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Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.
I first read that quote over 30 years ago. A kid in high school used it as his yearbook quote. Smart guy...
The wisdom in Will Rogers' words is the bedrock philosophy of the E in GEARS: education. Even if we're on the right track, we can't just sit there. We have to keep moving forward. We never stop learning - we never should stop learning. And at Taco, we take that pretty seriously. My task at Taco is to develop the most comprehensive, wide-ranging and effective contractor education program the hydronics industry has ever seen. If you look under the Taco logo on the front of the FloPro Team brochure you may be holding in your hands, it says "Success Made Easy." There's a team of 500 people who work hard every day in Cranston, RI to help make your success easy. There are hundreds more in the field who work for your local manufacturer's representative and local wholesaler who are also dedicated to your success. If you succeed, we succeed. It's as simple as that!
And that's where the education program comes in. No one knows everything there is to know about hydronics, even us instructors! The education element of GEARS is meant to share the knowledge we've accumulated over the years so that we can all do our jobs better - install better systems, design better products and, of course, be more successful.
As a FloPro team member, you'll have access to dozens of field and factory training programs, all designed to help you design, sell and install better and more profitable hydronic heating systems. You'll learn about heat loss, about boiler, pipe and circulator sizing, about controls and low voltage wiring and about unique radiant heating applications. But the GEARS program doesn't stop there.
We firmly believe there are three elements to contractor success, and all are equally important. The first, obviously, is technical skill. You need to know what goes where and why. If you don't have this skill, you simply can't play. Think "Jacks or better" to open in poker. The second and equally critical element of success is business skill. A business owner needs to know how to run his business, how to read a balance sheet and a profit-and-loss statement, and what those statements mean. He needs to know how to use those statements to make sound business decisions. And most importantly, he needs to know his cost of doing business and how to use that number to develop a true hourly labor rate.
Getting more interesting, isn't it?
The final element of success is the one very few contractors willingly embrace - the ability to sell. We all have competitors, and for the most part, those competitors are just as skilled as we are at our given jobs. Why, then, would someone hire you instead of your competitor? (Hint - it ain't all about price.) The contractor who can consistently show customers the value of his offerings, the peace of mind his solutions offer and the prompt, courteous service his company provides will achieve the profits, and the success, he so desires.
You may take as few or as many of the Taco training programs as you wish. There are plenty of programs for the employee and the business owner alike. And education has its rewards beyond knowledge. With each class a FloPro member completes, he earns credit hours towards a FloPro Master's Degree. It's an exclusive level of professional recognition to help further differentiate you from your competitors.
For your convenience, Taco will offer two-hour, half-day and full-day training modules in your local area in the coming months. We will also offer extended, intensive hands-on training at our factory in Cranston, RI as well as at selected sites throughout the country. In the future we'll be offering on-line training opportunities, as well.
Also, check out the website links we've provided for you. The good folks behind these websites are ready, willing and eager to help you on your way. Dan Holohan, Ellen Rohr, Randall Hilton, the RPA, the trade magazines are all in the business of helping contractors just like yourself reach their goals. Please pay them a visit.
The opportunities are there for you, it's now up to you to take advantage of them. For, as Will Rogers tells us, even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.