Jim’s Blog

One of the premier HVACR publications conducts an annual contest to name the best contractors to work for. In order for the contest to be fair, there are several size categories because, after all, an HVACR company that has 125 employees can do things differently than a company that has less than ten technicians in the field. And, the contractors that compete for the top award in each category are evaluated on many different points relative to the management of their business and the systems they set up so their employees can do their job, because, like I said, there are several different size categories, and large companies do things differently than smaller organizations. However, when you review the list of winners every year, there is one common thread that stands out for each of the companies…large, medium or small…that win the top prize.

Each and every one of them has an active, well-structured, in-house training program.

Of course, setting up an in-house training program is often easier for larger contractors. They have more resources and often have a person on staff whose only job is to develop and manage the in-house training, and, more often that not, be the main presenter for the regularly scheduled sessions. However, when it comes to smaller contractors, the harsh reality is that they just don’t have the same resources at hand. And establishing a program is more difficult, with the task often becoming the responsibility of  an already very busy service manager, or the service company owner.

And, more often than not, the service manager or service company owner with fewer than 10 technicians is not an instructor by craft. They’re former technicians who made the transition to ownership and management. Which means that they need to learn some things about being an instructor and how an adult as a student (which is what technicians are during a training session, whether they want to admit it or not) responds to or connects with the person at the front of the room.

Among them:

1. Never waste an adult learner’s time. Do your homework in order to ensure that the session moves at a brisk pace and provides a wealth of information in a short length of time. I’ve been in situations where I’ve invested several hours in  preparing a 30-minute presentation.

2. Remember that you’re an instructor here, and that means that your responsibility is to manage the session. If a particular individual is dominating the conversation, do what you need to do in order to minimize that situation.

3. Just because you’re dealing with adults, that doesn’t mean that you avoid positive reinforcement. Remember, just being there in a training session (whether the person appears to be super confident or not) is a stressful situation for the an adult in a learning environment. So, by all means be prepared to praise somebody for getting it right or making a meaningful contribution.

Keeping these three simple points in mind when preparing for an in-house training session will make the the event more pleasant for those attending…and for you.

Learn from yesterday….Live for today….Look forward to tomorrow

Jim

HVAC technicians are people too.

Yeah, I know that the opening line above is similar to the cutieism that often appears on bumper stickers about dogs or cats, or whatever it is that the driver of that particular vehicle is expressing their devotion to and love for, but I thought it was appropriate; simply because it’s true. And what’s also true is that service managers sometimes forget this basic fact when it comes to supervising technicians. For some reason, it’s easy for people in management positions to think that a person with technical skills…especially a technician who pretty much functions independently as we do in the world of HVACR service…doesn’t require the same amount of coaching as others do in other professions.

Not true.

I’ve said before that part of our job as a service manager is to, well, manage things. Things like schedules, supplies, paperwork flow, etc…but when it comes to managing people, it’s not just management. It’s teaching, leading, and uiltimately, coaching. And part of coaching is asking the right questions. Learning to do this takes a lot of time, effort, study, and learning from your mistakes, but it’s worth it.

Here’s a situation where a coaching question can be part of leading and teaching:

You’re about to send a technician out on something that he or she may not be totally familiar with, and you know you need to help them not only build their self-confidence, but also give them an opportunity to motivate themselves. So, you ask if they’re sure about what they need to do, and you get one of those stock answers like, “Well, I’m not sure”, or “I don’t know.”

And here’s your coaching opportunity. Instead of just giving them a verbal pat on the back by telling them you know they’ll be able to figure things out, and that if they need help, they can also check in with you (trust me, if you tell them that, your phone will ring even if they don’t really need to talk to you, but just need to confirm what they already know before they go ahead), ask…

“If you did know, what do you think the answer would be?”

And there you have it; the difference between managing and coaching. It’s giving them an opportunity to think, which is what any person needs to be able to do in order to grow and develop their skills as a professional. Like I said, technicians are people too.

When you ask this question, be prepared to be very patient in what will seem to be a suddenly painful situation in which you’ve made a grave mistake. The seemingly endless silence will be deafening, but, wait…wait…wait, take a deep breath if you have to, and then wait some more. You could cock you head to one side, blink a few times and show your best friendly smile (remember, a genuine smile is one that reaches your eyes) if you have to, but wait. Nine times out of ten you’ll get either a thoughtful response that absoultely nails it, or honest and intelligent questions that will eventually help you lead them to the place you want them to be.

There are many other good coaching questions we can ask that begin with….

Who do you need to be in order to…..?

What do you think is the best way to….?

How do you think we should handle…..?

Or, my favorite: What if….?

Learn from yesterday…Live for today…Look forward to tomorrow

Jim

 

When considering the fresh air requirements in a residence, we can go beyond the 15 CFM per person/1 person per bedroom plus 1 rule of thumb, and use the Total Heat Formula to calculate how much additional load is being introduced into the building. Of course, the reason this is important is that it results in proper sizing of the equipment, enabling it to handle the total heating load in the structure.

Here’s an example….

If a tight 2,000 square foot home with 8-ft ceilings needs to change 25% of the air per hour during the heating season, and there is a temperature difference of 53 degrees between the outdoor air temperature and the indoor air temperature that is being maintained, the following formula calculations will tell you how many BTU’s per hour need to be added to offset the colder air being introduced into the building to satisfy the fresh air requirement.

First, the CFM is calculated based on the cubic foot area of the building and the percentage of hourly air change that is necessary.

So, we can calculate the total CFM necessary in our specific example by plugging in the following numbers:

2,000 x 8 x 0.25 = 4000 ft3/h (cubic feet per hour)

And, then our next step is to refine our concept of time relative to the situation by employing another simple arithmetic step:

4,000 /  (Divided By) 60 minutes   = 67 CFM

And, with the temperature difference….TD…. (53, as mentioned above) and the CFM (67, as we calculated) known, the Total Heat formula will provide the BTU requirement information we are looking for.

By the way, the TD in situations such as this is calculated based on what is known as a “worst case scenario” and is derived from the outdoor design temperature. For example, if the outdoor design temperature in Tucson, Arizona was 20-degrees (“worst case scenario”) and the temperature to be maintained inside the building was 73 degrees, then the temperature difference would be listed as 53 degrees. You can plug your numbers into the formulae mentioned above and research the design temperature information for your particular situation to perform a calculation on any building.

On to our final calculation….

Our Total Heat Formula…..Qs (Total Heat) = 1.08 x CFM x TD…..when employed in our specific example…..shows:

Qs = 1.08 x 67 x 53 = 3,835 Btu/hr.

Which means that when the furnace size is determined for our example residence, we would have to consider an additional heating load of 3,835 BTU’s because our building is tightly constructed, and the HVAC system is designed to control the amount fresh air being introduced into the living space.

Until next time…

Learn from yesterday….Live for today….Look forward to tomorrow.

Jim

Fresh air is a necessary component of human health. That’s a biological no-brainer. And, decades ago when a person was inside their home, they still got a lot of fresh air  through the process of infiltration. Air leaked into the house through cracks near doors and windows and other places in the building, and infiltrated into the living space.  So, infiltration is a nice way of saying that the contruction of buildings wasn’t exactly tremendous, and they leaked a lot. I recall one place I lived in. On cold winter days, if you held a match up next to an electrical outlet on a exterior wall, it would go out. Yes, we were very healthy. Cold and shivering maybe, but healthy.

But, of course, time has moved on and buildings are built much tighter now, which means that we still need fresh air to be brought brought into a building; it’s just that now, we have to do it on purpose.

And, of course, the question that is often raised is, “How much fresh air do we need?”

In commercial buildings, there are specific numbers relative to the amount of fresh air an HVAC system needs to bring from the outside and circulate along with the return air throughout the structure. In the case of residential applications, though, things are somewhat different. Since there is really no specific requirement that states the exact amount of fresh air necessary, a ‘rule of thumb’, which says that it’s generally accepted that a person needs 15 CFM (cubic feet of air per minute) of fresh air, applies. And, when it comes to applying another rule of thumb to the building itself, another generally accepted factor is that the number of occupants in a building will be calculated as 1 per bedroom, plus 1.

So, what this boils down to is that in a three-bedroom home, we would consider that there will be four people that need fresh air.

And, 15 x 4 = 60 so the total fresh air requirement for the building would be 60 CFM.

So, when you remove the filter from a return plenum in a gas furnace installation in a new home and look closely, you’ll likely note some kind of system that allows fresh air to be drawn directly from the outside and delivered into the return of the furnace cabinet. It’s quite common to see a 6-inch round flex duct of some sort connected to the return, and the other end is just open (screened in order to keep critters out) to the outside.

