Sunday, January 17, 2010


I AM CELEBRATING 30 years in the code consulting business on November
18, 2009. We have reviewed 1000’S of plans, had 1000’S attend our seminars
and have over 90+M newsletters in circulation. But this story isn’t just about
me, but about some everyday business tips I picked up along the way that you
can use.

WHEN I LEFT BOCA, International as a staff engineer in November 1979, I
heard the usual.. “you’ll be back; you won’t make it on your own”. As the years went by, many of those same people came looking for a job with my firm.

The client isn’t always right, but they are always the client. No one ever won an argument with a client!

Keep your promises. Have projects completed on time, and if you cannot, then notify the client.

If you are too busy to help a client, then you are too busy doing the wrong thing.

Always return phone calls, the same day if possible. I have terminated some staff
members for not returning client calls.

Try answering the phone yourself. It really impresses the client and gives the idea that you are approachable and hands-on.

To avoid interruptions, just tell the client nicely that the less interruptions you have from them, the quicker you can finish their project.

Write your reports like they will be read in court. In many cases they will. The client may be in a hurry, but if it ever goes to trial, you have all the time to answer the judge and a jury. Check spelling and proper use of words. ( Ex: There is no such thing as a “hot water heater”. Why would you heat hot
water? It’s a water heater.)

Know when to walk away. Some clients bring projects that just aren’t in your field of expertise, are not safe or have questionable intents.

Don’t get greedy! Stick to your ethics. There is enough work out there for all of us.

We have not raised our plan review fees since 2002 and the newsletter has remained $75 a year since 1981. Remember, it takes years to building a good reputation and just a few bad decisions to ruin it.

Give back to the community. Some firms just take and take and don’t give anything back. We support the local ICC Chapters with gratis training, the Salvation Army, Pacific Garden Mission, Mooseheart and the Boy Scouts of America with generous donations.

I AM NO business guru, but these practices and principles have worked for me for 30 years. Call me anytime (1-800-950-2633) if you want to discuss your business. I am more than glad to share my experience and learn from yours.

Kelly P. Reynolds

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