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Staying Ahead: Key Learnings from the VISION, ACCA, and NARI Annual Conferences

audience at conference

Embracing Change and Challenges in Service Industries

As Rock Star Marketing, we understand the pulse of small businesses in service industries like auto repair, home improvement, HVAC, and construction. Attending conferences like VISION, ACCA, and the NARI Annual Conference provides invaluable insights into the trends, challenges, and strategies shaping these sectors. Here are the key takeaways that resonated across all industries:

1. Shortage of Qualified Technicians

Across the board, there’s a pressing need for skilled technicians. The conferences emphasized investing in training programs to attract and retain talent. Service businesses must proactively nurture their workforce to meet the increasing demand for quality services.

I taught a class at the National Association of the Remodeling Industry Annual Conference that was titled, “Stop The Bleeding! How To Recruit & Retain Awesome Employees During A Workforce Shortage.” It was well received because it’s a hot topic right now.

If you’d like me to share my slide deck with you, let me know by sending me an email at I’ll be happy to show you how to improve your recruiting and retention process.

2. Financing Options for Customers

The high cost of parts and labor necessitates offering financing options to customers. Educating clients about these options can alleviate financial barriers and enable them to access essential services without delay.

Let’s face it. People’s pride will not allow them to admit they’re broke and struggling to pay their bills. That’s why you should consider offering financing to every customer so they can save face. Even people with great credit scores are strapped for cash when an economy declines. Offer them financing, and you may find they’ll finally allow you to fix all that deferred work they’ve been putting off.

3. Continuous Training for Evolving Technology

The rapid evolution of technology requires businesses to prioritize continuous training for their teams. Staying updated with the latest tools and techniques enhances service quality and boosts customer satisfaction.

If you’re not constantly training and improving, you’re slowly dying. Make it a habit with everyone in your organization to find the newest, most efficient, most profitable ways of solving problems. 

If your system and technologies are old and outdated, you could be losing out on some big bucks. Broken systems take extra time to fix, and time is money, honey.

4. Value-Based Pricing

Businesses were encouraged to charge based on the value and care they provide. This approach ensures fair compensation for expertise and exceptional service, establishing a win-win scenario for the business and its customers.

Whenever you provide a service or a product, you need to make it a habit to “wow” your customers. You do this by offering value that they cannot get anywhere else. But high value comes with higher prices, and that’s okay. If your clients value the extra value, extra care, and extra service they get from your business, they’ll be happy to pay the higher fee.

5. Mom & Pop Shops vs. Private Equity Ownership

Discussions revolved around the challenges and opportunities faced by family-owned businesses compared to those owned by private equity firms. Finding the right balance between tradition and innovation is key to sustainable growth.

I’m seeing many family businesses on Main Street being purchased by private equity groups from Wall Street. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.

Personally, I want to grow Rock Star Marketing and our affiliate partnerships so that we are sustainable for generations to come. I understand that private equity buyouts are appealing, but my team is still eager to grow and make a difference for the clients we serve. Growing and scaling up is exciting, and we’re here to help the mom-and-pop shops we serve. 

6. Justifying Diagnostic Fees

The skills behind diagnostic fees were justified as essential for accurate problem-solving and efficient service delivery. Communicating the value of these fees to customers is crucial in building trust and transparency.

Have you seen the video I made after I took the computer diagnostics class at the VISION Conference? I learned so much from this class because I realized just how much effort and experience goes into diagnosing what is going wrong within an electrical system. Check it out.

7. Balancing Business and Personal Life

For couples owning businesses together, setting clear boundaries and effective communication strategies were highlighted as crucial aspects. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance fosters success both professionally and personally.

Book cover - When Your Business Partner is Your Spouse

One couple taught a class called “When Your Business Partner Is Your Spouse,” and they shared some helpful tips from their book of the same title. I was so impressed by what they shared, I went ahead and bought the book for myself and other couples who own a business together. 

Check this book out for yourself here: 

8. Company Culture Improvement

Enhancing company culture emerged as a priority for fostering employee satisfaction and productivity. Creating a positive work environment, promoting teamwork, and recognizing achievements were emphasized as effective strategies.

But company culture doesn’t just benefit the employees! It also benefits the customer. 

Your customers choose you because they like you, trust you, and feel they share the same values as you. When your company culture is happy, positive, and solution-minded, your customers get excited to share the good news about your business with their friends and family.

9. Standard Operating Procedures Are A Must!

When I taught my “Stop The Bleeding!” class at the NARI Annual Conference, I showed them why SOPs are super important to nurturing that company culture. Your company’s Standard Operating Procedures should contain step-by-step processes, instructions, video tutorials, and Key Performance Indicators/KPIs to help your employees do their job correctly.

I even gave away our SOP template so they could try it themselves. If you’d like that same template, here you go!

Use the following QR code to download this SOP Template.

10. Future of Social Media Marketing Post TikTok Ban

With social media’s evolving landscape, discussions centered on alternative platforms and innovative strategies after the TikTok ban. Businesses were advised to adapt their social media marketing efforts to reach their target audience effectively.

Attending these conferences reinforced the significance of adaptability, innovation, and strategic planning in navigating the challenges and seizing opportunities in service industries. By implementing these key learnings, businesses can stay ahead and thrive in dynamic market environments.

Why Does Rock Star Marketing Attend These Conferences?

As marketers, we support the industries we serve, so we eagerly sign up for technical classes, management training, financial workshops, and sales courses at these conferences. It allows us to walk a mile in the shoes of the business owners we serve.

Because we do this, we have a better opportunity to truly capture the “voice” of each company we serve when we write their story on their website, in their videos, in email blasts, in their text message marketing, in their rebate checks, etc. 

When we clearly understand the pain points, the industry challenges, consumer expectations, and the “why” that drives each owner, we can tell an irresistible story that attracts their ideal tribe of raving fans. 

Because we always strive to learn, we help our marketing clients by creating a ripple effect of positive growth. This is part of the secret sauce that allows us to consistently help our clients reach their next million dollars in annual revenue. 

Do You Need Help Growing Your Business Revenue?

If you need help reaching your next million in annual revenue, the Rock Star Marketing team is here to assist. We offer a whole host of services to help you reach your revenue goals. 

Sign up for a free marketing coaching session to find out how Rock Star Marketing can best help you and your business grow.

Jennifer Filzen
Cell:  408-833-9868
Link to a FREE Marketing Coaching Session:

Call Rock Star Marketing at (408) 833-9868 or contact us using the button below.