Of course, when this outside air is drawn into the structure while the furnace is operating in the  heating mode, the air that’s coming is a going to be cold. And, that means that we need to account for that additional load on the furnace when it’s sized so that it will be able to handle raising the temprature correctly even though we may be bringing in outside air that’s 20-degrees (which is what we consider pretty cold here in Arizona), so that’s the number we would use in a total heat formula in order to determine just how much of an additional load we’re creating with the building’s fresh air system.

I’ll give you an example of that next time.

Learn from yesterday….Live for today…..Look forward to tomorrow.

Jim

Depending on which study you read, it’s been estimated that somewhere between 58 and 72 Percent of air conditioning systems are not functioning as designed due to problems with the air handling system. Regardless of whether or not we accept any given number presented by any given study at the time, we have to admit that it’s important that the air flow through any HVAC system be proper in order to accomplish the necessary heat exchange and achieve the desired comfort level. And when it comes to forced-air gas heating systems, technicians can accomplish the task of ‘wrapping their head around’ the concept of proper air flow by understanding the fundamentals of the properties of air….and two formulas.

As far as the properties concept goes, since we always have to start somewhere with a standard, when we consider the properties of air we understand that two of these standard points are:

1. Sea level (14.7 PSI….meaning 14.7 pounds per square inch of atmospheric pressure pressing down on the earth, referred to as 1 Atmosphere of Barometric Pressure). 

2. A temperature of 68-degrees Fahrenheit.

Of course, a change in temperature or pressure will bring about a change in the air itself, but at the standard conditions mentioned above, we can derive two factors, which are:

1. Air will have a Density of 0.075 lbs. per cubic foot.

2. Air will have a Specific Heat of 0.24 BTU’s.

Which brings us to our first formula that HVAC technicians need to understand relative to air flow. When we apply these two factors in a formula along with a factor of time (one hour….expressed as 60 minutes in the formula), we can calculate what is known as The Sensible Heat Factor of Air.

0.075 x 0.24 x 60 = 1.08

And, that number that we arrived at can now be applied within the second formula, which is:

CFM = Qs / 1.08 x TD

And, once we are reminded that the factors in the formula are:

CFM = Cubic Feet Per Minute

Qs = Sensible Heat In BTU’s Per Hour

1.08 = Sensible Heat Factor of Air

TD = Temperature Difference Between Return and Supply Air….

….We can undersand that a manufacturer designs a gas furnace, this formula, along with other factors, are used to determine the size of the squirrel-cage blower and the horsepower rating and speed of the motor that ultimately determines the amount of air flow through the furnace cabinet.

To illustrate the formula, we’ll consider a specific gas furnace and plug in the necessary numbers to make it work.

Our equipment will be an 80,000 BTU furnace that has an efficiency rating of 80%, which means that the actual heat output (Sensible Heat Factor in BTU’s Per Hour) can be calculated as follows:

80,000 x 0.80 = 64,000

And we’ll also determine that our return air temperature will be 70-degrees, and that our supply air temperature will be 130-degrees, which means we can calculate our TD as follows:

130 – 70 = 60

As our next step in explaining the process, we’ll again present the original formula as….

CFM = Qs / 1.08 x TD

 …Which means that with our numbers plugged in, it reads as:

CFM = 64,000 / 1.08 x 60

…Which works out to:

CFM = 64,000 / 64.8

…Which means that what we have to do is divide 64,000 by 64.8, in order to arrive at:

987.65432 Cubic Feet of Air Per Minute

All of which boils down to the fact that this particular furnace needs 988 CFM traveling through its cabinet, along with properly designed and installed duct system, in order to accomplish the proper temperature rise, which accomplishes the intended goal of proper operation and achievement of the desired comfort level in the building.

In America, medical doctors see a patient and go through a series of procedures to make a diagnosis. And, HVACR technicians also go through a series of procedures in order to make a diagnosis…..in other words, troubleshoot to find the source of the problem with a given piece of equipment.

In other cultures, which we would describe as “Third World Countries”, a medical doctor doesn’t accomplish their diagnosis of a patient in the same way we do in America. Instead of of seeing a patient in an office, the doctor moves in with the patient and their family. The simple theory here is that the doctor can observe the patient’s entire life experiences and find out the real root of the problem.

And, sometimes, taking this simple approach can work in troubleshooting an HVACR equipment problem.

As an example, here’s a troubleshooting story that Chuck Peltz of Clermont, Florida shared with us.

“About 20 years ago,  I had a temp job with a national motel chain, servicing their AC units. There was restaurant attached to the motel, and I was approach by the food manager to see if I could find out why they were not able to keep products frozen in the freezers.

