Alchemy-Spetec Blog

Are You Tuning in to The Injection Connection?

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Aug 25, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Are You Tuning in to The Injection Connection

Body - Are You Tuning in to The Injection ConnectionIn January of 2020, Alchemy-Spetec launched The Injection Connection podcast, hosted by Jim Spiegel. Jim is the Vice President of Alchemy-Spetec and a Board Member at the International Concrete Repair Institute. As of August 2020, there are eight episodes packed with valuable industry information.

If you've missed any of these podcast posts, we invite you to review the guide below...

Episode One - Introduction

Episode 1 is a brief intro about the host, Jim Spiegel, and the intended content of the show. The Injection Connection is produced for contractors, distributors, and design professionals in the infrastructure repair segment, or broader construction industry. The podcast aims to provide unique insights through the lens of the chemical grouting industry.

Check Out Episode One

Episode Two - The QP Factor

This episode is an overview of the patented QP Factor system used to quantify chemical grout leak seal success. The presentation was originally given at the ICRI National Convention by Jim Spiegel, and is being reproduced remotely for an engineering firm in the San Francisco Bay Area. This is the industry's first patented method for leak seal quantification.

Check Out Episode Two

Episode Three - Interview with Kevin Earles

Guest Kevin Earles is a long-time friend of Jim Spiegel, and the National Sales Director for EPMS Supplies based in Nottingham, UK. Topics covered include how they met one another, the future of online distribution, Brexit, and more. Kevin has been in the speciality construction distribution industry for almost 25 years.

Check Out Episode Three

Episode Four - Interview with Adam Tracy

Guest Adam Tracy, of A-1 Foundation Crack Repair, offers a unique perspective into the residential leak seal industry through his Civil Engineering education. Adam and Jim discuss differences in residential vs.commercial projects, as well as finding new talent, learning from contractors, and more.

Check Out Episode Four

Episode Five - Helms Polyfoam

The Injection Connection welcomes two guests from Helms Polyfoam: JR Crowell, VP & COO, and Morgan Helms, President & CEO. In this episode, Jim Spiegel discusses the history of the Helms business, the future of customer support, and the importance of relationships.

Check Out Episode Five

Episode Six - Jack Whitworth

Jim and guest Jack Whitworth, 26-year chemical grouting sales professional, discuss the importance of education, mutual benefits of competitors working together, and driving our families crazy during the Covid-19 lockdown time.

Check Out Episode Six

Episode Seven - Ann Thaxton

On Episode 7 of The Injection Connection, Jim sits down with Ann Thaxton, from Concrete Titans, a marketing and advertising agency offering services to the concrete lifting, and residential foundation repair markets. Ann offers great insights into the most current lead capture strategies, trends in the industry, and how marketing dollars are actually worth more in the current Covid-19 crisis.

Check Out Episode Seven

Episode Eight - Matt & Travis of Lift It Rite

On Episode 8 of The Injection Connection, Jim sits down with Matt Chittick and Travis Germick, co-owners of Lift It Rite, LLC., a residential slab-lifting business servicing the Greater Atlanta and surrounding markets. Matt and Travis offer valuable insights on how to start a lifting business, production considerations, and the under-appreciated value of showing up with a smile (and perhaps a hamburglar costume!).

Check Out Episode Eight

Check out the podcast on TheInjectionConnection.com and the following platforms:

Want info on Alchemy-Spetec products & applications?

Download the Info-Packed Leak Seal Product Catalog!

Download the Info-Packed Geotech Product Catalog!

Topics: All Posts, Business Tips

Tips for New Slab Lifters from Matt & Travis of Lift It Rite

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Aug 6, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner-Tips for New Slab Lifters from Matt & Travis of Lift It Rite

Body-Tips for New Slab Lifters from Matt & Travis of Lift It RiteThis article is an excerpt from Episode 8 of Alchemy-Spetec's podcast The Injection Connection, featuring Matt Chittick and Travis Germick, co-owners of Lift It Rite, LLC, a residential slab-lifting business. The Injection Connection is hosted by Jim Spiegel: Vice President of Alchemy-Spetec and Board Member at the International Concrete Repair Institute. (If you'd rather watch the video clip of this exchange, it is posted at the bottom of the article.)

Jim Spiegel: If there's one thing that you guys, a piece of advice or some sage wisdom, as I know you guys are full of that as well as punch lines (laughter), what would you say to someone thinking about getting into the lifting business?

Travis Germick: If you're going to get into the industry, I would say get with Alchemy-Spetec and get some training. Hang out with those guys, come down and watch someone do the work. Get with a reputable company, come with us and work for a day or two and see what it's all about.

There's a lot of people that can definitely do this job but there's also a lot of people that could not do this job. There's a work ethic that goes with it. And I think with any spray foam or something like that, if it's insulation or whatever it is but there's a special ethic that has to go with it and special type of person it takes to get into this. But we absolutely love it. Every day, we get up, we're excited to do what we do because our customers’ minds are blown every time they see foam lifting concrete. And we feed off of that. I mean, they're over there like, “wow, that was cool” and I'm like, “I know, right?” That was really neat. We’re really psyched about it as well. There's a lot of times where Matt and I are high fiving each other because, that was a really cool job we just did.

That’s the only takeaway I have with it. I think it's a great industry to be in. I think it's a great service that we're offering and it's cool, too. It really is some neat stuff. What do you think, Matt?

Matt Chittick: I 100% agree. I would tell somebody you can learn all the ins and outs of it but until you get on the job sites and you see some things happen and you kind of roll with the punches, me and Travis, we have fun. If you have fun, it doesn't feel like you're working. And I would say have fun. You want to look for more good jobs than bad, but don't let the bad jobs bring down your attitude because your customers will feed off of your attitude. If you have a great positive attitude, those customers are going to have a great positive attitude. And if they have a great positive attitude, guess what, they love writing checks.

Jim: Yeah. I couldn't agree with you more that the attitude is such a big part of it. And then that starts when you get out of your truck, right?

Travis: Absolutely.

Jim: If you get out of your truck and you’re all smiles and having a good time with them, it just leads into a good experience. Not only do they feel like they trust you, but when things go wrong, they're more tolerant, I feel.

Matt: Yeah, absolutely. I would say because of our attitudes and things like that, we've been able to explain some things to customers and show them what happened here, what happened there and whatnot and they know that we're professional because that's the way we come across. We keep them involved in it, and when they see these things happen, I think they are a lot more tolerant and really accept some of the imperfections. That might be because getting concrete back to the original exact part or area whre it was might not always be what you can do. But if you talk about those expectations and you keep the customer informed and you're upbeat and positive, that's just going to transcend right to your customer and then everybody's okay and everybody's having a good day.

Watch the excerpt...

Want more information on polyurethane slab lifting?

Download an Info-Packed Slab Lift Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Lift Slabs, Business Tips

Matt Chittick and Travis Germick of Lift It Rite

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Jun 30, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner-Lift It Rite

Body-Lift It RiteOn Episode 8 of The Injection Connection, Jim sits down with Matt Chittick and Travis Germick, co-owners of Lift It Rite, LLC, a residential slab-lifting business servicing the Greater Atlanta and surrounding markets. Matt and Travis offer valuable insights on how to start a lifting business, production considerations, and the under-appreciated value of showing up with a smile - and perhaps a hamburglar costume!  (Jim Spiegel is Vice President of Alchemy-Spetec and a Board Member at the International Concrete Repair Institute.)

Listen to the episode in its entirety below, or check it out on TheInjectionConnection.com and the following platforms:

Want info on Alchemy-Spetec slab lifting products & applications?

Download an Info-Packed Slab Lift Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Lift Slabs, Business Tips

Ann Thaxton on Advertising Strategy & Costs for Contractors

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Jun 25, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner-Advertising Strategy and Cost for Contractors

Body-Advertising Strategy and Cost for ContractorsThis article is an excerpt from Episode 7 of Alchemy-Spetec's podcast The Injection Connection, featuring concrete lifting marketing expert Ann Thaxton of ConcreteTitans.com. The Injection Connection is hosted by Jim Spiegel: Vice President of Alchemy-Spetec and Board Member at the International Concrete Repair Institute. (If you'd rather listen, an audio version of this exchange is posted at the bottom of the article.)

Jim Spiegel: As you know in the industry it's very expensive to get into this, just on the equipment side of things. You're looking at 50, 60, 70, even more - $100,000 perhaps depending on your rig setup.  So, one of the questions we get all the time is – “Okay, I'm going to invest in this equipment. What are you going to do for me and how do I get leads?” That's probably the number one question. For the customers that buy the equipment, their biggest problem we see as far as their success is their lack of marketing or advertising strategy. Say I'm Joe the builder and I want to get into this, and my first question is, “How do I start? Where do I even start with marketing, advertising and lead capture?”  Could you talk us through what solutions you may offer on that and any information on monthly budgets?

Ann Thaxton: We've found throughout the industry that for cost per lead, your cheapest cost per lead is digital advertising. Your most expensive cost per lead is TV. And everything else falls in between. Your average cost per lead with digital advertising runs between $40 and $50 per lead. TV runs around $200 to $250 per lead. Direct Mail runs about $150 per lead. Ideally, if you were a more mature company, you would do all of those because studies show that it takes anywhere between 12 and 18 touch points for somebody to convert to become a customer. If you're just starting out in the business, your cheapest cost per lead is digital advertising. But I wouldn't just stop there. If you have time on your hands and if you are able to, then print up some door hangers and hang them up around neighborhoods where you know they have some problems with their concrete. If you level concrete in one neighborhood, you hang door hangers on both sides of that house and across the street for sure. And you ask your customer if they would please refer people to you because referrals are really the gold standard here. Referrals are “free” cost per lead. So, once you get really mature as a company, you get so many referrals that it just becomes gravy on top. But to start out, I would think that you would do a lot of that pounding the pavement type of work to get your name out and then do some lead advertising. And I have different levels of service. From the start, from the starting service up to 4+ rig companies. And for a budget to start out, you can spend less than a thousand a month.

Visit ConcreteTitans.com for more info on Ann Thaxton's marketing services.

Want some marketing tips from Alchemy-Spetec?

Download an Info-Packed Contractor Marketing Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Lift Slabs, Business Tips

Ann Thaxton on the Importance of Lead Advertising for Contractors

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Jun 23, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner-Lead Advertising for Contractors

Body-Lead Advertising for ContractorsThis article is an excerpt from Episode 7 of Alchemy-Spetec's podcast The Injection Connection, featuring concrete lifting marketing expert Ann Thaxton of ConcreteTitans.com. The Injection Connection is hosted by Jim Spiegel: Vice President of Alchemy-Spetec and Board Member at the International Concrete Repair Institute. (If you'd rather listen, an audio version of this exchange is posted at the bottom of the article.)

Jim Spiegel: A lot of your expertise is in social media and SEO. Do you offer support in that entire realm of marketing?

Ann Thaxton: I do. I pretty much am a mixed bag, but for home repair industries really the most effective channel of marketing is lead advertising. I'm a big proponent of lead advertising because you get a concrete return on your investment. You get a potential client’s name, phone number, email address and why they're contacting you - maybe their pool deck needs to be raised or they have a parking lot that needs to be leveled. That's what I really push the most with this industry is lead advertising. Not only that but I also really promote the lead nurturing process. So once you get your lead from lead advertising, you start a series of automated emails that go to those people maybe two to three weeks and it educates them on the industry. One of the big things, one of the big challenges of residential concrete lifting is a lot of people don't know that it's a thing. They don't realize that you can repair your concrete rather than replacing it at a fraction of the cost. I think that is a big part of why you need that sort of lead nurturing so people can start getting their brain around – okay, well, how does this work? How do you raise this concrete? And how long does it take? That sort of thing. So yes, I do search engine optimization, SEO, I do websites, I do email nurturing campaigns for leads, lead advertising, some sales training. I look at it as if you take a business that has maybe two rigs and they have two crew that are going out, you start them with the basic lead advertising email nurturing and hopefully you can get somebody on staff that is a customer service person that does nothing but call these leads the second they come in and it helps you build the business from there. A lot of the nurturing I do for the leads is not just emails, it’s occasional texts. It's consistent phone calling until we know if these people are going to convert or if they're not interested. That's what you’re trying to find out from these leads. So lead advertising all the way.

