Installments: The era of certification

HomeColumnsInstallments: The era of certification

by Dave Stafford

Like it or not, we are in the era of third-party certification of installers, sales personnel, inspectors and even business executives. Being in business for upwards of 25 years may seem to be enough verification of your practices but you may be losing opportunities. Here are some specific reasons to take the time to add certifications to your list of accomplishments.

An edge in advertising and marketing You may have been in business for 25 years but playing this up in advertising will only go so far in the current business climate, where buyers look for reassurance in the form of credentials. Ask yourself, why you are willing to pay Starbucks’ prices or have your car serviced by Mr. Goodwrench. Certification. It gives you something else to talk about, to differentiate you from the guy down the street. Sometimes that is all it takes to win a job when you and your competitor are locked in a struggle for a project.

Measure against others in the same field. You may be quite successful from your frame of reference, but you may have become complacent. Are you keeping up with new products, services and installation methods? The standards for most certifications will tell you quickly how you’ll fare in the evaluation. Most individual certifications require a certain amount of time training in new techniques.

Build team spirit and pride

Everyone likes to feel good about themselves and where they work. Achieving certification will lift an otherwise ordinary installer or company out of the average category. They feel good about what they’ve been able to accomplish. Once an installer makes it to a CFI certification seminar, his interest in his trade and desire to learn is renewed. Callbacks on his work become a thing of the past.

Command a higher price

Manufacturers want and often demand installation by trained, certified installers to provide complete warranty services. Retailers who participate in their programs typically command a higher price because they’re able to demonstrate more value. Everyone must attend their seminars and learn their part of what it takes to deliver installation excellence.

National recognition

Certified installers and their companies are frequently listed on busy websites. Your certifications will make you more visible, such as the executive with a CFE certification from WFCA or an inspector with FCITS or IICRC credentials.

Your own website is another way to tell the world about your qualifications. While your reputation may be well known in the local area, national certifications speak volumes.

Increase your business worth

The value of your business beyond physical assets comes from your reputation in the marketplace. This is not about marketing or advertising. It’s about proving it. What better way to demonstrate to your banker, estate planner or prospective purchaser the value of your goodwill than holding prestigious certifications?

Everyone approaches certification differently. Some feel they have to do it to keep up, others for the specific knowledge gained, still others for how it makes them feel. Whatever the reason, certification pays for itself. Only you can determine its value.

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