Strategy

5 Advantages of Fleet Management

Originally published: 04.01.14 by Robert J. Hall

Owning and managing your own fleet keeps you in the drivers seat.

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Three Key Processes Driving Your Business

Originally published: 03.01.14 by Peter Hungate

Develop a big picture perspective for long-term and consistent profitability.

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Your Business Prospectus

Originally published: 02.01.14 by Lisë Stewart

Building Value from an Investor’s Perspective

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Changing the Way We Change

Originally published: 01.01.14 by Lisë Stewart

The world is a busy and crazy place these days… We are inundated with messages to be leaders, to innovate, and to bring new products, services and marketable ideas to the marketplace. We are told to inspire, spin, market, promote, nurture and encourage change. We need to have energy, integrity, enthusiasm, a strong backbone, a clear vision for the future and the ability to learn from the past! And the list goes on…

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The Five-Step, One-Day Strategic Plan

Originally published: 01.01.14 by Wendell Bedell

The Five-Step, One-Day Strategic Plan. DIY strategic planning to optimize your business

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4 Reasons To Document Your Business Processes

Originally published: 12.01.13 by Peter Hungate

The primary benefits to running a business rooted in business and operational processes.

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The Perils of Traditional Retirement

Originally published: 12.01.13 by Lisë Stewart

Study after study indicates that traditional retirement (ceasing to work suddenly, devoting time to ‘leisure activities’) can have a highly negative impact on the physical and mental well-being of men, especially those who are entrepreneurial, self-employed and/or senior leaders in their organizations.

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Disaster Recovery: Business Continuity Plans

Originally published: 11.01.13 by Dan Adams

Business leaders understand they are dependent on systems. They realize if something fails they need to be able to get their systems back up.

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Professional Advisors – Friends or Foes?

Originally published: 11.01.13 by Lisë Stewart

Finding advisors who will do what’s best for your business

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Protecting the Family Business When Owners Get Divorced

Originally published: 10.01.13 by Lisë Stewart

The break-up of a marriage in a family-owned business can spell disaster for the business, the employees and even the community. Columnist Lisë Stewart offers six steps that can help ensure the business survives a marriage dissolution.

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5 Keys for Determining Which Tasks to Outsource

Originally published: 10.01.13 by Jeffrey Garr

These five keys will help you determine which tasks to outsource as your business grows and you look for support outside the company.

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6 Steps for Increasing the Value of Your Business

Originally published: 09.01.13 by Lisë Stewart

Columnist Lisë Stewart offers six steps business owners can take to ensure a fair price if and when they put their business on the market.

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Strategies for Keeping Your Middle Management Team in Play

Originally published: 09.01.13 by Roberta Matuson

This article provides some guidelines for attracting and retaining middle managers.

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5 Techniques for Passing the Family Business Torch

Originally published: 08.01.13 by Lisë Stewart

Here are five techniques a family-owned company’s new generation of leaders can use to honor their family legacy and tradition while still putting their own ‘stamp’ on the company culture.

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4 Green-Friendly Business Practices That Save Time and Money

Originally published: 06.14.13 by Kelly Meeneghan

Going green has evolved to include more than just saving paper and recycling, and businesses today have many more options that save resources yet are environmentally friendly.

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5 Tips for Family Business Succession Planning

Originally published: 05.01.13 by Lois Lang

Passing the torch to “obvious” choices might not be best for the business.

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Getting The Most from Social Media

Originally published: 05.01.13 by Bob Kelleher

How a tri-branding strategy promotes all you have to offer.

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Increase Close Rates and Average Tickets with Bundling

Originally published: 04.01.13 by Keith Mercurio

Bundling is the assigning of a single value to a combination of multiple items, and it is one of my favorite topics because it’s a genuine “art.” To learn how to present bundles to potential customers requires a lot of training, time, and faith because the shift in your thinking will be significant.

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Get More Done in 12 Weeks than You Would in 12 Months

Originally published: 04.01.13 by Brian Moran

In an effort to improve, most companies and professionals will search for new ideas and strategies. They will seek out new marketing techniques, sales ideas, cost-cutting measures, and customer service enhancements in the hopes that these new approaches will deliver better results.

