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

Phases of the Moon

Consider other key factors when diagnosing:

Can You Tell the Soup from the Recipe?

Challenging clauses can cause confusion: I have searched through actual contracts for some clauses to challenge you. Compare them to the provisions in your own agreements. What do they mean? What are they meant to mean? Can you live with these obligations?

Building Better Bonding Relationships

As an electrical contractor, your experience with bonding may be limited to the unpleasant task of making a claim against a payment bond; surety bonding is often confused with insurance.

Big Bad Bid Day

How to review your bid, part 3: Note to estimators: I write this article assuming you have finished and reviewed your takeoff (see part 1, October 2006), and ran and reviewed all of your extensions (see part 2, November 2006); if you haven’t, you will need to accelerate the following to Warp 10.

Stuck in the Middle

The balance between the manufacturer and the customer: