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. 

Second to electricians and project managers, the most important assets on any work site are equipment and tools. But until recently, tracking them—in the warehouse, in trucks and vans, and on the job site—was a paper-, pen- and phone-based operation.

My September column, “America’s Money,” explained the basic structure of the Federal Reserve, including the 12 Federal Reserve Banks, Board of Governors and Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). All checks are cleared through this system.

Hundreds of jobs have been “mothballed” or put on an extended hold status. It occurs with home-renovation projects, power plants, marinas, dentists’ offices and automobile manufacturing plants, to name a few. Every case is unique, yet almost all instances eventually boil down to money issues.

Understanding and accepting 
change is important in any walk of life, but especially so in electrical construction. I’ve seen how innovations in technology have affected the men and women in my business, and it’s exciting to be a part of it.

More on Your Business

 
On the Cutting Board

After many months of wrangling, the $70-billion, Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2006 is now a reality.


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I Showed You What I Wanted; I Thought You Understo

There’s an old Lefty Frizzel song with the lyrics: “If you can’t keep your promises, please don’t make them, my dear.” Lefty probably did not know it, but that song sums up the Spearin Doctrine in construction contracts.


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Streamlining Inventory Management

Electrical contractors install a variety of parts, material and equipment on every job, which represents almost half of the total project cost. Providing the correct materials at the right time is critical to keeping projects on schedule; delays can waste valuable labor hours and money.


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The Tools of Maintenance

Each contractor generally has his own maintenance philosophy, but some parts are common for every contractor. For example, the overall goal should be to offer the most comprehensive service possible. To accomplish that goal, contractors need the proper tools.


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An Ounce of Prevention ...

Finding Planning time is difficult when you are chasing work in a competitive economy, and nearly impossible when you are booked to capacity.


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Power Hour

Why don’t electrical contractors spend more time reviewing their financial statements? How much time does it really take to do a financial self-examination? Do you have to be an accountant or financial wizard to evaluate the status of your financial health? It might be easier than you think.


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Estimating Blind

As the economy stands on firmer ground, privately funded buildings are coming back to life, bringing a surge of design-build projects with it. This is very good news for estimators, because more buildings mean more work to bid on and win for the company.


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