Articles & Advice

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Employee Recruitment and Retention

Are Promotions Dangerous?
Have you ever promoted a really good tech to a foreman’s position; and lost a good tech and gotten a mediocre foreman?
 

Bad Hire-Higher Costs
Employee screening must be applied to ALL applicants.
 

Better Hiring Practices Part 1
How to Interview and Hire Top People Each and Every Time
 

Better Hiring Practices Part 2
Checklists for hiring.
 

Better Hiring Practices Part 3
Step 5 of the hiring process.
 

Do It Right the First Time, Part 1
Bill Harrison shares thoughts on hiring, training, execution and follow-up.
 

Do It Right the First Time, Part 2
Bill Harrison shares thoughts on hiring, training, execution and follow-up.
 

Don't Be Santa!
It doesn't pay to be Santa when it comes to bonuses.
 

Drinking on the Job vs. ADA Laws
Can you terminate an employee for drinking on the job after a request for assistance?
 

Employee Retention
 

Employee Retention Part 1
Train your employees to increase retention.
 

Employee Retention Part 2
More tips on how to prevent employee turnover.
 

Empowered Employees Part 1
Allow your staff to change your company for the better.
 

Empowered Employees Part 2
Your employees have great ideas about how improve productivity and reduce costs in your company. Are you asking for these ideas and listening when they are offered?
 

Empowered Employees Part 3
Your employees have great ideas about how improve productivity and reduce costs in your company. Are you asking for these ideas and listening when they are offered?
 

Empowered Employees Part 4
One company owner in the construction industry recognized the importance of employee feedback and struggled to find the best method for collecting this information. This member began to recognize the problems with office suggestion boxes and open door policies and decided to take a more active approach.
 

Ensure Hiring Success Part 1
Some tips to make your interview process more effective.
 

Ensure Hiring Success Part 2
Sample questions to ask during an interview.
 

First Impressions Work Both Ways
When interviewing job applicants, your questions and their answers can say more than you think.
 

Hire Good Salespeople
Some tips on what to look for when hiring salespeople.
 

Hire the Best
How to make sure you are hiring the right people.
 

How Employment Law Updates Affect Your Company
Several big changes to employment laws take effect in 2009. See what you need to be doing to stay in compliance.
 

Ideas on Incentives Part 1
Some thoughts on employee incentive programs.
 

Ideas on Incentives Part 2
Examples of employee incentive programs.
 

Impaired Drivers
Impaired driving doesn't isn't limited to just alcohol.
 

Inaugurations and Unemployment
Some statistics on historical unemployment rates during the last 60 years.
 

Invest in Training
Would you refuse to help your child get an education?
 

Investing in People Matters -- Now More Than Ever
In tough times, good leaders recognize that they must maintain a positive company culture and retain their top talent.
 

Labor Shortage Part 1
Tips on how to find and keep quality employees.
 

Labor Shortage Part 2
More tips on how to find and keep quality employees.
 

Managing Gen-X
Tips on how to manage the under 30 workforce.
 

Motivating Employees
A top ten motivation punch list critical to growing your company.
 

Multiple Generations in the Workplace
Steve Coscia shares lessions from teaching baby boomers vs. generation X seminar attendees.
 

Personality Assessments Part 1
Hire the right people and reduce turnover with personality assessments.
 

Personality Assessments Part 2
More info on personality assessments.
 

Resumes that Rock
If you are looking for a job, here are some resume tips from Matt Michel that will help speed your job search.
 

Seller Beware
 

Servant Leadership
Lead from the middle of the pack.
 

Solving the Problem of Finding Qualified Workers
One PHCC member has his pick of qualified tech hires for the next three years. - here's how he did it!
 

Talk to people; not about them
Personnel recommendations from Bill Harrison
 

The Coming Storm Part 1
If you think there is a worker shortage now, just wait...
 

The Coming Storm Part 2
Ways to improve employee retention.
 

The Cost of Employee Turnover
How much does losing an employee cost you?
 

The Faces of Your Business
How do your hiring practices stand up?
 

The Friendly Factor
Retaining employees can be Linked to how friendly your company is.
 

The Great Myth
Changing someone's job title doesn't change their skill set too. That takes training, learning & growing.
 

The Power of a Job Title
Creative job titles can build pride and improve retention.
 

Three Ways to Bring the Trades to Your Community
You’ve heard contractors say it more than once, “I’m desperate for skilled workers!” But even the most diversified and active recruitment and hiring plans can fall short...
 

Time to Tighten Up On Employee Retention
What will keep your best employees?
 

Training = Success
Lifelong training is a requirement of success!
 

Two to Hire – Two to Fire
Some steps to protect against wrongful termination charges.
 

What Good Managers Do
Managers must master the art of developing their staff.
 

What’s Average in the World of Employee Benefits?
Here are some statistics from the BLS on average construction labor costs as of March 2009.
 

Withdrawing a Promotion
Don't lose a great employee over a poor promotion decision.
 

You Never Really Know
Sometimes you may be tempted to take shortcuts or overlook background checks on prospective employees, but you never really know.
 

Finance Topics

8 Ways to Use Price (Without Discounting) to Get More Customers
Think about successful pricing policies from other industries and apply them to your customers.
 

A Bargain that Can Cost You
Every time one of your employees touches a piece of material, it costs you money.
 

ARC Marketing
Aquire, Retain and Cultivate customers.
 

Add TLC to Your Workers Compensation Program
A positive approach to worker's comp can reduce costs and negative impacts of a claim.
 

Bad Marketing Advice Part 1
Know what NOT to do to promote your business.
 

Bad Marketing Advice Part 2
Keep these in mind when marketing your company.
 

Beneficial Bracketry
 

Boost Remodel Sales
Tips to boost your residential remodel / replacement sales.
 

Boosting Customer Service Part 1
Tips to enhance customer service in your company.
 

Boosting Customer Service Part 2
More tips to enhance customer service.
 

Boosting Customer Service Part 3
More tips to improve customer service at your company.
 

Change Order Pricing Part 2
More tips on properly pricing change order work.
 

Closing the Sale
Use the ?Feel, Felt, Found? Close for More Sales.
 

Controlling Insurance Costs
A brief look at some of the things you can do to keep insurance costs down.
 

Customer Retention Tips
Five ways to hold onto service & repair customers.
 

Direct Mail: The Envelope
5 ways to get your envelope opened!
 

Discounting by Addition
When you don't want to lower your price, add value.
 

Do You Know Your Numbers?
See the PP presentation from this '03 ISH tradeshow seminar on estimating.
 

Don’t Ignore the Possibility of Employee Fraud
Uncertain times and stress can sometimes cause good people to make bad choices.
 

Driving Customers Away Part 1
Avoid these these habits that annoy your customers.
 

Driving Customers Away Part 2
Two more habits to avoid.
 

Equipment Pricing Part 1
Giving the customer options can land you a bigger sale.
 

Equipment Pricing Part 2
Making the sale by working the numbers.
 

Even My Dentist Offers Financing
 

Everyone Has Customers
Do not forget to take care of your internal customers.
 

Flat Rate Part 1
Thinking about flat rate pricing?
 

Flat Rate Part 2
Not flat rate, but fair rate.
 

Flat Rate Part 3
Flat Rate Myths
 

Flat Rate Part 4
Flat Rate Myths, Part 2
 

Flat Rate Part 5
The Final Word on Flat Rate
 

Flat Rate's Problem
Flat rate is great, but it does have a problem.
 

Follow Up on Lost Sales
When you can't close a sale, use a 3rd party to find out why!
 

Get the Crisis Calls
Will your customer remember you when an emergency comes up?
 

Here Today, Here Tomorrow
Transforming your workforce from high-turnover to high-retention.
 

Keep Your Customers
Use newsletters to hold onto your customers.
 

Keep in Touch!
Keeping in touch will help you keep customers.
 

Keeping Customers
Why is it so important to have a customer retention program?
 

Learn Finance with Beth
Learn some basics of finance with QSC Business Coach Beth Dobkin, courtesy of A.O. Smith University.
 

Leaving an Impression
15 ways to leave a bad impression with a customer.
 

Lose Customers to Make $ Part 1
Want to have more time and make better profits? Turn down a job.
 

Lose Customers to Make $!
Is losing customers is always a bad thing?
 

Low Cost Marketing
Go fishing with a postcard.
 

Making Cold Calls Work Part 1
Making in-person cold calls can reap big benefits.
 

Making Cold Calls Work Part 2
How to make cold calling more efficient.
 

Marketing Tips Part 4
Why all Yellow Pages ads look alike.
 

Marketing Tips Part 1
Free car washes, stamps and newspapers equals repeat business.
 

Marketing Tips Part 2
What do you do with your old sales leads?
 

Marketing Tips Part 3
Make out-of-warranty work a win/win.
 

Marketing Tips Part 5
Do your friends and neighbors know what business you are in?
 

Modifying to Stand Out Part 1
Modify your products to expand your offerings and stand out.
 

Modifying to Stand Out Part 2
Accessories and labeling your product.
 

More Discounting Methods
Alternative ways to handle discounting your price.
 

New Year's Marketing Part 1
Start the year off right with new marketing ideas.
 

New Year's Marketing Part 2
More marketing tips for the new year.
 

Non-Stop Marketing
14 reminders about marketing to your customers.
 

One-On-One Marketing Part 1
Tips for marketing person to person.
 

One-On-One Marketing Part 2
More in-person marketing tips.
 

Opportunity Cost
Spending time or cash one place means you can't spend it elsewhere.
 

Price Increase Protection
Don't let rising material costs hurt your profits!
 

Pricing: Response Charges Part 1
How did you determine your service response charge?
 

Pricing: Response Charges Part 2
How do you market your service response charge?
 

Real Life Lessons Part 1
Lessons from five subs' work on a remodel job.
 

Real Life Lessons Part 2
Marketing lessons from a remodel job-one year later.
 

Retaining Satisfied Clients
All of the hard work in attracting new customers can be for nothing if there is not a dependable system for retaining satisfied customers.
 

Selling Like a Pro
How to turn a $15 sale into $100 sale.
 

Selling Like a Pro Part 2
Lessons learned from a skillfull salesperson.
 

Selling Mindset
Run your company as if you are selling it.
 

Service Pricing Part 1
How did you determine your service prices?
 

Service Pricing Part 2
Some thoughts on marking up materials and flex pricing.
 

Service Pricing Part 3
Overtime charges and presenting your pricing.
 

Splitting Your Marketing $
Where to allocate your marketing budget.
 

Standing Out
Stand out during the holidays to gain customers throughout the season.
 

Stuck in the Middle
How to walk the line between customer and manufacturer.
 

Tell 'em What You've Got! Part 1
How can a customer buy it if they don't know you sell it?
 

Tell 'em What You've Got! Part 2
Everyday add-ons can add up!
 

There's a Fee for Sending Mail?
Information on new postal regulations.
 

Think Holiday Cards Now
Plan ahead to hit customers with a holiday card.
 

Tips for Surviving an Economic Slowdown, Part 1
We?re all having a tough time figuring out what the economy is going to do. Here are some thoughts on how to manage your firm during uncertain times.
 

Tips for Surviving an Economic Slowdown, Part 2
We?re all having a tough time figuring out what the economy is going to do. Here are some more thoughts on how to manage your firm during uncertain times.
 

Track Your Ads
Know what marketing works by tracking the results.
 

Tune-Up Opportunity
Sell tune-ups now to have work through Spring.
 

Using P.S. to Sell Part 1
Most people read the "P.S." of a marketing letter first. Make your P.S. count!
 

Using P.S. to Sell Part 2
More tips on how to stick your point with a P.S.
 

Using TLC on the Jobsite
Make sure your techs know how to handle themselves at a business jobsite.
 

Volume Vs. Margin
How much business volume is enough?
 

Website Marketing Tips
Improving website based marketing.
 

Who Needs a YP Ad?
Are you spending half your marketing budget on a Yellow Page ad?
 

Windshield Time
Minimize time between service calls to boost profits.
 

Your Profits May Be in Your Trucks
 

Your Profits May Be in Your Trucks
 

Industry Trends

Cell Phone-Blessing or Curse?
Hands free doesn't solve the problem.
 

Discounting by Subtraction
Lowering your price by taking something away.
 

Lessons From the Strategic Mgt. Workshop
Learn Your Ratios!
 

Litigation Vs. Arbitration, Part 1
Litigation Vs. Arbitration
 

Lowest Cost Installations
We all know that time costs money, but when it comes to crew mixes, sometimes taking longer can save you money.
 

Tool Management, Part 1
Nothing is less productive than a worker without the tools they need to do their job.
 

Tool Management, Part 2
More common sense ways to reduce tool costs and increase efficiency.
 

Lessons for Business Owners

100 Simple Business Practices
 

33 Random Observations About Business
Matt Michel shares thoughts on business lessons he's learned.
 

A Potpourri of Ideas
An assortment of ideas from Bill Harrison on training, cost controls and production.
 

Are You Evolving or Going Extinct?
The pace of change is increasing in business. Are you adapting?
 

Attributes of Leaders Part 1
Learn attributes that make great leaders.
 

Attributes of Leaders Part 2
More attributes that make great leaders.
 

Benefit by Delegating Part 1
Learn to delegate low level work & free yourself to make more money.
 

Benefit by Delegating Part 2
Tips on how to delegate lower level work.
 

Beyond Hard Knocks Part 1
Take education beyond the school of hard knocks.
 

Beyond Hard Knocks Part 2
More training tips.
 

