Advice for Creating A Successful HVAC Company

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An HVAC service company can be quite lucrative. People will always need someone to service their HVAC system. However, you will have to take the following steps to ensure that your HVAC company is a success.

Have a Plan in Place
Many people like to fly by the seat of their pants and hope that their company is a success. However, to get the most out of your company, you will need to have a plan in place. Think about your vision, your goals, and what you will do to reach those goals. You don’t necessarily have to create a complex plan, but it should cover the basics.

Hire the Right Employees
Much of the success of your company depends on the employees that you hire. That is why you need to spend a lot of time making sure that you hire the right people. Not only should you make sure that you have the right employees, but you should also take the time to train them.

Additionally, you should try to retain your employees. Happy employees are the ones who will stay at the company. For example, you can reward your employees when they do a good job. You can also communicate with them and let them make suggestions about how to improve the company.

You will have to invest time and money into marketing if you want your company to be a success. It is easy to market in the Internet age. You can promote your business on Google and social media. You can also create your own website.

However, even though we are in a digital age, you can still use the conventional means of marketing. For example, you can still put up flyers around your area. You can also invest in billboard marketing. It is also important to note that word-of-mouth marketing is one of the best ways to promote your business. If you keep your customers happy, then they will gladly tell their family members and friends about your business.

Offer Comprehensive Services

A successful HVAC company should offer a comprehensive range of services to meet the diverse needs of its customers. These services typically include installation, maintenance, repair, and replacement of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. From residential to commercial settings, the company should be equipped to handle various HVAC equipment, including furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps, boilers, and ductwork. Additionally, offering preventative maintenance plans ensures that customers can prolong the lifespan of their HVAC systems and prevent costly breakdowns. Furthermore, exceptional customer service, prompt response times for air conditioner repair, and transparent pricing are essential components of a successful HVAC company. By delivering high-quality services and prioritizing customer satisfaction, such a company establishes trust and credibility within the community, fostering long-term relationships with its clientele.

Invest in a Good-Quality Equipment
The type of materials and equipment that you have will determine the type of job that you do. That is why it is a good idea for you to invest in good-quality equipment. The right equipment will also make it easier for you and your employees to do their job.

Find a Mentor
The best person to learn from is someone who has been in the field for a long time. You should seek out guidance from other HVAC professionals.


8 Ways to Elevate Your Electrical Contracting Business to the Next Level

How to Elevate Your Electrical Contracting Business to the Next Level

The success of your electrical contracting business is directly influenced by the effort you invest in its growth. Achieving your desired level of success may take time, but several strategic approaches can facilitate this process.

Wooden block ladder with the message take it to the next level with stepping up arrows.

  1. Recruit Skilled Team Members

The backbone of your business lies in your employees. Selecting the right individuals is pivotal. Seek out competent and reliable professionals with relevant experience and verifiable references. By doing so, you not only enhance the quality of your services but also save both time and money that would otherwise be spent on replacing staff.

  1. Harness the Power of Word of Mouth

While often considered traditional, word of mouth remains a potent method for expanding your business. Encourage your clients to refer their acquaintances and loved ones to your services. You can incentivize referrals by offering discounts on future services. This organic approach can significantly contribute to your business growth.

  1. Maintain Post-Service Communication

Your relationship with clients shouldn’t conclude after the job is done. Establish follow-up communication a few weeks later to ensure their satisfaction and address any potential concerns. Encourage them to participate in surveys, allowing you to gather valuable feedback for refining your business operations.

  1. Embrace Technological Advancements

The electrical industry is continuously evolving, driven by technological advancements. Stay attuned to these changes and integrate new technologies into your practices. Whenever possible, opt for eco-friendly equipment and techniques, showcasing your commitment to sustainability.

  1. Foster Effective Communication

Effective communication is indispensable for the smooth functioning of any business. Nurture a culture of open dialogue among your team members, ensuring project managers can seamlessly interact with general contractors. Additionally, maintain transparent communication channels with your clients to foster trust and satisfaction.

  1. Learn from Adversities

Mistakes are an inherent aspect of business ownership. Whether dealing with dissatisfied clients, employee grievances, or insurance issues, each setback presents an opportunity for growth. Analyze these challenges to extract valuable lessons, allowing you to evolve as a more adept business owner.

  1. Invest in Employee Development

In addition to hiring proficient individuals, invest in the ongoing development of your team. Continuous training and upskilling not only enhance the skills of your employees but also bolster their job satisfaction, ultimately leading to improved service quality and customer satisfaction.

