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Articles by Al Levi

Are you running a business or a hobby?

As you can imagine, this question can ruffle some feathers.
April 22, 2014

It’s only a business when you make money at it.

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The secrets and science of recruiting and hiring

Testing 1, 2, 3.
March 17, 2014

Before my brothers and I became enlightened about staffing (meaning we got our teeth kicked in so many times we eventually woke up), we used to rely on the tried-and-true method of hiring people using the “Mirror Test.”

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Overdue and over budget

A strong reward system can keep your installers and techs on time.
February 20, 2014

Why do installers fail to bring install jobs in on time and within budget? Why do service techs fail to do service work within the time allotted in the flat-rate pricing book? I don’t know about you but this used to drive me downright crazy when I was a contractor!

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Ask Al: Advice on time management, recruiting, marketing plans and communication

Columnist Al Levi answers your questions about business management.
February 20, 2014

I’ve been asked questions during my seminars, teleseminars, webinars, free 30-minute consultations and one-on-one client consultations. I wanted to share some of these with you in the hope that my answers will help you and your business be more productive and generate more revenue to reap the rewards of success.

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Stepping over dollars to pick up dimes

The urge to save money can cause you to miss out on making more in return.
January 23, 2014

The first cautionary bit of advice I received from my dad was that I learn how to “avoid stepping over dollars to pick up dimes.” I was just a kid getting started in the family business. This seemed confusing to me so I asked him, “What does that mean?”

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Don’t fear the New Year

Focus on success to bring more success.
December 19, 2013

The approaching New Year is always a great time to stop the craziness long enough to reflect on what went right last year, what went wrong last year and what you want or need to do in the coming year to make things better.

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How to minimize a lack of standards at your company

If I shot a video of your employees…
November 18, 2013

A powerful story was all over the news earlier this year about a contracting organization’s employees secretly videoed selling repairs and making recommendations. The experts who prepped the equipment had tested it and deemed the problem a minor one with a prudent, inexpensive fix.

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Why you need systems in your plumbing business

Known policies and procedures help you in good and bad times.
October 18, 2013

Is it true that systems can make any company run better and be more profitable? Yes! Is it also true that systems can make it possible to run your company successfully without you having to ride to the rescue to save the day? Can you depend on great staff to overcome a lack of known and practiced policies and procedures? Yes

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Five tools to power your business

Assess your future technology needs to keep your company competitive.
September 20, 2013

As contractors, we love spending money on any new tools we can get our hands on for the trades we do, but not so much when it comes to stepping up and investing in other powerful business technology tools.

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Tips on saving critical data on your computer system

The importance of computer backup.
August 22, 2013

Backing up your computer files is not important! It’s only important when something goes wrong. And something can always go wrong.

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BNP Media's Plumbing Group Visits Grundfos North American Headquarters

BNP Media’s Plumbing Group, comprised of the Plumbing & Mechanical, Supply House Times, PM Engineer (pme) and Reeves Journal brands, recently visited Grundfos’ new North American headquarters building in the western Chicago suburb of Downers Grove, Ill.


Plumbing and Mechanical

March 2014

2014 March

In the March issue of Plumbing & Mechanical, read about the 'living in place' movement and learn how to make your space stylish and comfortable. PM catches up with MCAA president Chuck Fell and spoke with him about his goals for the year. Also in this issue, see the top products of 2013, see who is the March Truck of the Month, and read the latest Tool Tips.
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Trade Associations

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The Plumbing and Mechanical Store

2014 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

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Truck of the Month

Truck of the month

Are you proud of how your service truck looks? Do the graphics give people whiplash as they drive by? Have your calls increased because people remember your truck — and your company name? If so, we’d like to see it, too! Click here to find out how your service truck could be chosen as PM's Truck of the Month.



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