Alan W. Martin

Articles by Alan W. Martin

October 2006
Before we can market ourselves, we have to establish a base line. That will require us to develop an understanding of what we are marketing and, above all, who we are. Many contractors identify themselves as being in the electrical business or in the construction trade business. Those descriptions are too narrow. We are in the service business. READ MORE
September 2006
WALT DISNEY ONCE SAID, “you can dream, create, design and build the most wonderful place in the world, but it requires people to make the dream a reality.” Company founders understand that they need quality, professional people to make their dreams a reality, but this is harder then it sounds. Where do you find these people? And most important, how do you retain them? READ MORE
December 2005
When discussing distributors and manufacturers, we have to take a look at the big picture to see how it relates to contractors. This business relationship is important because it affects a contractor’s ability to meet the demands of the end-user in a very competitive marketplace. Let’s look at the procedure of how products come to be. It starts with an end-user who has a need or a want. READ MORE
July 2005
Marketing for Integrated Building Systems (IBS) requires two separate discussions: What is marketing exactly? And how do I branch out into IBS? Regarding marketing: “Its purpose is to create a customer,” said Peter Drucker, an American business philosopher and author on marketing. “The business has two-and only two-basic functions: marketing and innovation. READ MORE
November 2004
The electrical contractor founders started their businesses with nothing more than an idea to work their trade. They created their businesses despite the risk and uncertainty. These entrepreneurs brought their skills and experiences in the electrical construction industry to face the demands and challenges of the electrical markets. READ MORE
September 2004
Trade shows are a big part of our industry. The current economy means contractors and vendors are being more prudent with company spending. Executives are questioning why they should attend conventions. There is a simple answer, especially during these difficult times: value. READ MORE
May 2004
Handing over the family business is never easy Electrical contracting firms are mostly small family businesses and are going through a generation transition in the United States. It is predicted by the year 2013, nearly $4 trillion in assets will be transferred to the next generation. Within the next 5 years, 43 percent of family businesses will exchange ownership. READ MORE
November 2003
How does a family business exist? In this world of business conglomerates with clearly defined structures, and multicultural specialty workforces, how can family business survive? In the United States there are 22.4 million businesses and 90 percent are family owned and/or managed. READ MORE
August 2003
There has always been confusion regarding the differences between marketing and sales. The confusion is initiated when contractors discover that the most important task of marketing is not selling. Marketing is typically the art of creating, promoting and delivering goods and services to the customer. This activity stimulates the demand for an organization’s services and products. READ MORE