Friday, October 29, 2010

Congratulations, October licensees!

Congratulations to the following Licenses, Etc. clients who were approved in October:
  • Donald Simard at Dramis Construction Management, Inc. of Hallandale, FL.
  • Dwayne Thomas at Renown Roofing, Inc. of Fort Myers, FL.
  • Jonathan Arndt at Colburn Construction, Inc. of DM Colburn Construction, Inc. of Cullman, AL.
  • Gregory David at Shoreline Construction of SW Florida, Inc. of Naples, FL.
  • Michael Harding at My Aqua Blue Pools of Florida, Inc. of Casselberry, FL.
  • Lee Young at RMB Construction & Development, Inc. of Tavernier, FL.
  • Andrew Wojak at New Green Construction, LLC of Naples, FL.
  • Jorge Valdes at Technology Roofing, Inc. of Homestead, FL.
  • Darris Allen at Silver Meteor Installations, LLC of Orlando, FL.
  • Chris Ryan at Air-Ref Electric, Inc. of Boynton Beach, FL.
  • Richard Settoon at Happy Hour Pools of Tavernier, FL.
  • Neal Erbes at Artesian Plumbing, Inc. of Venice, FL.
  • Brian Linhard at Linhard Home Services PLLC of Naples, FL.
  • Seth McArdle at McArdle Building Co. of Naples, FL.
  • Ellen Witczak at Titan Wrecking & Environmental, LLC of Buffalo, NY.
  • Giuliano Toffanello at Toffanello Construction, Inc. of Hobe Sound, FL.
We're also pleased to share the newly created or revamped Social Media Networking pages for these fine businesses we get to call clients:

Imperial Fire Alarm, Inc.

Fringe Home Interiors

Klean Pros

Reliable Disposal & Recycling

Be sure to follow them all on Facebook and Twitter. Would you like to be set up on Social Media Networking sites, too? Call Lisa at 239.963.5369.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

New Florida Certified License Category - Tower Specialty

Florida has a new certified license category! You can now become a Certified Tower Specialty Contractor. The new license category goes into effect 11/10. We'll keep you updated when the exam becomes available and as any other news becomes available.

Here's the specific license information:

As always, feel free to call or email Licenses, Etc. with any questions.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Who's Saying What About Your Business?

There are so many web pages out there today that not even Google knows exactly how many. With many of those pages a part of social media, the number of conversations taking place on the interwebz at any given time is astronomical. And some of these conversations might be about you and your business.

Maybe it's yourself, family and friends talking up your business. Maybe it's your networking contacts, sharing information with their friends and customers. And maybe it's customers and prospects.

Makes you wonder what they're saying, right? If should be wondering. They could be saying great things about your business, in which case, you should thank them. Or maybe they're saying not-so-great things, which you also need to know about and address. You can jump in the conversation, showing these people that you care about your business, your products and, most importantly, your customers. Or sometimes it's not worth jumping in, but it's something you can be addressing internally.

Either way, it pays to know what's being said about you on the Internet.

So how can you find out? It's actually easier than you could ever expect. Simply sign up for Google Alerts here. With Google Alerts, you can be notified any time a web page, blog post, etc., go up mentioning any search term you desire. Simply enter the search term; select the Type, Frequency and Volume; and enter the email address where you want to receive the notifications.

You can do this as many times as you want, with as many search terms as you want. Definitely start with your business's name. You may also want to set up an Alert for your personal name, other key personnel and even specific industry terms. Then you can find out who's saying what about you and your business!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Good Luck!

Good luck to everyone taking contractors' licensing tests this week! Once you pass, let Licenses, Etc. take care of the rest for you. As usual, we'll be at the Miami and Orlando test sites handing out business cards. If you see us, don't be afraid to say "hi"!

If you need to sign up for the December exams, you can do so here: The deadline is November 13.

Friday, October 8, 2010

National Customer Service Week

This week has been a celebration of customer service. In today's economy, competition is fierce and customer service can make or break a business. Happy customers tell, on average, 3 people about their positive experience. Unhappy customers tell, on average, 10 people about their unsatisfactory experience. That could potentially be 10 lost customers or 3 new customers based on a single event.

We all know what beautiful and ugly customer service looks like. So what do you do to ensure your customer service is excellent?