Borrowing from the Movies
Use GPS to catch the bad guys.
 

Brave Enough To Look In The Mirror?
Don't waste your time whining about conditions - adjust your game to win.
 

Bubba's Bike Race
What type of business owner are you?
 

Building Your Work Team
Some simple things to consider when building your team.
 

Business Planning Part 1
Build a plan to get where you want to go.
 

Business Planning Part 2
Knowing why and how to reach your goals.
 

Calculating the Value of a Customer
How much is a customer worth to your company?
 

Common Elements of Contractor Failure
In the book, "A Contractor?s Survival Guide," by Thomas Schleifer, the author concludes that after ten years of examining distressed and failing construction firms, a finite number of causes are repeated as the reason for profit loss or failure.
 

Creating a SUSTAINABLE Family Business
2010 PHCC National Convention speaker Wayne Rivers provides feedback on a recent study on family business succession.
 

Customer Service is Key
Focus your employees on customer service.
 

Differentiate with Competitive Insights
 

Disability: The Long and Short of It
 

Do I Still Hear Whining?
Stop complaining about the economy and focus on improving your company.
 

Do You Really Need an Employee Handbook?
 

Don't Risk a Lot to Save a Little
Cutting insurance coverage to save can cost big if there is a claim.
 

Don’t Get Burned by Late Reporting
Delays in reporting workplace injuries can lead to much worker's compensation claims and costs.
 

Employment Laws for Small Employers
 

Find Your Niche Market Part 1
Select a target work area and be the best!
 

Find Your Niche Market Part 2
More tips to find your niche market.
 

Focus
Some people think it is all about getting the job done, but there is something else that is more important...
 

Handing Over Your Keys
The bare basics of succession planning.
 

Handing Over Your Keys Feedback
Some additional thoughts on exit planning from a succesful contractor.
 

Hey, What's the Hurry?
Your employees must maintain their cool behind the wheel of the company truck.
 

Hot Stock Tip!
What is the best investment you can make in your company?
 

Hot Stock Tip!
The Best Investment You Can Make
 

How to Go Bankrupt
The best way to go bankrupt is to keep doing what you are currently doing.
 

I Can't Afford That!
How often have you heard yourself say this - and then regret it later?
 

Impoverished Craftsman Part 1
Food for thought for those considering starting their own business.
 

Impoverished Craftsman Part 2
Inaction can make a small biz owner miss their chance to succeed.
 

Impoverished Craftsman Part 3
The craftsman biz owner must master new skills to succeed.
 

Is There a "Quick Fix?"
How long is it going to take to make the improvements you need to make?
 

Keep Your People On Target
Avoiding the extreems to find a leadership style that works.
 

Leadership Goes Lean
 

Leading Your Workforce During an Economic Crisis
Some thoughts on what to expect and how to handle employee reactions to tough economic times.
 

Lessons from General Patton
Some words of wisdom from General George S. Patton.
 

Litigation Vs. Arbitration, Part 2
Some disadvantages of arbitration.
 

Make the Most of EVERY Lead
 

Make the Tough Call
A simple step before an employee gets keys to a company vehicle can help prevent a business and community disaster.
 

Managing Vs. Doing Part 1
Don't get caught in the trap of doing the work when you should be managing it.
 

Managing Vs. Doing Part 2
Track your time to see where it all goes.
 

Marketing That Solves Your Customer’s Problem
 

Meaningful Meetings
Tips to keep meetings from being time wasters.
 

More Leads with Risk Reduction
 

New Business Owner
So you started a contracting company. Make sure it will still be around next year.
 

Of Course It Is About Production!
Bill Harrison shares thoughts on productivity.
 

On Hold Time is Priceless
 

Outside Training
Getting more out of training sessions.
 

Quick Statistics
Construction industry statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
 

Record Keeping for Small Employers
 

Refuse to Be Average Part 1
A guide to the benefits of training. As seen in Contractor magazine.
 

Refuse to Be Average Part 1.5
Extra thoughts on training that did not appear in the magazine article.
 

Refuse to Be Average Part 2
What to look for in training. As seen in Contractor magazine.
 

Seven Things
Matt Michel's list of 7 things to do between Christmas & New Year's.
 

Stay On The Attack
Many of your competitors are playing defense now, don't make that same mistake!
 

Termination: War or Peace?
The process of termination from the initial decision to the actions to undertake.
 

The Call
 

The Consumer's Bully Pulpit
If you screw up, fix it. Otherwise, the Internet will let everyone know you don't care about taking care of your customers.
 

The Importance of Relationships
 

The Secrets to Surviving a Downturn, Part 1
10 ways to survive in a slower economy.
 

The Secrets to Surviving a Downturn, Part 2
10 ways to survive in a slower economy.
 

The “Non” Yellow Pages Ad Technique
 

Time Management Tips Part 1
Use these tips to make more time for yourself this season.
 

Time Management Tips Part 2
More tips on how to make more time for yourself this season.
 

Unsuitable Driver--Now What?
Business owners unnecessarily put their businesses at risk when they allow unqualified drivers to operate company vehicles.
 

What Are the Odds?
Do you know your risks for an employee accident?
 

What They Do on Their Own Time Is Their Business…
...Or Is It? The harsh reality is that what employees do on their own time can become your business.
 

What the Current Climate Demands
Bill Harrison shares a key to survival.
 

What to do with Your “C” Players?
It's past time to take a close look at your underperforming employees.
 

Who Is Responsible?
Bill Harrison offers a look at responsibility.
 

Why I Like to Repeat Myself
 

Workers Comp Fraud
There are other costs to workers compensation fraud.
 

Workers' Compensation - Mutually Beneficial
 

Would You Work for You?
 

Marketing Tips

20 Ideas That Will Increase Your Sales, Part 1
20 ways to increase your sales in a slow economy.
 

20 Ideas That Will Increase Your Sales, Part 2
20 ways to increase your sales in a slow economy.
 

22 Ways to Market with Facebook, Part 1
Part 1 of Matt Michel's tips for using social media as a marketing tool.
 

22 Ways to Market with Facebook, Part 2
Part 2 of Matt Michel's tips for using social media as a marketing tool.
 

24 Ways to Boost Your Average Ticket – Part 2
More ways to boost your average sale.
 

24 Ways to Boost Your Average Ticket – Part 3
More ways from Matt Michel to boost your average sale.
 

24 Ways to Boost Your Average Ticket – Part 4
More ways from Matt Michel to boost your average sale.
 

24 Ways to Boost Your Average Ticket – Part 6
Four extra bonus ways to boost your average ticket from Matt Michel.
 

24 Ways to Boost Your Average Ticket, Part 1
Matt Michel explains how to boost your per visit sales and why it matters.
 

28 Low Cost Ways To Get Customers, Part 1
Secure more customers with these low cost methods.
 

28 Low Cost Ways To Get Customers, Part 2
Secure more customers with these low cost methods.
 

28 Low Cost Ways To Get Customers, Part 3
Secure more customers with these low cost methods.
 

33 Ways to Overcome Price Objections
If somebody thinks your price is to high, have an answer (or 33 of them) ready for them.
 

5 Things Plumbers Do That Drive Customers Crazy
How to avoid the common irritating habits that drive them away.
 

A Dozen Miscellaneous, Marketing No Brainers, Part 1
When you’re busy running a business, it’s easy to overlook low hanging fruit. Here are 12 miscellaneous no-brainers from Matt Michel.
 

A Dozen Miscellaneous, Marketing No Brainers, Part 2
When you’re busy running a business, it’s easy to overlook low hanging fruit. Here are 12 miscellaneous no-brainers from Matt Michel.
 

Are You Running The Business – Or Is It Running You?
Three components of a succesful business from Adams Hudson.
 

BRANDWASHING
Condition your customers to use your brand and accept no substitutions!
 

Being Productive Part 1
Tips on how to be more productive.
 

Being Productive Part 2
More tips on how to boost your productivity.
 

Close More Sales!
Use these four questions to close more sales.
 

Collecting Customer E-mail Addreses
Every tech should be collecting customer e-mails, but you must give them tools to make the ask work!
 

Concentrate on the Headlines
Mousetrap Marketing Series #5. Focus your effort on what the most people will read.
 

Constructive Criticism
Be constructive when giving feedback to get the best results.
 

Customer First Impressions
Does your receptionist really know how to handle customer calls?
 

Cutting Your Own Throat
Are your sales down? Cutting your advertising budget to save money is the last thing you want to do.
 

Cutting Your Own Throat
 

Embracing Change
Get out of your comfort zone to make progress.
 

Everybody Sells
Take a sales lesson from an unlikely source.
 

Facts & Stats on the Internet
255 million web sites and growing...
 

Focus Your Message!
Mousetrap Marketing Series #9. One marketing message is easier to remember than many.
 

Free Marketing Ideas, Part 1
A series of free marketing ideas from Matt Michel.
 

Free Marketing Ideas, Part 2
A series of free marketing ideas from Matt Michel.
 

Free Marketing Ideas, Part 4
A series of free marketing ideas from Matt Michel.
 

Free Marketing Ideas, Part 5
A series of free marketing ideas from Matt Michel.
 

