One of the major issues most companies in the trades are facing today is dealing with the recruiting, training and retention of technicians.
There are a number of factors impacting this:
- Retirement of baby boomers
- Lack of interest among younger workers to come into the trades
- High cost of recruitment and training
As a result, many companies are not growing because they do not have the technicians to handle the work they have and are even having to reduce in size as their existing workforce decreases. As owners are thinking about the valuation of the business and the potential of a full or partial sale — realizing the importance of growing cash flow — this becomes a real issue.
If you are tired of dealing with labor issues and want to sell 100%, or if you think solving labor issues could unlock great value and would like to talk about a partial sale, then contact Brentwood Growth.
Not ready yet?
Read below to learn more about technician labor issues and how a partial or full sale can resolve most labor-related concerns.
Larger organizations in home service industries have the advantage of greater resources to invest in targeted recruitment efforts, including broader advertising reach and more competitive compensation packages upon first starting with the company.
As it pertains to training, larger organizations can provide more structured and extensive training programs compared to smaller businesses. In addition to guidance from the ownership team, large organizations may also cover the costs for technicians to gain additional accreditations and certifications. They can also provide better equipment that allows technicians to work more effectively and efficiently.
Additionally, they can also offer more career growth opportunities, benefits packages, and more predictable and certain hours, which helps with retaining labor long-term. On the other hand, small businesses may struggle to provide similar resources and advancement paths, leading to high employee turnover rates.
One effective way to solve technician labor issues is through a partial or complete sale of your company. A partial sale, in particular, allows you to take out equity in your company and still remain active and grow. Additionally, you gain the assistance and funding you need to properly recruit, train, and retain top technicians in your area.
The Challenge of Technician Labor Issues as a Small Business
You spend months and substantial monetary investments training a technician, only to have them leave the company soon after they are trained. This leads to the need to hire someone else and train them to do the same role.
This endless and exhausting cycle plagues many small business owners within home services industries such as HVAC, roofing, and construction.
Most technician labor issues with small businesses are due to:
- Budget Constraints
- Lack of Growth Opportunities Within The Company
- An Inability to Offer Benefits Packages
As a result, skilled technicians often leave for bigger and better opportunities with large organizations. This leads to increased training costs, reduced service quality, reputational damage, and substantial time commitments for the owner.
Small and Large Organizations Compete for The Same Talent
There is high demand for skilled technicians in the construction and home service industries. Large organizations want to acquire top talent, and this often entails recruiting them away from small local businesses. Since small businesses often lack the financial resources required to offer competitive salaries, comprehensive benefits, and career advancement opportunities, they have little means to retain skilled technicians that they trained.
How Selling to a Larger Organization Can Resolve Technician Labor Issues
As the saying goes: “if you can’t beat them, join them.” For contractors and small service-based businesses, joining them is often the best solution. Here are five ways selling to a large organization can resolve technician labor issues:
Improved Employee Retention Rates
Although it is no fault of small business owners, large organizations are simply able to offer a better work opportunity for technicians. This incentivizes technicians to remain with the company long-term, reducing employee turnover. In general, large organizations can help you ensure optimal employee retention rates by offering:
- Higher Hourly Wages or Contract Salaries
- More Predictable and Certain Work Hours
- Enhanced Benefits Packages (i.e. Health Insurance)
- Advanced Tools and Equipment to Ensure Efficient Work Processes
- Growth Opportunities Within The Company
- More In-Depth Internal Training Programs
Better Recruiting Strategies for Skilled Technicians
Large organizations often have a well-established brand presence and reputation. Due to this, skilled technicians are naturally more inclined to choose you over your competitors if you partner with a large organization.
Additionally, large organizations often have human resource and recruitment departments (or outsource to a recruitment firm). This provides access to a broader pool of candidates for open positions, so you can ensure you hire a technician who is qualified and most likely to stay with the company long-term.
More Assistance With Technician Training
From investments into technician certification and accreditation programs to internal skill-building workshops and webinars, there are better opportunities available to train your technicians fast and effectively when you sell to a large organization with a track record of excellent employee retention. Although mentorship and guidance are valuable, you will not have to spend countless hours each week actively training your technicians.
Reduced Liability With Work-Related Incidents
Home service industries such as roofing, HVAC, and construction carry the risk of workplace injury and insurance-related claims (i.e. worker’s compensation, commercial auto, etc.). Additionally, large organizations have a human resource department that can handle internal disputes and complaints, such as harassment allegations.
As it pertains to work-related incidents, in particular, large organizations help by providing:
- Proven Safety Protocols
- Industry Regulation Compliance
- Risk Management Strategies
- Safety Training and Equipment
Increased Access to Advanced Tools and Equipment for Technicians
Home service industries are constantly adapting to technology advancements and the introduction of innovative tools and equipment. It is often hard for small businesses to keep up and maintain the same quality of tools and equipment for technicians as the big guys.
A great way to combat this concern is by selling part of your business to an investor or large organization within your industry, particularly one who has access to advanced industry tools and equipment for your technicians.
What Merging With a Large Organization Means (and What It Does Not Mean)
Merging with a large organization does not mean you give up control of your company. On the contrary, most private equity (PE) firms and large chains within your industry would prefer you to stay at the forefront of the company growth strategy, especially if you play a vital role in the company’s operations.
This means you can continue building the company and raising its worth, and you still sell the remainder of the company when you feel it is best to do so. Of course, a complete sale with a fast exit in a year or less is an option if you are ready to retire or pursue other business ventures.
So, what changes when you merge with a large organization? Of course, a portion of the profit goes to the buyer. In return, you receive access to their HR department, benefits programs, and prestigious name. As a result, you are able to attract and retain top talent, which alleviates your role as owner and improves the quality and efficiency of your company’s operations.
Of course, you also receive payment to acquire your company (either partially or fully). This can range from 3 to more than 5 times your seller’s discretionary earnings (SDE).
Contact Brentwood Growth for a
Complimentary Business Assessment
Brentwood Growth serves business owners that are service providers and contractors in the residential, industrial, and commercial space. We can help you merge your construction and home services business with a larger organization (either partially or fully). Contact us today to get started.