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. 

I was recently following a forum discussion about issues related to using spreadsheet software for estimating. It turned into a spreadsheet–versus–database argument and got a little heated. The truth is both systems have a place in your estimating toolbox.


The United States is undergoing a major shift in the way it generates and consumes electricity. In the midst of such visible changes, strong metrics are enlightening—even if they are, in some ways, stating the obvious.


A prognosticator forecasting the end of electric utilities as we know them isn’t news. Economists and market researchers have been telling this fortune for several years. But when the people in charge of utilities corroborate those reports, it’s no longer a tale read in the tea leaves.

One of Ronald Reagan’s famous quotes about the philosophy of government bureaucracy was, “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. If it stops moving, subsidize it.”


More on Your Business

 
When Inaction Is Louder than Words
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A few years ago, a friend asked me for a legal definition of substantial completion. That was easy: beneficial occupancy. However, the substitution of one phrase with another was of little help.

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Tomorrow's Estimator
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In June 2003, Richard Manrod presented his paper, “The How, Why and Future of Estimating” to NECA's Academy of Electrical Contracting. Since things change so rapidly, we talked to Manrod to find out if some of his ideas have come true.

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Not-So-Trivial Tax Trivia, Part 1
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As April 15 nears, most of us are giving some attention to taxes.

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Why PV Now?
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Photovoltaics (PV) are semiconductors that convert sunlight directly to direct-current (DC) electric power. Photovoltaic technology has been used for years in specific applications where conventional utility service is not readily available or practical.

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Construction Forecast 2005
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Last year's ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR's Construction Forecast went halfway out on a limb to prognosticate that 2005 "may be a big year all around." It's easy-and wise-to be tentative in predicting this year's economy, and some industry gurus have done just that, sticking with "maybe." A group of these g

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Drug-Testing Initiative Goes National
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The intention is for local chapters and their unions to use the initiative, which was recently affirmed by the NECA Board of Governors, as a template in establishing their own drug testing policies.

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Keep Outsourcing in Mind
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Electrical contractors regard outsourcing with some measure of uncertainty. The concept can be both controversial and polarizing. However, outsourcing in contracting should be considered as something positive instead of negative.

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