Free Marketing Ideas, Part 6
A series of free marketing ideas from Matt Michel.
 

Free Marketing Ideas, Part 7
A series of free marketing ideas from Matt Michel.
 

Give People a Reason to Take Action
Mousetrap Marketing Series #6. A sale cannot be made until a solution meets a need.
 

Got Some Bugs in Your Customer Service?
Take a lesson from Adams Hudson on how NOT to handle customer service.
 

How to Track Your Marketing
Marketing success means finding out what works and what doesn’t. And that’s done by “tracking.”
 

It Doesn't Matter What YOU Think
Mousetrap Marketing Series #3. Remember to think like your prospects.
 

Keep Your Trucks Non-Partisan
Bumper Stickers on a Company Truck are a Bad Idea
 

Keep ‘Em Out Of The Yellow Pages
Why send a customer to a book featuring ads from your competitors to get your number?
 

Kill Your Competition with Holiday Cheer
Tips for sending holiday cards to your customer base.
 

Leaving Money on the Table
Simple questions can capture additional sales.
 

Long or Short Ad Text?
Mousetrap Marketing Series #8. Will customers read long ads?
 

Marketing Budgeting & Planning For 2010
Tips on pegging your marketing budget from Matt Michel.
 

Marketing Principles for Plumbing Contractors
Good marketing generates leads. What makes marketing “good” doesn’t have to be a mystery; it begins with a few general principles.
 

Marketing That Solves Your Customer's Problem
 

Marketing--Don't be Intimidated
Mousetrap Marketing Series #1. You don't need to be a marketing expert to market effectively.
 

Marketing-What in it for Me?
Mousetrap Marketing Series #2. Market to what people care about for the best results.
 

Minimize Blame with "DiY" Customers
When fixing something a "Do It Yourself" customer has broken, don't make them feel worse!
 

More Customers Isn’t Your Goal
How much attention are you paying to retaining your customer?
 

More Customers Isn’t Your Goal
It’s certainly important to generate leads and discover new prospects, but what about your exisiting customers?
 

Mousetrap Marketing Series #10-#14
Recognize good marketing design & then make your own!
 

Mousetrap Marketing Series #15-#20
More good marketing design tips.
 

Mousetrap Marketing Series #21-#26
Even more good marketing design tips.
 

Mousetrap Marketing Series #27-#28
Using color in your marketing materials.
 

Negotiation Strategies
How to prepare for any negotiation situation.
 

Pretend the Customer is a Teen
Mousetrap Marketing Series #4. Teens and your customers share many traits.
 

Quick Stats--Multi-Generational Households
Who in the home is your marketing tailored to?
 

Quick Stats-TV vs. the Internet
Which is more essential--tv or the Internet?
 

Seeking the Cheapest Plumber in Town
How to handle calls from price shopping customers.
 

Setting Goals
No goals for the year? Set them now!
 

Slow Death
Lots of competitors want your customers. Don't make it easy for a competitor by being difficult for your customers.
 

Soft Offers Can Test the Market
Mousetrap Marketing Series #7. Use no-brainers to see if you got your marketing right.
 

Stealth Marketing with Radius Mailings
 

Taking Action
Planning is critical, but eventually you will have to take action on your plans.
 

Technician Checkbook
A unique way to market to new customers.
 

The #1 Myth of Getting More Leads
The media you use to market matters FAR less than the message you are sending.
 

The #1 Sales Offense
What's the worst thing you can do after making a sale?
 

The 3 Sales in Every Phone Call
Don't miss your chance to sell whent eh phone rings.
 

The 9 Top Plumbing Direct Mail Mistakes to Avoid
Use direct mail more effectively with help from Adams Hudson.
 

The Great Email Backlash
Your e-mail marketing gets filtered out, is lost in the flurry of daily spam and often remains unread. So how can you increase your odds?
 

The Imploding Salesperson
 

The Imploding Salesperson
It's great to close the sale. It's okay to lose a sale. It's even okay for the customer to blow up the relationship. It's not okay to implode.
 

The Law of Equilibrium Part 1
Givers receive and takers lose out!
 

The Law of Equilibrium Part 2
More thoughts on getting involved.
 

The Missing Ingredient in Most Service Calls
You already have a salesperson in their home-your tech!
 

The Most Important Brand
 

The Most Vital Link in Your Marketing Chain
How the phone calls to & from your office are handled can make a massive difference in your success.
 

What Your Y.P. Rep is NOT Going to Tell You
Are you spending most of your marketing dollars on an approach with increasingly poor results?
 

What's Next with Your Marketing?
Here's your next steps for taking your business to a new level.
 

