Wednesday, September 29, 2010


The end of the month means time to congratulate all our new licensees and approved applications. We encourage you to check them out next time you need their type of services and products.

Congratulations to our September approvals!
  • Wendy Zapato-Lento at Extreme Plastering & Stucco, Inc., in Rockledge, FL
  • Ricardo Davila at Dragados USA, Inc., in Coral Gables, FL
  • Tamara Ridings who now qualifies Klean Pros, Inc., in Tampa, FL
  • Douglas Riordan at Stockton Maintenance Group, Inc., in West Palm Beach, FL
  • Daniel Marvin at Midwest Fiberglass Pool Distributors in Sebring, FL
  • Roy Johnston who now qualifies both Stuart Paint & Supply, Inc., and Humming Bird Place, LLC, in Jensen Beach, FL
  • Daniel Zuloaga at Portalp USA Corp. in Naples, FL
  • Christopher Verbeeck at Loggerhead Contracting, Inc., in Fort Myers, FL
  • John Spinella of Apollo Beach, FL
  • Juston Harvey at Structure Cable Concepts, LLC, in Crawfordville, FL
  • Leo Uzcategui at Glass Design in Fort Myers, FL
  • Jason Loveless at Southern Air & Heat, Inc. in Lake Alfred, FL
  • William Debella at Dabco Pool Service & Repair, Inc., in Naples, FL
  • Eric Kunz at Kunz Construction Management, Inc., in Pompano Beach, FL

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Beating the Marketing Drum - Blogging (Part 2)

A couple of weeks ago, we discussed the benefits of having a blog for your company. Today we'll look at what you can do with a blog. Because you're probably questioning what you're going to blog about and who's going to read it, right? We know. We were once there and now we hear the same questions from other contractors.

Who Will Read Your Blog?
There are basically two types of people who will read your blog - those whom you tell about it and those who find it on their own, probably through a search. Since the purpose of your blog is to have conversation with (and market to) prospects and customers, this is who you want reading your blog.

This means you need to tell everyone about your blog, via social media networking, such as Facebook and Twitter, a link on your email signature line, in your newsletter...basically the same places and ways you tell them about your website.

The people who discover your blog on their own will find it by searching for certain keywords or because of comments you've made on others' blogs. (Aside: commenting on others' blogs is the key to gaining new followers who you would have otherwise never reached.) So, basically, they find it based on the content of your blog - what you have to say.

Which brings us to...

What Will You Blog About?
The beauty of blogging is that you can write about pretty much anything you want to at any given time, just keeping in mind your audience and what they would want to know. Ideas:
  • Your current specials
  • Pictures of a recent project you completed
  • News about your company
  • New products you can make available to your customers
  • New ways of doing things that benefit your customers
  • Informative articles that help your customers
  • Industry trends

For example, a home-builder can post pictures of a home recently completed one time, announcement of a new employee another time and information about how customers can help keep their home within budget yet another time. An air-conditioning contractor can share tips on keeping units maintained and working efficiently one time, a special on service another time and the addition of a new manufacturer yet another time.

If you keep a regular schedule - the best is to post at least once a week, preferably more to keep people coming back - you can plan out a month's worth of posts in one sitting. For example, week 1 - pictures on Monday and that month's special on Thursday; week 2 - a new industry trend on Monday and company news on Thursday; and so forth. Frequency is more important than length - in fact, readers like short blog posts that they can read quickly.

With twice a week posting, you just need 8 topics to cover one month and some topics can be repeated. And if something comes up that you feel compelled to share on your blog immediately, go for it! That's what we mean about the beauty of blogging - it's quick, varied and can be done immediately, on the fly, or scheduled in advance.

Interested in having a blog but don't where or how to start? Need help with the writing part? Contact Licenses, Etc. via because we can help! We can get you started and keep you going.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

New Service From Licenses, Etc!!!

As discussed last week, remembering all the deadlines for a licensed contracting business can be quite stressful, especially when you have multiple licenses in multiple states. We alluded to a new service offering by Licenses, Etc. that can remove this stress for you.

We are now offering License & Business Maintenance Services! For a low annual or monthly rate, Licenses, Etc. will keep track of all your due dates for your license(s), business registrations, workers' comp exemption and county registrations. Not only do we remind you - we actually take care of it for you! We file your annual report, renewals, etc. As always, if there is anything we can't take care of 100% for you, we'll provide you with exactly what you need and instructions for doing it quickly and easily.

We can do this for Florida and for any other state in which you're licensed! You also get a FREE subscription to LE Alerts, our new subscription-based service that keeps you up-to-date on all things related to your business and licenses.

