How to Start a Personal Injury Practice
August 24, 2016
Here is how you should market a personal injury practice
The lawyer confided in me that many have tried to copy his marketing tactics with little success. Lawyers enter the world of radio advertising and are chewed up and spit out in short order– they spend big bucks for 3-4 months, get no return on investment and move on to something else.
That’s when the lawyer started chuckling and shared with me the gold nugget that I came for: he knew these other lawyers would fail. You can’t spend 3-4 months on a market medium like radio ads and expect to see instant results. The lawyer shared with me, “You have to drive it into the ground.”
As it turned out, the lawyer took a year or two to see any results from his radio ads. But the results were nothing short of amazing and the lawyer kept pouring more gas on the fire. The lawyer’s total commitment to a single marketing tactic launched one of the most successful personal injury practices in the state.
# 1Experiment with a lot of marketing tactics and find out what works best for you.
# 2Once you find something that works, drive the sucker into the ground.
But it’s a mistake to think that just because a marketing tactic worked for one lawyer that it will work for you. We have different practices and our ideal clients and prospects may be completely different– you may want the slip and fall or motor vehicle clients, while others (like me) try to get cases involving severe injuries caused by medical malpractice. Marketing that works for the lawyer down the street may be a total waste of money for you. That’s why copycat marketing sucks.
In June 2010, I sat in a large conference hall at the annual seminar of Great Legal Marketing. The speakers gave great tips for internet marketing and mass marketing tactics and while I loved the content, I realized that the “ideal client” of the mass marketers was very different from mine. My best cases didn’t come from injury victims– they came from lawyer referrals.
But not just any lawyer– my ideal client is a personal injury lawyer who doesn’t do medical malpractice. An “Ideal Client” who won’t just refer a single case, but will refer a steady stream of new cases for the rest of my career. So I decided to stop spending money on mass marketing (yes, that means no yellow pages ad) and I began focusing every dollar marketing to personal injury lawyers in New York.
Begin with Your ideal personal injury client – How to pick a personal injury lawyer
It all starts with a picture of your ideal client. Who is the person or lawyer who sends your best cases to you? You need to be crystal clear about who that person(s) is and write down their names and draw a picture of them.
Be very precise by listing your ideal clients’ age range, geographic region and in some cases, their practice areas and size of their law firm. The list of your ideal client might just be five or 10 people, but if they refer you a steady stream of new cases, that’s all you need. Once you’ve got a clear picture of your ideal client, it’s time to market like crazy to them.
Providing content-rich, valuable information to your ideal clients is the best way to market to your ideal clients. Give your ideal clients something they can use to grow their business– this might consist of seminars, podcasts, newsletters or parties. The key is to experiment with different marketing tactics, find what works best in bringing new cases to you, and discard the rest.
Start a Window Glazing Contractor Biz
August 12, 2016
How to Start a Glass & Glazing Contractors Business
Opening a glass and glazing contractors business is an excellent entrepreneurial opportunity as long as you separate yourself from the competition. This article contains nuts-and-bolts information that instructs you on how to start your business.
Thinking about opening a glass and glazing contractors business? We tell you what you need to know to get started.
Glass and Glazing Contractors Business
If you need window repair in Phoenix AZ try Valleywide Glass.
Becoming an Independent Glass & Glazing Contractor
Glass and glazing contractors are critical providers in the construction trade. Advances in building design technology have made it possible for large exterior sections of buildings to be composed of glass materials in order to maximize natural light levels. Although some glass and glazing contractors special in large, flagship builds, most earn a profitable livelihood by providing glass for a range of smaller building applications.
Unlike the old days, today’s glass and glazing entrepreneurs need to be skilled architectural specialists with expertise in both the manufacturing and installation demands of architectural glass products. Entry glass, store fronts, curtain walls, high performance glass, tempered glass, heavy plate, insulated units and other components all fall within the range of products you will be expected to install as a glass and glazing contractor.
How to Keep up with the Demand for Glass & Glazing Companies
Your biggest concern is acquiring enough customers to keep your business afloat during its first year if you’re like most startup business owners. But have you given any thought to what you’ll do if your startup exceeds its first year customer acquisition targets?
