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Second Quarter 2007

Top 10 Misconceptions about Mechanic's Liens

Wow! Judging by the number of mechanic's lien forms that folks are downloading these days it seems there are a LOT of construction customers that aren't paying their bills.

Whenever someone asks me for advice in regards to a customer that won't pay their bills I always refer them to David. He'll talk with you for about 20 minutes at no charge so that you can get good solid answers to all your questions.

When you talk to him you don't even have to mention me to get him to speak with you, he'll do it just because he's that kind of guy. Obviously I'd appreciate it if you would mention me because that lets him know that I sent you but he'll still help you no matter whether you mention me or not. :)

He's a great guy, just about everyone I've sent his way has really liked him. :) Now that I really think of it I don't think I've received even one complaint about him.

David Barnier
619.682.4842

You can also check out his webpage and read more about him at http://www.barkerlawgroup.com/about/attorneys/david_barnier.php.

Below is a link to the article that David wrote about mechanics lien misunderstandings.

What's really cool about it is that he doesn't just give the misconceptions, he's provided in-depth explanations about each one. I even learned a few things myself!

TOP Ten Misconceptions About Mechanic's Liens

http://www.download-construction-forms.com/top-10-mechanics-liens.html
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Tired of Deadbeat Customers?

No matter what type of contractor (or supplier) you are or what state you're in, you're bound to run across a deadbeat customer sooner or later, if you haven't already.

It's no fun fighting to get paid. You put your sweat and tears into a job to get it done and done right and then your customer forgets who you are!

Well no more! Down with deadbeats I say! Sorry... I just get a bit worked up about these creeps, we dealt with enough of them when we were contracting.

There's a new website out there that may just be the solution. You can post information about deadbeats that don't pay you what they owe you and you can read about deadbeats that haven't paid others what they owe! Too cool!

Read more about Dealing with Deadbeats

http://www.download-construction-forms.com/dealing-with-deadbeats.html
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20 Ways to say NO to a request that would overwhelm your schedule

By Ramona Creel of OnlineOrganizing.com <-- As of 6/28/13 no longer a website

Tell me if this sounds familiar -- someone asks you to do something that you really donít want to do or you honestly donít have time for. It might be a church bake sale, a school fundraiser, participating on a committee, or even just working late. But you feel like you will let the other person down if you say no. You feel GUILTY already, and you havenít even responded yet! So you say, ďSure,Ē even though doing so is going to put you under tremendous stress and PRESSURE. You know that you will probably end up resenting this activity, and maybe even ducking some of your responsibilities because your heartís just not in it, but you go ahead and agree anyway.

Why are we so afraid to tell people "noĒ? For some reason, we have been taught that "no" is DISRESPECTFUL -- and even insulting. We seem to value other people's time more than our own -- feeling that we need to bend over backward to accommodate others, even if it inconveniences us. I know we're atoning for the "me" 1980's, but let's be reasonable!

"No" is actually one of the healthiest words that can come out of your mouth. When you tell someone "no," you are really saying that you understand and accept your own LIMITS, and don't want to do a shoddy job by overwhelming yourself. That you value your time and priorities and aren't willing to take away from the truly important things in your life. A little selfishness is necessary, if you want to maintain a balanced and sane life!

So how do you say "no" without insulting the other person, feeling consumed with guilt, or hurting your own credibility? We need to find a way to say "no" without dragging up all of those HIDDEN FEARS -- they'll think I'm lazy or selfish, that I have no career drive, that I'm not ambitious, that I have no concern for other people. And it's time to give up all of those roles you're so proud of -- supermom, martyr, hero -- but are keeping you from finding true peace. Once you've accepted that you have the right (and often responsibility) to turn someone down, you can do it in a way that doesn't seem like a REJECTION. Let me show you how:

"I CAN'T RIGHT NOW, BUT I CAN DO IT LATER"

If you really want to help the person but don't have time now, tell them so. Offer a later time or date -- if they can't wait for you they will find someone else.

"I'M REALLY NOT THE MOST QUALIFIED PERSON FOR THE JOB"

If you don't feel that you have adequate skills to take on a task, that's okay. It's better to admit your limitations up front than feel overwhelmed down the road.

"I JUST DON'T HAVE ANY ROOM IN MY CALENDAR RIGHT NOW"

Be honest if your schedule is filled -- and "filled" doesn't have to mean really FILLED! It just means you have scheduled as much as you are willing and you're stopping.

"I CAN'T, BUT LET ME GIVE YOU THE NAME OF SOMEONE WHO CAN"

If you aren't available to help out, offer another qualified resource. Professionals do this all the time when they refer a client to a colleague.

"I HAVE ANOTHER COMMITMENT"

And it doesn't matter what that commitment is. It could be a meeting or a dentist appointment or a day in the park with your kid. The point is, you aren't available.

"I'M IN THE MIDDLE OF SEVERAL PROJECTS AND CAN'T SPARE THE TIME"

Let people know when you have already accepted other responsibilities -- no one is going to fault you for having already filled your plate.

"I'VE HAD A FEW THINGS COME UP AND I NEED TO DEAL WITH THOSE FIRST"

Unexpected things happen that throw your schedule off -- it happens. So accept that you may need to make a few adjustments until your life stabilizes again.

"I WOULD RATHER DECLINE THAN END UP DOING A MEDIOCRE JOB"

Knowing that you aren't able to deliver a quality product -- for whatever reason -- is reason enough for turning a request down.

"I'M REALLY FOCUSING MORE ON MY PERSONAL AND FAMILY LIFE"

People act ashamed of wanting to spend time with their families -- like it means they don't have goals. Having a strong family is a goal in and of itself!