What's Your Company's Hassle Factor?
Are you making it a hassle for people to buy from you?
 

What's in it for Me?, Part 2
Mousetrap Marketing Series #2.5. Focus on benefits, not features.
 

Why Market During Peak Season?
Why you should be marketing even when customers are already calling you.
 

You Don't Have to Outrun a Bear
A small edge may be all you need to stay ahead of a competitor.
 

Your Reputation Hinges on a 50 Cent Part?
You can have great service, but when a cheap part breaks, the customer will still blame you.
 

Miscellaneous Topics

02 Business Tips Round-Up Part 1
Misc. business tips to think about over the holidays.
 

02 Business Tips Round-Up Part 2
More business tips to think about over the holidays.
 

03 Business Tips Round-Up Part 1
Misc. business tips to think about over the holidays.
 

03 Business Tips Round-Up Part 2
More business tips to think about over the holidays.
 

5 Predictions for 2009
Ted Garrison gives five predictions for the construction market in 2009.
 

Are You Getting the Message?
Info on texting while driving from Federated Insurance.
 

Best Practices: Apprenticeship School Attendance Policies
Does your apprentice school have a policy for tardy or absent students? Here's what some other schools are doing.
 

Long Term Leadership Success, Part 1
Quotes from Bruce Wilkinson, the Foundation sponsored speaker at the 2007 Leadership Conference.
 

Long Term Leadership Success, Part 2
More quotes from Bruce Wilkinson, the Foundation sponsored speaker at the 2007 Leadership Conference.
 

Protect Your Good Name
Protect your employees and your customers from identity theft.
 

Tech Tips: Working with R-401A
Here is a quick review of the most important points to remember when working with R-410A taken from the HVACR 201 manual.
 

New Construction Tips

Big Box/Utility Competition Part 1
Are you leaving money lying around?
 

Big Box/Utility Competition Part 2
Worried about competition?
 

Big Box/Utility Competition Part 3
More tips on how to compete.
 

Building Green
Looking for a new niche market?
 

C/O Hidden Costs
Include all your costs in your change order requests.
 

Change Order Pricing Part 1
The majority of contractors do not make money on change orders!
 

Change Orders Part 1
Establish your change order procedures before the job begins.
 

Change Orders Part 2
Learn to recognize signs that point to potential change orders on your jobs.
 

Change Orders Part 3
Guidelines for project managers on how to handle change orders.
 

Change Orders Part 4
Tips on submitting change orders.
 

Change Orders Part 5
Take the project schedule into consideration when doing change order work.
 

Close-Out Profit Leaks Part 1
Learn how to hold onto profits as projects near completion.
 

Close-Out Profit Leaks Part 2
Control the punchlist to get off the jobsite faster!
 

Close-Out Profit Leaks Part 3
Tips for handling the owner walk-through and early equipment start-ups.
 

Close-Out Profit Leaks Part 4
Some additional job close-out tips.
 

Contracts
Too many subcontractors only check to see if their name, address, and the dollar amount are correct before they sign the agreement.
 

Frequently Asked Questions & Answers Regarding Mold
 

Harnesses Can Kill You? Part 1
Saftey harnesses can kill workers after saving them from a fall.
 

Harnesses Can Kill You? Part 2
Tips to protect yourself and your employees.
 

Increasing Labor Productivity
How much thought do you put into field labor productivity?
 

Materials Handling
Proper material handling is an easy way to increase your productivity. Here are some easy ways to save time and money.
 

Materials Handling, Part 2
Thinking about materials handling before the job begins can save you big money over the life of the project.
 

Motivated Foremen
Do you think that a foreman who is motivated to bring a project in on schedule and on budget can save you at least $320 on the cost of completing that project?
 

P-R-O-D-U-C-T-I-O-N
Looking for ways to cut costs? Your biggest source of waste is poor production.
 

Pre-Construction Planning Part 1
The only way to effectively manage a construction project is to plan all aspects of the work before the first worker arrives on the jobsite.
 

Pre-Construction Planning Part 2
Look for opportunities and problems on a job before it begins to maximize your profits.
 

Pre-Construction Planning Part 3
Take charge of MEP coordination on the job site to increase your profits.
 

Pre-Construction Planning Part 4
Plan ahead to identify prefabrication opportunities.
 

Pre-Construction Planning Part 5 of 5
It does not always have to be built the way it appears on the drawings...
 

Scope Letters
Here is a checklist of commonly forgotten scope letter items.
 

Subcontracts Part 1
Helpful hints for when you have to subcontract portions of your scope of work.
 