  1. Expand Service Offerings

Consider diversifying your service offerings to cater to a broader range of customer needs. This can include specialized services, emergency electric response capabilities, or energy-efficient solutions. Expanding your portfolio can attract a wider client base and increase your business’s overall appeal.

In conclusion, elevating your electrical contracting business involves a multifaceted approach. By prioritizing skilled team members, embracing technological progress, nurturing client relationships, and learning from setbacks, you can pave the way for sustained growth and success.


How to Take Your Plumbing Business to the Next Level

Next level neon sign on brick wall background.

The plumbing industry is a competitive one. Plumbing businesses need to take the proper steps to carve out a niche and grow to stand out from the crowd. With the right strategies and tactics, you can take your business to the next level and increase your profits. Here are some tips to help you do that.

  1. Invest in Technology

Technology can help plumbing businesses stay competitive and grow. Investing in plumbing software, such as job tracking and scheduling apps, can help streamline operations and provide better customer service.

Newer technologies, such as intelligent home systems, can also be used to increase efficiency and offer more services. Additionally, online marketing tools, such as social media, can help you reach a wider audience and build customer relationships.

  1. Offer Specialized Services

Offer specialized services to stand out from other plumbing businesses. For example, focus on specific types of plumbing, such as commercial or residential, or specialize in certain types of repairs, such as plumbing fixtures or drain cleaning.

Doing so will help you target the right customers and increase your profits. Additionally, advertise these specializations so potential customers know what you can offer.

  1. Build a Quality Team

A skilled and experienced team is essential for any plumbing business. Make sure to hire qualified plumbers and support staff members who understand the business and have the right skills.

Also, invest in training and professional development to help them stay up-to-date on the latest trends and technologies. Doing so will help you provide quality services and attract more customers.

  1. Develop a Strong Brand

Develop a strong brand for your plumbing business to stand out from the competition. Focus on creating a unique logo and website, and use social media to engage with customers.

Additionally, make sure to offer quality services, build relationships with customers, and stay up-to-date on the latest technologies to show that you are a reliable business. Doing so will help you increase profits and establish a strong reputation in the industry.

  1. Market Your Business

Develop a strong marketing strategy to get the word out about your plumbing business. Focus on building an online presence through social media and search engine optimization, and consider running targeted ads on platforms like Google and Facebook.

Additionally, look into networking events in your community and use word-of-mouth marketing to promote your services. Doing so will help you find more customers and increase your profits.

  1. Improve Your Customer Service

Providing excellent customer service is essential for any plumbing business. Make sure to respond to customer inquiries quickly and efficiently and provide quality services promptly.

Additionally, consider offering additional services, such as maintenance plans, to help customers save time and money. Doing so will help you build relationships with customers and keep them coming back for more.

The First 3 Things Customers Notice When They Walk Into a Store

A welcome mat at the entrance as a customer is seen entering through the front door.

Do you ever wonder if your store is in the right spot, whether or not people are coming in, and what they think as they walk in? Business owners should always be asking these questions to help them better understand their customers and attract new ones! The good news is that there are tons of resources out there that can help you learn how to understand your customers at a glance. Here are the first three things customers notice when they walk into your store.

  1. Décor and Cleanliness

Customers notice the display, your store’s theme, the colors and textures you choose to use, the furniture, and plenty of other details about the look of your store. This is a great opportunity to impress customers and draw them into your shop to experience something even better! Décor defines the mood and can help you tell your story so that customers understand how you work and what they can expect to receive when they visit. This is also an excellent opportunity to add up-to-date lighting and decor to help you stay fashionable during dreary economic times.

Good décor and lighting will not make up for a store that appears to be dirty and dusty. Be sure that merchandise is dusted regularly and windows are shiny and clean. Clean carpets and floors are especially important. 

  1. Store Layout

Customers notice where the restroom is located, cash registers, the store’s layout and flow, and other details about the store design. This is an important factor that should be considered when designing your store or remodeling it. Customers will want to feel comfortable and secure during their visit, and your layout should reflect that. For example, if a customer feels claustrophobic in the main aisle, they will likely leave before visiting the clothing department.

The layout of your store will affect the flow of customers and help them move throughout your store in a way that makes sense to them. If you have too many items close together, this will confuse customers and cause them to roam around aimlessly. Too much space can make your store look empty and uninviting, which is something you want to avoid.

