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6 Ways To Prevent Side Jobs

By Todd Liles 6 Ways To Prevent Side Jobs
Plumber repairing sink as a side job

Side jobs are the little secrets of service techs and plumbers. Business owners hate them, and many techs depend on them for extra income. There are reasons why techs do side jobs. Those reasons usually center on money or vision. No matter the reason, it’s the responsibility of the Service Manager to control side jobs according to your company standards.

ONE: Hire Well

Side jobs start and stop with the hiring process. A good hiring process will solve 95% of all your side job problems. In our Service Manager Series Training, the hiring process is our most popular section. 

Here are a few keys to a good hire:

  • Never hire out of desperation
  • Perform complete criminal background checks
  • Profile your people using the Advance DISCover Insights Profile
  • Use KRA’s to establish the expectation of results 

RELATED – Free KRA Download

  • Check all references
  • Clearly communicate that side jobs will not be allowed

TWO: Paint The Vision For Growth

As Service Managers and leaders, it’s your responsibility to paint how the future of your company looks. Your company may be small today, but it will grow. Remember that every service call your techs go on leads to a bigger company. Your tech and plumbers need to feel like they’re a part of something great, and they need to be completely on board with the culture of your company. 

You have to show the tech that every call counts. Every call is like a brick being laid for a building. Every side job is like taking a sledgehammer to that building. We grow together, and we succeed together. So, show them how their achievements help others as well as themselves.

plumber working a side job to repair a sink

THREE: Pay Your People The Most

To deter side jobs, you must pay the most in the marketplace. This method works because highly economically motivated techs and plumbers want to make money. They have a strong internal desire to earn high incomes. 

Highly money-motivated techs and plumbers also tend to be good producers. When a person who’s motivated by income works for a company that doesn’t pay well, then they may be tempted to do side jobs, or quit.

FOUR: Price To Prosper

To pay the most, you have to be priced to prosper. Paying the most and charging the least is a fast track to business failure. Here are 6 keys to successfully pricing for prosperity:

  1. Pay your techs and plumbers with performance pay
  2. Base your performance pay on a sliding scale
    1. No less than 18%
    2. Potential of upwards of 24% depending on production
  3. Only pay for performance  
  4. Deliver a significant value to the client, so they will happily support your cost of doing business.
  5. Use a flat-rate price book
  6. Never budget to make less than 20% in before-tax profit

FIVE: Maintain Inventory Control

Ensure your inventory is well-maintained to eliminate any temptation for theft. While the majority of technicians are honorable people, you’re obligated to protect yourself from missing, unaccounted-for products. 

Do this by making sure you can report with almost 100% accuracy what is on each of your trucks. Also, utilize effective inventory control and tracking methods. Without these practices in place, your lack of control is begging for a side job from an unethical service tech.

SIX: Provide Educational Opportunities

The more support and opportunity you provide to your team to learn, the less likely they will be to stray. Invest in your team by signing them up for regular skills, communication and industry training. With the potential to boost their sales, make more money and make their job more efficient, there won’t be a need for team members to seek out other jobs.

Find Success With Service Excellence

Side jobs are a common occurrence in the home services industry – but they don’t have to be part of your company. Using these six methods, you can set your technicians and your business up for success without the temptation of side jobs. 

To learn more about incorporating these practices into your business, sign up for our next PRESS PLAY series. And remember, at Service Excellence, we IGNITE THE POWER WITHIN!

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