I did a quick basic check of the temperatures/pressures, check for dirty evaporator and condenser coils. Nothing seemed unusual at the time I was checking. I stopped by every couple of days to do a quick visual, and the problem was still apparent.

On about the 5th visit at about 2.00 in the afternoon, I noticed that the freezer door was wedged wide open by a wooden chair.

Seated in the chair was a very large, middle-aged female, Southern-type cook, snapping beans and peeling potatoes for the next meal. A casual conversation followed, and I learned that this was an almost daily routine, as the kitchen was ‘too darn hot’ to work comfortably.

 My findings were passed on to the food manager.”

Yes, troubleshooting is sometimes so very simple.

If you have a troubleshooting story you would like to share, get in touch.

Learn from yesterday…..Live for today…..Look forward to tomorrow

Jim

 

Mankind, for many hundreds of thousands of years, has been involved in relationships of all kinds. Some related to survival in our early existence, and today, some relationships are romantic, some are business-related, etc…. Whatever the relationship, one of the innate qualities of mankind is that we want all relationships to be based in honesty. But, sometimes, when a relationship isn’t all that important to us, we let the honesty thing slide because it’s more effort that it’s worth to deal with (and certainly not a productive use of our time to dwell on it), while in other cases, we absolutely insist on total honesty in our relationships.

One case in which we can all understand we should just let go and move on regarding honesty in a relationship is when you go on a cruise. Cruise lines have a rule about passengers bringing their own liquor on board, whether it’s brought on when you first board the ship, or if you happen to purchase liquor at a port-of-call so you can take it home with you. The rule is a simple one….you can’t bring it on at the beginning of your journey, and if you purchase some along the way, you can’t keep it with you when you come back on board.

And, the explanation that the cruise lines offer relative to this rule is that it could result in an unsafe situation for a passenger who consumed too much alcohol….things like, they would be more apt to stumble and fall on a moving ship in rough seas, or they may even fall overboard if they had too much to drink. So, based on that explanation, if anybody tries to bring liquor such as vodka or gin on board a cruise ship by hiding it in a water bottle, security personnel know how to check for that scam and confiscate the contraband. And, if you decide to purchase a bottle of a rum in Panama that you can’t get in the United States, or a specialty tequila in Mexico that you can only find there, when you re-board the ship, your purchases will be confiscated for the duration of the cruise, and then returned to you some time after 8PM on your last night on board.

So, everybody who has ever been on a  cruise knows the rules, and they know what the cruise line explanation is. However, everybody also knows that the real reason for the liquor rules is that the cruise lines sell alcolholic drinks, and if passengers could either BYOB or purchase liquor in a foreign port and take it to their cabin, then the cruise line would wind up selling fewer drinks. And, if a person was hell-bent on getting so snockered on a cruise ship to the point where it would be “unsafe” for them, they could certainly do so by purchasing alcoholic drinks on board. Which means that the cruise line isn’t being honest. They’re creating a situation that allows them to generate more revenue under the guise of ‘passenger safety’.

And, there’s no sense in wasting any time and energy on this rule that is based in a less-than-honest motive. After all, you’re on a cruise to have a good time, and no matter how right you are about the truth in this case, it’s not going to change. So, sit back, enjoy yourself, and let the dishonesty go. Have a few drinks if you want, and turn in your foreign port liquor purchases so you can enjoy them at your leisure when you get back home. Yes, somebody is being less-than-honest with you, but it’s no big deal.

But, don’t let this study in cruise line policy diminish the importance of your dealings with your customers. They will live with the unimportant dishonesty they encounter on a cruise line, but they will have zero tolerance for it when it comes to entering into a business agreement with you to maintain or repair their HVACR equipment. Keep in mind that the number one thing that prompts some one to call a service company is the word-of-mouth advertising they hear from their family, and friends and neighbors. If you are honest with your customer, they’ll tell 10 people about you. If you’re dishonest (of they perceive that you were dishonest in any way with them, which makes it your job to make sure that doesn’t happen) they’ll tell 100 people about you.

Until next time….

Learn from yesterday….Live for today….Look forward to tomorrow

Jim

 

 

This is a story about a FedEx driver/delivery person who decided getting paid was more important than doing the job properly.

A young couple in Nashville, Tennessee, like many 30-something couples these days, are into juicing….fresh vegetables and fruits fed into what is basically a seriously beefed-up blender, creating an end product that is healthy and pretty much free of chemicals and other things that aren’t good for us. So, since a sister in Tucson, Arizona had a birthday coming up, the couple decided to send her a juicer.

