Create a valuable BFT company before you burn out

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Throughout all of school I was a pretty good student–I got A’s and B’s, and put effort into studying and completing my homework on time. That is, until about March of my Senior year in High school–after I had sent away all my college applications and was beginning to hear back from them. I had chosen the college I’d be attending, rooming with my current best friend, and that’s when I got “Senioritis.” I wanted to move away and start something different, and the idea of starting over, of living on my own had me day-dreaming more than studying. I was spending more time with my friends than I did with my books. Although I passed my last few classes, my heart just wasn’t in it. I was ready for something new.

I remembered this recently while I  talked with one of our customers. He admitted after testing backflow devices for thirty years, he’s a little burnt out. With retirement just a few years away, he’s had backflow testing Senioritis for a while. His kids are grown, his wife is on the edge of retirement as well, and although he’s had a successful company, he simply wants to be finished.

Backflow Testing Senioritis on the Horizon

Where does that leave his company? If he continued down the same path for the next 3 or 4 years, it likely would dwindle more, with more of a paper trail than ever before.  He reached out to us a few months ago, and C3 has put his company on a path that will be easier to sell in the future, or pass down to his children if they are interested.

One of the things that stood out to me during our conversation was how much our customer had simply memorized. From several thousand customers he knew which ones he tested each year, and how much he charged when it varied from his regular rates. He remembered when the billing address was under a different name than the person being tested. There were anomalies from having a customer’s daughter charged since she legally owned the house, to billing a smaller portion because the customer often baked cookies for him and had been a customer for decades. The ethics of this weren’t our topic though. Our customer simply needed a better way to record those things so that he could, eventually, sell his company.  A bunch of papers with names and phone numbers simply isn’t a company worth investing in. That’s where we stepped in, and documented everything that he had records for. Since he had never written down who had annual tests, this was initially time consuming for him–we simply had no idea who he regularly tested because aside from required test reports, the information was lacking. Once everything was recorded via our app though, there was less to stress about, fewer things to remember, and a lot more time on his hands.

Our average customer has a little more documentation. Typically there is an excel spreadsheet involved or a simple computer program used to keep track of the basics. A program that integrates all these details though goes a long way if you’re coming in with fresh eyes and no background knowledge. Establishing a company that has years of history, shows the customers that are tested yearly, and clarifies when customers are charged a different fee isn’t just a great set-up if you’re planning on letting your backflow testing company go to someone else. It’s helpful when you hire new backflow testers, have a new office administrator, or simply forget something about a customer.  You’d be surprised at how many “to-do” things are in your head right now if you’re not recording them physically. Take a pen, and write them down. Now, consider how many of those things you could take off that list if you had a program that simply knew those things for you. A program that told you that you had 22 backflow devices to test that week to be on stride with your annual testing. A program that reminded your office administrator that a certain person is billed a portion so that you don’t have to tell them yourself. A program that assures you you’re on the right route to get tests finished today.

And, even if you aren’t ready to move on yet, eventually you will be.  Maybe a year or maybe decades from now, you’re going to want to retire.  Or, maybe you’re going to get Senioritis and simply want to do something else. Establishing a company that has a solid customer base with direct information is essential to creating something valuable to someone other than yourself.

Interested in getting your company a bit more organized? Let us help you. Sign up for our free trial and let C3 show you what we can do for you.

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