Chapter Corner

Insights Magazine: March 2016

Training for the Big Leagues

A recent IEC meeting opened with the moderator asking attendees to tell something about themselves that no one in the room knew. When it was my turn, I revealed that I managed my son’s little league baseball team for 8 years, and 7 of those 8 years the team finished in 1st place.

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End in Mind - Keep Your Eye on the Ball

Keep your eye on the ball. You may have heard your coach tell you that over and over until you realized that’s just what you needed to do in order to succeed. In business, the message is the same, and it doesn’t change when it comes to electrical safety. In order to keep our eye on the ball, we need a clear understanding of what that ball is. When it all comes together, our designs, plans, and actions ensure we achieve our goals.

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Becoming an Expert in Multiple Markets

So you’ve cut your teeth and made a name for yourself by carving out your own special niche in your local market. You’re now known as the go-to contractor for your specialty and it’s taken years for you to achieve that stature. You’ve watched the market fall and weathered the storm. Now you’ve been paying attention to the market around you, and while it’s coming back, you have a feeling the market is shifting and not coming back in areas that have been strongholds for you in the past. You’re suspicious that other markets are taking off, but you’re not sure they are worth pursuing. You would like to expand into other markets, but that means expanding outside of your niche market and venturing into uncharted waters. All the while still feeling a little jaded from your last experience, which ended up costing you six figures off your bottom line, and you’re still not sure what went wrong.

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Knowledge Is Key to Pursuing Vertical Markets

When pursuing business growth in new, unfamiliar markets, independent electrical contractors should understand the needs of that particular market and the various product and service options available to meet those needs. They must know the characteristic challenges each particular market poses to electrical systems operation and use effective tactics and supporting tools to convey that knowledge to prospective customers.

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How to Provide Value

I have been hearing Ted Garrison's [construction consultant and contributing columnist for Insights] mantra for many years now that bringing value is the key to doing business. I have to agree with that premise one thousand times over. People want value for their investment. If something is of value, people are willing to pay for it. Granted, some of it is perceived value, but nonetheless, it is value to them.

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