Aside from the fact that it finally stops snowing in Chicago, I can always tell when it's Spring someplace because I start receiving calls from contractors confronting, or at least concerned about, fly-by-night operations. Typically the calls are from contractors with an emphasis in residential sealcoating or paving and they're stumped on how to compete with these guys. Well, because "there's a sucker born every minute" you're not going to make these guys go away...but that doesn't mean you can't beat them. Many contractors don't like to hear it, but it is each contractor's own responsibility to protect his business and his market from the sealcoating or paving charlatans that give the industry a bad name. Appearing and acting professional is a big part of it, but there's more to defending your turf than that. You also need to help your customers avoid getting ripped off, so check out "How To Find a Contractor You'll Love" in the April issue of Money which offers some great "red light, green light" insights into how to evaluate a contractor for any type of job. And don't be afraid to refer your customers to the site or provide them with the similar information. You'll be helping your customer, your industry, and yourself.