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. 

Once again, I was inspired to write after reading a post in a LinkedIn construction group. The article, “If I Own a Drill, Does That Make Me a Dentist?” laments the belief that simply buying a tool makes one a skilled craftsperson.

From left: Greg Cummins, Ed Schuler and Kevin Rickett

Smarter materials management is especially beneficial in electrical service work. Service electricians are constantly confronted with the challenge of obtaining materials while striving to minimize the amount of lost time, back-and-forth travel and rush charges that inevitably follow.

Klein voltage tester with flashlight

One of the most basic tools every electrician carries is the noncontact voltage tester. Essential complementary tools include circuit breaker finders and tone probes for tracing wires. Scanning devices are able to see through walls and floors to identify wires, conduits and other objects.

A recent World Wildlife Fund survey found that almost half of Fortune 500 companies have at least one climate or clean-energy goal. It’s good business to be eco-friendly, and the construction industry has made great strides in going green without sacrificing profits.

More on Your Business

Editors' Pick
Plan Now

After one of the toughest employment years in recent history, with many electricians benched in industry layoffs, it may seem counterintuitive to focus on employment right now. As the economy recovers, the employment situation will become more complicated.

Word of Mouth

Societies of the past handed down traditions, stories and knowledge orally from generation to generation. One hopes the original basis for the inherited ideas remains true as time progresses.

Going off the Paper

I’ve waited to write about paperless estimating until now. I’ve been estimating with digital drawings and estimating software for many years, but I didn’t want to write this until I was 100 percent paperless and working entirely “in-screen,” as one software company calls it.

Commercial Building Codes Take Bold Step Toward Greater Efficiency

Big change requires big action. Proponents of the new energy revolution know that progress is often incremental, but sometimes the moment calls for greater ambition.

Survey: Small Business Owners Optimistic About 2011

Owners of small- and mid-sized businesses across the country are feeling optimistic, citing increased hiring and profit growth among key 2011 business predictions.

Trans Bay Cable Completed Under San Francisco Bay

After five years of construction—which is considered fast for this type of project—the Trans Bay Cable (TBC) under the San Francisco Bay went into commercial service in late November.

Association Reports Construction Unemployment Grows to 18.8 Percent

The construction unemployment rate grew to 18.8 percent in November as the sector lost another 5,000 jobs since October, according to an analysis of new federal employment data released by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC).