Management

How Fleet Management Can Help You Run a Better Business

Originally published: 06.01.14 by Jonathan Durkee

Having GPS is different from having a GPS fleet management system — it’s the difference between the ability to simply get turn-by-turn directions and an intelligent business solution.

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Work Together to Avoid Sibling Rivalry

Originally published: 06.01.14 by Lisë Stewart

The team approach to management and leadership is growing in popularity and appeals to the new generation; but it also comes with a few hurdles to overcome.

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Protect Your Fleet with Built-in GPS

Originally published: 06.01.14 by Robert J. Hall

Built-in GPS tracking for fleets bring the benefits of a navigational system without the hassles of a separate piece of equipment, allowing companies to confidently send out drivers at any time and to any place

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Clarify Management Roles and Expectations

Originally published: 05.01.14 by Lisë Stewart

The most important aspect of managing expectations is to have real conversations. Talk about the issues in a way that takes emotion out of the discussion.

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Overtime: A Key Indicator for Healthy Growth

Originally published: 04.01.14 by Jim Victor

Discover the right time to hire by rethinking the concept of overtime.

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Getting Paid

Originally published: 04.01.14 by Jenn Lonzer

Review current payment policy recommendations to ensure that getting paid is fast, safe, and simple.

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Trademark Basics for Small Business Owners

Originally published: 04.01.14 by Beniam Biftu

Understanding the value of your trademark is just the first step: Consult a trademark lawyer and pursue legal registration.

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Copyright Basics for Small Business Owners

Originally published: 03.01.14 by Beniam Biftu

Protect Your Intellectual Property with Registered Copyrights

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There’s an Expansion Underway for the Construction Industry

Originally published: 12.01.13 by Robert A. Murray

Looking at total construction, the pattern of recovery was slow and tenuous early on, with McGraw Hill Construction reporting that total construction starts edged up just 2% in both 2010 and 2011. Multifamily housing was showing signs of life and the stimulus-supported public works sector was moving at a decent clip, but other parts of the industry continued to languish.

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Why You Need to Sweat the Small Stuff

Originally published: 10.01.13 by Kenneth Goodrich

Five tips for creating a culture and processes that sweat the small stuff for you, freeing you to truly lead your company to success.

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Why Data Security is Everyone's Responsibility

Originally published: 08.01.13 by Dan Adams

Learn six steps you can take right now to protect your business from cyber criminals.

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Types of Insurance Small Businesses Need

Originally published: 08.01.13 by Caron Beesley

Protecting your business investment with insurance is a critical part of small business ownership. Here’s a summary of the kinds of insurance policies you may need to protect your business assets.

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General Business Liability Insurance

Originally published: 08.01.13 by Caron Beesley

If you own, operate or are starting a business, you need general liability insurance. But what does that mean? What protection does it afford? How do you determine your coverage needs? How does it work?

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Let Go as You Grow

Originally published: 04.01.13 by Ron Cohn

Letting go has never been easy. Whether giving the car keys to a teenage daughter or allow ing another to plan the service schedule, comfortably stepping back and having someone else be responsible potentially comes with a myriad of obstacles, even when you know it’s going to be beneficial. So, what prevents people from letting go?

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My 2 Cents: Moving Forward, Let’s Not Think Outside The Box

Originally published: 03.01.13 by Terry Tanker

If the phrases we use in business relations were currency, we’d have a glut of fake $100 bills. They seem valuable and genuine, but their real worth is zero.

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How to Avoid Meaningless Meetings

Originally published: 03.01.13 by

Everyone who chairs a business meeting should ask participants this same question at the conclusion of the session. One word of warning: Be prepared for some surprising responses.

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We Live in Dangerous Times — Be Prepared

Originally published: 02.01.13 by Clay Stevens

The government is no longer just one of many challenges business leaders have to manage. It’s become our biggest threat.

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Commercial Contractors: 10 Questions on Client Relationships

Originally published: 01.01.13 by Andrew Sobel

Do you have “healthy” relationships with your customers? This checklist will tell you.

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How to Become a Home Performance Superhero

Originally published: 01.01.13 by Paul Morin

Home Performance Contractors not only can identify and solve comfort problems for homeowners, but they can keep them and their businesses safe from harm.

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The Top 5 Pitfalls that Derail Decision Making

Originally published: 12.01.12 by Michael Menard

Despite the wealth of information available these days, many of the best business leaders still make poor decisions. This is unfortunate, because sound decision making is at the heart of every company’s success.

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10 Tips for Running a Great Meeting

Originally published: 12.01.12 by Jean Kelley

Few people receive formal training on how to conduct a great meeting, and this lack of training is apparent in corporate conference rooms across the country.

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6 Years in Business Means Many to Thank

Originally published: 11.01.12 by Terry Tanker

Without the people who support you personally and professionally, your business wouldn't be successful. That's why I'm taking time to thank those who've been there for me for six years.

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7 “Facts of Business Life” Company Owners Must Face

Originally published: 11.01.12 by Bill McBean

Managing these challenges successfully will help you and your business to reach full potential.

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Tell Your Employees: Prepare or Perish

Originally published: 11.01.12 by Michael Feuer

Business opportunities are everywhere, and the Internet makes it possible to always be ready.

