We're A Community
One of the mistakes we often make when thinking about business is seeing the other players in our industry only as competition. While it is true that business is competitive, and at times we work against each other to win customers, it is also valuable to consider the industry as a community.
Communities are formed based on respect for the shared value of their members. Once any group of people have come together, they have an opportunity to collaborate on new ideas, share the experience of successful practices, and look to each other for creative solutions for problems. It's the capacity for teamwork that gives us the ability to achieve greatness.
The United Servicers Association is committed to the idea that sharing knowledge strengthens our members and makes the appliance service industry stronger as a whole. We have two very important tactics for acting on that idea: Peer Groups, and the Appliance Service Training Institute (ASTI).
We've made it a big part of our mission to connect and form ‘Peer Groups' – small communities of servicers from non-competing markets who work together on improving their respective businesses. Each group has it's own rules and personality. We connect them, but the end result comes from the collaboration of the members.
"Two years ago I was a 1-2 technician business and made the decision to grow my company. I turned to USA and their convention for the business and technical help and training that I needed. It was at that convention that I joined my peer group.
I was intrigued with the concept however somewhat skeptical at the time, as I am sharing my best practices and ideas with other service companies. I soon realized the concept was a great one as other companies in non-competing areas are also sharing their great ideas with me!
Thanks to the help from USA and my peer group, in two years time our company has more than doubled in gross sales. We opened a parts store and a new office last year and now have 9 employees, and we are currently looking for two more technicians."
-David Smith, Owner of Dave Smith Appliance Services LLC
The ASTI Convention
Where Peer Groups allow us to connect smaller groups, our annual ASTI Convention is a chance to bring together all of our members for an event full of opportunities to network, form business partnerships, and educate our members.
I thought a trade show/conference for the appliance repair industry would be a waste of my time... I have to admit that I couldn't have been more wrong.
I took a bunch of business classes and a couple technical classes. While I learned quite a bit in the classes, and got a lot of new ideas to try in my business, I was surprised to discover that the most valuable thing I took away was the support and friendships I formed with some of my peers.
There were people from all aspects of this industry attending. At first, I felt a little insignificant compared to some of these folks who are running 5-10 techs, but there were also quite a few one and two men shops, as well as technicians employed by other people. By the end, I felt very warmly received, even by the most prestigious members of the USA. It seemed like the board members in the white shirts were never too busy to talk to me and encourage me.
Unexpectedly, the biggest thing I took away from this convention was the inspiration that I received from these people to make my business more successful and professional.
-Blue Streak Bob (New Member of USA)
You're a Part of it Too
The appliance service industry is a community full of small businesses that can benefit from greater communication and sharing. Every year we're surprised and delighted to hear of the success our members find when they commit to being a part of our trade association, and realize that they're stronger when they don't stand alone.