Make the Time
You are never too old to learn or too young not to. I've found that making the time for these various events has led to valuable knowledge and support, as well as the many new friends I've made over the years.
The key words here are making the time. You may be an owner/operator with a full work schedule, or perhaps you have one tech and you aren't yet comfortable leaving him or her alone for a few days.
It's important that both you and your employees make the time for education, and it's not as difficult a task as it might seem. Many classes are held on weekends and over the slow months of winter or in the middle of summer. If you are a sole proprietor, you can surely find the time over this period to attend a two-day class. If you have an employee, it's usually tough finding a full plate of work for him in January and February. Perhaps this is the time to invest in your help and send him.
When attending seminars during the busy times, remember: we live in the age of the cell phone, the beeper, the Blackberry and who knows what else. I've kept in touch with my technician while on the road with nary a problem. If they need to reach you, they can do so in the blink of an eye.
It's not difficult to coordinate your work schedule so that both you and your employees can make the time to attend an event that will surely enhance your knowledge of our ever-changing industry. If you no longer work on the truck, you shouldn't have any problem with hopping back onboard while your technician is away, and with even one trained, responsible employee, you can certainly find the time to leave your business for a couple of days! Remember, you do have your phone! Another option would be to close your business for three or four days and have everyone attend together. Many associations offer discounts to additional employees of an attending firm. You aren't going to lose any clients over a four-day absence. In fact, I used to leave a recorded message specifically stating why I would be out of the office for a few days. "Continuing education so that we can serve you better!" Most clients, I came to find out, appreciate this.
For what you'll bring back to the table, it's more than worth going out for! No excuses!