  1. Employees

Have you ever been in a store where an amazing selection had poorly trained staff? They have a chance to ruin this great opportunity for you and turn away potential customers with their attitude. But, it’s not too late to make all the right changes. Your employees can have a huge impact on your store’s success or failure. We are so busy that we often don’t notice the way employees treat us or what they say as they help us. A well-trained team at every level can help you turn your store into a destination that customers won’t want to leave.


The perception of a store is created by several factors, including the décor, layout, and the way employees interact with customers. These three things should not be overlooked when creating your store. If you do not have time to update these aspects of your business, you can choose to locate nearer to a more populated area with more customers.

Learn more here:


5 Tips for Starting A Successful Cleaning Business

Starting a cleaning business can generate a lot of money. It doesn’t matter whether you do it part-time or full-time. However, there are a few things that you need to do in order to start a successful cleaning business.

Create a Plan

Every successful business starts with a plan. Your business plan should be as detailed as possible. You should think about the goals that you want to accomplish. You should also write a vision for your business. Additionally, you should write down how many people you want to work for your company, the products that you want to have, and the market that you want to target.

Get Funding

Unless you are wealthy, you likely won’t be able to fund your business with your own money. There are several ways that you can get funding. You can get funding from a traditional bank. However, it is hard to get funding if you do not have excellent credit. They may also require that you be in business for at least one year.

It may be easier for you to get funding from a credit union. However, you have to be a member of the community or a certain organization. Credit unions are non-profit.

Additionally, you may want to crowdfund for your business. Websites like Gofundme make it easy for you to raise your funds. You can share your story and explain why you need the money.

Meet the Legal Requirements

You should speak with an attorney in order to ensure that you meet all of the legal requirements. You have to choose the right business structure. You also have to register your business name. Additionally, there may be zoning and licensing requirements that need to be met.

Attract the Clients

Your clients are what make your business a success. You can advertise online. Put up ads on Google. Promote your business on social media. You can also put up fliers around town. Some Redmond, OR carpet cleaners have a steady client base, and they give them incentives to refer their family members and friends.

Get Insurance

Because things can go wrong, you need to make sure that your business is insured. You need to have general liability insurance. General liability insurance will cover injuries that occur at your business. They can also cover you if someone happens to sue you. Keep in mind that there are many home and business owners that require you to present proof of insurance.

Steps to Discover Your Company’s Core Values

The company’s core values are the fundamental principles that guide all of its actions and decisions. Often, these values will be written down and posted on a wall in the office for people to see every day. This article will give you tips and tricks for discovering your company’s core values, so everyone knows what they stand for.

What do the company’s founders want?

Sit down and talk with your company’s founders. Ask them what they stand for, their goals in life, and what they hope to achieve. What do you think the business will be like 5 years from now? You can also take a look at blog posts to review what the founders value most. This can give you a great idea of where your company stands and what its core values are.

Review products and services

Every good business is rooted in its product or service. What is it that you offer? Do you provide superior customer service, an excellent product, timely shipping, and so on? Every action your company takes should be in line with your core values. Look over samples of your work and see if there is any evidence that represents the values you stand for. If there isn’t, then consider expanding until there is clear evidence of these principles in everything you do. 

Check the hiring process

One way to discover values is to look at how people are hired into the organization. Consider how job posts are written, how employees are evaluated during the interview process, and how new hires are welcomed into the company. What actions are deemed necessary to hire an employee? How does each employee get on board with their role? These questions can all help you figure out what your company’s values are.

Take a look at your mission statement

Another way to find out about your core values is to look at your mission statement. This document tells you what it is that you hope to achieve in terms of business goals. It may be helpful for you to read this over several times until you begin to see some patterns emerging from its content. With practice, reading the mission statement will become second nature, allowing you to identify its underlying meaning faster than before.

Review your actions

Your company’s actions are a direct reflection of the values you hold. If you want to know your business values, consider looking closely at how each employee acts daily. What do they say? How do they dress? Who do they talk to? You can learn a lot from someone’s behaviors and then match them up with the appropriate values that may be influencing this type of behavior. Do it for everybody in the office and ask them why they think people act like this and if there is any evidence in their work that backs up their thinking. If everyone gives different answers, then you know you probably don’t have all your core values written down or talked about in the company.

In conclusion, finding out about your company’s core values can be one of the most important things you do to grow your business. Values lead your company forward and will have a big impact on how successful it is over time. Knowing these values will also help you understand just how important they are, which will, in turn, cause them to be followed by every employee in the organization.