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How and When To End Disruptive Disagreements

Originally published: 11.01.12 by

Disagreements and anger are a reality in the workplace and in life. People react differently under pressure. This behavior quickly reduces productivity. Here's how to call a timeout.

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3 Challenges That Aren’t Going Away

Originally published: 10.01.12 by Terry Tanker

You could be making another mistake, though, if you aren’t considering “big picture” trends that will affect your future. Customer surveys and economic outlooks are important, but larger changes are underway that will alter how contractors work forever.

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7 Common-Sense Tips from a Seasoned Entrepreneur

Originally published: 09.01.12 by Victor Green

It’s true that many factors contribute to an organization’s success, but in the end, it all comes down to this: How will your business be better, or different, than what is already available?

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How to Avoid 9 Common Sales Call Errors

Originally published: 09.01.12 by

Use these tactics instead to make the most of your opportunities

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Insurance-Reform Ruling Sets Stage for Business, Individual Penalties

Originally published: 07.01.12 by Charlie McCrudden

Assuming things stay as they are now, it’s important to understand how the health care reform law will affect contractors over the next few years.

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10 Sales Strategies for Uncertain Times

Originally published: 07.01.12 by

Stay calm, be smart and continue selling while others are giving up.

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Ethical Decisions Make You, Your Company Healthier

Originally published: 05.01.12 by Kyle Scott

Being ethical has a higher cost in hard times than in good times, which makes being ethical difficult for some in the HVACR industry still suffering from weak demand. But, even good times can encourage bad behavior as one might get a sense of invincibility when the money is rolling in.

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Lesson Learned: Have Current Procedures Documented

Originally published: 05.01.12 by Terry Tanker

Avoid having the unexpected halt your business by keeping your policies and procedures documents updated.

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Will Congress Fill the “Lazy” Days of Summer with HVACR Issues?

Originally published: 04.01.12 by Charlie McCrudden

When you take a 50,000-foot view, you realize all levels of the HVACR industry are facing more scrutiny from the federal government than ever before.

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5 Ways to Build Sales Partnerships

Originally published: 04.01.12 by

Benefits could include cost savings and access to new prospects.

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Is There A Book Inside of You?

Originally published: 02.01.12 by Greg McAfee

Greg McAfee talks to HVACR Business about his book "It's Your Dream." Topics he discusses are training, boards, customer service, innovation and marketing.

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9 Things HVACR Contractors Should't Do In Slow Times

Originally published: 01.01.12 by Ruth King

Over the years I’ve seen contractors do some really stupid things — both in slow times of the year and busy times of the year. Since it’s January, I’ll cover the stupid things I know you, the smart contractor, won’t do in the upcoming slower season.

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Expect Election Fever To Dominate 2012 Politics

Originally published: 01.01.12 by Charlie McCrudden

I’m not a professional seer, but I can tell you right now with relative certainty what’s going to happen in Washington this year and how it’s going to impact HVACR contractors. Predicting the future isn’t that hard when you know “what is past is prologue."

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5 Tips For Improving Sales

Originally published: 11.01.11 by Terry Tanker

Publisher Terry Tanker offers advice on improving sales calls from prospecting to presenting.

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5 Steps To More Effective Mobile Device Demos

Originally published: 11.01.11 by

The "art" of using mobile demonstrations to close business sales and sell more HVAC equipment and systems.

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5 Steps To Speeding Up And Increasing Sales

Originally published: 11.01.11 by

This 5 step geometric approach results in more closes with the same amount of work.

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Good Results Don’t Make You A Good Manager

Originally published: 10.01.11 by Craig Wasserman and Doug Katz

As a manager, you work in the constant glare of an “invisible spotlight.” When you come, where you go, and what you do in between are of the utmost importance to your employees. Don't underestimate your impact on your employees' lives. Management is work and takes practice, self-reflection, and discipline.

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New DOE Rule Is Milestone For Industry

Originally published: 10.01.11 by Stephen Yurek

Oct. 25, 2011 the Direct Final Rule issued by the Dept. of Energy (DOE) setting regional standards for residential furnaces, heat pumps, and central air conditioners will be final, starting the clock ticking toward the first implementation deadline of May 1, 2013, for non-weatherized furnaces.

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Do You Have Too Much Liability Coverage?

Originally published: 09.01.11 by

Typically, general liability includes three areas: bodily injury and property damage, personal and advertising injury, and medical expenses. Determine the amount of liability coverage you need by evaluating your potential risk, the state in which you operate (both its legal minimum and its history of awarding high damage amounts), and your personnel quality.

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For a Successful Exit, Build Value From the Start, Part 1 of 3

Originally published: 09.01.11 by

In part 1 of a 3-part series, Kevin R. Yeanoplos explains the various factors that drive a company’s value and how making a few simple changes, owners can make the most of the current opportunity for growth to squeeze every last dollar of value out of their businesses.

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Get Going On Energy-Performance Contracting

Originally published: 08.01.11 by Terry Tanker

Whole-home/whole-building performance contracting is an opportunity for HVACR contractors to add value to business offerings by making customers more comfortable while reducing their energy consumption and costs.