Some tips:
  • Under promise - If you're not sure you can deliver, don't say that you can. Only promise what you know for sure can be done, keeping in mind that things can go wrong...and usually do.
  • Over deliver - Exceed expectations by going above and beyond what you've promised. If you've under promised, this shouldn't be difficult.
  • Be responsive - Strong communication can make a huge difference, especially in a situation that seems to be going badly. Don't avoid or run away from a potential problem or dissatisfied customer. Let them know that you're working on remedying the situation.
  • Be proactive - If you can avoid a problem, do something before it becomes a real issue. If there is already a problem, don't wait for the customer to bring it to your attention. Beat them to it - identify the issue, create a plan for solution and let your customer know what you're doing.
  • Communicate - Whether things are going smoothly or not, customers appreciate knowing what's going on. They appreciate progress reports, knowing that you're staying on top of things and that you care about them.

Make sure everyone in your company knows who really pays their bills - the customer. After all, you don't have a business - and they don't have jobs - if you don't have customers. Take care of them and they will take care of you.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Welcome, Lisa!

Lisa Adams has officially joined Licenses, Etc.! We are so excited to have her on board because she has so much to offer our clients. We'd like to give you a proper introduction, so here are the basics plus a personal interview with Lisa, herself.

With a background in customer service, membership director at Collier Building Industry Association and marketing director for a contracting company, Lisa has extensive experience in marketing and the construction industry. Her focus is always on the customer and delivering the highest level of service, making her a perfect fit for our Licenses, Etc. team.

Originally from Tennessee, Lisa now calls Naples home, along with her husband, a bull dog, a black lab and a sugar glider. She's committed to her Southwest Florida community, volunteering her time with several organizations. She has served on numerous boards and committees including Sales & Marketing Council at the CBIA, Business Builder Council, Interior Design Society Naples, and a founding Steering Committee member of the Bonita Springs Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals.

On to the interview...

What will you be doing at Licenses, Etc.?
I'll be heading up our new service offerings of Social Media Networking and License & Business Maintenance services and will also be assisting with applications and other marketing services. Whatever needs to be done for the customer, I'm there to help.

What do you think is the biggest challenge contracting businesses face right now?
To say it in one word: Budgets. Every company out there is cutting wherever they can to keep cash flow steady, but the one part they should not cut, marketing, is usually the first to go. How will people know that you exist if you don’t tell them?

How can you help clients overcome this challenge?
Social Media Marketing is the way to go. I set up custom pages that show the company in their own unique way and engage the customers to interact.  This will cause a dialogue that will make the customer feel comfortable to ask the questions to make the decisions they need to.

In your opinion, what is the best way contractors can use social media networking for their businesses?
To stay on top of their image.  Most of America is on one site or another and if you are not, how do you know what they are saying about you?  A satisfied customer tells 3 people on average.  A dissatisfied customer tells 10.  If you interact with your customer and listen to what they have to say, you can stop a problem in its track and make sure it never happens again.  Find out what they need and make sure you are able to give it to them.  Be proactive about your business and create an environment where the customer feels safe and sure of their interactions with you.

What do you do when you’re not working?
I like to play Bunco.

What’s your favorite thing to read?
Fiction. I love a good story. (We won't ask your favorite book...because we all know it's Promise by our own Kristie Cook...or maybe Purpose, the sequel...right? <Hint: If not, just nod your head and smile. That's what you're being paid for now.>)

Favorite movie?
Princess Bride has been my favorite movie since I was 8 years old.

Favorite TV show?
Definitely House MD.

Favorite thing to do outdoors?
I love to hike.  Yes I do realize I live in Florida, but back in Tennessee, I loved to hike.

Pick one place in the world you want to travel to.
Australia. I would love to see the animals that they have there all in their natural habitats.

If you were stuck on a deserted island, what is the one object you could not live without?
Solar powered car – could get around wherever I needed to go, sleep in it, keep cold with the A/C, stand on it when I need to be a little taller, and hide in it when animals come attack.

If you could have dinner with anyone in history (past or present), who it would be? Why?
I would have dinner with Princess Diana.  I would want to ask about the differences in social structure and if she regretted marrying into the royal family.  I would love to hear stories from the castle, the unedited ones, and stories from her childhood.  She is the rags to riches story come to life and I always wondered if it was everything she wanted it to be.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Did You Get the Latest ETC?

ETC, our newsletter delivered right to your email inbox, went out yesterday. Did you get it? If not, be sure to subscribe with that little form on the right or on our website at You can read it by clicking here.

Thanks for reading! Please let us know if you'd like more information on anything, either personally or covered in our blog or newsletter.

We hope you have a great weekend!