This is part one of a four-part series that we break down what it means to be called a professional restorer. If you've followed me for any length of time you know that I talk about professionalism a lot.
Follow on our YouTube channel for this series as well:
S2:E19 Professional Series Part 1- Technically Qualified
In my humble opinion, the traits, characteristics, skill sets, and presence of someone in our industry is the one who checks off most of all the boxes as a professional.
Being professional does not mean you know everything. But it means that you have a company of value that people look at as what they want to model themselves after.
And I think that actual professionals make up less than 10% of our industry.
I believe professionalism is absolutely everything for your business. It's really what creates a repetitive business, a reputation, and a brand.
I believe it's a company that people want to do business with. It's a company that employees want to work for, and want to grow with.
So if you lack any of these things, you're probably always spending money on marketing. You're probably always trying to convince people how good you are.
Hiring a Professional
If you think it's expensive to hire a PROFESSIONAL to do the job, wait until you hire an AMATEUR.
Being professional means a lot of education.
Education never ends.
Whether you pay for it through a coach, a teacher in a course, or a school, one way or another, you're paying for your education, but you just get to choose which one you want to go to.
A real professional says I'm always a student, as well as a teacher. A good teacher always knows that every single day, you're stacking your new education. And it's never really over. I think when someone stops and says he knows everything, I think that's when they’re in trouble.
Being Technically Capable
The first one that we’re going to talk about in this blog is being technically capable. I think in our business, it's highly technical and I want to talk a little bit more about that.
One thing that's important to understand is the professional company still has the same problems you do. Maybe not all of them, but they still have adversity. They still have challenges. Arguably, sometimes they're bigger because the bar is higher.
A good professional firm has to respond to them. They have to improve that. So there's always work going on to improve for a professional.
So to do restoration or remediation work, you need to be very aware that the work we do is super important to the health and safety of our staff, the client, and their property.
However, being a professional means you don't take jobs, projects, and tasks that you're not technically qualified for.
It's okay to push yourself and go beyond. But there is a point where if you are not qualified to do that kind of job, you should not.
If you want to start doing different kinds of work, then go back to the education piece. Acquire the knowledge, master the skills, and get certified or some proof of professional training and education that you got.
A professional company makes sure that they market the things they qualify for, so that people in the community they're in know that they have a solution for any possible serious problems in the future.
As such, keep in mind that you only need to do the work that you're technically qualified for and do it well all the time. The whole community needs it.
Fundamental Components of a Professional
Now, we’ve learned the importance of being technically capable and not taking jobs that you are not qualified for. This time, let’s talk about the fundamental components of a professional.
First, let's talk about certifications. A good, technically qualified firm will have huge importance that they put on certifications that pertain to the work that they do.
Certifications are not education. That’s something I want to be clear with.
Getting the certification is a path. It's the first step in education.
But it's the fundamentals. It tells your client, your team, and yourself that you have passed an equivalency test or a comprehensive set of fundamentals. But you need to seek more. You need to learn more and become an expert at what you do for the people you’re called to serve.
Have An Eye on New Services
Look at the ones that you need right now and then always have your eye on new services you want to take on. Once you’ve seen one, put it on your agenda and on the calendar. That's the new certificate that you’ll be going after.
So certifications are the ones you currently have in the path and your future ones. Good companies always pursue future growth and future improvement.
I think OSHA certifications do not get nearly enough credit and visibility in our industry. And I think you should pursue those.
I think a professional company has a team that is really clear on OSHA because a lot of things from safety have to do with what we're doing, keeping us safe all the time.
Knowing the Laws
A professional company should know the laws.
I'm talking about people who can work things out lawfully and have legal rights to do certain things.
Well, if you’ve been doing things wrong, believe me, someone's gonna find out the sooner you are ahead of it and learn what those laws are.
But if you don't know where to start, get in touch with your local municipality. Communicate with them and follow every single step lawfully to make things right. Gather information to get as legal as you can to know what your laws are.
Advanced Processes of Technically Qualified Companies
You've got just what everybody else does. That's not advanced. That's average. You have the processes that everybody does.
Professional companies add an extra layer of preparedness and resiliency to what they do.
If you live in an area where you get weather that causes an abundance of work in a short period of time, whether it be flooding, wildfires, earthquakes, and the like, professional companies are prepared for all of these.
So if you have a reason that your business would be in a position to facilitate work during those times, then you have an obligation to make sure you're ready for that.
But the sad part is that most people aren't quite ready. They just do what they can.
But I think a lot of preparation can be done and some of those preparations are put down for new positions.
You might have a person or a new position in your company that even if it's only for that time, they go into that mode when it's time. It may be a logistics position. It might be in health and safety.
Get some people in your company, qualified and trained for a new position, when it comes time to do this.
Life-Health Safety Measures
I think you've got to have some processes around being a company that has a team in the production roles that have a better understanding of life-health safety.
I'm talking about things like heat stress. We deal with mold remediation and sewage losses. We're often wearing Tyvek suits and masks.
So you need to have your team trained on how to work in these conditions, in times when life and safety are at risk, as well as recognize other people in signs of heat stress and heat exhaustion. They're very critical and very common
Moreover, having a good planner on first aid is very important. A real system and process to check your first-aid kits every month and to figure out that you have everything in them, that serves the kind of work we're doing.
Now, it doesn't help if you have the cheapest first aid kit, and you're doing some complex jobs, and there's nothing in there that you can use when badly needed.
So having a good general first aid plan on who does that and how we check and make sure we always have what we need.
In addition, an emergency plan for evacuations is also crucial. You should know who to call if something bad happens, whether it be a fire or whatnot.
However, the problem is that people tend to freak out when these things happen.
That's why we train.
That's why we practice.
That's why we build a system and process.
Have a process around, ask the questions, sit with your team, and have a meeting about this.
A good company, professional, technically advanced company, has clear SOPs.
I know everybody in this industry loves to talk about SOPs, and they wish they had more. But you've got to have clear SOPs. Don't make them so complicated that no one can follow them.
When making SOPs, you can bear these questions in mind.
What's the outcome?
What needs to be the result?
What do I need to do there?
Don't make them SOP for 100 things at once. Break them down. Follow the 80-20 rule. It means 20% of your SOPs and makes up for 80% of the work that you do.
So these are things you can focus on.
Be sure to check out the audio version of this series on this the Disaster Podcaster:
S2:E19 Professional Series Part 1 - Technically Qualified
S2:E19 Professional Series Part 1- Technically Qualified
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