John Horan -In 2004 John founded Horan and Bird, a North Queensland based electrical company, which now employs nearly 150 people and is one of the largest solar installers in Australia. He is also the president of Master Electrician Australia.
In the year 2019 John completely expanded their business in Australia opened new branches across Australia to increase the national presence but in Feb of 2019 their head office got affected by floods and the office was completely flooded. It was a tough journey getting back on track.
He and his team members were resilient, they lost pretty much everything stocked up in the head office, lost even the computers but they got themselves up within a month and were beck to the work.
The major advantage over here was that all the important customer data was stored in the cloud so they did not loose upon the crucial data of their customers.
The negative aspect of it was that ten of their staff members lost their house in the flood and they helped them get back on track.
The focus is on understanding that as a business owner one has a set of plans for the company but when a situation like this happens, how you respond to it is what defines one as a leader.
The procedures that John followed for a few weeks
- Work from home as everything was on the cloud so the dispatcher could do it from his home.
- Followed the disaster management procedure manual so they went through that thoroughly and followed the guidelines.
Some important Insights about his business
- His company lays a major emphasis on conducting conference meetings. They help in creating an open environment among themselves.
- He has also set up Bronze, Silver and gold membership for the techs working in the company – Techs with 15-20 years experience go into a gold membership program. For the younger techs, he has created a learning program from which they can learn and enter the gold membership program. The motive behind conducting a learning program was to be fair to everyone. If any younger tech is putting in the effort then he is going to get the reward. The end goal is to create a good quality team and bring confidence to our customer’s decision-making process when any of the customers are considering our service.
- Getting safety measures right – The safety needs to be on the spot because authorities are very focused on that any electrical accident can cause a huge problem for your business and it is not just the business but also how serious one guy is about the services.
- John believes that the problem arises when the techs are done with their capstone exam and then when they get their trading license they are not tested on their skills on a yearly basis. Making sure that they are going through the tests will help the techs understand better about their skills and make sure that they are confident.
- John has 4 managers under him who supervise the whole business operations and report to him all the daily updates. 2 of them are sales managers – One of them operates residential whereas the other one operates commercial operations.
- Tracking results all the time and evaluating any change in patterns is important for any electrical business.
- Important to make that branding of the company clear very important
- He handles marketing too it is important to understand the channel on which one wants to promote. When it comes to marketing. Today it is absolutely mandatory to have a website, back in 2004 it wasn’t a big deal but now it is important to have a digital presence. People lookout for any business on the internet.
- Voice activation is going to become the future soon, people are just gonna lookout for anything online using the voice. Example – ”hey google find me the best electrician in an ABC location “ that’s how it is going to be.
The first rule of improvement in any industry or business is that one needs to know your capabilities. Be honest and real about it. One can analyze by these questions:
- What was I doing?
- Who was I affecting?
- Was I doing it right or wrong?
And make sure to learn something new every day.
John Horan is a true inspiration because of how he dealt with a situation which was completely unexpected and overcame it with pure conviction in himself and his team.