Most startup business owners don’t– and it’s a mistake that can have dire consequences for your glass contracting firm’s long-term viability. Capacity planning gives businesses the ability to prepare for growth by having sufficient resources in place when you need them. Based on your prospects and circumstances, you’ll need to determine whether a match, lead or lag capacity planning approach is right for your startup.
Tips for Creating an Efficient Glazing Company
Trial-and-error will undoubtedly play a role in the initial stages of your glass and glazing startup. During the early stages of your company, you’ll need to constantly adjust your business model until you achieve the right balance between income and expenses.
Waste is an inevitable by-product of trial-and-error. As you build your business, you will encounter many areas in which resources are being wasted, causing inefficiency in your product delivery and installation routines.
By deliberately targeting activities and resources that don’t add value to your company, you can achieve several important benefits including cost reductions, reduction of lead times and across the board quality improvements.
For information about value-added glass products and services, consider participating in the Glass Association of North America and other trade organizations.
Tips for Generating a Top Quality Glass & Glazing Contractors Company Business Plan
There is no right way to write a glass and glazing contractors company business plan– but there are plenty of wrong ones. Lenders, investors and other interested parties are accustomed to seeing several key business plan elements and if your glass and glazing contractors business’s plan leaves something out, it could have real consequences for your company.
To make sure you’ve covered all your bases, consider using business plan software during the writing process. Robust software solutions incorporate best practices while streamlining the writing process, ensuring that your business plan reflects your company’s commitment to quality.
A quick review of Gaebler’s business plan software packages article is great place to begin your search for the solution that’s right for your glass and glazing contractors business.
Look Over Competitors
Well in advance of opening a glass and glazing contractors business in your area, it’s essential to see what the competition looks like. Try our link below to generate a list of competitors in your area. Simply enter your state, zip and city code to get a list of glass and glazing contractors businesses in your town.
Find Competing Glass & Glazing Contractors Businesses
Before you open up shop, make sure you know what you will offer to your customers that provides a significant advantage over your competition’s offering.
Learning More About the Industry
As part of your due diligence on opening a glass and glazing contractors business, it’s a wise move to learn from folks who are already in business. Local competitors are not going to give you the time of day, mind you. The last thing they want to do is help you to be a better competitor.
However, a fellow entrepreneur who has started a glass and glazing contractors business in a different city may be more than happy to give you a few tips, given that you don’t compete with them in their area. Many business owners are happy to give advice to new entrepreneurs. Our estimate is that you may have to contact many business owners to find one who is willing to share his wisdom with you.
How do you find a glass and glazing contractors business owner in another community?
Here’s how we would do it. Try the useful link below and key in a random city/state or zipcode.
Find Your Glass & Glazing Contractors Business Mentor
Reasons to Pursue a Glass & Glazing Contractors Business Acquisition
Many would-be glass and glazing contractors business owners are perplexed by those who encourage them to buy a business rather than starting one from scratch. What’s so great about a glass and glazing contractors business acquisition?
The availability of acquisition capital should be a major factor in your decision. Although there are exceptions, lenders take a much more favorable view of a business acquisition than they do an unproven, glass and glazing contractors business startup.
Although there are a lot of factors to consider, the decision to buy a business to get acquisition capital almost always pays off.
Explore Franchising Options
If you buy a franchise instead of doing it all on your own, recognize that your chances of making a success of your new business zoom upwards.
Before opening a glass and glazing contractors business, you may want to investigate whether purchasing a franchise might be worth investigating.
How to Bid Window Jobs
August 11, 2016
Window Cleaning Bidding Techniques
There are numerous ways of estimating window cleaning jobs, and I have seen plenty of different techniques from numerous window cleaners. Window cleaning is challenging work that not everyone can do, and so you should be paid well for your efforts.
Acquiring residential clients is a must in order to operate a successful window cleaning business. When a potential client calls you and requests an estimate, you can give them some general numbers over the phone to save you a trip, or you can be more thorough and go visit the property for an accurate bid. It is going to depend on how busy your schedule is, and how soon they need a price. If you have good closing skills over the phone, and can fit into their schedule, you can usually book the appointment over the phone.
Most homes have two panes per window, some have three or four panes per window and some are single pane windows. If you come across a home that has huge panes that are larger than four feet by four feet, then count those panes as two panes.