Emergency Preparedness for Business

Emergency Preparedness Checklist with pencilBusinesses are often the most unprepared when it comes to emergencies. In a study conducted by Liberty Mutual, 73% of business owners reported no plan for responding to an emergency. If employees do not know what to do during a disaster, a company’s operations can be disrupted, or worse- its reputation can be undermined. On top of the resultant damage to public image, an emergency can result in significant financial liability, especially if it is not covered by insurance.

Whatever your business’s size and risk level, there are ways you can plan ahead for emergencies and ensure that they don’t become disasters:

1) Prepare a Business Emergency Plan and Training for Employees:
Businesses must have an emergency plan in place. A business emergency plan should outline the responsibilities of employees during an emergency, what supplies are needed, and where they can be found. The Electronic Emergency Plan Builder is a free online tool created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that allows you to create a business emergency plan.
To ensure employees are familiar with the plan, hold regular training sessions where they can ask questions about the plan in detail.

Common questions might include:
-Who should come in during an emergency? Who should stay home if possible?
-What should we keep with us if we are evacuated?
-What should we do if there is a live shooter in the building?

2) Make Business Continuity Plans that Account for the Worst Case Scenario:
No business can expect to remain fully operational during an emergency. However, it is possible to ensure the disruption of work is minimized by planning ahead. Depending on the severity of the emergency, some businesses may carry on their usual operations remotely. Others might be forced to return to an alternate office temporarily or even evacuate entirely. The key is being aware of all possible outcomes and having a plan that accounts for each one.

3) Ensure Business Insurance is Updated to Cover Disaster-Related Damage:
Business insurance can also help protect against loss or damage that results from an emergency. Talk with your agent about updating your policy to include business interruption coverage, which offers money for lost income while you are closed due to an emergency. Make sure the policy covers any service that would be needed in case of emergency, such as a water extraction after a flood. Having a policy in place can soften the financial blow of an emergency and help keep your business running.

In conclusion, emergencies can happen at any time, and unpreparedness is not a viable option. Businesses that take the threat of an emergency seriously and prepare ahead will be better equipped to weather these events – preventing disasters from becoming catastrophes.

How to Take a Locksmith Business to the Next Level

Locksmiths will always be needed. If you decide to start a locksmith business, then you can potentially make a lot of money with it. There are several ways that you can make the most of your locksmith business.

locksmith assisting a customer

Be Professional And Punctual
Your customers expect you to show up on time. They also get frustrated when they have to wait, especially for lock-out services. Being punctual is one of the best things that you can do in order to help your business. This will help you build great relationships with your customers.

If you are professional, then your customers will likely tell their family members and friends about your business. This can help you grow your business.

Get on Social Media
If your business is not on social media, then you are missing out on a lot of business. You should be active on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Instagram. You also need to have a good website. You may want to hire a digital marketer so that you can ensure that your business is seen when people do a Google search.

Offer Service 24/7
People need locksmiths at any time of the day or the night. For example, someone may get locked out of their car or home at night. That is why you need to offer services outside of the conventional 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. hours. It is best for you to offer 24/7 hours.

Get Feedback
Your customers are the best resource that you can use to grow your business. You should ask them to give their honest feedback. You can use the feedback that you get in order to improve your business. You can also ask them to review you online.

Many people look at online reviews before they choose a particular business. If you happen to get a negative review, then you should respond to it and resolve the issue as soon as possible. Negative feedback can also be used to improve your business.

Expand Your Skills and Services
The locksmith industry is always changing. You can keep up with those changes and expand your own skillset by taking a training course. Training courses will also teach you about the technology that you can use to make things easier for you.

Include lock-out services, lock re-keying, lock installation, lock repair and lock replacement.

Use a Local Business Number
Customers don’t want to call a toll-free number. They want a local business number. It makes them feel more comfortable when they are calling it. You can get more leads by using a local business number.

The Importance of Keeping a Clean and Healthy Office Environment

In the business world, first impressions are crucial. Your office’s appearance creates a mental image in the eyes of clients who come into your establishment. The first impression essentially sets the tone for the rest of the relationship. It is important to keep the office environment premises clean, safe, and hygienic at all times.

On the other hand, keeping a clean office environment is about more than just getting a good first impression. It has a significant impact on your company as a whole, particularly internally, since it has a considerable impact on the morale and performance of your staff.