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3 Steps To Effective Technology Adoption

Originally published: 04.01.13 by Michael Menard

Any software you implement in your organization should enable or enhance a business process. Unfortunately, many people mistakenly believe that the software or technology itself is the solution, when in reality, technology is at best 10% of the value equation — the other 90% is based on the human factor.

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Strategy: The Key To Executing Vision And Mission

Originally published: 03.01.13 by Wade Mayfield

Developing a sound strategy is not only fun, but, if done right, gives your company purpose. When you think of strategy, think in terms of how you are going to execute your vision and mission.

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It’s a Wrap!

Originally published: 02.01.13 by Heather Onorati

YouTube may conjure images of finger-biting babies, flash mobs, and “Gangnam Style” parodies. But the truth is, YouTube is an engaging and economical marketing outlet that HVACR businesses should not ignore.

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3 Key Steps to Creating an Effective Vision Statement

Originally published: 01.01.13 by Wade Mayfield

If your business doesn’t have a clear idea of the goal, you’ll never get there.

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Updating Your Business Plan? Don’t Forget About Marketing!

Originally published: 01.01.13 by Marsha Friedman

The New Year is a good time to revisit and refresh your business plan. In recent years, the economy, technology, and consumer habits have changed rapidly and dramatically, affecting every aspect of your business. That makes it absolutely vital to re-evaluate your short- and long-term strategies. One of the most critical elements of any business plan is your marketing strategy.

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5 Technologies That Cut Costs, Boost Profits

Originally published: 11.01.12 by HVACR Business Staff

Move to the cloud, get paid faster, go mobile, begin barcoding or get control of your fleet with GPS.

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Online Reputation Management: A Must-Have Marketing Tool

Originally published: 11.01.12 by Nadia Romeo

3 ways to promote the positive and respond to the negative.

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8 Ways to Be Memorable at Networking Events

Originally published: 11.01.12 by Patricia Fripp

Follow these strategies to present yourself concisely and confidently so contacts recall you later.

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How to Plan to Succeed

Originally published: 10.01.12 by Michael Feuer

In developing a strategy, creating a new business, or introducing a new product, intensive preplanning can make the difference between success and failure.

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Some Question the Intelligence of Promoting Smart Meters

Originally published: 10.01.12 by Charlie McCrudden

Smart meters are supposed to be the wave of the future, part of the futuristic “smart grid” of electricity distribution lines that use technology to solve some of the common problems that vex homeowners and utilities alike.

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4 Ways to Maximize Use of Social Media Tools

Originally published: 09.01.12 by Scott Klososky

If you want to be a master of social-media tools, you first need to understand the need to implement elements of social media that will both drive revenues and cut back office costs.

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Are Mobile Customers Missing You?

Originally published: 08.01.12 by Nadia Romeo

Don't miss out on the new opportunities that the mobile web presents. Commit time and resources to designing a mobile version of your site that will benefit your business today and far into the future.

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5 Drivers of Successful Mergers, Acquisitions

Originally published: 07.01.12 by Tom East

Due diligence is important, but so is identifying a growth strategy in advance.

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If it Ain’t Broke, Break it Now

Originally published: 07.01.12 by Michael Feuer

Customers expect constant improvement, which takes vigilance.

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5 Lessons for Growing a Business

Originally published: 05.01.12 by W. Theodore (Theo) Etzel

W. Theo Etzel explains what he's learned growing an HVACR company from $2.7 million to $24 million in sales over 17 years.

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Branding Is More Than Logos

Originally published: 04.01.12 by Lee Gientke

What customers think about your company defines your brand.

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Partners Should Plan Ahead For Disability

Originally published: 02.01.12 by

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Out With The Old, In With The New

Originally published: 01.01.12 by Terry Tanker

As we start the new year, let me issue a challenge to those of you who have been clinging to caution — let go and be bold. The time has come for you to plan your next move.

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Who's Eating Your Lunch?

