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Use the “Where’s My Refund?” Tool

Taxpayers who have not yet received their income tax refunds can use “Where’s My Refund?” app to check the status. Find it on IRS.gov or the free IRS mobile app IRS2Go.   Read More  >>

3 ways to manage backlog (before it manages you)

For contractors, a healthy backlog is a good thing. But having too much of this good thing can lead to project delays and frustrated customers. This article offers three ways to stay in control: approaching bids methodically, tracking mobilization times and managing customers’ expectations.    Read More  >>

3 sneaky threats to a good estimate

Many contractors have a set approach to estimates that they’ve been using for years. If it’s working, great! But estimating is still an area fraught with risks, where even minor mistakes can add up to many lost dollars. This article points out three threats to a good estimate that can sneak up on even the savviest of estimators.   Read More  >>

What is a zero net energy building?

In this issue’s “Contractor’s Corner,” we answer a question about the definition and nature of zero net energy (ZNE) buildings. A ZNE building, as defined by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, is one that generates enough renewable energy on-site to equal or exceed its annual energy usage. Getting in on one of these projects now could position a construction company as a leader in this sustainable building trend going forward.   Read More  >>

Get to know the 3 states of profitability

For contractors, the daily minutiae of finding, winning, running and completing projects can make keeping their eyes on the profitability prize difficult. One way to simplify matters is to determine in which of three “profitability states” their company lies and where to go from there. This article examines circumstances and strategies for operating at a loss, breaking even and operating profitably. A sidebar distinguishes the important difference between sales and marketing.   Read More  >>

More than money: Customer-smart invoicing

Sending customers an invoice and receiving their payment sounds simple. But the process can be so much more — it can be an opportunity to improve business relationships and gather useful data. It’s called “customer-smart invoicing,” and it’s about more than just money. This article examines the two basic concepts underlying customer-smart invoicing: communication and information.   Read More  >>