And, so they ordered it on-line, and it was shipped via FedEx Ground….

And FedEx delivered it…..by throwing over the fence into the yard.

Now, on the surface, this story might seem to be about nothing more than an un-motivated, lazy employee, but as you can see by my title and opening line, there could be more to this story, and based on what I know about the shipping business (which, I admit isn’t a great deal) I’m betting that there is more to it than just laziness and inexcusable behavior on the part of an employee.

The reasoning behind my opinion is that since I am regularly on the receiving end of shipments due to on-line purchases and business purchase situations, I’ve had a few brief discussions with drivers and discovered some things that aren’t necessarily common knowledge. For example, while some companies that deliver things to your home or place of business (UPS for example) employ drivers who are just that….employees who are paid an hourly wage plus benefits to drive a company-owned truck and deliver packages to their customers, other companies have a system in which not all drivers are exactly an employee, and not all trucks are exactly company-owned.

Instead, the truck that shows up in your driveway or in front of your store or shop is owned or leased by the person doing the driving, and, under contract with a major, branded, well-known shipping company, is paid by the package. Which, by the way, is a system that I’m all for…I think it’s truly a wonderful idea to create opportunities for small business of all kinds. Heck, that’s how it works for most of us in the HVACR business, and I personally wouldn’t take back 99% of the experiences I’ve had as an independent service company owner. So, like like I said…..bravo….let people have opportunities for independent employment. It’s an essential element of the heartbeat of American business and I think it’s one of the greatest things we have going for us in the United States.

But, in this case, I’m convinced the system broke down and resulted in horrible, inexcusable, unbelievably bad behavior on the part of a FedEx driver/delivery person.

Sure, there was a fence and closed gate around the property. And sure, there was nobody right there in the yard at the moment so the gate could be quickly opened, allowing for a speedy and efficient delivery of the package (which wasn’t ‘just a package’, it was a gift that somebody decided to send to somebody else, and they trusted that it would be delivered in a professional manner that would ensure that it got there safe and sound, because as the customer in this scenario, that’s what they had every right to expect would happen regardless of the structure of the delivery system) but, what I’m convinced happened here is that somebody decided it was more important to get paid for that package right then and there rather than leave a notice that would result in a return trip to get the job done correctly.

(Author’s Note: In order that you understand just how I feel about this type of situation, re-read the above paragraph, note again the italics, and imagine that the well-known comedian Lewis Black is telling this story.)

So, what is the lesson here for HVACR technicians who provide a service to customers and, as an arrangement with their employer, part of their compensation package is based on commission or bonuses?

Never lose sight of what your responsibility is to your customer. Never cut corners. Always do the right thing for your customer, even if it doesn’t result in getting compensated immediately.

Because, there’s more to your job than just getting paid.

(Another Author’s Note: If somebody from FedEx wants to tell me that I’m wrong about what happened regarding that juicer delivery, by all means, get in touch. I’ll be happy to make sure I’m correct.)

Learn From Yesterday….Live For Today….Look Foward To Tomorrow

Jim

 

I’ve often said that as human beings, we often make the mistake of making things more difficult than they are. One example of this is the simplified idea of troubleshooting an HVAC electrical circuit from the perspective of reading a wiring diagram and applying the concept of what I like to refer to as Potential Voltage and Applied Voltage.

To illustrate, consider the diagram in Figure One below that shows the circuitry of an electric furnace.

Figure One

 

On this diagram, you can easilily locate test points related to Applied Voltage and Potential Voltage. For example, isolating one of the heating elements, we can see that there is an N.O. (Normally Open) switch shown wired in series with it, and the identifiers on this particular switch are M1 and M2 (M, meaning Main set of contacts on a sequencer …SEQ #1 in this case…..), and in a sitution in which a technician would want to find out if this circuit is working like it should, a smple test for Applied Voltage would be a good place to start.

Checking with a voltmeter directly at the wiring connections for the heating element to find out if the required 240-volts was being applied or not would allow us to begin to evaluate this particular circuit in the event we were troubleshooting a situation in which the customer was complaining that the unit wasn’t heating properly. And, depending on the results of that test, we would be able to find out if the element itself, or the switches wired in series with it, could be a source of a problem.

For the sake of creating a troubleshooting scenario, let’s say that the answer to the question, “Is there voltage applied to the element?” is no. The reading we get with the meter is 0-volts, not the 240-volts that would allow the element to provide heat as long as it OK, meaning that it would have the proper resistance if we checked it with an ohmmeter.

