For some inexplicable reason, you just can’t get there. Try as you might, you just can’t seem to increase your revenue. It’s not only frustrating, it’s downright maddening.

Heck, you are always busy, putting in 10-hour days, Monday through Friday — and then, on the weekends, catching up on bookkeeping and business odds-and-ends. It’s strange because you have enough work to keep your technicians busy. Things are hopping. Yet, it just is work, work, work, but no profit to show for that effort.

What’s wrong?

Well, we’re here to help you find answers — and ways to grow your business.

Since 1926, The News has been trying to help contractors improve their respective businesses by providing service and maintenance articles, business management tips, and much more. In this, our 75th anniversary year, we are going one giant step further. This year The News may actually come to your place of business, examine your problems and frustrations, and then, over a six-month period, work on ways to solve those issues. The aim here will be to boost your bottom line.

While we would like to do this for each and every contractor-subscriber in 2001, this is not humanly possible. Sorry. There are too many of you and not enough of us. We vow, however, to help at least one deserving contractor.

Therefore, to be fair, you are going to have to tell us why we should visit your place of business. In order to be considered for our free, six-month consultation, you first have to enter our “Do You Want to Grow Your Business?” contest. You are going to have to tell us why you so eagerly want to increase your business.

King To Hold Court

The Newshas hired an expert in the hvacr field to help you grow your contracting business. And if you have never heard of Ruth King, well, where have you been?

King, president of American Contractors Exchange, Inc., has agreed to help the selected winner of our 75th anniversary contest. King has worked in the plumbing, heating, and air conditioning industry since 1987. Her work includes helping residential and commercial contractors with sales and marketing, finance, technical training, and operations challenges. Chances are you have heard her speak at a local or national association meeting. Periodically her helpful business tips are published in the pages of The News.

We believe helping contractors is in King’s blood. We believe she can help you grow your business.

King’s past successes have included doubling the size of one contractor’s service department from $1 million to $2 million within a one-year time span. King, who holds a Class II (unrestricted) contractor’s license in Georgia, has helped guide more than one contractor from a negative net worth to profitability. One of her fortes is showing contractors how to run a profitable service agreement program. She has also increased the size of replacement departments from 50% to over 100% in one year.

King holds an MBA in Finance from Georgia State University and Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Chemical Engineering from Tufts University and the University of Pennsylvania, respectively. Yes, she’s one smart cookie.


If you want to grow your business in 2001 (and beyond), don’t delay. Fill out the entry form on page 118, or go to our website ( to enter online.The Newsstaff will scrutinize every entry. We will be searching for one contractor who wants and needs strong, professional guidance.

Over a six-month period, the eventual winner will receive — free of charge — two separate days of thorough, on-site consulting from King, with telephone follow-ups in-between. The winner agrees to provide King with her travel costs from Atlanta, GA. In truth, The News<.i> was going to pay that expense, too, but King shot that down.

“If the contractor who wants to grow his business doesn’t pay anything for the help, it is of no value to him,” she told us. “I’ve seen this over and over again. So, the contractor should pay something, not get it free. He’ll be more likely to work at it and continue.”

We did say she is a smart cookie, didn’t we?

Also, keep in mind The News will follow the progress of our contest winner. Therefore, The News must be allowed to attend the meetings between the winner and King, plus sit in on all telephone conversations between the winner and King. The News must also be allowed to report on the winner’s progress.

C’mon. Enter. What have you got to lose, except possibly more money?

We’re here to help.

Skaer is editor-in-chief. He can be reached at 248-244-6446; 248-362-0317(fax); (e-mail).

Publication date: 01/29/2001