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Business Solutions for Maximizing Profits November 2006
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.

Charge enough to make a profit, because you’re worth it. However you must create the environment for it to happen.

Plug a Leak
Recently, Kiplinger's magazine ran an article about what to expect when you need a minor plumbing repair.  As expected, the article reflects the usual stereotypes of out of control pricing and unqualified plumbers.  Despite the negative tone, there are a few lessons to be learned.

The article starts off by stating that the going rate would be between $50 and $70 per hour.  Right away you know that the author has not spoken to a reputable plumbing contractor in a while.  Any full service contractor charging in that price range is probably not making any profit from his labor hours.  Overhead alone is higher than $70 per hour for most full service plumbing companies.  Even if you're quoting only $70 per hour and making a profit, you probably receive price complaints because most homeowners compare your rate to what they earn per hour.

The Kiplinger's article then goes on to say that the homeowner should get a binding written estimate before work begins.  So, he starts the article talking about the hourly rate and then says the contractor must provide a flat rate job price before work begins. We agree with this idea (after all, we sell the best flat rate system on the market), but the presentation in the article implies that any contractor will rip you off if you let him.

The next point in the article is that the homeowner should rely on referrals from friends or on line sources to find a reputable contractor.  This is good advice for the consumer and leads to certain things that the contactor can do. 

Your clients probably will recommend you to their friends based on the quality of your work and the services you provide.  People will seldom recommend a contractor based on a low price alone unless they also perceive the quality of the service to be high.  A contractor who arrives in a beat up old truck, in dirty clothes, who leaves a mess behind because he has to do 8 or 10 calls a day to survive on $50 per hour, probably won't earn a referral. 

This is where the two points come together.  Charging a profitable rate that allows you to provide the high level of service that your clients expect is critical for your business' success.  Knowing your cost of providing technician training, clean uniforms, and generally high quality service is critical in assuring that you make the profit you need to stay in business.  It also allows you to balance the costs versus the service you provide so you get the referrals you need to keep your business growing.

The article concludes with a section on copper, PVC, and Pex.  It implies that the plumbing contractor may intimidate the homeowner into choosing the wrong material for the job.   This is a nonsensical idea.  Since your prices are based on the cost for installation of each material, the decision on which material to use should be based solely on what is appropriate for the job.  Of course, being up on the latest materials and technologies is important. Besides allowing you to offer the appropriate solution, it offers the added benefit of improving your company's image as a high tech solution provider.

This article follows the trend of running down contractors in general.  In doing so, it points out some of the ways that you can keep your business growing and profitable.  Knowing your costs, providing a high level of service, keeping up on the latest technologies, and earning referral business are some of the lessons that the article brings to mind. 

Sometimes we forget the interdependence of the many facets of our businesses.  Even an article that seems to be designed to perpetuate negative stereotypes of our industry can be useful in reminding us why we run our businesses the way we do.  Know your costs.  Present them using Flat Rate to reduce price complaints.  Provide good quality service.  Earn a reasonable profit.  Build customer loyalty. 

Measure Monthly, Adjust Quarterly
 & Achieve Annual Profit Goals

 On-Line Resources

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Click here for an interesting article on the development of a new boiler line.

Some efficiency recommendations

In This Issue

Phone 800 841-8542
Freebie of
the Month

The freebie of the month is a web site or product that we feel gives you some-thing worth looking at or using that costs you nothing.

Office 2007 Compatibility Pack

Some time in the next few weeks, new computers will begin shipping with the latest version of Microsoft Office products - Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc. These new version will have a new data file format that is incompatible with older versions of the same product.

While most of us will not upgrade to these programs, eventually we may have to share the files.  If you add a new computer to your office, you could end up with data files that cannot be used on the older machines.

There are two fixes for this problem.  First, you can specify in the new versions that all data should be saved in the older formats.  This is probably the best fix, but could lead to problems if you forget to save in the older formats.

The second solution is to download the Office 2007 Compatibility Pack from Microsoft.  This utility will allow older versions to read the new format.  This will assure that whatever format is used, your computers can all work together.

This link has a good explanation of both methods for sharing your Office data files. You may not need it today, but keep it in mind when you get that new computer. 

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

House Magnet

Van Magnet

Business Card Magnet

Magnetic Truck Sign

Coming Soon

Numbers Cruncher -- Upgrade Now                                                      
All Numbers Cruncher users should have received their upgrade notice in the mail already.  That notice included the special upgrade pricing offer.  Time is running out for all registered users to upgrade to this new version for a special upgrade price. 

All Numbers Cruncher users are advised to upgrade now to take advantage of free version updates via the Internet plus continued free technical support available in the new version. 

Free support for earlier versions of Numbers Cruncher will be phased out by the end of 2006.

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 Radisson Hotel, Columbia, SC on January 26 & 27, 2007.

During this Money Masters event, we will visit Gene Love Plumbing & Electrical. Your company can afford to give your employees three weeks paid vacation each year, company paid health insurance, a retirement fund and an income that is the tops in the area.

You’ll see how it’s done live and in action when you visit this premier Nexstar member company.

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 Gene Love Plumbing & Electrical
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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NSPG, Inc. PO Box 1168, Manahawkin, NJ 08050
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