Your Business



Articles in this section are intended to help electrical contractors grow and improve their businesses, from financial and legal advice to creating a service and maintenance department. You’ll find articles on estimating projects and more below. 

map of the City Yards Project area

The City of Santa Monica, Calif., recently received a $1.5 million grant to plan and design a microgrid that will incorporate renewable energy (including solar), combined heat and power, small-scale waste-to-energy, energy storage and electric vehicle charging.

The old days

You just spent a lot of time taking off a set of drawings and more time entering the takeoff into your estimating system. Now you can relax, wait for the quotes to come in, send your final price to the general contractors and win the job. Right? I don’t think so.

So what is all the buzz about drones? The buzz could be the drone itself, which can sound like a swarm of bees flying overhead. However, the media buzz is more about drones delivering pizza or your latest online order directly to your doorstep.

Today, electrical systems and lighting technology are in a constant state of development. However, the big companies aren’t always responsible for the brightest ideas. Sometimes, the independent inventors who work in the trade create the products that advance existing technology. Curious? Proceed.

More on Your Business

Efficiency and Productivity

Managing a profitable electrical contracting business demands a high level of efficiency and productivity. You push your office staff members and field employees to use their time wisely, but how well are you using financial information to gauge the results?

A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned

In 1989, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued voluntary guidelines for safety and health program management. The guidelines were based on the elements common to all programs used by successful participants of OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program.

Setting the Bar

During the debates surrounding the energy bill President Bush eventually signed last fall, Democrats argued long and hard for a national, mandated target for renewable energy production, called a renewable portfolio standard (RPS).

Set Your Phasors

Though it wasn't the result of watching any “Star Trek” reruns, the concept of phasors (or phasers to Trekkies) has been raised in a couple of recent discussions.

In Praise of the Bar Chart

Einstein's fame rests, in part, on his discovery that time is a variable dimension. Contractors have always known this fact.

Defending Against the Big Bang

Though not the most common power quality disturbance in most locations, the transient, or rather, the source of the transient, can be one of the loudest.

Watching out for Your Guys

Last month, we discussed safety and recognized that it is of fundamental importance to the electrical supervisor. The supervisor is at the heart of any job safety program.