Gary Elekes
President, EPC Training, Co-Founder of iMarket Solutions
& Contractor University Founding Faculty

*Virtual event duration may differ from what is outlined below. Typically, a 1-Day physical in-person event will equate to a 2-Day virtual event. If you are interested in a virtual event, please inquire on event duration.

Gary Elekes is serial entrepreneur with a passion for helping others become more successful by sharing what he has learned over the past 3 decades working closely with all facets of the contracting industry. During his career, Gary has held senior management positions at Lennox and Service Experts. In 2000, Gary moved into entrepreneurship and started his training and consulting business EPC. Today, EPC continues to support growth oriented businesses aspiring to reach 20% EBIT. He also designed the very first web based learning platform for the residential contracting industry, which acts as a support system for training and learning in HVAC and plumbing trades, and has over 5,000 subscribers.

1 Day Event
2+ Day Event

Financial Basics

The goal of this class is to have dealers to understand how to get accurate and timely financial numbers so their companies can grow without losing control. We review Financial Terms, the Chart of Accounts for our trades based on GAAP, Cash Accounting versus Accrual and why, the basics of Inventory systems, Income Statement basic, departmental to GP Line, Balance Sheet, and Cash Flow Statement. We also review key performance indicators by segment.

Topics Covered

  • Role of the Technician
  • Mind Mapping – Attitudes and Focusing on Goals, Present
  • Personality – Social Styles – Dealing with People – How and Why
  • Understanding Effective Communication
  • Defining Selling Skills – 7 Skills
  • Understanding What Process in sales – how to sell by involving customers
  • Setting Goals and a Personal Plan
  • What is the Perfect Service Call Process
  • Defining The Questions to Ask a Homeowner – 12 Questions we Recommend

Pricing for Double Digit Profitability

To evaluate the various pricing methods and strategies for pricing in contracting. We will review all methods and strategies. The goal is for dealers pricing to be cost based, and designed then to properly produce acceptable gross profit dollars to recover overhead, understanding the difference between gross profit dollars, and gross margins, target profitability by business segment and increase cash flow to allow growth. We will review divisor, multiplier, markup, gross profit per crew day and hour, breakeven and dual overhead pricing methods. We will also discuss the idea of aligning a company brand to a market price, and acceptance of the price versus just cost and profit.

Topics Covered

  • How Pricing fits into a company brand and overall strategy
  • Defining a company cost structure – properly organized Chart of Accounts
  • Breaking down revenues, cost of goods sold, overhead, and how Income Statements Work(GAAP)
  • Identifying Breakeven and also Gross Profit per day, and Overhead per day Concepts
  • Methods of pricing – Divisor-Markup-Multiplier-GP Per Day-Breakeven, Dual Overhead
  • Utilizing Add-on Replacement Cookbook – setting standards – positioning
  • GP $ per man-day Benchmarks in replacement and light commercial
  • Crew Capacity – Labor Capacity-Planning Overhead per day
  • Flat Rate Implementation – setting a labor rate correctly based on price and market
  • Key Performance Indicators – Benchmarks, and their use in the pricing
  • Define Pricing in all Segments
    -Service Pricing Labor Rate and Parts Markups
    -RNC – Single and Dual Overhead, Cost Based, Breakeven
    -Residential Maintenance – Breakeven, Costs, and Pricing to a Margin
    -Light Commercial and Commercial Maintenance

Customer Service Excellence

To develop a customer service focused culture and implement core values to support superior customer service in all operations. This workshop is about defining your company brand experience and brand promise, then aligning the business to deliver on that promise every time.

Topics Covered

  • Developing a customer service culture
  • Alignment of a Vision and Purpose
  • Implementation of core values in all areas and specific behaviors required
  • Defining a Brand Promise and Customer Experience – Company Wide
  • Understanding the Internal and External Communications
  • Phone/telemarketing professionalism
  • Debriefing technicians and homeowners
  • Proper paperwork
  • Rewarding positive behavior
  • Sales support from customer service reps.
  • Implementing customer service follow up plan

Service Agreement

Discuss in detail the structure of a service agreement program. The workshop will provide the forms, materials, and necessary structure to implement and execute a top performing service agreement process. A discussion will also be around how to control and ensure profitable growth and generate quality leads.

Topics Covered

  • How to implement a successful service agreement program
  • Marketing materials for residential Service Agreements for Technicians
  • Compensation plans and incentives for service agreements
  • Goal setting for technicians on Service Agreements
  • Marketing Techniques to target zones and existing customers
  • Pricing methods for service agreements
  • Metrics around the service agreement model
  • Scheduling Procedures
  • Company culture to support plan

Digital Branding & Online Marketing

To define for the contractors, the on-line marketing trends, lead generation and how to effectively create and track the leads. The workshop will also review Search Engines, how they function and adjust, how contractors should work with a web provider, and setting up a digital brand for each company.

Topics Covered

  • Choosing a Web Vendor-Provider
  • Understanding the Internet – How Marketing Occurs today
  • SEO/PPC/Alternative 3rd Party
  • Social Media Uses and Strategy
  • Reviews and reputation Mgt.
  • Dashboard-Google-Metrics-Cost Per Lead
  • Expectations for Websites
  • How to Own Your Digital Footprint

Performance Based Pay

Show the dealer how performance based pay (productivity pay) can improve employee morale, increase pay and at the same time improve revenues and profits for the company.

