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Thinking of going out of business

Tim McElwainTim McElwain Member Posts: 3,893
due to poor attendance to classes and a general slow down in sale of books and manuals.

I can't compete with local "gas experts" who are packing in the students for their classes. That along with all the supply houses, boiler and furnace companies givng free training it is tough to compete. I am getting too old and probably getting out of touch with what is happening. I will make a final decision when I finish the last licensing class I have going now. Thank the good Lord for those classes they are paying the rent on the training center building.

I had thought about a website but I don't think that is the answer.

Right now it is a definite point of prayer for my wife and I.


  • SteamheadSteamhead Member Posts: 11,321
    I'd try the website idea

    before hanging it up. For example, you can use it to compare your training with the "freebies", helping answer the question of what customers would get for their money.

    Training with you was one of the best things I ever did. If we lose you, we lose A LOT.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
  • Robert O'BrienRobert O'Brien Member Posts: 2,930

    If what you are doing isn't working,change! Why pay rent? Lease space when you need it. Take your show on the road if they can't or won't come to you,it's a big country to confine yourself to a tiny state! Deliver what customers want and this case it appears they want training in shorter time periods at less cost and distance.

    As far as a website,how else would you sell books and manuals and market your seminars? Take a look around and copy those are are succesful!
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • SWEISWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    online or in person

    I'd pay for either, but I simply can't justify two full days of travel for a single class back east.

    If you can find a way to put together an online class with enough interaction and some meaningful testing, it could make for a small but steady retirement income.  CE credits at a minimum (heck, you get those from watching the manufacturers' sales videos) but IMO the real value is the depth of specialized knowledge that is simply not available out here in the sticks.
  • BioBio Member Posts: 255
    Online Seminars

    Have you thought about using webex seninars, check
  • David107David107 Member Posts: 1,189

    As a homeowner who has enjoyed and learned from your publications and your online responses over the years, I feel the industry sorely needs the kind of knowledge you have to offer. It's just a matter of changeover to some of the new media. Might seem daunting at first. Hi Quality Webcasting may be just the solution. If you could make a number of teaser videos for Youtube, you might not only attract customers for your seminar, but if you get enough hits youtube may pay you a commission. Some of the highest you-tube hits, aside from the exotic and sensational, are from people seeking how-to information. One guy was able to leave his full-time job based just on his video 'how to tie a windsor knot' which apparently millions of people needed to know in a hurry. I'm sure you could come up with numerous one or two minute videos that could answer an important gas hvac question and promote your workshops and publications. (This wouldn't be like those cheesy --and dangerous--videos by some mechanics that attempt to teach the viewer how to tune their own burners.) Good luck!
  • hot rodhot rod Member Posts: 6,991
    an idea

    contact John Mesenbrink over at He has some interesting ideas about todays online education, maybe there is a match there?

    I'd agree webinars may be a better avenue. I do a webinar every month, or someone else from the company. We usually have 300 or more sign up. Generally 50% attend that day, and many view the archived webinars.

    Offering CE credits or at least a certificate of attendance helps with attendance.

    The type of training you do is more generic, I think you could charge a fee for that.

    A fairly inexpensive web cam, and an online connection is all you need to get up and running.

    It's very expensive to put training on the road, even if you could drive to every location. Hotels, room rental, meals and food for the attendees, gotta find a newer way of doing things.

    But you need to be clear in what you want! If you are weary and ready for a change..?

    Reminds me of the man that prayed to the Lord every day for years...Please Lord let me win the lottery, I could do so much good with the money and help so many in need. Why Lord don't I win? The Lord finally spoke to him.... My son, you need to buy a ticket:)

    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • Harvey RamerHarvey Ramer Member Posts: 1,907

    I would like to be trained by you before you hang it up.

    Ramer Mechanical
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.

    Phone consultations. I have had many jobs where I would have killed to be able to call you direct for advice. Figure out hours that you would be available for phone consultations and a method of collecting payment. This would be a tremendous asset to many of us beyond the generic training(that we all need so badly)
  • Mad DogMad Dog Member Posts: 3,169
    Timmie....I believe what you need is.........

    A marketing and promotion campaign to sell your "brand."   You are one of the foremost and respected men in your field in the Nation, and therefore, The World!  You keep doing that and in the meantime, perhaps someone here will be willing to work with you at a reasonable fee.  Each man to his trade - I say, and once you find THAT person you must be willing to let go a little timmie and let them do their otherwords, get out of their way.  Don't pack it in yet, you have encyclodaedic knowledge that must not be put out to pasture.  Your friend and student, Mad Dog
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • David107David107 Member Posts: 1,189
    Skype Consultations?

    Has anyone used Skype video conference for consultation from a home office to the field where a tech with an iphone or ipad can show the problem to the expert in real time and get an immediate answer? I have this on my Mac and it's free. (you can purchase higher tiers I'm sure.)
  • Mad DogMad Dog Member Posts: 3,169
    Thats a great Idea David

    I suggested that to Timmie years ago, albeit via telephone, but with the technology age getting better everyday, that would be ideal.  Timmie?  are you listening????????  Mad Dog
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
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