A good bidding formula to use is to charge $4 per pane for in and out cleaning, or $3 per pane for outside only cleaning. If you clean twenty panes an hour, which is one pane every three minutes, you will average $80 per hour. Let’s say you are brand new and can only clean fifteen panes an hour, you would still be making $60 per hour. If you counted 60 panes on a home, and the price is $240, it should take about three to four hours to complete. If you have counted up the panes on a home, and the price comes to $240 but it looks like it will take you eight hours to complete, then multiply 8 x $60 per hour, and charge $480. This is a good way to back up your original formula. For example, if you have a home with a majority of the windows that are 3 stories, it is going to take you much longer. In this case, size up the job, figure how many hours it will take, and multiply those hours by how much an hour you want to make.
We also need to price the cleaning of the screens. I recommend charging between one and two dollars per screen. In places like Phoenix and Las Vegas they use really large solar screens. These screens require a special cleaning treatment, and take longer to do than to clean a window. I think charging between seven and ten dollars per solar screen is a reasonable price.
Another type of window you will come across is a window with a bunch of small panes, usually having ten to twelve small panes in it. These are called divided lights, or French cut panes. A good amount to charge for these since they are a lot of work is $1.50 for in and out cleaning or $1 for outside only.
Commercial and Route Work
The formula to bidding commercial window cleaning work is very similar to bidding residential work. Again, we want to average between $50 and $75 per man hour. Walk around the building, count the panes, do the math, and make sure the numbers match up. Sometimes you will find buildings that are covered in glass where you can clean a pane every minute. You may not need to charge $4 per pane to be competitive, and may want to consider lowering your per pane price. Sometimes a property manager will need a bid for several buildings. You can provide a volume discount for the work, especially if you are bidding against other window cleaners.
‘ Route work’ is the easier and more frequent window cleaning work such as salons, restaurants, and store fronts. These accounts are usually cleaned each week or at least twice a month. This is the more competitive part of the window cleaning market, so keep this in mind when bidding on these accounts. Since most of the windows are ground level or done with pole work, they are done much more quickly than a normal commercial building. Go ahead and bid these lower at around $2 per pane. Remember to have a minimum trip charge for some of these accounts. Let’s say that you have to drive across town to do a store front with 8 panes of glass. I recommend a minimum trip charge of $25 for your time. Even though it will only take 10 minutes to clean that account, you may spend 40 minutes in traffic getting there and back.
If you happen to not be the winning bidder on commercial work, don’t hesitate to ask what the winning amount was. After I found out the amount of the winning bid, I would even ask which company won the bid. It’s a good way to get to know your competition, and adjust your bids accordingly.
Extra Tips for Bidding Advanced Window Jobs
New construction window cleaning is going to be bid at a higher amount than regular window cleaning. Since it will take longer to clean each window and frame, we will need to raise the amount to at least $5 per pane for in and out cleaning, and $4 per pane for outside only cleaning. If there is a bunch of paint and mortar slopped onto the glass, charge at least $7 per pane.
Some construction projects will require you to rent a lift, or some call it a cherry picker. Check with your local equipment rental company for pricing. See how much the insurance, fuel charges, and taxes are for your bid. I always mark up the price of the rental in my bids by $100 to cover any other incidentals like extra fuel. I highly recommend taking a class on how to operate this machinery. The equipment rental company will offer these classes. If you are unsure what size of lift to rent, the rental company can send out one of their reps to measure it and recommend the correct lift. The two companies that I know do a terrific job, and have plenty of equipment available are United Rentals and Sunbelt Rentals.
Do’s and Dont’s of glass repair company
August 11, 2016
What do DO and NOT DO as a glass company employee
Doing the Job Right
That’s why you have a job! A customer’s judgement of whether or not your shop has done a good job may have a lot less to do with the quality of your work than you think.
We combed through tons of user reviews for auto, residential, and even some commercial glass shops on several business listing sites. And we looked for trends in positive and negative reviews that go beyond the obvious– timeliness, correct parts, job performed correctly, etc. From this, we created a list of the top 3 do’s and do n’ts for glass installation and repair.