Topics Covered

  • Understand the structure of performance based pay – what exactly is productivity pay?
  • Why Do It as a Company?
  • Pay plans – Examples and Discussion
  • Steps for implementing productivity pay
  • Dealing with Culture Change – Creating Buy-In
  • Training All Employees – Accounting and How to Implement a New Plan
  • Accounting practices
  • Compliance with labor laws, Overtime

Advanced Financial Management

This workshop focuses on developing an understanding of the importance budgeting and forecasting cash flow, metrics, and creating departments inside the financial structure have on their overall operations.

Topics Covered

  • Separating Departments into Cost Centers – Segments
  • Delve into Metrics (KPI’s) in Detail
  • Dashboard System of accountability
  • Creating a 12 Month Budget
  • Using the Budget Tool to Turn to Actual and Measure with Business Metrics
  • Understanding Cash Flow
  • Basics of Forecasting

Materials Management & Inventory Management

Understanding material handling possibilities throughout your business – including accountability for it in the field – is crucial to contracting business success.

In this workshop, dealers will learn to create an efficient material replenishment process for their companies, while getting the tools and training to tie metrics to inventory management system in a way that ensures you’re driving profit – not just revenue.

Attendees will also learn:

  • Field Accountability for Material Handling
  • Standardized Vehicle Stock Systems
  • Replenishment Procedures for Review
  • Establishing Inventory for 85% first time Service Call Completion rate
  • GPS Technology
  • Electronic Invoicing and Processes
  • Purchasing Procedures

Human Resource Management in Contracting

To help the company management team get organized and structured in hiring, recruiting and training practices. Focus on the development of the employees and mid management.

Topics Covered

  • Developing People a How to and Why
  • Employee manual
  • Safety manual
  • Performance review and feedback
  • Compensation systems
  • Interviewing and hiring
  • Recruiting
  • Role descriptions

Succession Planning

Get the dealer focused on the need to have proper succession steps in place to deal with a family buy-out, employee buy-out or outside agent buy-out and avoid a potential crisis situation.

Topics Covered

  • Buy/Sell agreements
  • Will & trust
  • Structuring the business
  • Mentoring a successor
  • Key employee insurance
  • Valuing the enterprise
  • Family Estate Planning
  • Developing Key Employees to Maintain Transition

Surviving Permanent Whitewater

This workshop is focused on the managerial processes inside contracting. The entire class is driven around the fundamental principles of managing a double digit profitable company – combining many elements of 1 day workshops into a must do list of items to be successful.

Topics Covered

  • Financial Structure
  • Departmentalization Process
  • Metrics and KPI’s
  • Sales Process and How to Sell Great
  • Service Agreements and the Merits – How and Why
  • Pricing Practices – Service and Various Markets
  • Technician Training and Development
  • Use of and Merits of Productivity Pay Plans
  • Cookbook Systems
  • Digital Branding and Lead Generation

Building a Profitable Commercial MTC. & Light Commercial Business

Implement the steps necessary to create a successful light commercial business

Topics Covered

  • Establishing a Commercial Rate
  • Establishing a Commercial Maintenance Platform
  • Pricing – Estimating – Maintenance and Projects
  • Prospecting/Qualifying customers
  • Account Manager Hiring-Training-Development-Compensation
  • Forms for Customer, Building, Equipment, Add-ons
  • Project management
  • Codes, regulations, and legal issues
  • Leasing and financing options
  • Life Cycle costs
  • Commercial service agreement positioning Discussion – Full Coverage and Pricing
  • Closing
  • Service after the sale

Leadership in Small Business

Leadership practices in contracting with be discussed and challenges of the small business owner in implementation and execution. The workshop will be focused on improving the business profitability and cash flow by working through leadership ideas.

Topics Covered

  • Creating a Leadership Blueprint
  • Defining a Vision, Core-Values and Behavior Plan
  • Communication and Meeting Rhythm Discussion – Model
  • We will break down a strategic plan and how to take-action
  • Action Plans for Execution
  • Model for Execution
  • Discussion of how to create an operating plan to improve profitability
  • Measurement Systems and Development of Key Managers

Flat Rate Practices

Company leaders to understand how to Set-up Flat Rate and Implement a Flat Rate protocol.

Topics Covered

  • Basics of What Flat Rate is and how it functions
  • How prices are created in Flat Rate
  • Benefits to All Regarding Flat Rate – Techs-Employees-Co.-Client
  • How to Train and Organize Flat Rate Forms
  • Define the Service Call Process in Flat Rate
  • Example Flat Rate System
  • Creating Your Street Rate and a Book to Utilize
  • Aligning Service Agreements with Flat Rate
  • Making Flat Rate Adjustments – Specific Repairs
  • Inventory Flat Rate replenishment

Breakthrough Business Leadership

The goal of this workshop is to have the owners and managers of contracting firms work through a model of success to grow, and demonstrate leadership structure to grow, with examples. The focal points are in showing how to move from a entrepreneurial company to a process driven business that can operate without its primary owners present. The objectives are outlining how to accomplish that end, and define a plan, empower others, create structure without costs, set-up yearly, monthly, weekly and daily activity and reporting.