Here are four benefits of a clean and healthy office environment.

Improves Morale
The organization of a company is one of the most important factors in its success. A well-kept job environment has a positive impact on how workers perceive their occupation. When workers are accustomed to arranging and cleaning their work environment, they improve both their morale and the company.

As a result, workplace morale rises, and a pleasant atmosphere prevails. Furthermore, clients and visitors feel at ease and happy when doing business in a clean and healthy place. This is important to foster a positive relationship between the business and its clients, which is beneficial to the company’s bottom line.

Encourages Professionalism
As the work environment is organized, from the sorting of papers to the filing of folders, workers become more orderly, which encourages professionalism. Any employee, regardless of industry, is supposed to offer outstanding customer service. The visual aspect of the workplace, particularly the interior, is crucial in promoting your brand.

One thing that every worker must do regularly is to keep their working space orderly and clean. This element of professionalism must be ingrained as it represents the ideals embraced by your company. Working in a tidy workplace is particularly soothing and energizing for everyone.

All clients expect professional services. Professionalism begins with the discipline used in the workplace. When everything is tidy and organized, the business will thrive.

Ensures Safety and Healthy
A safe and healthy workplace is one that is clean. When every corner of the office is tidy and neat, injuries and illnesses are avoided. A fresh breath of air is important for preventing germs and contaminants from entering; thus, disinfectants can be used.

Maintaining dry and clean floors is critical in avoiding injury and incidents such as slips and falls. As a result, cleaning companies have been established to assist in maintaining a clean and well-organized workspace. Visit to learn more about scheduling regular carpet cleaning. 

Generates Positive Outcomes
It is guaranteed that a clean workspace fosters good vibes among workers. When an employee works in a company that values order and cleanliness, they are driven to give their all, particularly for the customers.

Furthermore, satisfied workers result in satisfied customers. When everyone is happy, the company remains healthy and flourishing.

Building Your Small Business by Building Your Community

Illustration of a crane building the word community

Small businesses can thrive within their city or town by becoming involved and invested in the community. Donations, sponsorships, and support for non-profit and civic organizations offer the valuable payback of word-of-mouth advertising and new customers who appreciate your goodwill.

One of the most effective ways to show you are a stakeholder in a community is through involvement or support for the school system or youth activities. People appreciate help and support for projects and programs that benefit their children and word travel quickly among parents.

Direct involvement related to your business can work particularly well for trades. Schools and youth centers operate on limited budgets and have buildings that can always use repairs and upgrades. Refitting a space with eco-friendly lighting or helping solve a chronic plumbing problem will be gratefully and frequently acknowledged. HVAC companies are always in demand.

Landscaping companies can lead a community effort to spruce up a neglected schoolyard or park that hosts youth sports. Providing a visible improvement will have people talking about your business through several seasons.

If donating services and repairs is impractical, there are still plenty of opportunities to support the needs and interests of community youth. Launch a scholarship in your company’s name. Sponsor a field trip or an event such as a soccer tournament. Offering a donation or help with a youth project such as providing meals to local families in need will boost your reputation as a community partner. Connecting with the PTO to see where you can have the greatest impact will get you noticed by a network of moms that will build you a client list.

Some companies even team up with student fundraisers and offer a discount on their services to donors. Almost anything you donate or provide will get your company’s name out into the community among people who will need your services sooner or later.

Youth sports organizations are great opportunities to connect to the community. Does a hometown team need help with equipment or uniforms? Do fields need better night lights? Could the turf use some work? Many cities and towns have a Police Athletic League that organizes tournaments and other activities for children and teens. The local PAL would probably have a slew of suggestions about how to become involved.

Coffee shops and small restaurants that can provide light food for different events are always appreciated. Food is a tried and true ice breaker, especially for community meetings about proposals and issues that bring together people with opposing views. And it’s a great way to give people a taste of what you have to offer.

If there’s a hometown parade, enter a float. Donate to the Fourth of July fireworks fund. Participate in holiday events and celebrations, particularly for athletic teams that pick up championship titles.

It can be helpful to partner with one well-known non-profit organization. Faith communities are a great resource. Congregations have their own charitable projects and would welcome some support.

Although community involvement means donations of time and money, for small businesses it’s usually time and money well spent. A successful community is usually home to successful businesses. When your community wins, you win.


Is a Cleaning Business Profitable?

