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. 

Every month, we pick the top Ideas That Work submitted by you, ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR readers.

One of the recurring themes of my writing has been the continuing decline in the quality of electrical bid documents. Let’s put it this way: the bidding documents, plans and specifications have become a black hole, sucking up estimating hours like never before.


Douglas J. Pileggi, vice president of sales at Leviton Manufacturing in New York, passed away on Sept. 27 in Winfield, Ill., at the age of 67.

Skilled labor shortages in construction are widespread and global. The challenge is in attracting the correct people to the industry while keeping skilled workers on hand as long as possible.

More on Your Business

Editors' Pick
Pushed Back: 2011 Construction Outlook

What happened to the recovery experts predicted in 2010? “That early stage of recovery has been pushed back,” said Robert Murray, vice president of economic affairs at McGraw-Hill Construction.

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.