Topics Covered

  • Understanding Effective Leadership
  • Understanding What Process is and can do to grow and empower
  • Creating a Operating Plan for the Company and Employees
  • Running an Effective Meeting
  • Creating a 3 year and 10 Year set of Goals
  • Creating Meeting Rhythm

Technician Communication & Selling Skills

The goal of this workshop is to learn and role play communication process, social styles and personalities, how to get along well, how to improve building customer relationships to improve the brand. We also cover in depth the consumer behaviors interests, questioning technique, sales process and selling techniques, and how to use them all. Technicians will learn and have materials to use that can help them sell more equipment, create more leads, create more accessory sales, and sell more maintenance agreements.

Topics Covered

  • Role of the Technician
  • Mind Mapping – Attitudes and Focusing on Goals, Present
  • Personality – Social Styles – Dealing with People – How and Why
  • Understanding Effective Communication
  • Defining Selling Skills – 7 Skills
  • Understanding What Process in sales – how to sell by involving customers
  • Setting Goals and a Personal Plan
  • What is the Perfect Service Call Process
  • Defining The Questions to Ask a Homeowner – 12 Questions we Recommend

Service Management and Service Department Profitability

Every contracting business has a service department. But a service department that’s a measurable profit center, rather than financial blackhole is what separates the average contractor from the great one.

In this workshop, we’ll discuss how to capture more service calls, maintain proper service levels and turn your overall service department into that measurable profit center that can set your business apart. You’ll learn proper dispatching procedure, service org chart and parts stock replenishment, and you’ll walk away with your department goals and priorities for the year and a plan to address them.

Attendees will also learn:

  • Creating a Service Department Evaluation and Gap Analysis
  • Defining Maintenance Strategy and Integrating into Service
  • Proper Forms to Support Department
  • Procedure and Policy Manual
  • Service Pricing Strategies – Flat Rate, Labor Rate Price, Key Repairs, Maintenance Prices
  • Detailed Maintenance Strategy Outline and Review
  • The “Perfect Service Call” Procedure
  • Recruiting, Hiring, Training and Developing Technicians

Developing a Marketing Plan

To help dealers understand the need for a marketing plan, marketing calendar, lead forecast and sales forecast and how to create quality leads. This class will also focus on developing better ads, use of financing, yellow pages and advertising as a whole.

Topics Covered

  • Overview of Marketing Model in today’s Environment
  • Marketing Evaluation
  • Marketing Planning Outline – Brand, Theme, Attributes, Customer Experience
  • Setting Marketing Goals for the year, BHAG 10 Year Goal
  • Service Agreements – Acquisition
  • Digital Marketing – Website Design, SEO, PPC, Social Media, Remarketing, Rep. Mgt., Reviews
  • Lead tracking and Understanding Metrics in Marketing
  • Marketing calendar Layout of Media
  • Advertising & Media, Internal Marketing, and Operational Marketing
  • Marketing programs and Promotional Ideas
  • Allocation of Funding into Media – Choices, Use of Co-op

Maintenance Technician Communications

Master the fundamentals of becoming a world class maintenance professional as it relates to client experience and the steps to run a proper maintenance call and your contracting company will set itself apart from a sea of competitors.
In this workshop, we will focus on those fundamentals, as well as the attributes of setting goals, client experience, and the actual steps to running a call. You’ll walk away with the blueprint to constructing the ultimate client experience, and the ability to instill those principles in your business to create an industry dream team.

Retail Sales-In Home Selling

Establish a sales process that will allow the dealer to sell higher margin products that are priced properly and sold based on positioning and options. A focus is given to understanding the impact of the 13 SEER mandate.

Topics Covered

  • Mind Mapping Discussion
  • Defining the Change Model – How Sales People Can Improve
  • Retail Selling Process – Step-by-Step
  • Learning to Differentiate Yourself and Your Company
  • Presentation Materials and Example Manual
  • All materials for customizing a credibility book, guarantees, warranties company value
  • Closing Techniques Discussion – Tied to Presentation System
  • Proposal and agreement forms
  • Load calculation
  • Sales Measurements

Leading in a Whitewater Environment

Business is in a state of constant change, we term this permanent whitewater, and as a leader we have to understand the trends in the market, and adapt our companies and people to the challenges. Every challenge is a opportunity, great leaders identify the who, how, why, what and where and drive execution.

Developing Your Team

Talent acquisition and development is the most important aspect of growing any company long term. Learning the skills to create inspiration, culture, and the organizational growth is essential for all managers and company owners. From recruiting, hiring, on boarding, and development we will focus on the nature of how to build a winning culture of prosperity.

Contracting Best Practices

The best practices in contracting have a tremendous impact on your company’s success and the long term health of the company. To many, the elephant looks big and daunting, even overwhelming, and in the big picture we need to learn how to define priorities and develop the company one step at a time and inspire others to drive execution.