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

The Birthplace of Mistakes

How to review during the takeoff I SOMETIMES GET AHEAD OF MYSELF when I write these articles. In my April article, I discussed what you should do when you find one of your mistakes. But I never told you how to avoid making mistakes. Nobody can.

Setting up Camp in a Hotel

How to manage the working environment Contractors have learned through trial and error that every project runs differently. Though some components may be standard, some projects may require certain attention to detail regarding the crew’s work.

The Ups and Downs

A power play with hotel elevators In hospitality and gaming facilities, elevators are a vital system—a system that relies on power quality. Generally, the height of these facilities makes the use of stairs an alternative for only a few patrons.

Do You Have the Time?

Protect your ability to enforce payment After several years of an overheated construction market, signs of slowing are starting to appear. Interest rates have jumped. Housing starts are down. Major homebuilders report cooling of revenues or dropping earnings.

Works Well with Others

Enhancing cooperation between disciplines with software ELECTRICAL CONTRACTORS KNOW the high costs of labor across the entire organization. Most think about outside field force staff, technicians, installers and the like when they start evaluating ways to reduce labor costs.

Staying Current with Training

KNOWLEDGABLE CONTRACTORS HAVE AN ADVANTAGE: training has given them the leg up for decades. But as technology changes and the needs of end-users evolve with it, ensuring your electricians can provide the best quality work is more difficult. Skilled training requires more effort than it used to.

Sharing with Other Kids

Financial awareness for employees IF YOU THINK THAT IT IS ENOUGH for you and your managers to understand your cost structure and financial statements, then you may want to consider sharing this information with your entire staff.