"I just wanted to introduce myself, and say thank you for your Markup and Profit series. My name is Neil Morrison. I'm an electrician and I went out on my own about a year and a half ago.
When I started my business, I knew that I needed to learn about the business. As you say in the book, the trade is the easy part, and I know it well. As for the business side of things, however, I have no idea.
My first goal for my business was to earn a living for myself, without the help of an employer. I've been able to do that so far, but, like you mentioned, there are not enough hours in the day to make anything more than a living. Its simply not a sustainable model.
It has always been my goal to expand my business, hire some good people, and focus my efforts on running the business. I had been doing some reading, and searching on the internet for business related material when I came across your Markup and Profit website. I kept finding myself going back to it, drawn in by how black and white things were written.
Since then, I have purchased the Markup and Profit book, and some podcasts to listen to while I drive. I like how they're full of little things that I can begin to implement right away, as well as some larger concepts that I can work on. Bottom line, it's business information done in a way a tradesman can understand.
Anyway, I just wanted to say hello and thank you. I am looking forward to learning more about your way of doing business."
Neil Morrison, Morrison Electrical Services
"Good morning! I always enjoy reading your articles and learning the proper way to run my contracting business! Reading and learning is a great way to start my day! Keep up the great work! All the best, Rich."
Richard Silverman, Rain Rich Sprinklers
"We are learning so much from the Markup and Profit materials. I wish we had found you years ago."
"You may recall that I wrote Michael, asking if we should hold to our 1.5 markup for luxury kitchen items. Upon his kind advice, we went in with full markup. We are signing contracts tomorrow on our largest kitchen remodel yet... $126,000. Many thanks to Michael for the encouragement to hold strong on our markup. Two years ago, we would have used a 1.2 markup, and starved tired. Please give him our thanks."
East Coast client
"I am a 55 yr old South African man and absolutely passionate about my job. I am a Plumber by trade and also passionate about sales and working with the public.
My wife and I wanted to start a small plumbing business and just had no clue as how to get started or how to price or market our services. Until out of frustration I started looking for ideas on the Net. I came across your Web Site and never looked back since.
I placed an order for your book and subscribed to your weekly news letter all in one go.. Happy to say our Company is up and running using all your ideas and suggested methods. We are in business now for three months and are so excited for every new day, and its challenges.
Thanks so much for being such an amazing partner in our business."
"Your website and book has helped out company a lot. I bought your book and really liked it. The one thing that stands out to me is that I can qualify the clients and don't have to run out and be everything for everybody.
I work with my dad who has been at it for 30 years. I like to print out articles and let him "find" it, which works a lot better than telling him he needs to read it.
In the recent years I have been able to get an accounting system in place and accurately track our overhead and expenses and now I can see where the company is and update it weekly. I'm also working on sales. It is a process to set the homeowners expectations and have them feel good about spending the money.
I've read a lot of your book and "know" what to do but it takes time to implement it. Probably the biggest challenge our company has is telling people things that is uncomfortable to say. It is easier to try and please people. What happens too often is we put off the "uncomfortable" conversation until circumstance forces us to deal with it. By then it is a lot more difficult to deal with it."
"Thank you for your insightful and informative teaching materials and newsletters. I am a newly established and small remodeling contractor and have employed many of your suggestions in my business. They have worked well and have given me the confidence necessary to compete in the Southern California market. (by compete I don't mean offering the lowest bid :-) "
"I usually don't write sappy letters. However I wanted to let you know that I appreciate the newsletter you put out. I get something useful out of every issue."
St. Maries, Idaho
"I just wanted to take a second to say that I really enjoy your newsletter. It was recommended to me by another friend in the flooring business, and I think it's a great resource to keep on track with what's important. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and insight with all of us out here in the trades!"
"I am just writing to let you know how pleased I am with your newsletter. I am subscribed to many newsletters but yours beats them all by the quality and informational value. Thank you for not trying to sell us bunch of stuff. I am looking forward to your next newsletter!"
"I think this was your most helpful newsletter and probably the best I've read in the last twenty years by anyone. It condenses down to the bare essence the secrets of success in our business without all the fluff. Extremely effective and accurate. I can't wait to share this information by an outside expert to reinforce this to my staff. I've tested and proven everything you say."
"In your May newsletter . . . AMEN on the professionalism comment! I came late to this industry from the executive side of the dot-com industry, thus I had the public's perception that all contractors are rough around the edges and probably not very business savvy. I am just into my third year as a contractor. I get lots of call backs after I complete my jobs. However, I am highly respected by the public I engage.
How come? I've transferred my executive skills to my firm, and created an image of competence and organization. I actually run a very open business with my customers - I've nothing to hide. And I always get paid on time. Oh yes, the call backs? They are for new projects, not repairs to work we already completed. I would add, Michael, that our profitability and much of our granular organization is due to your guidance."
"To be honest with you, after 36 years as a general contractor I still have no networking with others in my field and I was so appreciative when I found Michael's columns. I have turned other guys on to it, who also find it greatly informative.
We have been very busy this year and I didn't realize I hadn't been getting it until now. The psychological reflections and familial gratitude pauses as well as the 'take time for yourself' alerts recommended have been severely missed (just ask my wife and family) . . .
Thank you so much for the years of what I considered and utilized as personal/professional counseling. I know it is naive and fan like, but I consider Michael and now his staff, more than a mentor and professional advisors, but friends too."
"I just wanted to let you know that I am enjoying your newsletters immensely and appreciate the information and motivation that you are sending along. It is helping me put things in perspective and move from contracting as a "full time hobby" to contracting as a profitable business.
I have always lived my life as one of the good guys but have never had much of a handle on running a business. I have managed to survive the last 19 years in business as a result of my integrity and honesty, but I have never been financially successful. I'm changing that now. Thanks for the help."