How To Choose An Effective Fire Suppression System

Think of what you view as your most valuable assets. Family and friends would be the obvious choice for most, but think of your physical – or replaceable – assets. What comes first? Your home? Your business? Do you have these structures outfitted in case a fire struck them?

An effective fire suppression system is one of the most valuable investments one can make. They serve a two-fold security purpose: They can prevent fires from starting and spreading, and they also provide a sense of comfort to the owner, who knows his or her structure is equipped to deal with a blaze.

Picking a proper suppression system should be given considerable thought. To purchase and install a system costs, on average, $1,000 and up, but most fall into the higher end. The cost aside, this system is the one that will protect your property and your people. It’s not one to be taken lightly.

The first step in selecting a system is to determine your budget. The higher the price tag, the more features in the system. After you have decided how much you’re willing to allocate, you should make some calls and do some research. Contact your local fire department to find out what firms they would recommend to install a system. Ask those with systems who they hired to set them up. Find out if these contractors are properly certified and commissioned, and see what their reputation is like.

After you’ve obtained some names, make contact with these potentials. Ask them to send you brochures detailing their products and services. Getting this information will help further narrow down the list of possibilities. When you’ve shrunk the playing field down to one or two contractors, then is the time to schedule a consultation with a representative from each company.

Most reputable firms will meet with the client before work begins. During this consultation, you should ask the representative questions. Ask if they can provide you with a firm estimate of the project scope and cost. Are change orders likely? If the system you have chosen can’t for one reason or another be installed in your dwelling, is there another make or model of equal value? What kind of upkeep does your choice require? Will the firm provide 24/7 monitoring and client support? These are all questions you should ask each representative.

After meeting with each rep, research what you were told and think heavily before picking a contractor. Is your choice trustworthy? Is the cost affordable? If you answered yes, then you’ve found your system and the firm to install it.

A fire suppression system is one of your foremost safeguards. A properly functioning one will prevent your belongings from being destroyed, and will protect your employees and those you care about. Picking a proper contractor and system will provide you with physical and emotional security.

Easy Money and Business – Part 2

As I mentioned before, you will ultimately need to establish all the same business systems and procedures necessary for any business. You’ll need:

  • Marketing to research, identify, test and develop your market niche(s)
  • Sales and distribution to provide a predictable method of generating revenue.
  • Information technology both to market and deliver your product and well as report the results of your marketing efforts.
  • Customer service or support to deal with the inevitable customer inquiries or issues.
  • Finance for tracking and reporting sales and expenses and so forth.
  • R&D to identify and create follow-on products or programs to service your markets.
  • The point is that when building a business, regardless of distribution strategy, business model or target market, ALL the basic necessary elements of a business still exist. Again, that’s regardless of the business model; Internet business, franchise, MLM, consultancy, software shop or store-front.

In the case of an online business (home based or not), just because you are using the internet as a medium for marketing, sales, and distribution, it does NOT mean that you don’t need the fundamental operational and organizational elements of a sound business. It’s not just a web site selling an eBook, it’s a business.

The good news is that in today’s business climate there are dozens of creative, inexpensive and low maintenance ways these functions can be fulfilled. You can recruit and retain employees if you wish. However, there is a veritable army of independent and freelance specialists of every kind available to take on various aspects of any business project. Everything from contract web developers listed with references on sites like ‘Rent-a-Coder’ and ‘eLance’ make the process of finding reliable help quick and easy. Outsourcing and Virtual Assistant contractors abound for every conceivable business function.

While it can be very seductive to envision easy money and fame for writing and selling an eBook about your favorite past-time, be aware that if you intend on delivering value to a market-place of consumers, then you are building a business. And if you’re building a business, you’re going to need to go all the way with it.

So, forget the get rich fast and easy promises. Don’t fall victim to the seductive lure of these empty fast money claims. Instead, build a real business that delivers real products, and real value to real people.

What value are you delivering to your customers? I’d love to hear!

I’m standing for all that’s possible for you in life and business.

Sincerely,

Steve

Accountants for Contractors: Keep the Financial Cohesion of Your Business

The business systems that run the economy of the world are completely dependent on the flow of the monetary system. There are many national and international laws that govern the state of affairs that happen within the country and beyond. All businesses have to be aware of all the laws that protect them from harm, or cause them harm due to violation on their part. Entering the dominion of business requires constant vigilance and knowledge of the system to survive in the system. There is no one on this planet that can perform the entire task themselves even if they try. There may be some people who try to handle different aspects of business on their own but they end up hurting themselves more in the process. The flow of business is also affected by the changes in the economy that can hamper the necessary transactions that keep a business afloat. The time comes when people have to consider hiring people on freelance terms to meet their business needs that cannot be fulfilled otherwise. There are times when companies cannot hire full time employees to keep their business above water because they just cannot afford the added cost to their business. Accountants for contractors are the way to go for those companies that are looking for people to handle their balance sheets for proper legal proceedings.

Accountants for contractors have years of experience in their respective specialization and they are ready to perform a specific task for a flat fee. This is the best opportunity for businesses that have a strong need for good accounting skills on contractual bases. These honed skills are necessary for small companies that are facing tough times that can break them completely if they do not manage their limited funds efficiently. There are many such freelancers who are ready to cater their professional skills who prefer to work when they can spare the time. They are generally the kind of people who want to take care of their personal lives that are demanding their attention more. This gives companies a chance to concentrate on other tasks at hand that would allow them to sustain themselves longer in the business world. These freelancers can provide many different services like year end account, corporate tax assessment, annual tax return compilation, payroll dispersion, dividend distribution and many other accounting related jobs. This is the perfect way for the company to cut down their operational costs and have the best skills under their wing at the same time.