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5 Steps To Connect Messaging to Sales

Originally published: 08.01.11 by

Use language and concepts that resonate with customers so they see your differentiators as value and won't mind paying a higher price.

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More Good News For Growth-Minded HVACR Contractors

Originally published: 07.01.11 by Terry Tanker

Contractors adding services such as plumbing and electrical to expand their businesses and better service customers.

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10 Questions to Fine-Tune Your Marketing Strategy

Originally published: 06.01.11 by Terry Tanker

A well-designed marketing strategy is a key component of driving short- and long-term revenue and growth. Here are 10 critical questions your management team can use to build highly effective communications between your company, and your customers, and prospects.

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3 Maxims For Successful Negotiation

Originally published: 05.01.11 by Carl Van

You will find that persuading others to change their behavior by presenting facts and demonstrating understanding is a much better way to negotiate than trying to prove another person wrong.

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Holding a pre-job meeting can further improve a company’s performance and make clients happier.

Originally published: 05.01.11 by George Hedley

Holding meetings prior to the start of a job reduces the chance of potential conflicts, and increases the likelihood of finishing ahead of schedule and staying under budget.

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Keep Those Postcards Coming: Don’t Abandon Traditional Marketing Tools

Originally published: 05.01.11 by Terry Tanker

Technology continues to evolve how we communicate with our customers. New marketing techniques don't make traditional forms irrelevant, they add to your bag of tools. Use what works.

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5 Corporate Blunders that Cripple Sales Efforts

Originally published: 05.01.11 by

These are the five most common blunders that cause teams and companies to fail when it comes to working together to make big-ticket sales, and what you can do to fix the problems.

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Why President Obama is Suddenly Friendlier to Business

Originally published: 04.01.11 by Charlie McCrudden

We are seeing a big change on Capitol Hill from the 112th Congress. The new landscape assures gridlock, which changes the dynamic and the agenda. There is a method to this madness, and it all has to do with the November 2012 election.

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HVACR Contractors Help Drive Remodeling Rebound

Originally published: 03.01.11 by Terry Tanker

The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University released a study that bodes well for contractors in the home-remodeling industry, and pinpoints heating-and-cooling-system retrofits as a key driver in remodeling’s rebound.

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Danger Ahead?

Originally published: 03.01.11 by Tony Petrucciani

A company’s KPIs strategy must evolve if it is to match the changing needs of a growing company. What worked in the company’s early growth stage is far from sufficient for a multi-branch organization. The modern service marketplace requires a new generation of KPI reporting and tracking tools.

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Making Smart Investments in Marketing Technology

Originally published: 02.01.11 by Terry Tanker

There’s a lot of room for improvement in the HVACR industry when it comes to using marketing technology. Too many contracting businesses lack an integrated online marketing plan that maps back to their unique selling proposition.

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Welcome to 2011: New Deals, New Faces

Originally published: 01.01.11 by Terry Tanker

A change of power in Congress, President Obama and Congress have pushed through a new tax deal that keeps the current tax structure in place and is about 180 degrees away from what was proposed in the fall.

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Why The Trillion-Plus-Dollar Federal Deficit Matters

Originally published: 12.01.10 by Terry Tanker

Members of our industry won’t always agree on matters of government and public funding, but the federal deficit is something we can all rally around protest, and work to reduce.

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Top 10 Strategic Errors in Your Sales Process

Originally published: 12.01.10 by

These are the top mistakes made by sales reps with a guide to avoiding them.

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Economic Outlook: Shoot For the Moon

Originally published: 11.01.10 by Terry Tanker

Brian Beaulieu, Institute for Trend Research, told Nexstar Network members at the Super Meeting that now is the time for investing.

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How Government Is Wasting Our Money

Originally published: 10.01.10 by Terry Tanker

As business owners, we cut expenses when business is down. We don’t look for new ways to spend money we don’t have. But unfortunately — as we’ve come to expect — that thought process doesn’t work in Washington.

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How To Plan For Your Extended Absence

Originally published: 10.01.10 by

Find the best way to plan for your business to succeed whether or not you are present for the daily operations.

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How to Pre-Qualify a Sales Lead in 5 Steps

Originally published: 10.01.10 by

Your challenge is to focus time and energy on the prospects who are the most likely to buy. Here is how to do that by pre-qualifying your sales leads before you call them.

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Tax Code Changes — The Time to Plan is Now

Originally published: 09.01.10 by Terry Tanker

With regard to your 2010/2011 taxes, the old 5 Ps come to mind — Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance.

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Coming This Fall! A Chance For Bonus Profits

Originally published: 09.01.10 by

Invest additional time and resources to inform customers and prospects about the expiring replacement tax credit.

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8 Ways To Close More Sales

Originally published: 08.01.10 by Terry Tanker

Why customers don’t commit and how to change their minds.

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7 Strategies that Build Your Negotiating Power

Originally published: 07.01.10 by Geoffrey James

Creating a win-win outcome is only possible if you continually accumulate a counter-balancing “negotiating power” throughout the sales cycle.