Subcontracts Part 2
Hints on billing and payments when you have to hire your own subcontractor.
 

Subcontracts Part 3
35 tips for working with your subcontractors.
 

Tips & Info on Mold Part 1
The EPA's Ten Things You Should Know About Mold
 

Tips & Info on Mold Part 3
Info from New York's Dept. of Health.
 

Tips & Info on Mold Part 4
Sample remediation information from New York's Dept. of Health.
 

Tips and Info on Mold Part 2
Excerpts related to mold from a Federal Register on Indoor Air Quality.
 

Trade Shows Gain Importance
Nearly one-third of trade show attendees polled for a "Business Travel Survey" by eBrain Market Research say attending trade shows is more important now than before September 11, 2001.
 

Unsupervised Service Calls Part 1
Do you have a policy for unsupervised service calls?
 

Unsupervised Service Calls Part 2
How do PHCC members handle unsupervised service calls?
 

Personal Development

Apples, Actions, and Leopards
Life lessons & wisdom from a barber and from Edison.
 

Everyone Sells - "Inside Sales"
Sometimes to make progress, you must sell to your employees or co-workers first.
 

Half-a-Million Coins
Be careful how you spend you most precious resource.
 

How to Eat an Elephant
"Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried." -Neil Armstrong
 

Lessons from an Internet Millionaire
Get some business advice from a 17 year-old multi-millionaire.
 

New Employees Face More Risks
More than 1/3 of workers injured on the job have been with their employer for less than twelve months.
 

Pilot Testing Offers Practice Opportunity for Apprentices
 

Stay Positive in a Negative World, Part 1
50 ways to see the bright side.
 

Stay Positive in a Negative World, Part 10
50 ways to see the bright side, continued.
 

Stay Positive in a Negative World, Part 11
50 ways to see the bright side, continued.
 

Stay Positive in a Negative World, Part 12
The conclusion of the staying positive series.
 

Stay Positive in a Negative World, Part 2
50 ways to see the bright side.
 

Stay Positive in a Negative World, Part 3
50 ways to see the bright side, continued.
 

Stay Positive in a Negative World, Part 4
50 ways to see the bright side, continued.
 

Stay Positive in a Negative World, Part 5
50 ways to see the bright side, continued.
 

Stay Positive in a Negative World, Part 6
50 ways to see the bright side, continued.
 

Stay Positive in a Negative World, Part 7
50 ways to see the bright side, continued.
 

Stay Positive in a Negative World, Part 8
50 ways to see the bright side, continued.
 

Stay Positive in a Negative World, Part 9
50 ways to see the bright side, continued.
 

The Complaint Free Company
Success comes easier when you focus on the positive instead of complaining.
 

Use Your Brain! Making Lists and Goal Setting
Some tips from Bill Harrison on using your brain more effectively.
 

Service & Repair Tips

24 Ways to Boost Your Average Ticket – Part 5
More ways from Matt Michel to boost your average sale.
 

4 Things Not to Say
Avoid these phrases that turn off customers.
 

Are Odors Hurting Your Repeat Business?
The aromas coming off your technicians may decide if you get in that customer's home again.
 

Closing Techniques
Use proven closing techniques to seal the sale.
 

Customer Service Food For Thought
The Customer Service department is not just the "Customer Complaint" department.
 

Don't Sell, Consult!
A "consultant" has better sales than salespersons.
 

Facts for Techs Part 1
Business facts that every tech should know.
 

Facts for Techs Part 2
Facts about business that techs should know.
 

Leaving $ on the Table
Capture more service dollars by knowing your customers.
 

Questions to Close Sales
Ask the right questions & guide a sale to closing.
 

Selling M.A.'s
Thoughts on selling maintenance agreements.
 

Service Agreements Part 1
How do you price your service agreements?
 

Service Agreements Part 2
Selling your service agreement.
 

Tech Soft Skills Part 1
A tech who can do the work, but looks a mess can kill repeat business.
 

Tech Soft Skills Part 2
One way to enforce appearance rules.
 

Tech Soft Skills Part 3
Some common-sense thoughts on uniforms.
 

Tech Soft Skills Part 4
Ten tips on uniforms.
 

Tech Soft Skills Part 5
Ten more tips on uniforms.
 

Tech Soft Skills Part 6
Poor tech communication skills will lose customers!
 

Tech Soft Skills Part 7
Some simple communication tips for techs.
 

There's No Profit in Windshield Time
Be smarter about your service area.
 

Why Techs Don't Sell Part 1
Increase service call profits by teaching techs how to sell.
 

Why Techs Don't Sell Part 2
The most important reason your techs don't sell.
 

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