But….I digress. We’re not talking about using an ohmmeter to check resistance, we’re talking about doing a “hot” test with a voltmeter to determine which component in the circuit could be a source of the problem, so, back to the idea of Applied Voltage and Potential Voltage….

Once our first test showed no Applied Voltage, our next step would be to check the switches wired in series with the element ot see if they were doing what they were supposed to do, which introduces the idea of checking for Potential Voltage.

Moving to the left of the element, there is a fuse. Checking directly at the terminals of this fuse would be implmenting a check for Potential Voltage because of a simple rule regarding a switch (which, is technically what a fuse is….just a switch that only opens once). And that rule is, “Voltage can be read across an open switch”.

And, in the event that we read 240-volts at the fuse terminals, it would prove six things, all with one check of the meter:

1. The fuse is open.

2. The heating element is not open.

3. The limit switch to the right of the element is not open.

4. The M1 and M2 terminals of the sequencer are closed.

5. The fuse shown at #1 on the main terminal block on the L1 side is not open.

6. The fuse shown at #1 on the main terminal block on the L2 side is not open.

The above can be proven as true when you consider tracing the Potential Voltage circuit we’ve set up by checking the fuse.

If you trace from the left terminal connection of the fuse, you’ll go all the way back to the L1 side of the line. If you trace from the right terminal connection of the fuse, you go all the way back to the L2 side of the line, proving along the way that the element, the limit switch, and the fuse at #1 on the L2 terminal block must be in the condition I mentioned above, because if any of those  conditions didn’t exist, we wouldn’t be able to get the Potential Voltage reading at our test points.

Like I said….no reason to make things more difficult than they really are.

Learn from yesterday…..Live for today……Look forward to tomorrow

Jim

 

 

In wrapping up this series on the topic of HVACR contractors and their web sites, I want to talk about blogs.

First, regarding a blog….have one on your site. And, second, understand what a blog is and, just as importantly, what it isn’t.

A blog is something that a visitor to your site can click on and learn something, anything, that you think is of value to them. It could be a simple explanation on how a heat pump operates, complete with an animated drawing that explains how the system removes heat from the building in the summer and sends it outside where it’s not wanted (remember, the formal definition of a refrigeration is “the transfer of heat from a place where it’s not wanted to a place where it’s not objectionable”), and then, during the winter, it picks up the heat from the outside and sends it into the building.

And, yes, a consumer will be somewhat confused about the fact that a heat pump system can actually transfer heat from the outside to the inside when it’s colder out there than it is inside the house, but, trust me, they will be able to understand a simple explanation on the concept of some heat being available until the temperature drops down to -460F. All the blog needs to do is explain the concepts that we take for granted in simple terms so your potential customer will be able to read what you’ve posted there without wondering what you’re talking about.

As far as what a blog isn’t, there are two factors for you to consider. First, it’s not a place for you to discuss your personal beliefs on religion or politics. If you want to discuss those subjects, create a new site that doesn’t have any connection to your business site and say whatever you think you need to say because you’ve decided it’s your responsibility to save the world or educate people that don’t have a clue.

And the second factor is that your blog isn’t a pitch page.

If you want to post information on condensing gas furnaces and explain why they are more efficient that other furnaces, fine; explain away, but don’t put a link in the blog that says “Click Here For More Information” that takes your visitor to a page where they fill out a contact form. If you want to put that link on the pages on your site that are pitch pages (of course, you’re going to have pitch pages on your site for crying-out-loud, that’s why you have a site in the first place) that’s fine. But a blog is a blog is a blog. It’s for information, learning and enlightenment. Your visitor knows darn well that they can click around on your site and get to a contact form if they want to. There’s no need for you to push them into getting in touch with you while they are enjoying being educated by information you’ve so generously provided for them.

And, speaking of your blog, you need to commit to doing it over, and over, and over, and over again, on a regular schedule, keeping it fresh and up-to-date. If you decide to commit to posting once a month, then do whatever you need to do in order to post once a month. People don’t like to see that you haven’t posted since 2010. And beyond that, when you use a content management system site, your posts can be easily archived so visitors to your site can access them, and having a consistent blog also affords you the benefit of more and more key words appearing on your site, which sets up your very own in-house SEO (Search Engine Optimization) system, a process that allows potential visitors to your site find you easier when they Google, Bing, or Chrome the services you provide.

So, by all means, blog.

Learn from yesterday…..Live for today…..Look forward to tomorrow

Jim

 

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