Jim: And are you heavily involved with the social media side of things?

Ann: I believe that you should post on your social media business pages. People do you go there occasionally but the algorithm with that is not what it used to be five years ago even because Facebook is now a public company. They want to make money. So they are not going to show your posts to the people that like your Facebook page unless you put some money behind it really. I do lead advertising on Facebook which is a great platform for educating people on concrete lifting in that it's a real home repair service. I believe in posting maybe a couple times a week but then I also really believe in lead advertising on social media. And then LinkedIn if you want to build your commercial business.

Jim: You're saying lead advertising and excuse my ignorance but essentially you’re talking about the lead capture side of it?

Ann: Yes. So, usually you need to offer something, like maybe a $50 off coupon, $100 off coupon. And they click through, in order to get that coupon, they have to give you their name and information.  Then you send the coupon pretty much immediately and call shortly after that. So that's how that works.

Visit ConcreteTitans.com for more info on Ann Thaxton's marketing services.

Want some marketing tips from Alchemy-Spetec?

Download an Info-Packed Contractor Marketing Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Lift Slabs, Business Tips

Are You Taking Advantage of the Free Alchemy-Spetec Estimating App?

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Jun 4, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner-Alchemy-Spetec App

The new, updated Alchemy-Spetec poly estimating app makes it easy to estimate material amounts for slab lifting, void filling, floor repair, and now leak seal® crack injection jobs.

This app is a simple, fast, and reliable way to take the guesswork out of estimating Alchemy-Spetec materials while prepping for a job.

Download the App & Create an Account

Follow these steps to download and operate this app:

1. Download the app.
Search Alchemy-Spetec in your Apple App Store or Google Play Store to install the Poly Estimating App.

 

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2. Create an account.
After installing the app, create an account by clicking "Sign Up" at the bottom and following the prompts.

registration-final-3-screens

Estimate Material

1. Tap the three lines in the top left corner to display the application options.

Alchemy-Spetec-App---Step-1

 

2. Select the application type for which you want to estimate material.

Alchemy-Spetec-App---Step-2       

3. Choose between the Imperial or Metric measuring systems.

Alchemy-Spetec-App---Step-3

4. Input the requested info (in this case: crack width, concrete thickness, crack length), and press Enter.

Alchemy-Spetec-App---Step-4a

5. View the results.

Alchemy-Spetec-App---Step-5

Want more information on Alchemy-Spetec products?

Download the Info-Packed Geotech Product Catalog!

Download the Info-Packed Leak Seal Product Catalog!

Topics: All Posts, Lift Slabs, Seal Leaks, Business Tips, Floor Repair, Fill Voids

Jack Whitworth on Working Together for Improved Education & Standards

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Jun 2, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner-Jack Whitworth on Working Together

Body-Jack Whitworth on Working TogetherThis article is an excerpt from Episode 6 of Alchemy-Spetec's podcast The Injection Connection, featuring industry veteran Jack Whitworth. The Injection Connection is hosted by Jim Spiegel: Vice President of Alchemy-Spetec and Board Member at the International Concrete Repair Institute. (If you'd rather listen, an audio version of this exchange is posted at the bottom of the article.)

Jim Spiegel: I think you and I have talked at some industry events and some networking events about the fact that it really serves us, even though we're competitors, to have a unified message of how work is done. Having the same recommendations, so to speak, would do all of us more of a service to work together than to try to work apart. Not everyone has the field reps that really know what they're talking about. I know there are a lot of great chemical grouting people out there, but you could probably count on both hands the real good ones. I think you would probably agree with that. We need to work together and educate as well as we can on that grouting committee.

Jack Whitworth: Correct.

Jim: And those meetings are great because it's all the heads of the industry so to speak trying to work towards a unified goal. But of the things we struggle with in that committee is the whole marketing side of things. You have your SLVs, your LVs, you have your semi-rigid, your semi-flex, there are all these ways you can skin a product. How do you view that as far as how some people might refer to as an SLV versus an LV? You know how it is, different companies will just say, “Oh yeah, you need an SLV, here you go.”  What's your opinion on that as far as nomenclature and some of the confusion?

