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Business Solutions for Maximizing Profits April 2007
For over a dozen years, NSPG has been providing the tools that allow contractors to increase profits and minimize business hassles. With our simple-to-use-tools, you can make being a business owner what you always wanted to it be - successful, profitable and rewarding.

Better Than Average?
Most business owners work in almost complete isolation from their colleagues.  They have no idea how they compare to their competitors in anything but price.  Sales, profits, benefits, etc. are all unknowns.  While it's now easy to track you own business performance, how you measure up against other businesses is a mystery.

There are many sources for this type of information, but they often cost too much or are too complicated for a normal business person to use.  So, we thought we'd take a look at a few industry statistics that may relate to your business.  All numbers relate to the United States, and reflect information that is at least two years old.  (Do not use any numbers here to run your own business.  You must find and use your own numbers).

There are over 5 million corporations in America.  They range from small Chapter S to multi-nationals.  There are about 55,000 Plumbing, heating, and AC contractors with total sales of about $75 billion.  When you include the partnerships and sole proprietors, total sales are almost $100 billion.  Sales by all electrical contractors are about $75 billion.

OK, those numbers are so big they really don't relate to any individual business.  For some businesses, it explains why it seems like there's competition around every corner.

So what do the numbers say about individual companies and even employees?

Based on census questionnaires, there are over 800,000 people working in Plumbing and HVAC, and almost 650,000 in Electrical.  The average sales per employee in a Plumbing or HVAC business is about $112,000.  In Electrical, the average is about $101,000.  So, an average company with three techs, an office employee, and a manager, your gross sales should be over $500,000. 

Of course this assumes you're running an average business. If you live in a high or low cost area, your numbers could vary significantly.  Also, being average in these businesses is not necessarily a good thing.  The net profit numbers for Plumbing, HVAC, and Electrical corporations are less than 5%. 

Being an average business will get you about the same return as a one year CD.  For all the work and risk involved in running your business, a reasonable return should probably be higher than what you can get in a CD.

You might think these profitability numbers are not much higher than many large corporations.  So what's the problem?  In general, large corporations with low profit margins increase their value by getting larger every year.  Traditionally low margin businesses maintain their investors by adding locations, increasing their service areas, and generally adding to the "value" of the corporation in ways that are not directly seen as profit.

So, the average Plumbing, HVAC, or Electrical business can maintain itself with these low annual profits only if the value of the company continues to increase.  This increase adds to the annual profit earned to make the business a good financial investment.  If you can sell the business at some point to cash in on this constant growth, the average 5% profit business makes sense.

Here's where the average business runs into trouble.  In previous newsletters, we have looked at what some businesses are actually selling for.  30 year old businesses with $500,000 in annual sales going for $250,000.  If they're lucky they can get some reasonable amount for the company's trucks and stock.  50% of annual sales is not an unusual selling price for a well run company.

So, the value of the growth of this 30 year old company is about $8,000 per year.  Not much to retire on.

So what's the point of looking at these numbers with such a depressing conclusion? 

The point is that your business does not have to be average.  You can use the resources that are readily available to you to become an above average company.  Previous newsletters have highlighted associations, web sites, books, and even software companies that can help you step up the level of your business.  Small changes each day can add up to big results in a few years. 

You can make your company more efficient.  Tweak your rates so you can hire and keep better techs.  You can expand into new, higher profit markets.  You can set up processes that will improve your techs' sales efficiency.  Constant small improvements can make a big difference.

Measure Monthly, Adjust Quarterly
 & Achieve Annual Profit Goals

 On-Line Resources

End of a 1400 year old Business

So you want to keep your family business alive across generations.  Here's a company that achieved that goal over centuries.

Plumber Burns Down Mansion
Think your employees are causing you headaches?  They're not as bad as you think.

What's your policy on side jobs?
Now it's even easier for your techs to find side jobs.  What's your policy?  Do you even have one?

