Carbon neutral and net-zero by 2035. No, wait, hang fire; this isn’t another article about air source heat pumps – stay with us!

This article is about you, your family, and planning for your future business because, whether we like it or not, change is coming. Most people reading probably can’t stop the changing market or government policies and the changes in what will or won’t be available to your customers in the coming years, but we can and must prepare.
We would like you to think of your business as a plant. No, not a weed or pretty little daisy, but imagine you are growing a big, fat Halloween pumpkin! 

If you’re wondering why we are talking pumpkins (aside from the fact it’s just been Halloween), you should check out one of our recommended books: The Pumpkin Plan, by Mike Michalowicz. An excellent book about identifying, choosing, marketing for, and serving only the very best customers while ignoring everyone else. But what have pumpkins got to do with heating and air con engineers?

Looking back

In the past, it was much easier to get started and busy working the trade right away. As installation/service engineers, we would upskill ourselves with qualifications and skills to do the manual part of the trade. Register with Refcom, NICEIC, NAPIT, Corgi, Gas Safe, and away we go.

Why was this the case? Because we were entering a market where there was an excess of demand for the amount of supply. 

As a result, the value of qualified tradespeople went through the roof. For a short time, some people left their high paying careers to qualify in those trades, building their own highly paid lifestyle business. 

However this, combined with the papers reporting on profits achievable in the trades, caused a massive influx of new engineers, and the balance of supply and demand evened out.

Lessons learned

The chances are that supply and demand for future technologies will follow the same pattern. 

Indeed, there will be the ones that time it right and the ones that join too late. So, let’s learn from this, stop thinking like busy engineers, and start planning for the future like the savvy business owners we want to be. If you’re going to be a leader, you must plant your future business seeds now.

So, back to pumpkins. The Pumpkin Plan book and its metaphor tell us that our business and its customers are like pumpkins. Do you want to grow a field of tiny little pumpkins that nobody is interested in? Or do you want to nurture a few prize-winning monster pumpkins and win awards?

I know most people in the UK don’t care about the size of pumpkins or winning pumpkin awards. But, wording it differently, do you want to grow a business trying to serve everyone? 

Or would you rather build your business to plan and grow your customer database full of the very best and most profitable customers? If you prefer the latter option, what seeds will you plant now, and will you invest time to nurture them? Will you be the local leader in your area in 2031?

What next?

  • Start to educate yourself. Which horses are the ones you should back when it comes to new technologies?
  • Qualifications are essential, but perhaps business planning and development should become more of a priority?
  • Review your direction and ambition at this time. If you’re planning on retiring in five to 10 years, do industry changes affect you? 
  • Track your data to spot trends and changes across time. You can only adapt and make better business decisions based on the data you have
  • Be the local guide. It’s your responsibility to help the public understand the technology. Learning about marketing will help build customer trust and subsequent sales
  • Download the Audible App, and listen to The Pumpkin Plan. Or buy a copy of the actual book.
  • Join The Boiler Business Community and develop your business with other like-minded people within the industry.

There is no one-size-fits-all strategy for business. Every business is different to the next. This type of topic is discussed daily between 1,400 heating engineers in The Boiler Business community. 

For industry-focused business chat, videos, and future training dates, head to