Originally published: 01.01.12 by Bill Spohn and Jim Bergmann

Energy optimization is on the minds of commercial and residential customers. If heating-cooling-and-ventilation contractors don’t respond, other businesses will.

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For a Successful Exit, Build Value From the Start

Originally published: 09.01.11 by Kevin R. Yeanoplos

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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Rise Above the Politicians: Debate for Success, Not Stalemate

Originally published: 09.01.11 by Terry Tanker

Properly debated and documented decisions can move leaders forward with a plan of action that is supported by all, instead of a stalemate that leaves everyone dissatisfied.

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Zone Control Has Become the Norm; Knowing it's Application is Key Success Strategy

Originally published: 09.01.11 by Tom Edwards

Zone control in the light commercial and residential market has become the norm rather than the exception. It is imperative that every HVAC contractor and system-design professional understands the application. It is a key strategy for success on both new construction as well as improving overall comfort on existing jobs. The steps identified should help identify additional thoughts to be included in a successful zone-control strategy.

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Why Zoning Is The Answer To Achieving Whole-Home Comfort

Originally published: 09.01.11 by Arzel Zoning

A zoning system allows homeowners to vary temperature settings throughout the house. When a home is divided into multiple, distinct zones, homeowners no longer need to heat or cool unoccupied rooms, or live with uncomfortable temperatures.

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Zoning Systems for Residential and Light Commercial Applications

Originally published: 09.01.11 by Tom Edwards

Tom Edwards explains the difference between electronic bypass variable air volume (BPVAV) and constant-volume duct systems—and when to use each application.

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ACCA Programs Opening Door To High Standards

Originally published: 09.01.11 by Stan Johnson

Can you help to improve the quality of housing in our country by being at the front of contractors adopting and implementing QA? It is time to give serious consideration to getting on board.

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Does Your Business Need an Outside Board of Directors?

Originally published: 08.01.11 by

An advisory board might be a better option for business owners.

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Boosting Companywide Performance With a ‘Complete’ Software Solution

Originally published: 06.01.11 by Karl Rajotte

Providing end-to-end control and streamlined processes, a bid-to-cash solution can be the single most valuable software investment an HVACR contractor of any size can make.

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Document Management: When to Shred, When to Keep

Originally published: 06.01.11 by Abraham J. Niedzwiecki

Several options exist from destroying the document to retaining the paper. The rules surround what kind of document you have and depend on industry regulations. Abraham Niedzwiecki offers insight for determining when to shred and when to file.

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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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8 Common Website Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Originally published: 02.01.11 by Rich Friedel

When planning an online presence, first have a written plan and design with your marketing goals in mind.

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Take Advantage of Estate Tax Benefits

Originally published: 02.01.11 by

Improvements to the estate tax law in 2011 offer business owners and familyowned businesses some interesting planning opportunities during the next two years.

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The 112th Congress: Gridlock for Sure, But Some Good News

Originally published: 01.01.11 by Charlie McCrudden

By the end of 2012, Congress will have to revisit another extension of the Bush tax cuts, the Estate Tax, the Alternative Minimum Tax, and other tax incentives that will expire in 2013. Although no one expects the 112th Congress to accomplish much, the new Congressional dynamics could yield some wins for the hvacr community.

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Finding, Retaining Top Talent Becoming a Top Challenge

Originally published: 01.01.11 by Thomas Giddens

Employers need stellar talent to execute a rebound strategy and drive renewal and growth. Competition for proven managers and business leaders will grow fierce. Organizations that can differentiate themselves with a benefits package unmatched by competitors will be more successful at attracting top talent.

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Light Commercial/Commercial Outlook: Partly Sunny, Lingering Clouds

Originally published: 01.01.11 by Tonya Vinas

Contractors, equipment suppliers, and industry groups expect 2011 to be an improvement over 2010, but not an immense improvement. Consumer trends, regulatory requirements, and incentive programs are making anything related to energy efficiency a promising opportunity; and expanding and/or rebounding sectors such as healthcare and stimulus-fueled public works projects are also brightening the outlook somewhat.