Windows Vista
The newest version of Windows was released two months ago.  We are advising our users to wait a while before moving to Windows Vista.  Waiting for the first few patches and hardware device drivers to be released makes sense.  If you can wait for late 2007 or later, most of the hardware and software incompatibilities will be discovered and dealt with.  This will make your transition to Vista much easier. 

We have completed the transition of Numbers Cruncher and National Standard Price guide for use on Vista machines.  So, if you feel you must use Vista, our products are ready.

In This Issue

Phone 800 841-8542
Freebie of
the Month

The Freebie of the Month is taking this month off because there were no new sites that caught our eye this month.

If you have a favorite Free site, let us know.

Numbers Cruncher
Quick Job

Numbers Cruncher has a new beta Quick Job form that has a few capabilities.  The Quick Job form is a fill in the blank form that allows you to quickly quote any job based on just a few pieces of information.

Click for larger Quick Job Quote Form

You can open the form by hitting ctrl - Q.

In addition to allowing you to quickly calculate a job, you can now customize the Profit% for your Overhead, Labor, Material, and Other costs.

Custom Costs
You can override the Numbers Cruncher Overhead and Labor calculated values to calculate a job that requires a special pricing structure.  This will allow you to create a lower job price as a loss leader, or a higher job price for a high skill or difficulty job.

Division Pricing
You can also quickly calculate jobs based on the individual division overhead and labor costs calculated by Numbers Cruncher.

Stand Alone
The final new feature is that you can turn Numbers Cruncher into a job calculator only my making a selection on the Configuration tab of the Setup form.  This will allow you to have employees do a quick calculation without revealing all of your business details.

Give the new Quick Job form a try, and remember that you must be sure that the numbers make sense for your business.

House Magnet

Van Magnet

Business Card Magnet

Magnetic Truck Sign


Coming Sooner

Free Numbers Cruncher v1.5 Support Has Ended 

The latest version of Numbers Cruncher (v2.5) was released over a year ago.    Since most users have already upgraded to the new expanded version, they will continue to enjoy the free support that is included with the new Numbers Cruncher


The special one year extension of free support for users who have not upgraded to version 2.5 of Numbers cruncher expired on December 29, 2006.  If you have not upgraded, you can continue to get the support you need while you crunch Your own numbers.  You have 2 choices for continued support. 

  1. Upgrade to version 2.5 with its many new features and improvements for the upgrade price of just $299.95.  This includes the exciting new Divisional breakout feature that will allow you to accurately price all of your services based on their actual costs.

  2. Numbers Cruncher 1.5 support subscription service.  This service includes the same email and phone support you have come to rely on.  You can order your annual support subscription for just $149.99 now .

You can get more information about Numbers Cruncher
or order your upgrade at or call 800-841-8542.

The next Money Masters® will be at the Hilton Cleveland East / Beachwood, Beachwood, Ohio on May 18 & 19, 2007.

During this Money Masters event, we will visit Gorjanc Comfort Service.  The company is owned and operated by three brothers. They provide health insurance, paid vacations, paid holidays and paid training for their employees who are at the upper pay scales in their market. Their employees voted this company one of the best to work for.


I look forward to seeing many of you at this Money Masters event and visiting long time NSPG users Gorjanc Comfort Service.

Mike Conroy

7:00 - 7:30 a.m. Breakfast & Registration
7:30 - 12:30 Money Masters Seminar
12:30 - 1:30 Lunch
1:30 - 5:30 Tour of Gorjanc Comfort Service
6:00 - 10:00 Dinner & Entertainment
7:00 - 7:30 a.m. Breakfast
7:30 - 12:00 Money Masters Seminar
12:00 - 1:00 Lunch
1:00 - 3:00 Seminar, Nexstar® Showcase
Register for Money Masters Here


Numbers Cruncher and NSPG Flat Rate Price Books training


Portable Desk for forms and invoices
Portable Desk

     HVAC Service Invoice   

Ever Wonder

Where Did the Money Go?


Call 800-841-8542 now so we can answer your questions and show how we can help you build a more profitable business.

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