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. 

Evaluating the cost-
effectiveness of renewable power has always been a fairly simple calculation. As manufacturers lowered their production costs and improved the generating efficiency of their technology, renewables became more cost competitive with conventional sources of power.


We appreciate all of the positive response to the new format for our column in which we interview industry leaders about key issues that may alter the future of electrical construction.

Mobile lighting systems powered by hydrogen fuel cells are cleaner and quieter and now have a proven track-record in applications like nighttime construction, sports and entertainment events, and airport operations, making them ready for commercialization and broader use.


Retirement planning is complicated, with many risks and legal pitfalls. It is worth investing time and money with a financial adviser who specializes in retirement. A little preparation will help you get ready for your first meeting and result in a plan that fits your expectations and goals.


More on Your Business

 
Making Peace With Anger
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Anger and violence in the workplace are definitely increasing, and one in six workers has been angry enough at work to want to punch a coworker. Understanding how to prevent anger from erupting into violence is imperative. Anger is a strong feeling of antagonism associated with extreme displeasure.

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Managing Generational Diversity
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People are your most important asset, and also the hardest to manage. Employees talk back, loyalty seems to have disappeared and the traditional work ethic appears to be eroding. You are probably experiencing the confusion inherent in managing employees of different generations.

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Building Integrated Photovoltaics
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Distributed generation (DG) is the term used to describe the placement of small-scale electric generating capacity at or near the load that it serves.

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Reverse This Trend
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As if contractors and estimators didn’t face sufficient obstacles to bid profitable projects and run a business that produces a healthy return on investment, a new wrinkle has been gaining steam.

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Construction Forecast 2004
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This year should stay even with 2003, with a dip in housing and an upward blip in nonresidential. However, 2005 may be a big year all around. Bureau of Labor Statistics data claims 781,400 field workers were employed in electrical construction, on average, from July through September of 2000.

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Reverse Auction Nightmare
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Reverse auctions and construction shouldn’t mix. Almost everyone involved in the business agrees—with the exception of some large clients.

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Software: A Hard Decision
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Construction software has changed the way many contractors do their jobs. But the choices can be daunting and confusing to the first-time buyer, most of whom start out looking at estimating software. Some couple with digitizers (see sidebar), others are AutoCAD-based and one uses scanned drawings.

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