Jack: I think a lot of the confusion starts with an earlier comment you made: “if all of the grout manufacturers could work together”. One of the biggest issues we have is the ASTM guidelines. It not only affects the commercial industrial side… If they're going in the tunnel projects, there's just this unknown of what can be utilized under certain conditions. It’s the message that we have to send, a clear concise message to the engineering and the design community and the contractors. One of the most important things that I like to strive on is - what are the points you need to consider in selecting a grout? As you know, there's no silver bullet to stop water infiltration or stabilize the soil. I think that the more education there is, and the more fluid we all are together in spreading that communication, the more we’re actually going to help the business grow. We look at where new buildings are being built, they might be old moss lands or water bearing areas where they've filled it in. There are areas and locations where we never imagined a building would sit. These are, as you know, great opportunities for us in the chemical grouting side of things. We see a lot of misadvised materials, I guess you would say, being utilized. I believe in what we call an assessing type of practice to where there are a lot of questions that need to be asked before we throw an answer out like, “use an LV or SLV.” It could consist of questions such as - what's the method that we can use to actually get the grout there long enough to set up? What are the substrate types and conditions because, as you know, all substrate types could require a different type of grout. What is the pH of the water source? What's the nature of the crack? Is it a moving crack? Those are going to be things that we need to have answers for. And things like - what's your water flow in the source of your water? Those become very important questions. And I think how we've hurt the industry a lot of times is that people have lived by the silver bullet theory rather than trying to spread a good consistent message.

Jim: Yeah, I would agree completely.

Want more information on Alchemy-Spetec products?

Download the Info-Packed Leak Seal Product Catalog!

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Topics: All Posts, Business Tips

Jack Whitworth on Benefits of Working in the Industry & Challenges of Finding Good Employees

Posted by Kreg Thornley on May 28, 2020 11:11:38 AM

Banner-Jack Whitworth on Benefits of Working in the Industry

Body-Jack Whitworth on Benefits of Working in the IndustryThis article is an excerpt from Episode 6 of Alchemy-Spetec's podcast The Injection Connection, featuring industry veteran Jack Whitworth. The Injection Connection is hosted by Jim Spiegel: Vice President of Alchemy-Spetec and Board Member at the International Concrete Repair Institute. (If you'd rather listen, an audio version of this exchange is posted at the bottom of the article.)

Jim Spiegel: Obviously, you have a ton of experience, so I’d like to get some insights from you. What do you think are some of the strengths of the chemical grouting industry? What's kept you in it for 26 years? What do you like about the industry and why do you think it has such a strong future?

Jack Whitworth: I like the industry because it's challenging, no job typically is the same. You have to be quick on your toes, you have to be able to react to emergencies and that also ties into the fact that chemical grouts will always be necessary - but the job never gets boring. Plus, you get to see a lot of locations and areas that the general public (or probably at least 75 percent of the population) doesn't even know exist. It's exciting to get out there and be a solution provider. That's probably what really keeps me interested in it the most.

Jim: Yeah, I agree. That's a good point that the places that the chemical grouting industry takes you is just unbelievable - walking the gallery of a dam or something like that, it's a place you would otherwise never know existed. There are some really interesting projects out there. One of the things that is a concern, is the fact that no kid will say, “I want to be a sales professional for chemical grouts when I grow up.” How do you get young talent interested in chemical grouting?

Jack: Typically, you almost have to be lucky to run into somebody that has interest in it because it is the unknown that's out there. There is no magic because if we went to college fairs and different things like that, they’d think we were crazy because it's not that understood. But I think where we find most of our opportunities for representatives is typically in the field. That could be a contractor, that could be a distributor. We typically have a good knowledge of what their work habits are and really they have some fairly decent knowledge of chemical grouts because if you take a distributor salesman, for instance, you might find a guy that's selling a ton within one location. I want to meet that guy. I want to know why he's finding these opportunities and those are people we try to look out for.

Want more information on Alchemy-Spetec products?

Download the Info-Packed Leak Seal Product Catalog!

Download the Info-Packed Geotech Product Catalog!