"I'M REALLY FOCUSING MORE ON MY CAREER RIGHT NOW"

The reverse is true also -- you may have to give up some civic or community duties to focus your energies on a work-related task (and that's fine, too!)

"I REALLY DON'T ENJOY THAT KIND OF WORK"

Who said you were supposed to enjoy your chores and assignments?! Well, if you don't enjoy them, why do them? Life isn't about drudgery and boredom.

"I CAN'T, BUT I'M HAPPY TO HELP OUT WITH ANOTHER TASK"

If someone asks you to do something you really despise, refuse -- but then offer to help with something you find more enjoyable or stimulating.

"I'VE LEARNED IN THE PAST THAT THIS REALLY ISN'T MY STRONG SUIT"

Another way of admitting your limitations. Did you know that actually makes you stronger? Knowing what you can handle and what you can't is a tremendous talent!

"I'M SURE YOU WILL DO A WONDERFUL JOB ON YOUR OWN"

Many times, people ask for help because they doubt their own abilities. Let the other person know that you have confidence that they will succeed.

"I DON'T HAVE ANY EXPERIENCE WITH THAT, SO I CAN'T HELP YOU"

Volunteering to help out shouldn't mean that you have to learn an entirely new set of skills. Offer to help out with something you already know how to do.

"I'M NOT COMFORTABLE WITH THAT"

You might be uncomfortable with the people involved, the type of work, the moral implications -- this is a very respectful way to avoid a sticky situation.

"I HATE TO SPLIT MY ATTENTION AMONG TOO MANY PROJECTS"

Let people know that you want to do a good job for them -- but that you can't when your focus is too divided or splintered.

"I'M COMMITTED TO LEAVING SOME TIME FOR MYSELF IN MY SCHEDULE"

Selfish, selfish, selfish! But in a good way! Treat your personal time like any other appointment -- block it off in your calendar and guard it with your life!

"I'M NOT TAKING ON ANY NEW PROJECTS RIGHT NOW"

You aren't saying that you will never help out again -- just that you feel your schedule is as full as you would like right now.

"NO"

Sometimes it's okay just to say no! Just make sure that you say it in a way that expresses respect and courtesy -- that leaves the door open for good relations.

***********************************************
Ramona Creel was the founder of OnlineOrganizing.com (now defunct).

(Copyright 2000, Ramona Creel)

http://www.download-construction-forms.com/20-ways-to-say-no.html
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New "Call Before You Dig" National Hotline

The Common Ground Alliance (CGA) will soon launch the new national 811 "Call Before You Dig" Web site – www.call811.com – designed to serve as a national resource for professional excavators.

The new Web site is already launched to educate industry audiences about the new 811 "Call Before You Dig" telephone number. The national number will be launched to the public in May of 2007.

http://www.download-construction-forms.com/call811.html


Free 411 Calls on your Cell Phone

Thanks to my sister-in-law Theresa in Arizona for this tip!

Cell phone companies charge $1.00 to $1.75 or more for 411 information calls.

Most of us do not carry a telephone directory in our vehicle, which makes this situation even more of a problem.

When you need to use the 411 information option, simply dial:
1 (800) FREE 411 or
1 (800) 373 3411 without incurring any charge at all!

This works on your home telephone as well!

As with all emails forwarded to me that have what sounds like "too good to be true" information, I researched this in the search engines and was pleasantly surprised to find that this is actually true!

Thank you Theresa!! :)


OSHA

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees.

OSHA’s role is to assure the safety and health of America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health.

OSHA's Web site includes approximately 200 Safety and Health Topics pages on various workplace issues—from accident investigation to workplace violence.

The subjects of the pages include specific workplace hazards, as well as individual industries, and provide assistance for complying with OSHA standards.


QUESTION FROM A READER

Hi Diane:

I've had a question come up about mobilization, thought I might be able to pick your brain if you're not too busy, since I know you work with LOTS of contractors and my question is one of industry standards.

I work for a general contracting firm that does reconstruction projects on apartments, condominiums, and townhomes.

We are about to begin a reconstruction project that totals approximately $3,000,000.00.

I recently submitted an invoice to the project's Architect for the mobilization payment, which is 10% of the contract value; about $300,000.00.

(Side note: Our contract clearly states that mobilization will be 10% of the contract amount and lists the amount. The contract was approved by both the Property Manager and the Board of Directors.)

The Architect called me today and told me that he wouldn't approve our mobilization invoice, that we can only bill 10% of the contract or $1,000.00, whichever is less.

I know that this is the case with home improvement contracts, but these types of jobs are a different scale and magnitude.

Our billing for this job is set up on a monthly cycle, so if we aren't able to get this mobilization, we will be floating about half a million dollars for about 45 days.

If we do get it, we will be floating about $200,000.00, which is not wonderful but better than the alternative.

I have had ten years experience in this specific industry and have worked with two companies in those ten years.

Both of those companies have been around since the 70's and both have the same standard in dealing with mobilization since that far back.

I have administrated many jobs where I have used this same method, and have never been questioned by any of the construction managers or architects that I've worked with in the past.

Do you happen to know what other contractors find typical in this situation?

Thank you very much for any help you can give me. I really do appreciate it.

Take care,
Alisha M.

Here's David's response


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(800) 900-9372

 

TheContractorsGroup.com was created to help construction contractors and other business owners with their day-to-day and on-going administrative needs. Have a great day! :)

Diane Dennis
TheContractorsGroup.com
555 NW Fairhaven Drive
Oak Harbor WA 98277
[why no phone]
866-480-7105 fax
diane@thecontractorsgroup.com


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