July, 2003
News in Brief
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors

Marketing Book Review


“Just Add H2Oh! (A Recipe for Hydronic Marketing Success)”
by Dan Holohan,© 1997, 189 pages. Available through Dan Holohan Associates, Inc. 63 North Oakdale Avenue, Bethpage, NY 11714, 800 853-8882 Fax: 516 579-3046, www.heatinghelp.com.

On the first page of chapter one, hydronic heating lecturer and writer Dan Holohan describes a man who succeeded in making a very tough sale and, with his success, made international history. Holohan uses the word “enthusiasm” to describe this man’s approach. He tells us that this man did everything with other peoples’ best interests in mind.

Holohan took his own advice when crafting this marketing book. Every page shows his enthusiasm for the hydronics business and in every page he keeps his reader’s best interest in mind. You’ll put down this book and say, “This guy wants me to succeed. He knows I can succeed. I know I can succeed.”

In addition to the positive outlook, so important to business success, you’ll get practical marketing ideas. Among the things you’ll learn are powerful advertising approaches, useful writing techniques and sound pricing advice.

Does his advice apply to the home inspection business? Absolutely. Holohan makes a point of telling his readers to look around at the marketing used by companies in other fields. Use what works, shun what offends. Don’t let this book’s title fool you. With humor and clarity Holohan gives you the tools to make your home inspection business grow.

—Arlene Puentes
October Home Inspections
Kingston, NY

SBA spruces up

The U.S. Small Business Administration has launched an enhanced Web site designed to make it easier for small businessowners and other users to access a wealth of agency resources.

The SBA Web site, with more than 50,000 documents, is one of the most effective resources the agency has to reach potential and current small business owners with tools and information to assist them in developing successful businesses. The site receives an average of more than 1.2 million visits weekly, the most frequently visited pages being StartingYour Own Business, Financing Your Business and How to Write a Business Plan.

The re-engineered site, at www.sba.gov, underwent widespread cosmetic and structural changes, as well as revisions of content. The changes not only will make navigation easier and more logical, but will give small business-users access to a compelling interactive resource for the development and growth of their businesses.

Chief among the changes are:

  • the use of plain English to explain the “what,” “where,” “why,”and “how-to” of starting and running a business.
  • five customer-centric access views: starting a business; financing a business; managing and growing a business; business opportunities; and disaster assistance.
  • a sophisticated geo-mapping feature that makes it easy for customers all over the country to find and travel to nearby SBA district offices and resource partners.
  • a comprehensive and fully searchable menu of business FAQs.
  • more tutorials, counseling and a virtual training campus with more than 50 free online courses, a virtual library with more than 200 free E-books, and direct access to some 30 universities and colleges offering online business courses around the country

For more information about all of the SBA’s programs for small businesses, call the SBA Answer Desk at 800-U ASK SBA or TDD 704-344-6640, or visit the SBA’s extensive Web site at www.sba.gov

Chamber grades most statelegal systems “C-”

The United States Chamber of Commerce’s second annual poll of corporate counselors and senior litigators on the fairness or reasonableness of state liability systems continues to find a majority of states deserve a grade of fair to poor.

Through interviews with more than 900 corporate attorneys, the Chamber Institute for Legal Reform and Harris Interactive found an overwhelming majority of those polled (82 percent) said a state’slitigation environment affects important decisions, such as where to locate or do business. And 65 percent ranked state court liability
systems as only “fair” or “poor,” up from 57 percent last year.

At the head of the class were Delaware, Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota and Indiana. Bringing up the bottom – those states perceived as having the worst performance – were Mississippi, West Virginia, Alabama, Louisiana and Texas.

Survey respondents – companies with annual revenues of at least $100 million – were asked to grade all 50 states based on: treatment of class action suits, punitive damages, timeliness of summary judgment/dismissal, discovery, scientific and technical evidence, judges’ impartiality and competence, and juries’ fairness and predictability.

Full results of the Harris Poll can be found at www.litgationfairness.org.