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Connecting With Customers Every Chance You Get

Originally published: 06.01.10 by Terry Tanker

The ability to connect with customers with a customized message makes using fleet design as a marketing tool a must-do activity within your organization

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4 Ways to Screen Out Non-Essential Information

Originally published: 04.01.10 by Kerry Gleeson

If you are not in command of incoming mail, you'll keep hitting the same, frustrating wall when you try to be productive.

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Organizing Information for Quick and Effective Retrieval

Originally published: 03.01.10 by Kerry Gleeson

Creating parallel systems for papers, electronic documents, and emails is the key.

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How to Reduce Interruptions and Improve Focus

Originally published: 01.01.10 by Kerry Gleeson

Fewer interruptions will save valuable time that everyone can use to get more work done in less time; have more time for daily planning; and schedule time to think, read, and learn more about your business.

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13 Ways to Tame Your Inbox

Originally published: 12.01.09 by Kerry Gleeson

How to efficiently review, receive, and send email.

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10 Management Lessons from the U.S. Navy

Originally published: 12.01.09 by Guy Kawasaki

Many of us who are working in non-military organizations would do well to understand how a small city floating on the ocean work.

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Overcome Procrastination - Now

Originally published: 10.01.09 by Kerry Gleeson

Wasted time is just the tip of the iceberg; the "hidden" part of procrastination is the impact it has on your team members' productivity and your customers' satisfaction - as well as your business and personal reputation.

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Getting the Most from Electronic Tools

Originally published: 09.01.09 by Kerry Gleeson

Individuals and businesses invest an enormous amount of time and money in buying, learning, and maintaining tools to manage workload. But few people are getting the highest level of benefits from these investments. Now is the time to change this.

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4 Steps to Improve Employee Performance

Originally published: 09.01.09 by Paul Grunau

Define success, be honest and clear, and provide details and benchmarks.

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Things Your Customers Won’t Tell You (But You Need To Hear!)

Originally published: 07.01.09 by Greg McAfee

If you don’t keep up with trends, you are not keeping up with customer expectations. Here is a checklist of nine pitfalls that will send customers to a competitor.

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Five Things Customers Require

Originally published: 07.01.09 by Mike Callahan

Managing internal customers properly is critical to both bringing in revenue and turning revenue into profits. Mike Callahan offers five critical components necessary for consistently meeting the requirements of our external customers.

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Building Blocks of a Successful Business Model

Originally published: 07.01.09 by Annie Jennings

Customers like to work with top-notch professionals, and it’s your job to position yourself as an expert. Annie Jennings describes how.

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Hold on to Top Employees

Originally published: 07.01.09 by Paul Grunau

It might seem strange to think about employee retention given the economic challenges we have been facing. Many business owners and managers have been spending a big chunk of their time on reducing expenses, downsizing operations, and — unfortunately for some — laying off employees. But in such a climate, working on employee retention is more important than ever.

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Hold on Tightly to Top Employees

Originally published: 07.01.09 by Paul Grunau

Communication, recognition, and inclusion will help your company retain its most powerful asset.

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Tops In Trucks 2009 Winners

Originally published: 06.01.09 by Tonya Vinas

One way hvacr contractors communicate their trustworthiness, technical ability, and quality customer service is through their trucks. Company owners who still do not see their fleets as one of the top communication tools and ways to gain customer confidence need to listen to the winners of this year’s Tops In Trucks contest.

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Calculating the True Cost of Bad Customer Service

Originally published: 06.01.09 by Mike Callahan

Mike Callahan shares how to measure the huge costs of poor customer service and ways to reduce those costs.

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Road-Mapping Performance

Originally published: 05.01.09 by

Leadership committed to management-by-objective guidelines helps assure the company’s survival and profitability by increasing employee performance and productivity.

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Your 60 Second Message

Originally published: 04.01.09 by Michel Neray

A well-crafted and unique sound byte about who you are and what your business offers will help you stand out from other hvacr contractors.

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6 Tips to Kick Start Your Revenue Growth

Originally published: 04.01.09 by Kim Marcille

Kim Marcille offers advice on how to temper the impact of the current economic crisis on your financial performance. This is your opportunity to reinvent yourself and your business.

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Originality In Business Wins

Originally published: 04.01.09 by Guy Kawasaki

Co-author of the newly released book called "Mavericks at Work: Why the Most Original Minds in Business Win" Polly LaBarre offers insight into the maverick minds behind businesses that defy business-as-usual.

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Your 2009 To-Do List

Originally published: 03.01.09 by Guy Kawasaki

Ten small tasks that can make a big difference in the perception of your company and, ultimately, your bottom line.

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The Hunt for Opportunities

Originally published: 02.01.09 by Jay Forte

Failures are opportunities for greater success in a culture that is on a constant hunt for ways to be better and to make a greater difference. Not only can the hunt for opportunities increase your success, but it may help you invent the next product, service or idea the rest of us cannot live without.

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Management Books

Originally published: 02.01.09 by HVACR Business Staff

Management Books

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Success and Failure

Originally published: 02.01.09 by Guy Kawasaki

Guy Kawasaki interviews Michael Raynor on how strategy makes or breaks a company.

