I have wanted to write this article for a while but just couldn’t find the words to get my point across, that said here goes…
Who are BOXT
For those unaware of BOXT, they are, in all sense of purpose a tech startup. They offer homeowners a way to buy a new boiler online, for fixed-price boiler installations across the UK, utilising a network of self-employed small business owners.
When BOXT first came on the scene there were a few murmurs and a bit of intrigue but, that was about it. Then they, in a rather dramatic turn got investment from Robert Bosch Holdings who bought a large stake in the company! Yes, that’s the same Bosch that owns the UK biggest boiler brand, Worcester Bosch!
This made a big wave across the industry and quite frankly were they really starting to take off in a positive and negative manner! Many people quickly demonised Worcester Bosch and the whole BOXT model but this did not stop BOXT, who has seen explosive growth across the UK’s boiler Installation market!
What they offer is a unique, modern and restriction-free way for homeowners/landlords to buy a new boiler. At very competitive prices, delivered quickly and efficiently across the country. I feel it has had a similar effect as to what UBER had on the London black cab industry… At first, people didn’t pay much attention, then as they got traction, people were caught off guard and subsequently lost a huge chunk of their industry from under their noses.
Now, I see so many people speak negatively about what BOXT are doing and how they are doing it. In all honesty, I feel this shows that many are a tad nervous and scared of the effect BOXT may have on their own small Plumbing & Heating business.
BOXT run a totally different model to 99% of the industry, they acquire most of their customers via pay per click advertising. I have recently read a great article that goes into more detail about all of this, go check it out here – https://tradeinitiative.co.uk/boxt-triple-threat/
MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS…
Well, I’m the opposite, I have watched the rise of BOXT and rather than moan and groan about what they are doing, I took the decision to improve my own business ‘WB GAS LTD’. I haven’t got the deep pockets and infrastructure that BOXT have. However, what I have is something that BOXT doesn’t and quite frankly will never have… that is the ability to put a personal touch on each and every new boiler installation we do.
I have taken the explosive growth of BOXT as an opportunity to improve many aspects of WB GAS LTD. We started with improving my ‘Customer’s Journey’ which for me, is the most important part of a small business. Especially so, in the competitive New Boiler installation market. I looked at BOXT and could clearly see that they need big numbers. Plain and simple they need 10s of thousands of new boiler installations to become a profitable business. However, a small family firm like WB GAS LTD does not. I took the decision to not try and fight BOXT ( This would be crazy ). Instead, I set about visualizing how I wanted my customers to experience WB GAS LTD to be. I started with these areas:
- How we took the initial call
- Appointment reminders
- How we conducted ourself on appointments
- Ways we got our quote out to the customer
- Methods of how we followed up and confirmed a new boiler installation
- How we actually installed the New Boiler
- How we offered aftercare to our customers
- Plus so much more…
I then started to implement the changes into WB GAS LTD. This created a culture in our small family firm to have the customers experience at the centre of everything we do and say. So I would suggest you Mind Your Own Business. What I mean by that is… stop letting someone else’s business change or deviate you from your own targets and aspirations.
Yes, you may have to work a bit harder on the business, but quite frankly a lot of small businesses have had it fairly easy over the past 10/15 years. The internet has allowed just about anyone to start a business with minimal costs and effort. With BOXT growing so fast I see this as a point in time where small business owners have two choices. You can give up and go work for BOXT, someone else or grab the bull by the horns and spend time, money and effort on improving your own business.
I created a Business focussed group on Facebook, Come join us here – OFF THE TOOLS