1. Respect the Customer AND Their Property
We came across numerous reviews from customers who did not trust a shop based for reasons such as leaving a job site messy, showing up late, smoking near or on their property, or having inappropriate conversations. Consistently these customers did not trust the work done by the shop and said they would not return.
A great job done by a disrespectful tech who shows no concern for a customer or their property, is worth just as much mediocre or poor job to a large majority of customers.
2. Educate the Customer on What You’re Doing
As mentioned above, most customers don’t know a heck of a lot about glass. People want to know what you are doing and why. Remember, a customer’s car or their house are very likely the two most valuable things they own. They are going to have questions about what you are doing to them!
Take a few minutes to talk to a customer about what you are doing and why. Explain the process, the materials, things they should watch out for in the future, any warranties that apply, etc. You can create confidence and understanding when you educate customers, it serves as a social proof that shows them that you have the skills and the know-how to do the job.
Something important to remember here. You do this every day, what seems obvious to you, might not be to customers, make sure you are educating customers in a way that makes them feel smart and informed.
3. Make Sure the Customer Remembers Your Name
One of the most common trends we found in our research was that positive reviewers often mentioned an employee by name. Someone who made them feel special or well taken care of. This may seem like a big ask, but if you follow the two do’s discussed above, this should basically take care of itself.
By being informative and respectful to a customer while completing the job you have done half the of the legwork already.
1. Don’t Appear Uninterested in the Job.
It’s likely that a house and a car are a customer’s two most valuable possessions. That’s a huge disconnect, and it’s easy for a customer to interpret an “I’ve done this a million times” attitude as a sign of disinterest or lack of concern about them and the job.
Maybe you have replaced a windshield in 4 Subaru Outbacks this week and you’ve got one more at 4:30 pm on a Friday. It may be the same job, but this is a new customer and each one is just as important as the last. You may not be able to get excited about this job, here’s a secret, sometimes great customer service just means faking it. It’s “Don’t APPEAR uninterested in the job” not “Don’t be uninterested.”.
By taking time with each customer, and letting them know their job is important, you can avoid losing trust and actually create added value with exceptional customer service. Remember the DO’s; Respect, Educate, Make them remember you. Follow through with promises and guarantees, be on time to appointments, communicate with the customer if there is a change; in short just do what you say you will do and you will consistently create happy customers.
2. Don’t Talk Down to a Customer or Make Them Feel Unimportant.
No one wants to feel unimportant, uninformed, or least of all: stupid. Especially by someone whom they are paying to do a job or provide a service. We have already discussed the need to educate customers, but it’s important to keep in mind that there is a wrong way and a right way to do that.
You need to communicate with them on their level when you are educating your customers and answering their questions. You need to be able to explain things to a person that does not have a working knowledge of glass, they may ask a lot of silly questions, be patient and informative.
Customers have put their trust in you, don’t tarnish that when they look to you for knowledge just because you feel a question is beneath you. That’s not to say there are no stupid questions, we know there are. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have to answer them, so spend an extra minute and give them the foundation they need to feel good about the job you are doing for them.
3. Don’t Show a Lack of Concern.
Empathy is one of the most important skills in a customer facing industry. Customers who to come to shop because their window broke or their windshield needs to be replaced are very stressed and showing a lack of concern for their needs can be one of the quickest ways to an unhappy customer.
Really listen to what the customer has to say and the story behind the job. If you don’t take an extra minute to listen to a customer and show true concern for their needs, you have no hope of making them feel like you did the best job for them.
It’s Not Just About the Job Itself.
It is all about making a connection with your customers. Over time, you will be able to see your shop from their perspective and you will be able to modify and adapt how you do business to better fit the needs of your customers.
Tips to starting a contractor business
August 11, 2016
How to start a Contractor Company
Setting up a small contractor business can be a perfect balance between freelance self employment and small business ownership. Contractors formalize their personal skills by offering a suite of services to the public under a registered company name. The process of setting up as a contractor is hassle-free and fairly straightforward, making this a popular type of business for independent-minded professionals.
Register your business name. Contact the agency that oversees business name registration your state to begin the registration process; Texas entrepreneurs can contact any county clerk’s office. Choose a name that is unique, relatively descriptive and non-offensive of the types of services you offer. If you are starting a construction contracting company, consider using the word “construction” or “builders” in your name. If necessary to meet the guidelines set forth in your state, alter you chosen name.