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Negotiation Basics

Originally published: 01.01.09 by Paul Grunau

Negotiating is really about setting expectations, being open to a mutually beneficial resolution and understanding that the best time to negotiate is before a problem or issue occurs. While this may feel uncomfortable, and even confrontational, it will reduce the challenging end-of-job “negotiations” that we all have experienced.

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Resolve to Organize and Decrease Stress

Originally published: 01.01.09 by Heather Onorati

Better organizational skills will help you reduce stress on yourself and your employees, leading to much higher productivity.

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Why Smart Companies Do Dumb Things

Originally published: 01.01.09 by Guy Kawasaki

The downside of more people in the mix means it's harder to alter consensus, once it builds. As an owner or manager of a company, there are things you can do to make sure you hear all sides before making a decision for the company you'll regret.

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Investing in Community

Originally published: 11.01.08 by W. Theodore (Theo) Etzel

Communities everywhere have projects and needs that require support beyond what tax dollars can fund. Businesses have the opportunity to make contributions in time, resources, people and money to support organizations that add value and life to the community in which the business is located.

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Hiring for Personality

Originally published: 11.01.08 by Dana Borowka

Turnover costs your organization time, money and lost opportunity. A personality assessment can be a useful tool for gauging a candidate’s competence and compatibility.

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Managing For Innovation

Originally published: 11.01.08 by Paul Grunau

Look into the market - outside of the industry, talk with customers and industry experts, and form an opinion as to where you must improve or change to stay ahead of the evolutionary curve.

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Overtime Pay?

Originally published: 11.01.08 by

Whether an employee is labeled "salaried" or "hourly" does not answer whether the employee is entitled to overtime pay. The Fair Labor Standards Act has very specific rules regarding overtime pay, and every employer needs to be familiar with these rules.

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The Art of Resisting Irrational Behavior

Originally published: 11.01.08 by

Guy Kawasaki talks with Ori Brafman, author of “Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior”, about the psychological forces at play when smart people make bad choices. Brafman offers insight into what to be aware of when assessing candidates for jobs, the right way to transform a company’s bad reputation, and customer communications.

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Making the Most of Meetings

Originally published: 10.01.08 by Greg McAfee

Meetings are an essential, if not one of the most important ways in which companies stay on track and execute a plan.

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5 Pillars of Digital Marketing

Originally published: 10.01.08 by Michael Wayde

A faltering economy presents the opportunity to rethink what you’ve done in the past and invest wisely in your future, maintaining or even growing a marketing communications program. In fact, history suggests that companies who continue to communicate and promote in hard times fare better during the downturn and recover more quickly as the economy improves.

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Why Change is Good

Originally published: 10.01.08 by

Guy Kawasaki talks with Ariane de Bonvoisin, CEO and founder of The First Thirty Days, about the importance of embracing change.

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Adapting Lean Processes For The HVACR Industry

Originally published: 09.01.08 by Paul Grunau

Inefficiency in construction exists in all areas, including office and management operations, as well as fabrication and field installation. Lean requires a substantial investment to get the return from Lean.

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Which Came First, the ‘C-word’ or the ‘E-word’?

Originally published: 09.01.08 by Greg McAfee

Hiring an entrepreneurial “Operation-General Manager” to run your business, allows you to focus on the service/installation technical side of the business or the sales side of it.

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Navigating In A Down Economy

Originally published: 08.01.08 by Terry Tanker

It’s a tough economy out there and just about every indicator is pointing its needle toward the red. However, for business owners there are no excuses, the playing field is level. It’s a great time to make process changes you’ve been planning, or simply fix things you think are broken

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Sounding Board

Originally published: 08.01.08 by Greg McAfee

Forming a board of directors is crucial for hvacr businesses. Whether your company is very small or very large, the benefits of having a board will get you to the next level and beyond.

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Just-In-Time Inventory

Originally published: 07.01.08 by Robert Wilkos

Inventory is a necessity, but you can create a stocking program that better suits your operations, business and cash flow

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Building High-Performing Teams

Originally published: 07.01.08 by Paul Grunau

Your leadership affects the success of your organization. If you encourage your company to be a high-performing team you must first do an honest evaluation of your current situation. Evaluate your team against the criteria listed here and solicit your employees’ feedback. Then, think about what you can do to create an environment that inspires and motivates your employees.

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Maintaining Motivation

Originally published: 06.01.08 by

What separates the highly successful business owner and the average one is the ability to keep moving forward—even if it’s only one yard at a time. The ability to motivate yourself and others is a critical leadership skill and one of the most difficult to master.

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The Ostrich Complex

Originally published: 05.01.08 by W. Theodore (Theo) Etzel

Tough decisions are just that, tough. Playing the “ignore it and it’ll go away” game is disastrous. Focusing on the true kernel of the problem or dilemma usually brings it down to a size that becomes manageable.

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Celebrating Success

Originally published: 05.01.08 by Terry Tanker

Whether it is a personal goal or a business goal, recognition for a job well done is crucial to ensure that a work-hard attitude continues.

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Encouraging Peak Performance From Older Workers

Originally published: 05.01.08 by Jennifer FitzPatrick

The workforce is aging, so learn how to make minor accommodations to keep employees productive.

