NSPG Software products including Numbers Cruncher Breakeven Calculator and Flat Rate Price Books.

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Business Solutions for Maximizing Your Profits

December 2012

Avoid Your Own Fiscal CliffAvoid the Fiscal Cliff with NSPG Flat Rate
The news is filled with so many stories about the "Looming Fiscal Cliff" that we all want to just tune it out.  For most small businesses, the fiscal cliff that they should be most concerned about is the one they are facing themselves.  How and when you deal with your own fiscal cliff will affect you far more than anything that's happening in Washington. 

Whether you use NSPG products or not, this challenge affects you.

One of the services we provide here at NSPG is our Numbers Cruncher review.  This service includes a personalized review of Numbers Cruncher user's business costs and productivity.  We check to see if their major expenses make sense for their company size, and if their productivity estimates make sense.  We try to help users spot things that could affect their profitability and competitiveness.  There are some problems we see over and over again.

Problem: Many businesses mistakenly count their helpers and other non-productive employees (supervisors/managers/office etc.) as productive field labor.  This inflates the estimate of hours that the business sells which makes what they charge too low.  This type of error can make the business lose money on every job they do. 

Solution: Since what you charge is essentially based on business costs divided by productive hours, you must estimate both numbers as accurately as possible.  On a regular basis (monthly/quarterly), you must review how many productive hours your business actually sells.  Productive hours are the number of hours that you actually get paid for not the number of hours you are paying your people.  Helpers and supervisors whose costs are not built into the job should be classified as overhead.  If you count them as productive hours, you will lose money.

Every time you review your numbers, you should take a quick look to be sure that your employees' time is being counted properly.

Avoid the Fiscal Cliff with NSPG Flat RateProblem: Many businesses don't allocate money for necessary business overhead expenses.  We often see companies with no dollars allocated for retirement or healthcare.  No dollars allocated for depreciation of the vehicles they own.  Most have very low amounts budgeted for advertising and office staff.  These items are integral to growing businesses.  If they are missing, the business can stagnate and eventually fail.

Solution: You must set reasonable spending levels for all of your business expense categories.  Things like healthcare and retirement don't seem to directly affect your profits, but they will in the long run.  No one can work forever.  These type of personnel benefits allow the business to attract and keep top performers.  Allocating money for maintaining business equipment and attracting new customers is critical to your business' health.  Things like advertising and depreciation may not affect your profits today, but they will over the long term.

Avoid the Fiscal Cliff with NSPG Flat RateIf you don't think you can add in all these items to your budget at once, you can ramp them up over time.  Increase you advertising budget by a fixed amount slowly over time.  Offer retirement/health plans that rely on business and employee contributions and ramp up the business' contribution slowly over time.  Hire part time office help with the goal of slowly building a full-time team.  A well run office will more than pay for itself.

After you have the numbers in line, comes the hard part.  You must actually change your prices, and start charging what you need to make a profit every day.  Print your new price books, and stick with it.  Discounting to win jobs is a strong temptation, but often weakens the company.  Covering all of your expenses and earning a profit every day is critical to strengthening and growing your business.

Avoiding your own fiscal cliff requires just a few hours of work on the numbers and the courage to charge the right amount.  It's not particularly complex, but it should be a priority.  It's how all businesses grow and maintain profitability over the long haul.  Once you have the process in place, you'll never face the fiscal cliff again.


"The national budget must be balanced. The public debt must be reduced; the arrogance of the authorities must be moderated and controlled. Payments to foreign governments must be reduced, if the nation doesn't want to go bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance". Cicero, 55 BC



Mike Conroy of NSPG is a flat rate implementation expert.Give Mike Conroy a call at 800-841-8542.  He can quickly walk you through the business basics that you need to help make your company more consistently profitable, and increase the value of your business.  Mike has years of experience helping companies set their own profitable prices, respond to price complaints, track performance, implement and fine tune Flat Rate systems, and improve profitability.

Take advantage of Mike's experience working with hundreds of companies like yours to help you achieve your own business success. 



NSPG Task Bundles

For several years now, we have been working with our clients to create compact sections of their Flat Rate Price Books that include pages that combine a series of Tasks on a single page that offer their customers comprehensive solutions to their most frequently performed Tasks.  These customized book sections provide bundles of Tasks that make it easy for their customers to choose the right solution to common problems which makes closing the sale much easier for the tech.


