Lawsuit protection and tax reduction strategies, low-cost/high-response lead generation, recruiting and retaining immigrant/ethnic workers, leadership and life-balancing skills - these were just some of the topics covered at the recent Quality Service Contractors' Power Meeting XXII in Savannah, Ga. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the group.

The session that had attendees bowled over was legal advisor Larry Oxenham's “The Latest Cutting-Edge Strategies on Tax Reduction, Lawsuit Protection and Estate Planning.” Oxenham stated that the best structure for business is the C-corp because of all the tax deductions you can take: medical/dental/life insurance, automobiles and equipment, pension plans, boats and airplanes, and corporate retreats, just to name a few.

“You can add 30 percent to 50 percent to your income by forming a C-corp,” he explained.

However, he said the corporation should never own assets. Instead, he said to put assets into a limited partnership, which better protects those assets in the event of a liability lawsuit.

Estate, or “death,” taxes are a big concern these days; Oxenham said the best way to pass on your business or personal assets to your family is forming a charitable remainder trust. While a will ends up in probate - and the government ends up with the lion's share of your assets - trusts and family foundations can keep these assets in the family.

Other presentations were Bob Losyk's “Immigrant and Ethnic Workers: How to Recruit, Hire and Retain the Best;” Adams Hudson's “Marketing: Low-Cost/High-Response Lead Generation;” psychology professor Dr. Glenn Saltzman's “A Psychologist Looks at Leadership” and “Three Keys to Balancing Your Life;” and motivational speaker/magician Andy Hickman's “The Magic of the Future is You.”

New Program

Also unveiled at the meeting was QSC's new maintenance agreement program. HVAC expert/ speaker Gary Elekes and QSC Business Coach Mike Maynard explained the reasoning behind such agreements, as well as how to implement them.

“Maintenance agreements are marketing strategies,” Elekes said, “and less than 25 percent of contractors have them.” He explained that MAs increase customer loyalty, drive referrals, tend to increase parts sales, increase profitability, and allow opportunities to sell accessories.

Included in the QSC program are details on building a maintenance agreement program, how to price it, technician manuals for the selling process, and marketing materials.

New Officers

QSC members elected Patty Frank of Milton Frank Plumbing Co. (Spring, Texas) as their new chairperson, and Keith Bienvenu of Bienvenu Brothers (Metarie, La.) was elected vice chair. Doug Santoro of General Plumbing (West Palm Beach, Fla.) was elected to serve a three-year term as trustee, and Tom Maniuskzko of Day-Night Plumbing & Heating (Richmond Hill, N.Y.) was re-elected for another three-year term. Maniuskzko also served as QSC chairperson this past year.

Also, $10,000 was raised in a golf tournament sponsored by Hodes Co. and benefiting the Challenge Air charity.