by Terry McIver, executive editor
The ContractingBusiness.com Contractor of the Year represents an elite group: a forward-thinking class of HVAC contractors who are dynamic and professional in every aspect of their business. They constantly seek new ways to improve their businesses through quality contracting, and they strive to maintain the highest levels
of customer service.
These contractors maintain superior treatment of their employees, customers, and suppliers. They establish a reputation as providers of superior products and
services. They have an eye on the future, and are aware of changing market conditions as they respond quickly to opportunities in their niche.
The high-quality management of their companies parallels that of many top corporations in the U.S. today. These contractors follow strategic plans and maximize their returns on investment, and are always exploring new ways to improve their operations. They maintain high levels of communication within their organizations, are aware of changing market conditions, and respond quickly to opportunities. They’re the leaders of our industry. They’re committed to their businesses and the industry, and aren’t afraid to take calculated risks, and explore new market areas.
WHAT MAKES A
CONTRACTOR OF THE YEAR?
This award is given to commercial and residential contractors who represent the best that the HVACR industry has to offer. Among the requirements for qualification, a contractor must:
- Be in business at least 10 years
- Have a formalized business plan which they are willing to share
- Have credible credit references
- Be active in at least one hvac industry association
- Provide active training for employees -- technical, management, and customer service
- Employ certified refrigerant handling technicians
- If a residential contractor, must have at least one NATE-certified technician on staff
- Must be open to new ideas, technologies, and business practices
- Should have a philosophy around which the company is built
- Must have a marketing strategy and a marketing budget
We look for candidates who embrace change and look for innovative ways to better understand and serve customers. Candidates should be companies that can shed positive light on the HVAC industry and on the contracting profession. They should also be willing to give back to the industry in terms of knowledge sharing via mix groups, association participation (local a must, national is good, both is best). In addition, they must agree to the following:
- Provide description of market area as well as a corporate history
- To allow an editor to spend up to 2 days with them interviewing key personnel and customers for use in the story that will appear in the magazine. The Residential Contractor of the Year is featured in the February edition. The Commercial HVAC Contractor of the Year is featured in our October edition. The Commercial Refrigeration Contractor of the Year is featured in our May edition.
- Must be willing to let editors talk to customers.
- Provide letters of recommendation — one from a customer, one from an association, one from either a distributor or manufacturer
- To be willing to share ideas and information with other contractors from around the country and participate in industry events such as the HVAC Comfortech meetings
- To be a member of CB's advisory board for at last 2 years.