When was the last time you were absolutely “wowed” by the service you received? When you bought your last car? At a restaurant? Or possibly when ordering something on the Internet? The reality is that everyone wants to be treated like a business’ only customer, yet we are rarely treated to exceptional customer service in our daily activities. And that’s good for you and your electrical contracting business.
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On July 31, the Obama Administration issued another executive order (EO) targeted at the federal contracting community. The Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order creates a “look-back” requirement for contractors to disclose violations of a number of state and federal safety or wage-related laws and regulations over the past three years when bidding for a federal contract over $500,000. Even after a federal contract is awarded, a contractor will still be required to self-report on labor law violations and, if applicable, the violations of its covered subcontractors to the federal contracting agency every six months. Contractors that disclose violations will have an opportunity to document any actions they have taken to correct the violations and improve compliance. However, a recorded violation can still put a contractor in jeopardy of contract termination, suspension, or even disbarment from future opportunities to do business with the federal government depending on the agency’s assessment of their disclosures.
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The keys to making money and enjoying a long and healthy career, according to a couple of veteran electrical troubleshooting pros, are: Live by the three Ps and follow a proven problem-solving process.
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“Hello. I’m from OSHA and I am here to help you.” If you own or operate a business, chances are you have heard these dreaded words before. Next to, “Hello. I’m from the Internal Revenue Service,” there are few greetings more inclined to make your knees weak. But it doesn’t have to be that bad.
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Payroll processing can be cumbersome for any industry…but nothing compares to the complexities of construction payroll.
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Is it easy in your market to recruit and retain top estimators, project managers, and superintendents? Have you been surprised by the recent turnover of a high-potential employee? Many of your peers have. Just a year or two ago, FMI was hearing from clients that there was plenty of available talent on the street because of downsizing during the recession.
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Business owners frequently ask, “What can I do to avoid a wrongful termination charge by an employee?” The easy answer is, “Don’t hire the wrong person for the job.” The reality is that one day every business owner will face the unpleasant task of having to terminate an employee for one reason or another. The question then becomes, “How can a business retain good employees and avoid terminations?”
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As a contractor, you understand the importance of organization. Between your office, paperwork, and appointments, there are a lot of things to juggle on the job. One of the most important aspects of your business organization starts with your work vehicle.
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Just a few days prior to completing this issue of Insights, I went to lunch in Old Town Alexandria, just a few miles down the road from the IEC National Office. As I walked up King Street, I had a smile on my face while passing the boutiques, family-owned businesses, and “Mom and Pop” shops. Small businesses like these are the pulse that drives America. These businesses drive our economy and are our job creators.
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Written by Melissa Grigsby
 

Beginning a new career is an exciting time—it’s like turning the page to a new chapter in your life. As I participated in apprentice graduations at IEC chapters across the country in May and June, the excitement was everywhere. Proud family members, encouraging colleagues, and supportive instructors all celebrated each apprentice’s accomplishment. Completing the four- year apprentice training program is not an easy task, and each apprentice should feel proud of this significant achievement.
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