Even if you do not use our Flat Rate Price Books, with a bit of extra work,
you can implement this type of layout for your own price books.


We recently released a new flat rate layout with pre-built Tasks and warranty information for NexstarNSPG Task Bundle Plug-In for the new flat rate price book format members.  We worked with the Nexstar coaches to create custom verbiage to be used for a broad range of Tasks across multiple trades.  In order to make this new format available as quickly and easily as possible, we now provide the new layout in both our Price Guide software and our custom color laser printed Flat Rate Price Books. 


The NSPG Bundle option adds the ability to create groups of Tasks that are printed on a single page. This can be a super sales tool offering all the options that your customers need to choose the solution that is right for them. It includes pictures, long descriptions, a special warranty field, and financing features. All of these features are customizable to allow each user the ability to address their specific business needs.


NSPG Task Bundle Highlights:

  • Convenient single page layout

  • Bundle sales text and picture options

  • Longer, more detailed Task descriptions

  • Warranty/feature highlight section

  • Optional Financing Cost information

The NSPG Bundle Package is designed to work along with your standard Price Guides to help your customers make the right choices for many of your commonly used services, and make it easier for your Techs to present the information and close the sale.


If you already know how to create Tasks using the Price Guide, this new layout will be a breeze to to implement.  If you need a little help, we have a step-by-step guide with illustrations to walk you through the process from start to printing.


Give Mike Conroy a call at 800-841-8542 for more information. 
We expect to release a version of the NSPG Flat Rate Bundle layout for all users soon.


QSC Power Meeting

QSC Power Meeting March 2013

Mark your calendars now for Power Meeting XXXVIII San Diego, CA, March 14-16, 2013.

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Special Offer:
Printed Flat Rate Price Book

NSPG Free Flat Rate Price BookWe have decided to extend out special Free printed Flat Rate Price Book offer to anyone who orders our Flat Rate Software (National Standard Price Guide) through our web store.

Get your first Custom Printed Price Book for Free direct from NSPG with your purchase of NSPG Flat Rate Software.

We make it easy to Rise Above the Competition.

You spend no time printing and binding your books. You spend no time hassling with your local print shop trying to get the quality you need.

At NSPG, We Make It Easy to get your own custom printed Flat Rate Price Book. Just place your software order via our web store at nspgweb.com now. You will automatically receive credit for your free custom color laser printed Flat Rate Price Book.

This is a limited time web store only offer, so don't delay. Click here, and save some money now.

Interesting Online Items

Kohler Authorized E-tailer Program

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Water Use InfoGraphic

Millionaire Plumber

Inside Hurricane Sandy


Numbers Cruncher - Breakeven Calculator, Performance Monitor

National Standard Price Guide - Flat Rate Price Books


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Nexstar Meetings & Events

Call Lisa Schardt or Bryan Martin to find out more!
Call 888.240.STAR


QSC Professional Logo


QSC Power Meetings

March 14-16, 2013
QSC Power Meeting XXXVIII
The Westin Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego, CA

July 18-20, 2013
QSC Power Meeting XXXIX - Baltimore Marriott Waterfront, Baltimore, MD

For more information contact QSC at 800-533-7694 or quality@qsc-phcc.org

National Electrical Contractors AssociationNECA Event Calendar

PHCC Event Calendar




Important Notices!

We have received reports from some of our Flat Rate software users that the Category Books are printing with a single blank page.  This problem can be caused by a Windows update that was issued recently by Microsoft. 

This Microsoft file fault can affect any software that relies on Microsoft programming tools, so you should be aware if this with all of the programs installed on your Windows computers.

We have posted an update that repairs the damage to the Price Guide software here: http://www.nspgweb.com/update/nspgupdate.htm

Please download and install this new Flat Rate update before printing your next set of price books.


Numbers Cruncher and NSPG Flat Rate Price Books training

Customizable Service Invoice    Where Did the Money Go book      

Stick on Service label  Stick on Service label

Free Numbers Cruncher Review


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

NSPG, Inc. PO Box 1168, Manahawkin, NJ 08050