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Plan for Succession While Building Value

Originally published: 01.01.11 by Bob O’Hara

Executing a successful succession plan requires a team of experts, including an attorney, CPA, and a financial planner.

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7 Ways To Ruin Your Business

Originally published: 11.01.10 by George Hedley

Stick to business fundamentals. George Hedley discusses 7 shortcuts that can break your business

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How to Grow Your Business with Dehumidification

Originally published: 11.01.10 by Joe Hlavacek

Factors such as evolving homebuilding methods, changing consumer preferences, and increased awareness of health and safety issues often open new product or service opportunities for hvacr contractors.

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Warning: Turn Down the Heat

Originally published: 10.01.10 by W. Theodore (Theo) Etzel

If you aren’t addressing the very real threat of burnout, your business is at risk of underperforming. Paying attention to your own feelings is very important. But watching out for signs that an employee is beginning to suffer from burnout is critical for the success of the organization.

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Leading the Search

Originally published: 10.01.10 by Susan Kimball

Potential customers have to be able to find your company when looking for a service provider on search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing

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How Diagnostic Technology Provides a Competitive Edge

Originally published: 09.01.10 by Mark Barraclough

How Alpine Mechanical Services is incorporating technology to stay competitive.

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Contractors Adding Home Performance Services Have Choices

Originally published: 09.01.10 by Bob O’Hara

Many hvacr contractors believe Home Performance (HP) — addressing residential customers' needs from a whole-house, energy-optimization point of view — is the future of the industry. Here are two reports from residential providers who are taking different routes to adding HP services

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Crisis Management: Are You Prepared?

Originally published: 08.01.10 by Ursula Mannix

Crises have the potential to threaten public safety, increase financial expenditure, damage reputation, and impact sustainability. It is critical for management in the early hours and days of a crisis to strategically and expertly take proper decisive action.

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How Mobility Solutions Can Get You There

Originally published: 06.01.10 by Frank Steinocher

Investing in an enterprise-wide mobility system returns value in many ways that will reduce costs and increase revenues.

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Inside Job: Effectively Organizing Truck Supplies

Originally published: 06.01.10 by William J. Zbylut II

Investing time, training, and resources in a fleetstocking- and-organization program can save money and improve customer service.

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Strategic Success

Originally published: 12.01.08 by W. Theodore (Theo) Etzel

Outlining a plan and a vision of where you want to go is critical to the success of your organization. However, it is key to make it a living, breathing document to be used frequently.

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Managing For Innovation

Originally published: 11.01.08 by

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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Adapting Lean Processes For The HVACR Industry

Originally published: 09.01.08 by

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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Networking Works

Originally published: 03.01.08 by

Word-of-mouth advertising is a powerful marketing tool. Networking groups enable you to spread the word even farther.

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Building A High-Performance Company

Originally published: 11.01.07 by Jim McDermott

The Gartner Group's five keys to building a high-performance organization include setting ambitious goals and achieving them, displaying a strong sense of purpose, having a strategic focus, adapting to change, having a common and shared business model.

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How To Break Into The DDC Market

Originally published: 09.01.07 by Kevin R. Yeanoplos

There are a number of reasons to get into the direct digital control game. DDC technology is good for business and good for the bottom line. DDC technology can help clients improve operational and staff efficiency, while netting building owners some pretty significant energy savings

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Is An ESOP Right For Your Company?

Originally published: 08.01.07 by

Mike Coyne describes what an employee stock option program is and how it can benefit your company.

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10 steps for how to value a business, sell a business, or buy a business.

Originally published: 1/1/10 by Kevin R. Yeanoplos

In part 2 of a 3-part series, Kevin R. Yeanoplos discusses how an owner must put himself in the shoes of a prospective buyer and be willing to make any changes necessary to maximize the business’ “curb appeal.” He discusses key areas that a business owner should examine closely, including potential sales growth, financial strength, discretionary expenses, management depth, market and market strategy, quality of financial information, additional unnecessary expenses, hidden liability issues, plans for the future, and workforce.

View 10 steps for how to value a business, sell a business, or buy a business.