Greetings and Happy Holidays!
The NHWA sent out a mailing to 250 Home Watch businesses last week. They were sent to companies that we have contacted in the past about possible membership. I know that a great number of those who received the mailer visited the site afterwards. I have gotten responses from some, nothing from others and, unfortunately, some “return to sender” (approximately 6%). The return to senders are disappointing for a few reasons. Why did these businesses fail? Poor planning and management? Sub-par marketing? Shoddy service? Sadly, we will never know. Of course the question becomes: “How can these closings affect my company?” Huh? What could this have to do with my company? Think about it: based on the quality of work they performed and the way the company closed down affects the reputation of Home Watch in general. And that can affect your company big time! If the failed company didn’t live up to their clients’ expectations and left them in the lurch, you’d better believe that they have lost confidence in our industry. I have received a few communications from folks this has happened to. The problem is that there are no accredited companies in those areas. When we get inquiries from clients looking for an NHWA member and there are none in their area, we always reach out to any local HW company we can find. Some of you may have even heard from us.
Getting back to possible reasons for these companies failing might certainly be:
Lack of a support system
Failure to be able to get good advice
Throwing good money after bad in areas like marketing or products that they thought made sense at the time
Not adapting to obvious changes in their market
Lack of networking
Less than adequate service
The possible reasons are many. The truth is that we won’t really ever know about those particular businesses, because they never shared the reasons with us. Bottom line: Sharing information is good. It strengthens your foundation and maybe, just maybe, keeps you from wasting money and time on an idea that has been tried in other areas. Maybe it worked after someone tried this, or we tried this, this and this, and it didn’t work. What about learning of cost-saving moves specifically for HW businesses? With the challenges facing all small businesses today, doesn’t it make sense to try to increase your chances, rather than decrease them?
I will assure you that becoming an NHWA Member can only help your company. Unless, of course, you wouldn’t agree to maintain high ethics and standards. Or choose not to carry proper insurance. In that case, your business would never earn accreditation with the NHWA.