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Building Web Sites

Originally published: 03.01.08 by Terry Tanker

The importance of being on the Web cannot be overstated. Americans spend an equal amount of time watching TV as they do surfing the Web (about 14 hours a week). Having a good Internet platform is easy and relatively inexpensive. And, as mobile phones, PDAs and other devices become more effective and efficient at helping users surf the Web, it will only add to the importance of Web marketing.

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"The Ugly Truth About Managing People" Book Review

Originally published: 02.01.08 by Meredith Beverstock

Whether your staff consists of 200 people or just two people, problems will always arise. Ruth King helps hvac business owners solve people issues in her book, "The Ugly Truth About Managing People."

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What Were They Thinking?

Originally published: 02.01.08 by Guy Kawasaki

Guy Kawasaki discusses smart management, customer relationship management, and the role of the owner with D. Dee II, professor of Organizational Behavior at the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University.

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Green Generates Green

Originally published: 01.01.08 by John Conover

It’s clear that “green” isn’t going away. Demand for green, energy-efficient systems is expected to increase over the next few years. To look at how contractors can boost profit margins, John Conover discusses past changes in construction and how they've impacted the industry.

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The SWOT Analysis

Originally published: 01.01.08 by Jim McDermott

Strategic planning starts with a fairly simple examination of your organization’s strengths and weaknesses. The basic tool used for this initial step of strategic planning is the SWOT Analysis. It’s a powerful technique that helps analyze your ability to achieve your goals and execute an effective action plan.

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Three Things That Kill Your Business

Originally published: 01.01.08 by

Being proactive, eliminating non-productive employees, and watching cash flow are three critical resolutions to keep in 2008.

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Property/Casualty Insurance

Originally published: 12.01.07 by David Myer

Understanding property/casualty insurance coverages can help you stem serious loss potential for your business.

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Size Matters

Originally published: 11.01.07 by Traci Purdum

Larger air conditioning units have contractors scrambling to purchase vehicles big enough to haul them. What are the benefits of adding these vehicles to your fleet? What do you need to consider to purchase the optimal vehicle?

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Are You An Egomaniac?

Originally published: 11.01.07 by Guy Kawasaki

Guy Kawasaki talks with author Steven Smith about how ego can get in the way of business and the best ways to keep it in check.

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Open Up To Open Book

Originally published: 11.01.07 by W. Theodore (Theo) Etzel

Opening your books for review means opening a piece of yourself, too. If you truly want a team approach to your business where people are fully invested in the numbers, then you have to let them in on the numbers.

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Involving Employees In Goal Setting

Originally published: 11.01.07 by

Companies that focus their entire team on goals and communicate how they are progressing to reach those goals usually have better sales and profits, and lower employee turnover rates.

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Managing, Monitoring Sales For Success

Originally published: 10.01.07 by Jackie Rainwater

By properly managing the sales force, you can be certain that all sales leads are carefully tracked, and promptly pursued— thus bringing more money to the bottom line.

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Key Questions Take Mystery Out Of Insurance

Originally published: 10.01.07 by D. Michael Sherman

D. Michael Sherman is chairman and CEO of Cleveland-based Dawson Companies. He has more than 30 years of experience representing contractors of all types and sizes. He recommends a four-part evaluation to gauge the ability of competing agencies and brokers to represent your company.

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Dealing With Fickle Customers

Originally published: 10.01.07 by Rhonda Abrams

Last-minute changes disrupt businesses and can be costly. Here's how to accommodate customers who change their minds on services without losing money.

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Flip This Fleet

Originally published: 10.01.07 by Traci Purdum

Traci Purdum summarizes characteristics of successful branding strategies and presents insight from the winners of HVACR Business' fleet design contest.

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How To Write A Business Plan

Originally published: 09.01.07 by Guy Kawasaki

Guy Kawasaki discusses business plans with Tim Berry, president of Palo Alto Software, the principal creator of Business Plan Pro, and the author of a blog called Planning, Startups, Stories.

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Making A Plan And Setting Goals

Originally published: 09.01.07 by Terry Tanker

Without a game plan and specific goals, it's impossible to see where you've been or where you're heading. Here are eight goal-setting strategies that should be reflected in your business plan.

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Getting Better With Wellness Programs

Originally published: 08.01.07 by Tonya Vinas

Investing in employee wellness programs can produce a more satisfied and productive workforce, reduce health-care and insurance costs, and improve attendance and performance.

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Stop Bidding, Estimating, And Quoting

Originally published: 08.01.07 by Tom Piscitelli

The most successful and most profitable hvac contractors don’t create success by being the lowest-priced job. They are among the highest; but they can show the customer why the extra money is worth the investment.

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Keeping Productivity High As Summer Ends

Originally published: 08.01.07 by

Ruth King offers To keep productivity high, you must plan some end-of-the-busy-season activities.

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Combating High Health Insurance Costs with Health Savings Accounts

Originally published: 07.01.07 by Mike Coyne

Because skyrocketing health-care costs frequently limit an employer’s ability to increase wages, both employers and employees would benefit from controlling such costs. Will health savings accounts (HSAs) be the answer? It is too soon to tell, but employers considering such plans have much to consider.

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Give Your Web Site A Tune Up

Originally published: 07.01.07 by Guy Kawasaki

Your Web site should do more than offer information about your company. Guy Kawasaki suggests 10 things to enhance your visitor's experiences.

