David Klingenfuss is an electrical contractor in the SF Bay Area who has been featured in international digital news outlets providing advice to contractors and independent business owners around the world.
Klingenfuss has owned and operated his own electrical contracting business for the past three decades and says that running a service based business has shaped his personal and professional values.
“It has helped me connect with people,” says Klingenfuss.
Klingenfuss says that when you run a service business, you need to have the ability to listen to customers and their needs.
He says that while it’s important to listen, it’s also sometimes important to be able to anticipate customer needs too, and this comes with experience.
Klingenfuss says that being consistent and sticking to the basics that work in your business is important.
Maintaining a lean business model and not spending on frivolous expenses like new vehicles is essential. There will always be time to upgrade your equipment, but it’s important to stick to the basics in the beginning and provide consistent work that leaves customers satisfied.
When Klingenfuss first started his business, he says it was a lot of trial and error. That’s why he developed a list of best practices and repeatable actions that would grow his business. He says these actions become clearer the more time you spend in your industry.
“The business is much easier to run now, however I am always improving and becoming more efficient,” says Klingenfuss.
Klingenfuss says that it’s important for service providers to get better at connecting with people in general. Using marketing services like Constant Contact to facilitate email communications, anticipating customer needs and being a good listener are all qualities that will set you apart as a service provider.
He also recommends that business owners always put their customers first even when it’s difficult.
“Your customers are the reason you are in business, so you should always keep them in mind.”
Klingenfuss also makes sure he’s always ready for the job by preparing his tools in advance. He says business owners can improve their workflow and efficiency by preparing the items they need at least one day beforehand. It may sound simple, but it cuts back on time spent and simplifies the process.
He also encourages people not to focus too much on expansion when running a service business. Sometime it’s better to be a one person shop because you can connect directly with your customers and solve their problems. It reduces overhead costs and makes your business easier to run in the beginning.
“All you need to do to establish a new business like mine is a service van, good technician and a storage room for tools and parts.”
Klingenfuss says he’s confident that the economy will be good for the construction industry in the future and recommends that people put themselves in a position to capitalize on it.
He says that his next step is to expand into a new market. Until then, you can read more about David Klingenfuss on his official website.