Starting Your Own HVAC Contractor Business

Contactors looking for a way to branch out or start anew may be thinking about starting up an HVAC contractor business….and for good reason! The field is one that is high paying with a large amount of job security and opportunity. Demand is quite high, due to the fact that many homeowners are far from capable of engaging in heavy repairs on their own. However, establishing a name for yourself takes a large amount of time and effort. Word of mouth is key, and without it, you will be unable to compete. Though, once you’ve gained a solid cliental base, the road is quite sweet.

Step 1 – Enroll in HVAC training through an accredited school if you have not already had experience in the field. These training programs will best supply you with the experience and knowledge needed to install, maintain, and repair these complex systems.

Step 2 – Once through with the schooling process, you will need to apply for your licensed. State by state requirements vary, but in general you will be required to have at least two years of experience under the supervision of a qualified contractor. License fees run roughly $200 – $300 per year. In addition, you will need to contact your local state licensing board to evaluate whether you will be required to obtain any additional certifications.

Step 3 – Shop around and purchase yourself insurance. More than likely, you will need liability and worker’s compensation plans, depending on whether or not you plan to hire employees. Various insurance companies and quotes can be found online.

Step 4 – Obtain any must-have tools and materials including a capacitor tester, foil duct tape, multimeter, coil fin tools, sensor tubing, spout oilers, gas leak detector, gas analyzer, refrigerant leak detector, combustion analyzer, ventilation, goggles, pumps, gloves, head gear, first aid kits, shoe covers and a refrigerant recovery machine. Being prepared is vital to your success in this business.

Step 5 – Find yourself a work van, and advertise your services on the side through the use of vinyl lettering and signage.

Step 6 – Advertise, and spread the word. You can post advertisements on local community boards, the yellow pages, and online. You may even offer discounts to initial customers in exchange for allowing you to advertise in their yard.

Step 7 – Customer service. Once you are obtaining customers, treat them like gold. Show up prepared, on time, and do your work well. As stated above, word of mouth is your prime resource for finding new clientele. It is also free! Use it to your advantage.

Grow Your Restoration Business With Air Duct Cleaning Services

Many restoration contractors are looking for ways to grow and expand their business. It makes sense to consider a service that has good long-term potential, a service that compliments existing services, a service that is not difficult to enter and a service that offers good profitability. Air duct cleaning is just such a service.

The concern and need for good indoor air quality and better energy efficiency will probably never go away, so the market for air duct cleaning should stay strong for a long time. Plus, many fire and mold contaminated restoration projects need the heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system cleaned and coated. Duct cleaning/coating is a good way to expand a restoration business and get benefits like:

  • Excellent gross profit margins (40% to 60%).
  • Significant add-on revenues with existing clients.
  • Ability to attract new customers.
  • More diversification can help during challenging economic conditions.
  • Eliminating scheduling and quality control issues sometimes associated with using a subcontractor.
  • Easy integration with your existing business systems (estimating, marketing, accounting, etc.).

There are many questions restoration contractors have regarding this service. Some of these are:

What is air duct cleaning?

Duct cleaning is more than cleaning air ducts. A more appropriate term to use would be “HVAC system cleaning.” The HVAC system includes everything in the air stream. The goal is to remove all the accumulated dirt, debris and other contaminates found in the system. This is called source removal. A basic list of cleaning tasks for residential air duct cleaning include:

  • Visual inspection before and after cleaning.
  • Remove, clean and replace supply air vents and return air grilles.
  • Install access openings as needed and then re-seal after cleaning.
  • Clean supply air ductwork.
  • Clean return air ductwork.
  • Clean the blower/motor assembly in the furnace.
  • Clean the air stream side of the heat exchanger.
  • Clean the secondary heat exchanger if present.
  • Clean evaporator coil and drain pan.
  • Wash air cleaner if present
  • Replace air filter
  • Coat the ductwork if needed.

What equipment is needed?

In generic terms a typical equipment package to inspect, clean and decontaminate a HVAC systems include:

  • Vacuum collection system to put the ductwork under suction.
  • Agitation and cleaning tools like power brushing systems, air washing/whipping systems.
  • HEPA filtered wet/dry vacuums for contact vacuuming.
  • Air compressor.
  • Duct accessing tools and service panels.
  • Visual inspection system or digital camera.
  • Sanitizer and fogger, coil cleaner, etc.
  • Equipment for applying coatings like cart or robotic spray systems and a commercial airless sprayer.
  • Personal safety equipment
  • Miscellaneous items like hand tools, drop cloths, ladders, etc.
  • Plus, a truck or trailer to transport the equipment.

What does it cost to add air duct cleaning services?

The cost to add air duct cleaning services will be determined by the type of services you want to offer (residential or commercial or both), the type of equipment you select and the level of cleaning and what services you want to offer.

For residential, a basic equipment package will cost from $6,000.00 to $7,500.00. For commercial, a basic package will cost from $9,500.00 to $12,000.00. Additionally, for coating ductwork you would need a spray cart or robotic system and an airless sprayer. Equipment suppliers can typically give you several options to choose from that will best fit your needs and budget.

Summary:

Air duct cleaning offers many benefits to the Fire/Water/Mold Restoration Contractor that can help to expand and strengthen their business plus, it is relatively an easy add-on.