If you simply want the reminders so you can take care of business yourself, subscribe to LE Alerts. For only $25 per month, you receive:
  • Personal phone call to remind you to file your company’s Florida Annual Report.
  • Personal phone call to remind you to renew your Florida license during license renewal years.
  • Prompt email notification of all approaching deadlines, including tax deadlines, renewals, etc.
  • Immediate email notification of changes to licensing requirements, new licenses, new opportunities, etc.
  • Special discounts and promotions offered only to LE Alerts subscribers.
For more information about our new License & Business Maintenance Services or LE Alerts, contact us at 239.777.1028 or 239.777.8321 or email LEAlerts (at) LicensesEtc(dot)com.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

License Maintenance

All Florida contractors licensed by the Construction Industry Licensing Board (CILB) or the Electrical Contractors Licensing Board (ECLB) needed to renew their licenses by August 31, 2010. Hopefully, you've already taken care of this!

License renewals serve as a reminder of all the things contractors and business owners have to stay on top of to keep their businesses running. Most of our clients remember to renew their licenses, probably because of all the reminders they're given - from the state, from continuing education providers and from us. Still, some forget. And then there are all the other things that slip through the cracks:

  • Business Annual Reports - In Florida, these are due every year by May 1. This is totally separate from your license. Every business, whether contracting or not, must file this report. If you miss the deadline, it's a $400 penalty. Ouch!! If you don't do it at all, the state dissolves your company and you are technically out of business.
  • Local Business Taxes - Formerly known as Occupational Licenses in Florida, these are county taxes that must be paid every year, usually only in your "home" county. Counties differ on the due dates. In some counties, it's the same day every year. In others, it's the anniversary date of when you first filed. If you don't pay on time, more penalties. And you won't be able to pull permits.
  • County registration of your state license - Some Florida counties only require you to register once and you're good until something changes with your license. Other county building departments require that you maintain registration every year. Unlike Local Business Taxes, county registration is required in virtually every county you work in. You can't pull permits without it. So be sure to stay on top of all of these!
  • Workers Compensation Exemption - This expires every two years from the date your receipt was issued. If you don't renew in time, you can fall into extensive legal issues with the state and licensing board.

If you have multiple licenses, the above might be multiplied. If you have licenses in other states, the headache's increased exponentially.

We have good news for you! Licenses, Etc., is putting together a new offering of License & Business Maintenance services. Stay tuned to find out how we can remove your headache. Want to know more immediately? Contact us through

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Beating the Marketing Drum - Blogging (Part 1)

We briefly discussed some of the benefits of Social Media Marketing (SMM) in the August issue of our ETC newsletter. Benefits such as:

  • Opening conversation with prospects.
  • Keeping your business in the fronts of people's minds, so when they need your type of work, your business is the first that comes to mind.
  • Improving search engine rankings for your website.

We mentioned Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, YouTube videos and contractor-specific forums. What we didn't discuss is blogging and e-zines/e-newsletters. Although the latter isn't necessarily social media marketing, it goes hand-in-hand with blogging.

Why should you blog? It took us a long time to realize the potential benefits of having a blog for Licenses, Etc., and you're probably thinking the same things. What do I blog about? How is that helpful to my business? We already do a newsletter, why should we blog, too?

If nothing else, blogging boosts search engine rankings for your website. Every time you blog, you're putting up a new web page with a link back to your main website. Google and other search engines pick up on those links as increased popularity of your page and, therefore, increases your ranking. If you use Blogger, which is owned by Google, your blog itself ranks high on the search engine results. People click on your blog, like what you have to say and either call you right away (assuming your phone number's on your blog!) or click through to your website for more information.

Like other SMM sites, blogging allows for conversation with your prospects and customers. See that Comment form below? That allows you to leave comments to us, replying to what we have to say in our post. Then we can reply to your comment and...voila!...we have a two-way conversation going (and when more people comment, it can be even more than two-way). Newsletters/e-zines are a one-way conversation - you speaking to your prospects and customers without the opportunity for them to chime in.

Newsletters are still plenty useful, however. Think of them as ways to create questions so prospects/customers must contact you for answers, giving you opportunity to solidify your relationship and close the next sale. You can make your blog and newsletter work together by including links in your newsletter that point back to info-packed posts on your blog. And every click-through on each one adds points to your search engine ranking.

Still not convinced? Still questioning what to do with a blog? We'll talk about it more in future posts. If you're ready to get started, though, and don't know how, contact Chrissi (chrissi[dot]jackson[at]licensesetc[dot]com) or Kristie (kristie[dot]cook[at]licensesetc[dot]com) at Licenses, Etc. about our new SMM services.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Long Weekend

We hope everyone has a safe and fun Labor Day weekend! Of course, we will be closed Monday to rest from all our labors this year. :-)

It seems that things start to pick up after Labor Day. Kids are in school, we've settled into new routines and the snowbirds and tourists start to return. It's the perfect time to get back to work on growing your business, finishing your licensing process (ahem) and looking for new opportunities. Perhaps it's time to look at different kinds of licenses - remember, there are new home inspection and mold-related licenses in Florida - or other states.

Make sure your marketing and advertising is ready for Fall home improvements, seasonal homeowners needing repairs and renovations while they're here, the holidays, etc. Think about using social media marketing to reach out to your customers and prospects and keep your business name at the top of their minds.

For now, though, enjoy the long weekend break. We will be!