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Turbocharge Your Sales With Compensation That Motivates

Originally published: 07.01.07 by Jackie Rainwater

A vitally important (although often underestimated) component of successful sales is the incentive and compensation plan. Jackie Rainwater discusses what an effective plan should include.

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LEED The Way

Originally published: 06.01.07 by Ellis G. Guiles Jr.

This is the first of a two-part series on Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), the building-rating system conceived and introduced by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Ellis G. Guiles Jr. discusses why contractors should care about the LEED approach to construction.

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The Art Of Execution

Originally published: 06.01.07 by Guy Kawasaki

Guy Kawasaki tells you what to do with the money once you've raised it: set, communicate and measure goals.

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The Art Of Partnering

Originally published: 05.01.07 by Guy Kawasaki

Guy Kawasaki talks about the pitfalls in partnership and how to avoid them.

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How To Deliver What Customers Really Want

Originally published: 05.01.07 by Jackie Rainwater

Delivering hvac and IAQ products and services customers want and need in a way that makes their overall experiences with your company convenient and pleasant should be the primary objective for any hvac retailer.

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Wild About Wireless

Originally published: 04.01.07 by Tonya Vinas

Whether it’s a simple cell phone or a sophisticated business management software solution, the latest in wireless technology can help you reduce costs, increase revenues, and raise quality standards

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The Art Of Remaining Sane

Originally published: 04.01.07 by Guy Kawasaki

Guy Kawasaki tells you how to avoid being driven crazy by your competition.

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Who Makes Buying Decisions? Women!

Originally published: 04.01.07 by Tonya Vinas

Women are a lucrative market, especially when it comes to providing a comfortable, cost-efficient home for families. Position your products and services so that they respond to the concerns of women, and stress quality and ease of maintenance.

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Increase Your Productivity

Originally published: 03.01.07 by Terry Tanker

Terry Tanker talks about his method of managing productivity and offers insight on other tools that may help you become more organized, more focused, and more productive.

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The Importance Of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Originally published: 03.01.07 by Jackie Rainwater

Using key performance indicators and financial information is vitally important in operating a successful hvac business. Never overlook the extreme importance of also maintaining the right company culture.

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The Zen Of Business Plans

Originally published: 03.01.07 by Guy Kawasaki

Guy Kawasaki explains the reasons for and the elements of a good business plan.

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ARI Certification Has Multiple Benefits

Originally published: 02.01.07 by Francis Dietz

ARI’s certification programs, the building owner in Boise who purchases ARI Performance Certified™ products can rest assured that the equipment is as efficient as the manufacturer claims it is. He knows he’s getting what he paid for.

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Breathe Easier

Originally published: 02.01.07 by Tonya Vinas

Several trends make now the time to incorporate IAQ information, products, and services into your offerings.

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First, Define Your Online Strategy

Originally published: 02.01.07 by Tom Jensen

Identify your goals for revenue and reach before building a Web site.

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Improve Building Performance Through Retro Commissioning (Rcx)

Originally published: 02.01.07 by Scott Gordon

Retro Commissioning (Rcx) building systems can provide significant benefits such as improving occupant comfort, reducing energy cost, improving Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), enhancing building operations, and extending equipment life.

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The Art of Driving Your Competition Crazy

Originally published: 02.01.07 by Guy Kawasaki

Companies go astray when defeating the competition becomes more important than taking care of customers. When companies become obsessed with the pursuit of excellence, by contrast, they often reach new levels of greatness.

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What Good Is a Trade Show?

Originally published: 01.01.07 by Clay Stevens

Trade shows provide proven value to the industries that they serve. The return on investment from attending trade shows takes many forms: time saved, information gathered, technology and new methods learned, relationships formed, good decisions made — in other words, the keys to success for the visitor and his or her business.

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How To Be An Effective E-mailer

Originally published: 01.01.07 by Guy Kawasaki

Guy Kawasaki offers tips for effective e-mailing.

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How to Protect Your Business Secrets

Originally published: 01.01.07 by Mike Coyne

Your trade secrets may consist of customer lists, training manuals, financial records, contracts with distributors, and the like, that would be very valuable to your competition. Keep them secret with some of these simple, inexpensive steps

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Spreading Cheer Without Fear

Originally published: 12.01.06 by Tonya Vinas

Raucous holiday parties can leadto injury, lawsuits, and insults if not planned properly. Tonya Vinas, editor-in-chief of HVACR Business offers tips and advice for parties that will encourage employees throughout the year.

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GPS Comes of Age

Originally published: 12.01.06 by Peter Strozniak

Global positioning systems enable hvacr contractors to save time, money, and fuel

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The Art of Schmoozing

Originally published: 12.01.06 by Guy Kawasaki

Relationships can pay off in sales and partnerships. The key is to establish a relationship before you need it. Here is Guy Kawasaki's guide to tactful schmoozing.

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Great Companies Are Built With Great Internal Communications

Originally published: 12.01.06 by Jackie Rainwater

Failure to properly communicate with employees (co-workers) on a consistent and timely basis is one of the biggest causes of the inability to achieve growth, profitability, and stability.