If you’re one of the thousands of people thinking of opening your own cleaning business, you may have had the same thought as everybody else, “Is a cleaning business even profitable?” Understandably, people have a lot of questions when it comes to cleaning businesses. Unlike other companies, you really don’t see the transactions nor the everyday hustle and bustle of an office building. Thus the following includes further detail about the probability of a cleaning business.

woman wearing rubber gloves and apron behind cleaning icons

The Demand is There
No matter if you live in a mid-sized city or a sprawling metropolis, the demand for cleaning services is there. Parents who are both working constantly may need someone to come in once or twice a week to clean up the home. Entrepreneurs and large companies are also seeking people who can clean a few floors without really having to hire them as full-time employees. In addition to having the demand, because your services are so widely needed, you may be able to increase your prices, thus improving your profit margins at the end of the month.

Opportunity to Continue Growing
Those who have taken the leap and open up their own cleaning services can tell you that they did so not only because of the possible profits but also because of their growth potential. Because the number of possible clients is not limited to one industry within your community, you can expand if you are willing to bring more people onto your crew. This, of course, does mean investing in training, supplies, and employees, but growth does not come without a cost.

You May Offer Various Types of Cleaning Services
Unlike a shoe or clothing store that can only sell one particular type of item, cleaning services have a whole plethora of services they can offer to clients. This means that you always have the chance of upselling clients with a more detailed and more expensive plan. For example, if you’re cleaning residential homes, you may want to promote the fact that you now offer office building cleaning services. If you have a carpet cleaning company, you can offer upholstery cleaning and other types of floor cleaning with your existing equipment. If you are doing your job correctly, many of your existing clients may recommend you to their jobs or friends and family.

Overhead Cost
One of the biggest reasons why so many are hesitant to go into business for themselves is due to overhead costs. A restaurant will need furniture, supplies, and large, expensive kitchen equipment before they can offer their services to the public. However, all a cleaning service business needs is a stockpile of cleaning supplies, uniforms, and enough capital to pay their employees. This makes making a profit within your first year that much more realistic.

As you can see from the information above, there are a number of reasons why a cleaning services business would be profitable. Of course, it is always recommended to conduct your own due diligence before investing your funds into one.

The Economy is Us

People are worried. Why throw money to soak up bad debts banks have, when people are facing potential debt or mortgage payments problems of their own, especially if jobs drop and interest rates rise – as seems sure to happen no matter what Congress does.  Even if banks are kept solvent, who is to assure that they will still help out the small businessperson?

I have a little experience and a general philosophy here.  I started my business with family help in 1988, buying a store. The recession of 89-92 hit right after I moved the store to a new shopping center and quadrupled my rent and overhead. It was tough.  But there were good things about it. Businesses had to be smart to survive. You had to take better care of your customers. You had to forge relationships with them. It could not be a semi-anonymous thing just centered around goods and money.  People got a little more serious about life in the hard times. It was not all bad.

Here is a little thinking on banking. My experience in business was with a small business and a locally-owned bank. When I went to get my business loan to buy my business I spoke with the banker for a long time. He explained that he was the last locally-owned bank in Knoxville, Tennessee. He explained the difference between a locally-owned bank and a larger chain bank. Local banks take local money and primarily invest it in the local economy, in giving loans to businesses like mine. There is accountability there. There is a relationship. We are business partners. I would often go over to the bank and just talk, get help, advice, and wisdom; not just deal with money. There is a lot more to running a business (and life itself) than just money.

Larger banks tended, he said, to take the local money and invest it in broader, often removed, markets. They would invest Knoxvillians’ money more in the various funds and national or international banking schemes out there. They might make a great profit, but it was not as much by supporting the people where we lived and whom we knew personally and providing them capital to follow their dreams.

I was tremendously struck with the fundamental difference. I had never before realized that every dollar I invested in a bank, even in my own savings or checking account, could either be earmarked to support a vague fund with who-knows-what control over it in who-knows-which place; or it could be put in the hands of my local banker who could be freer to lend it to my neighbor who ran a hair salon in my own shopping center. Or, for that matter, my business. When you boil it down that way, it is very simple.

I became a huge fan of investing locally and investing in a relationship that provided wisdom, commitment to me and my neighbors as well as liquidity.

Perhaps it is time for the entire nation – or even the world – to get the grandiose banking schemes out of their heads and return to investing in -and being accountable to – people they can sit down and talk with. Then we can all learn more – about money – and about life.

A new slogan: It’s about the fact that the economy is us – ’stupid