The Business Evaluator™
Our Business EvaluatorTM uses a consultative approach to help you improve your business. After guiding you through a series of questions, the Business Evaluator uses your answers to direct you to the documents in the Learning Center that will help you on your way to success. By prioritizing your needs, we help you to focus and streamline your learning.
The Business Evaluator is the right tool for you to start with if you’re not sure which aspects of your business you should work on first. Like a personal business consultant, the Business Evaluator asks you a series of questions to help you figure out your strengths and weaknesses, and then guides you to the Better Practices Folders that will help you most.
There are sixteen sections in the Business Evaluator, each corresponding to one of the Key HVAC Business Principles in the Learning Center. The Business Evaluator is arranged so that each section builds on the one prior to it, and although you can complete the section in any order you wish, our consultants recommend going through them in order, to make sure that your business is Profit Healthy™ from the ground up.
Many dealers find it helpful to work through the questions on each section of the Business Evaluator together with the person in their company who is responsible for that area of the business – the company accountant, for example, might help fill out the "Accounting" section, while the sales manager would help to complete the section on "Sales".
How to Use the Business Evaluator
Opening the Sections of the Business Evaluator
The first thing you will see when you come to the Business Evaluator page is a list of all the different sections in the Business Evaluator. The title of each of the areas is a link.
Click on a link to go to the section of the Business Evaluator you would like to view or work on.
Changing the Status of the Sections
Next to the title of each section in the Business Evaluator, you will see the status you have assigned to it. The status you assign to a section does not affect anything that the EPL for Residential system does – it’s just a way for you to keep track of your own progress as you work through the different sections in the Business Evaluator.
If a section of the Business Evaluator has "New" status, it means that you have never worked on that section (or have never saved your answers to the questions). "Open" means that you are still in the process of working on that section – that is, you’ve already answered some of the questions and have saved those answers so that you could come back later and finish the rest of the questions. "Closed" means that you have finished working on that section and are ready to move on to others.
It’s easy to change the status of an area if you want to – just click on the purple words at the end of the line that has the area title in it. For example, when a Business Evaluator section is open, you can click "Close" to close it. When a section is closed, you can click "Reopen" to reopen it.
Saving Your Work
When you’ve chosen a section of the Business Evaluator and clicked on the link to get to it, you can take as much time as you like to work on the questions. You can also work on the areas in several sittings.
When you complete a section, or if you’d like to take a break, click on one of the four links on the top of the page:
- If you click "Submit and Save Changes", you will be returned to the main Business Evaluator page, and your answers will be stored so that you can come back later and work on that section some more.
- If you click "Exit Without Saving", you will be returned to the main Business Evaluator page, but your answers will not be stored. When you come back to the Business Evaluator, you will have to start that section all over again.
- If you click "Save and Display Results on Screen", you will be taken to an on-screen report with links that will take you directly to the Better Practices Folders you need to help become more successful in that area of your business. (Remember that the report is based on the answers read by the computer, and if you haven’t answered a question yet, the computer will read it as a "no". That means that if you decide to generate a report before you finish the entire section, you’ll be directed to the folders suitable for people who answer "no" to the questions you haven’t completed yet. Those folders may or may not be right for you.)
- If you click "Save and Display Results in Print Format", you will be taken to the same report, but the links to the Better Practices Folders will not be live, because the report is designed to be printed, not viewed onscreen. Instead of live links to documents, the printed report will contain document ID numbers in the right-hand column. When you’re ready to read a document, simply enter the number into the Search Box, and you’ll be taken right where you want to go.
If you have any questions or concerns, please click on "Ask the Expert" or "Feedback". Via email, you can ask us a question about how the system works, or tell us how we can help you find what you need.
A Shortcut That Allows You to Get Quick, Targeted Access to Documents Through the Business Evaluator
If you start to fill out a section of the Business Evaluator and see that you’ll probably answer "no" to most of the questions – or if you just want to access all of the Learning Center documents pertaining to that section, without spending time answering the questions – you can skip to the end of the Business Evaluator and click "Save and Display Results on Screen". This has the same effect as answering "no" to all the questions in that section of the Business Evaluator. You’ll be taken immediately to a report that contains links to all the Better Practices folders that are relevant to that section of the Business Evaluator. Using the links, you can click through to the information you need right away.
However, many contractors have found that completing each section of the Business Evaluator – even sections where they know most of their answers will be "no" – challenges them to think carefully about their business and often gives them useful insight into just how they should go about improving it.