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GPS Buying Basics

Originally published: 12.01.06 by Peter Strozniak

Hundreds of companies sell GPS solutions, each offering a bewildering array of capabilities at a variety of price points. Here are 8 capabilities to evaluate before you buy.

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Outbound Customer Service: Tools for Success

Originally published: 11.01.06 by Susan Hart

Susan Hart shares the benefits of a successful outbound customer service program.

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Why Smart People Do Dumb Things

Originally published: 11.01.06 by Guy Kawasaki

Guy Kawasaki offers four reasons why smart, famous, powerful, and rich people who should obviously know better end up crashing and burning and how to mature.

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Boost Productivity With ‘Visuality’

Originally published: 11.01.06 by Tonya Vinas

The power of visuality is that it empowers employees to do their jobs more efficiently based on their own evaluations, ideas, and actions. It seems with this concept, everyone benefits, especially customers.

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Buy or Lease?

Originally published: 10.01.06 by Peter Strozniak

There's no right answer. The decision to buy or lease a fleet should be based on several things, including how you used your trucks and financial considerations.

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Have a Bone to Pick? Diagram It

Originally published: 09.01.06 by

The fishbone diagram is an excellent management tool. It makes managers think about a process and all of the contributing factors ending in the result — good and bad.

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Part 4: Establish the Appropriate Culture in Your Company

Originally published: 09.01.06 by Jackie Rainwater

A culture that values and nurtures its customers and co-workers was the key to the tremendous growth and profitability of Peachtree Heating and Air Conditioning (Peachtree) from 1990 to 2002.

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Changes Ahead for the Distribution Channel?

Originally published: 08.01.06 by Donald L. Frendberg

HVACR Business interviews Donald L. Frendberg, executive vice president/COO of the Heating, Airconditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) about industry trends.

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How to Manage Change in Your Company

Originally published: 08.01.06 by Ron Smith

Implementing and managing change is difficult. Ron Smith offers a formula and tips for success.

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Part 3: Establishing a culture where co-workers win, too

Originally published: 08.01.06 by Jackie Rainwater

Part 3 of a series: How Peachtree Heating and Air Conditioning put in place principles, practices, and processes to assure co-workers were “winners”.

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10 Commandments of Good Advertising

Originally published: 08.01.06 by Terry Tanker

Marketing communications is an asset your company owns and an investment in customers and prospects. The challenge is to use this asset wisely. Terry Tanker offers 10 tips and ideas to help improve your advertising.

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The Art of the Board Meeting

Originally published: 07.01.06 by Guy Kawasaki

Guy Kawasaki provides tips for successful boards and meetings that should offer guidance, support, and connections.

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How to Structure the Organization Design of Your Company

Originally published: 07.01.06 by Ron Smith

A basic functional design best fits most all HVACR companies with a general manager being at the top of the chart and three leaders reporting to him or her. The three leaders representing the basic functions are sales, production (or operations) and administration.

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Masters of the Briefcase

Originally published: 07.01.06 by Jim McDermott

Contractors will not be able to rely on their technical expertise to be successful and to rise above their competitors. The road to excellence requires a growing list of management skills.

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Part 2: Establish the Appropriate “Culture” in Your Company

Originally published: 07.01.06 by Jackie Rainwater

Referencing the culture he established at Peachtree Heating and Air Conditioning, Jackie Rainwater describes how to ensure the customer “wins” in every interaction with your company.

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The Road to Success Starts with Defining Core Values

Originally published: 07.01.06 by David Dombrowski

How to move from reading articles about changing your company to finally do something about it.

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Winning Management Techniques

Originally published: 06.01.06 by Jim McDermott

The key to industry success, at all levels, is a strong, viable core of hvacr contractors who embrace a winning attitude and develop the skills and agility to move the market forward.

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Part 1: Establish the Appropriate “Culture” in Your Company

Originally published: 06.01.06 by Jackie Rainwater

What is culture and how do you develop the right kind of culture within your company?

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Welcome to our 25th Anniversary Celebration!

Originally published: 06.01.06 by Terry Tanker

HVACR Business more accurately reflects the new direction that we are taking with this publication. It reflects our new mission of working with top industry leaders to develop a new standard of success for the hvacr contractor.

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The Art of Customer Service

Originally published: 06.01.06 by

A customer-oriented attitude begins with the owner. So practice what you preach when it comes to how you want your employees to treat your customers. Guy Kawasaki offers other tips for taking care of customers.

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5 Pillars of Digital Marketing

Originally published: 1/1/10 by

A faltering economy presents the opportunity to rethink what you’ve done in the past and invest wisely in your future, maintaining or even growing a marketing communications program. In fact, history suggests that companies who continue to communicate and promote in hard times fare better during the downturn and recover more quickly as the economy improves.

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Involve Your Employees in Your 2014 Business Planning

Originally published: 1/1/10 by

In the first of a three-part series, Ruth King explains why setting goals is the first phase of business planning and why it's important to involved your employees.

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A Changing Market Can Be Positive For Your Business

Originally published: 1/1/10 by Greg McAfee

Paying attention to industry trends helps you better educate your customers, leading to loyalty and a heftier bottom line.

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