tag: business


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NAHB Sees Shortage of Skilled Labor

NAHB Sees Shortage of Skilled Labor

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The National Association of Home Builders says a shortage of skilled labor is slowing recovery of the housing industry

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Building Energy 13: Old Hippies Conspire to Save the World

Building Energy 13: Old Hippies Conspire to Save the World

After a visit to the annual conference and trade show of the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association, editor-at-large Kevin Ireton reports on the business of energy-efficient home building, deep-energy retrofits, and more

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Survey Says: The Single-Family Home Is Still King

Survey Says: The Single-Family Home Is Still King

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A National Association of Home Builders survey dives deeply into the psyche of American homebuyers, and their preferences may surprise you.

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Letter to the Editor: Financial burdens of complying with future building codes

Letter to the Editor: Financial burdens of complying with future building codes

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An avid reader is simply trying to make a point about how common sense and logic often take a backseat when well-intentioned altruisms are allowed to become unsubstantiated societal movements

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A Conversation with Tedd Benson About the Road from Fine Carpenter to Fine Businessman

A Conversation with Tedd Benson About the Road from Fine Carpenter to Fine Businessman

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Tedd Benson, one of the most celebrated homebuilders in America, has been a leader in reintroducing the art of timber framing, and has continued to develop it using modern technology to create structures of lasting beauty and high efficiency. He also built a successful business, stalwart enough to sail through the Great Recession and expand. I recently had the opportunity talk with Tedd Benson and learn about his background, his business, and his plans for the future.

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Self-Taught MBA: Are You Ready for Building Information Modeling?

Self-Taught MBA: Are You Ready for Building Information Modeling?

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Building information modeling (BIM) is the next evolution of CAD, involving the five-dimensional generation and management of digital plans. This post, written by my colleague Kristin Dispenza, introduces a new product specifically for small firms.

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Self-Taught MBA: Getting Intimate with Social Marketing

Self-Taught MBA: Getting Intimate with Social Marketing

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In this second half of a two-part social-media primer, I'll discuss using LinkedIn, a professional’s platform that can help you stay abreast of industry trends, build credibility, and engage in business-to-business dialog with prospective clients.

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Self-Taught MBA: Getting Social With Guerrilla Marketing

Self-Taught MBA: Getting Social With Guerrilla Marketing

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Get started with social media even if you’re not interested. It’s free and easy to learn, and it offers the best guerrilla-marketing opportunity in history. Here’s a builders' primer, the first of two installments.

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Online Reviews Can Hurt Contractors and Homeowners

Online Reviews Can Hurt Contractors and Homeowners

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An unhappy customer pans her renovation contractor on Yelp, and the builder responds with a $750,000 defamation lawsuit. Have you been embroiled in an internet dispute?

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Self Taught MBA: Learning to Walk Again: Life Lessons From a Professional Negotiator

Self Taught MBA: Learning to Walk Again: Life Lessons From a Professional Negotiator

Mike Walker lived the rise and fall of the real-estate market as a broker and developer, but really learned his trade on the way down. Nowadays, Walker teaches effective negotiation strategies and skills in 14 cities, and almost as many states. He talks about how he learned so much about negotiating and what he believes are the negotiator’s top three strategies.

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Self Taught MBA: Empowering Homeowners at ArmchairBuilder.com

Self Taught MBA: Empowering Homeowners at ArmchairBuilder.com

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Building a business by empowering homeowners, ArmchairBuilder.com provides DIY support online, internationally and for free. How does entrepreneur Michael Luckado make money?

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Self-Taught MBA: Developing Executive Thinking

Self-Taught MBA: Developing Executive Thinking

The manager focuses on doing things right; the executive focuses on the right thing to do. The manager asks how and when; the executive asks what and why.

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Self Taught MBA: Going to Where the Going Is Good, Part 4

Self Taught MBA: Going to Where the Going Is Good, Part 4

Head for the equator: Continuing to explore promising building business niches, here’s the last profile illustrating how good fortune sometimes comes through relocating. In this case, it’s the story of a southbound immigration: A successful Midwestern developer dodged the recession and found continued growth and prosperity in Ecuador.

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Self Taught MBA: Going to Where the Going Is Good, Part 3

Self Taught MBA: Going to Where the Going Is Good, Part 3

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Continuing to explore promising building business strategies, here’s a third profile illustrating how good fortune sometimes comes through relocating. In this case, it’s a story that has played out millions of times in the United States, and one at the core our democracy, since most of us are or descend from someone who came to America for a better life.

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Self Taught MBA: Going to Where the Going is Good, Part 2

Self Taught MBA: Going to Where the Going is Good, Part 2

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Continuing with our exploration of construction-business niches, here’s the second of two profiles illustrating how some builders find good fortune by relocating. Determined to survive the downturn, this Montana developer discovered black gold in a mobile-home park.

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Should Builders Provide Free Estimates?

Should Builders Provide Free Estimates?

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Potential customers seem to love them, and why not? But pros are divided, some insisting that providing estimates is part of running a business and others just as adamant that would-be customers should be charged.

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Self Taught MBA: Going to Where the Going is Good, Part 1

Self Taught MBA: Going to Where the Going is Good, Part 1

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We have talked about strategies to develop a business niche that works in today’s challenging environment. But there’s another strategy, and that’s to go the business climate is sunny.

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Self Taught MBA: From Single to Multifamily Builder

Self Taught MBA: From Single to Multifamily Builder

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The transition from single family to small multifamily builder presents fewer challenges than from homebuilder to remodeler. You use the same designers, the same subs, and even the same mindset. Now that the multifamily market is booming, perhaps there's an opportunity for you.

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Find Your Niche and Own It

Find Your Niche and Own It

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With the reshuffling of the construction industry, some contractors have become subs, some bosses have cinched on the tool belt, others moved into other industries, but some builders have found productive niches and stuck with them though think and thin. The next few posts will explore alternatives to the, we’ll do anything that requires a hammer approach and “no job too big or small.”

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Arf, Arf! ??

Arf, Arf! ??

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Dog days of summer prompt this whitetail deer to seek a cool, shady spot to oversee operations in my home shop.

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