Write a business plan. Put together a marketing section, financial analysis, company overview and management biographies section, at minimum, to showcase your understanding of your industry, company and business model. Your business plan not only helps to guide you through the process of planning and designing your operations, but it can be your number one tool for obtaining startup funding. If you are setting up as a construction contractor, place emphasis on your building experience. Show business plan readers that you have established sufficient professional contacts and advanced orders to help you get on your feet in the first few years.
Pitch your business plan to venture capitalists and angel investors if you are willing to give up a temporary management stake in return for capital inflows and industry contacts. Tailor each pitch to the specific lender or investor you are dealing with; make small changes to your pitch and business plan to suit the specific preferences and address the major concerns of each.
Purchase all necessary licenses and permits. Contractors often do business in heavily-regulated industries, such as accounting and construction. Small business owners in these industries are legally bound to obtain licenses at the state or local level before conducting business. Search the business license requirements database at business.gov to determine if your state requires licensing in your industry. According to the database, for example, home builders in Texas are simply required to register with the state; specialty contractors, including HVAC and plumbers, however, must obtain specialized permits.
Purchase business and liability insurance policies. Construction contractors can be especially vulnerable to lawsuits related to faulty services, financial or physical damages caused by sub-contractors or services’ accidents on the job.
How to Market your Contractor Business
Market your services to your contacts and the public. Devote a significant portion of your time to marketing during the growth stage of your business. Contracting can be a personality-driven business, meaning that clients will go and come based on their personal interactions with the business owner. Notify business contacts and peers about your services to stimulate word-of-mouth advertising. Place advertisements in local or industry newspapers, magazines and web portals. Establish a social networking presence to collaborate and communicate with existing and potential clients. Call local real estate agents and building supply stores and build strategic partnerships through cooperative advertising, promotions-swaps or other innovate agreements.
How To Start an Electrical Contractor Company
August 11, 2016
Tips to start an Electrical Company
Obtain education and training from a certified trade school or apprenticeship program. Your state’s department of licensure or local electrical union representative (See Resources) can advise you in training and education requirements in your area.
Obtain you state electrician’s license by taking the exam and filing necessary paperwork. Contact your state’s department of licensure for specific information.
Create a business plan for your electrical business containing all business details, financial projections, marketing and advertising strategies. Hire a business consultant, visit the U.S. Small Business Administration (See Resources) website or contact your local SCORE field office (See Resources) for help in writing your business plan. A business plan will be required if you will are seeking outside financing from your bank or other lending institution.
File your business structure paperwork with your secretary of state. Your business structure may be a sole-proprietorship, limited liability company, partnership or corporation. Your state website will have the necessary forms and instructions, and you will find information on different business structures on the SBA website.
Obtain a local business permit from your town hall, state contracting license and tax registration certificate from your state’s taxation and licensing offices, and federal Tax Identification Number and Employer Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS, most states and some local governments have forms and online filing services on their websites.
If required), secure financing through a lending company (. You will need your business plan, official business and personal documents as required by the lending company.
Purchase your equipment and vehicle with your own funds, or with funds financed through your lending company. Your equipment and vehicle needs will vary according to the scope and type of electrical work you will offer.
Purchase business liability insurance from your insurance company. Your insurance agent will advise you as to how much is required in your state, and advise you if additional surety bonding is necessary.
Things Needed to Start Electric Company
Education and training
State electrician’s license
Local, state and federal business permits and tax registration certificates
Equipment and vehicle
Take business and accounting courses at a local continuing education school to learn about running a business.
Consider union affiliation with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Although not required, some commercial, industrial and government work contracts favor contractors with union affiliation.
Double-check all work areas for cleanliness after jobs are completed, and be sure your vehicles and workers are professional and presentable to help build business credibility and reputation.
Being an electrician in Phoenix can be a dangerous profession. Be certain that you are willing to take the necessary risks and follow all published industry safety procedures.
If you hire licensed electricians, be sure to check their credentials with your state’s licensing board. Allowing unlicensed workers to perform licensed work unsupervised can result in serious fines and penalties for the worker and your business.