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  1. #1

    Thumbs up Contracting Business Article Ideas

    So here's a question for all the HVACR contractors, technicans, and and sales folks out there -- if you had any say, what types of feature articles would you like to see Contracting Business.com writing about in 2014? Put another way, what do you see as hot topics for yourself, your company, and for the HVACR industry? Are they technical topics? Business/Service management stories, or sales/marketing stories?

    Do you want to see more residential or commercial editorial?

    Well guess what: you DO have a say. Just post here your thoughts here and help us put together our 2014 coverage plan.

    We're looking forward to your input.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    6,327
    Retirement and exit strategies would be an interesting and useful topic. Most in our field never consider or plan for the day they want to call it over.

    A small portion of contractors are aligned with the likes of One Hour, Airtime 500 etc.. that do touch on these strategies but for the most part contractors never give any thought, I feel this is one reason many contractors price their work so low because they have no vision for the future.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Howell, Michigan
    Posts
    16,181
    An article on how to properly determine overhead so the lowballers might learn something and price their services properly................however, do ya really think they might read it? Most likely they don't even know it exists.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Helena, Montana
    Posts
    2,155
    An article on how to "work smarter not harder", meaning ways to make your body last longer!
    Don't worry zombies are looking for brains, you're safe...

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by classical View Post
    Retirement and exit strategies would be an interesting and useful topic. Most in our field never consider or plan for the day they want to call it over.

    A small portion of contractors are aligned with the likes of One Hour, Airtime 500 etc.. that do touch on these strategies but for the most part contractors never give any thought, I feel this is one reason many contractors price their work so low because they have no vision for the future.
    Thanks Classical. Excellent idea. Retirement/exit strategies are something we can't write enough about. Will include something on that.

  6. #6
    Great idea, Bob. Not only methods for calculaing overhead, but what about on pricing strategies as well?

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by ControlsInMT View Post
    An article on how to "work smarter not harder", meaning ways to make your body last longer!
    So are you thinking along the lines of checklists on how to get everything done from clean and checks to problem troubleshooting? Or something else?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Helena, Montana
    Posts
    2,155
    More along the lines of physical fitness, lifting properly, etc.. I would guess the cost of a back injury (bills, lost work), far exceeds hiring an extra man for a day or two.

    Using PPE as opposed to not and the associated costs.

    I guess it's a "well covered" subject, but it seems like we all tend to over look things like that until its too late.
    Don't worry zombies are looking for brains, you're safe...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    206
    The abuse of workmans compensation and the need for reform. There are techs who are gaming the system and look at workmens comp as an added retirement benefit. The system, in New York anyway, is so slanted against the employer. I have a supervisor who hadn't picked up as much as a fan motor in 10 years. He was bringing a ladder to a tech and the ladder slipped out of his hands. He felt a twinge in his shoulder and went to one of those lawyers who advertise on TV. Wound up getting $120,000 for loss of movement in his shoulders. This was in lieu of getting shoulder replacement surgery. I didn't even know about the case until it was settled, which was my insurance companies fault and gave them a reason to drastically increase my premiums. When the insurance company told me about the settlement I asked them why they didn't let me know about the claim and if was told,did they know the guy is a body builder and works out every day, and that may be why he lost motion? The kicker, if he choses to have replacement surgery, he gets it and the cost gets charged to my experience rating.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Howell, Michigan
    Posts
    16,181
    While we are talking exit strategies, we should look at the option of if it's worthwhile converting your business to a franchise like Aire Serv or One Hour.

    The reason I am saying this is because Aire Serv came after me real hard and one of the reason they gave me was if I wanted an exit strategy that it's easier to sell a "McDonalds" than a "Mom & Pop" shop.

    Is it worth giving them 6% or more so you can sell later? Giving up your "Brand" that has been established for many years, or is your local "Brand" more salable.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    562
    How about a double feature. Show your readers both sides of the coin of employee/employer relations. Why it's so important to treat your techs well in dollars and cents and why it's important to treat your employer with respect. It may be hard to quantify the benefits the employee receives as a result, but there may be some psychological data out there to support the concept of not taking advantage of your employer.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    tip of the mitt
    Posts
    1,982
    in a nutshell---getting the phone to ring---
    I have my own little world. But it's OK...they know me here.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Metro Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    475
    Maybe an article that talks about how openly talking about a company's financial standing can actually boost employee participation. The company I work for has a state of the company meeting every January that covers how well/poorly the company did, what the basic costs are, etc. When the service manager tells you that the company spends 45K a month on fuel it has an impact and people start shopping gas for the trucks like they would for their personal vehicles. Most guys I know just assume that someone pockets the hourly rate minus what they got paid for the job.

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