Topics: All Posts, Business Tips

Alchemy-Spetec Customized Estimate Rocket Software for Automating Quote Prep, Customer Tracking, & Follow-Up

Posted by Kreg Thornley on May 21, 2020 10:30:00 AM

Banner-Estimate Rocket Alchemy Spetec

Body-Estimate Rocket Alchemy SpetecDid you know that Alchemy-Spetec offers a customized version of the popular Estimate Rocket invoicing, client management and CRM tool for contractors?  The custom version includes material estimating calculators for Alchemy-Spetec geotech polyurethanes.  These calculators make it easy to figure out the amount of material you'll need for any given job.  Sign up now via this Alchemy-Spetec link to get the customized version!  (Visiting the Estimate Rocket site in any manner aside from the links we provide will get you the generic, non-customized version.)

Paperless Workflow

Creating impressive proposals has never been easier with Estimate Rocket’s easy-to-use business templates. Leave a lasting impression with professional paperless estimates and invoices you can create and deliver to clients in seconds. 

Job & Client Management

Keep your clients most important information organized and at your fingertips 24/7. The system automatically saves and organizes current and previous jobs, contact information, notes, and more.

Powerful CRM Tools

Stay connected with customer relationship management tools that keep you more responsive than ever before. Automated reminders and appointment scheduling let you know when to take action. Automated Follow-Ups stay in touch with your customers automatically.

Team Collaboration

Bring your entire team with an easy to use web-portal where crews can view appointments, field estimators can build estimates, and accountants can send out invoices.

Financial Reports

View up to the minute reports and know exactly where every job stands. Advanced reporting gives greater depth with detailed job statistics. Easily export to QuickBooks or other accounting software that imports CSV files.

Access on Any Device

Whether you’re on site with a customer or back in the office, you always have complete access to all features. Estimate Rocket works on Mac, PC, iOS, Android, Blackberry and any other web-enabled device.

AS Material Estimation Calculators

As mentioned previously, the Alchemy-Spetec customized version of Estimate Rocket features AS geotech material estimation calculators built in!

Sign Up for the AS Version of Estimate Rocket

Topics: All Posts, Business Tips

How to Add Slab Lifting Capability to a Spray Foam Rig

Posted by Tony Alfano on Apr 28, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner-How to Add Slab Lifting Capability to a Spray Foam Rig

Body-How to Add Slab Lifting Capability to a Spray Foam RigWe often get calls from spray foam insulation installers who are interested in adding slab lifting capability to their rig set up. If you're reading this article, you yourself may be looking for info on the matter. If so, we have good news for you. With just four additional pieces of equipment and one set of material, you can quickly and easily add slab lifting to your service offerings. Let’s take a look at exactly what additional equipment and material you'll need to get started...

Slab Lifting Equipment

MixMaster Pro Slab Lifting Gun
The MixMaster Pro is a two-component resin injection gun manufactured specifically for lifting concrete slabs, designed to handle back-pressure. 

Titan Impact 440 (Modified) Pump with Flush Hose
The Titan Impact 440 (Modified) pump is used for flushing the MixMaster Pro gun in between foam injections. (It's also used for pumping one-component material in soil stabilization and seawall repair applications.)

3/8” MixMaster Ports
These heavy duty ports create an airtight seal for injecting foam into drill holes. 

Dial Indicator Crane
This precision tool is used to measure the lift of the slab within 1/10” of an inch.

Polyurethane Slab Lifting Material

AP Lift 430, AP Lift 440, or AP Lift 475 (100 Gallon Unit)
Sunken concrete slabs can be lifted back into place with these two-component polymer foams designed to work in wet or dry conditions. The expansion force of these concrete leveling foams coupled with the pressure of a specialized pump generate enough controlled force to lift virtually any structure back into position with 1/8” precision.

AP Flush 125 (5 Gallon Unit)
Water based gun flush specifically used for flushing out the MixMaster Pro impingement gun. Also used to protect concrete from resin stains.

AP Lube 190 (5 Gallon Unit)
This product is a multi-purpose lubricant for use with both airless electric injection pumps and proportioner/reactor pumps.

Want more information on slab lifting products & application?

Download an Info-Packed Slab Lift Brochure!

Topics: Equipment & Accessories, All Posts, Lift Slabs, Business Tips