HVACR Business

SEP 2017

Help hvacr contractors master the critical components of business management.

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17 HVACR BUSINESS SEPTEMBER 2017 www. hvacrbusiness .com audience. Why obscure your meaning with complexity? Instead, use fewer, shorter words and simple sentences. 6. Learn active voice. Learn it — and use it. In active voice, the subject of your sentence is acting, while in passive voice, the subject is acted on. Consider these two sentences: Active: John installed a new HVAC system in the old office building. Passive: e HVAC system was in- stalled in the old office building by John. In the first sentence, the subject ( John) is acting ; in the second, the subject (the HVAC system) is acted on. e system can't install itself; John must do it. Active voice results in short, direct and lively sen- tences, which simplify your writing and make it more engaging. 7. Brush up on punctuation. If you Google the phrase "misused punctuation marks," you'll find hundreds of articles and blog posts and a lot of pas- sionate feeling on the topic. While fussing about punctuation (and spelling, for that matter) in an era of texts and emojis might seem quaint, mis- placed punctuation can change the mean- ing of a sentence. at interferes with communication. We can't review the complete rules of punctuation here, so do some online research or invest in a book that covers them. If you want a few quick tips, consid- er these guidelines on three oen-misused types of punctuation: Exclamation points. You seldom, if ever, need them in business letters, memos and reports. Quotation marks. Unless you're quoting someone or including the title of a piece that's part of a larger work (such as an article in a magazine), you probably don't need them. Semi-colons. ey join two complete sentences that are related to each other. Look at the last paragraph of tip No. 6 for two examples. 8. Format your document. Now that you've outlined your writing, simplified it and punctuated it correctly, it's time to think about your audience again. Even a business letter, let alone a re- port, can be difficult to read when it's just a mass of type. Consider adding : • Space between paragraphs (instead of paragraph indents) • Bullets or numbers to set off lists (like this one) or points you want to make • Boldface type to emphasize information • Subheads to introduce sections of content • Page numbers, particularly for those who still print and save hard copies. ose devices and others highlight your main points and help readers navi- gate your document. 9. Find an editor/proofreader. Allowing time between writing and ed- iting gives you a new perspective on what you draed and makes improving it easier. But even better: identify a colleague who can help you with your work. Having a sounding board for ideas is great, but finding someone who also has a solid command of the written word and good editing skills is even better. Look to your communications or marketing de- partment for professional resources, or tap into that workmate who always nails his or her memos and reports. A dispassionate review of your writing before you email it off can make a critical difference on quality and results. 10. Use online tools. You're already familiar with spellcheck, no doubt, but consider more targeted or comprehensive tools that can improve your writing. ese three cover the bases and are easy to use: grammarly.com — You can down- load a free version or pay for the premium one. e free version fixes critical gram- mar, spelling and punctuation errors. merriam-webster.com — is is a great resource to check spelling, the mean- ing of words and alternatives. quickanddirtytips.com — Grammar Girl offers clear and helpful writing tips. If you follow these suggestions, your writing will improve. More important, so will your ability to deliver information and persuade others to your point of view — which boosts your reputation and ulti- mately your career success. Your audience wins and you win: big reasons why good writing at work is worth worrying about. u Chuck Eddy is vice president of HVAC sales for Southwire Company LLC, one of North America's largest wire and cable producers. Southwire and its subsidiaries manufacture building wire and cable, metal-clad cable, portable and electronic cord products, OEM wire products and engineered products. Visit southwire.com for additional information. An upfront investment in time will pay off in the end, because writing goes faster when you plan and organize at the start. ■ Air and water cooled ■ Customized voltage and tanks ■ Proven reliability ■ Adaptable to customer needs ■ Readily available units ■ 24/7 customer service A YORK® Refrigerant Storage/Recycling System (RSR) enables HVAC technicians to safely and effectively handle refrigerant when performing chiller work. AHRI certified to ensure performance, units are compact, portable, self-contained and specifically engineered for ease-of-service and fast chiller evacuation within all types of commercial and industrial applications. resolute.sales@res-ind.com | 317.360.5106 | www.res-ind.com f a s t e s t r e f r i g e r a n t r e c o v e r y r a t e s i n t h e i n d u s t r y continued from page 15

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