your best email?

ENTER YOUR EMAIL TO GET

THE CHEAT SHEET

Close
This site uses cookies to improve your experience. By continuing to use this site, you consent to our cookie policy: privacy policy