Since 1999 we’ve helped thousands of general contractors, new home builders, remodelers, and specialty contractors of all types build stronger, more profitable businesses.
Our latest article, “A Guaranteed Price,” is available here.
A reader shares his Recommended Reading List here.
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Articles by Topic
Finding The Path to Success
You had ambition and energy. Then reality set in.
Guidelines for Success
Guidelines to a more successful construction-related business.
Markup vs Margin
There’s a lot of confusion over using markup vs margin to price jobs.
A Minimum Price
Being profitable doesn’t mean getting rich off your clients.
Why Do You Need To Make A Profit?
Don’t confuse profit with salary or hourly wages. Making a profit isn’t optional: Your business needs profit to survive.
Ten Cardinal Rules for Construction Business Owners
Ten Cardinal Rules for a successful construction-related business.
There is No Industry Standard
Don’t take any job where the client tells you how much you can charge for your work.
Can You Be Both Competitive and Profitable?
You can be competitive, or you can be profitable. You can’t be both.
Construction Estimating: The Basics
The basics of construction estimating, so you can create more accurate estimates in a shorter time.
How to Estimate Construction Costs
Estimating errors cost money. Lower your error factor by considering these common mistakes.
Unit Cost Estimating
Unit cost estimating is breaking down a project to simple assemblies. It’s the best way to consistently acquire accurate estimates.
What you do has value. Respect your time and your knowledge.
Why clients request itemized estimates, and how you should respond.
Estimating Errors Cost Money
Estimating the cost of a remodeling, renovation or specialty project accurately is critical if you want to be profitable.
Your Price is Too High
“Your price is too high” means you haven’t done your job as a salesperson.
Focusing On Price
“The #1 reason I lose jobs is ‘your price is too high.’ What am I doing wrong?”
Unrealistic Price Expectations
If they called you, doesn’t that mean they need or want the work done?
Transparency – Or Maybe Not
Is transparency the way to go when selling? Be careful who you listen to.
“I Work in a Competitive Market”
Don’t worry about what “the other guy” is charging.
Ten Cardinal Sales Rules
Ten Cardinal Rules for residential construction sales.
Sales: Have Options Ready
Give clients options when you quote the work they want done.
Why cost plus and time & material contracts should be avoided, for both contractors and building owners.
Contracts, Change Work Orders, Punch Lists and More
A selection of issues that should be written into every contract to protect your profitability.
Let Them Know What to Expect
If you’re doing service work, make sure your client knows what to expect before you start.
There are things you can and should do when a client tries to dodge making payments.
Design Agreement Contract, Letter of Intent
A design agreement allows you to get paid for your work. Don’t waste your effort or your time.
I've been a professional Sales rep for the past 17 years . . . I literally have 25 other sales books in my collection, and yours is absolutely amazing. What a wealth of knowledge, and I just can't put it down . . . Great job, and this book just became my favorite sales book (that says a lot).
I'm on your MarkupandProfit newsletter list, a member of Construction Business Owners Group, and I've purchased other products from you in the past, ie: Fast Track Estimating Software, and the Profitable Sales book. I've been happy with with all of it, Thank you.
Your Markup and Profit book combined with the online estimating course has saved me considerable pain and suffering. Having an idea of how to steer the ship and avoid the rocks is invaluable. Looking back, there's no question I would have gotten it wrong enough that the probability of success would be low.
I've been able to find the answers to many questions since coming across your site. It's extremely informative and does a great job pointing out where mistakes can be made when running a company and the proper steps to take to ensure a healthy and profitable business.
I regularly read the blog and follow discussions on linkedin. Markup and Profit a Contractors Guide has helped me earn more than a living after doing little more than that for 15 years. I don't like to think about how I short changed myself and my family for so long. Thank you!
I have recently read Markup & Profit and subscribed to you newsletter which I look forward to reading, always containing very useful information which has helped my bottom line and made me realize what operating a business is worth. Its more than just being self employed.
I attended my first class with you in 2015...had over $1 million in sales at that time and over $100K in debt!! After learning from you and putting into practice much of your teaching and principles - we now have a profitable remodeling company that we are proud of.
The business of our business is completely different than 14 months ago, and I wanted to thank you again for helping me into the Stone Age. We finished last year with 13% profit, and I did get the new (used, 1 year old) truck. We planned to wait and pay cash, but a deer on the road helped move up our plans
If I hadn't came across your website 6 years ago I would have scrapped the idea of running my own construction business entirely. I knew that you were onto exactly what I needed to hear when I first started reading your website. Thank you for being the light at the end of the tunnel for me.
The class was really helpful. I read the book a couple years ago, and have been fighting tooth and nail to get my husband and business partner to embrace the practices that Michael recommends. Somehow, though, it made more sense to hubby when Michael said it…. funny how that works!
I have bought from you before. Liked your markup and profit book. I have been slowly working on incorporating the things I am learning. I also listened in on the recent webinar you had. There is just so much to learn. Thanks for everything. Things have been getting more profitable!!
You are a wonderful and supportive team! I very much appreciate your hard work & efforts. Your knowledge & experience in construction is incredible. I am trying to make it in the Design & Build business and very much value how you support myself and others!
Thank you so much for today’s webinar, I’ve just finished watching and I am so appreciative to you both for the time, effort and invaluable information you provide! The years of experience and knowledge is INCREDIBLE! ?? This was my first webinar and shall not be the last!
Thank you so much to yourself and Michael for putting together this course which I have just watched! I am in absolute awe of your experience and knowledge! When Michael stated in the course he has been estimating since 1969, I said to myself, "Wow, he is a legend"!
Michael, I can not thank you enough for what I consider your continued support. From where I sit you and your firm provide an invaluable service. As I read your articles real life situations I have experienced flash through my minds eye. With tremendous appreciation,
One of the first things I did when I went out on my own was read Markup and Profit and those lessons have been a large part of why I'm still in business. I have referred it to several other contractors and I know it has helped many, many people and business get established/become profitable.
I truly look forward to each and every one of your newsletters. I have read Profitable Sales and Markup & Profit several times and browse them often. In the offseason I spend a lot of time re-reading your writings. I truly cannot express how much I appreciate the knowledge you have shared.
Thanks for all you 2 do. I will admit that I've been ready to give up for about a year. I told someone that now I'm not just willing to continue, but I'm excited to implement things we learned - not only in the business but also in the home. I feel as though we are back on the same page.
Protect Your Business – Get Paid
When Success Looks Impossible
What’s the Right Salary?
Overhead & Profit in Construction: Using the Figures Wrong Hurts Your Business
Making the Trades More Attractive
Subcontractor Payment Schedules
Labor Rate for Construction
Let’s Discuss an Acceptable Hourly Rate
Mediation or Arbitration?
Owners Supplying Their Own Materials
Clients Working on Their Job
Now Available on Audio!
Audio Previews and Purchase Info
Accounting Business Management Business Saving Tips Change Work Orders Clients Company Reputation Contracts Cost-Plus Design Agreements Education Employees Encouragement Estimating Family Franchises Getting Paid Hiring How to Calculate Markup Insurance Jobs Itemization Lead Generation Marketing Markup vs Margin Office Management Personal Pricing Jobs Production Professional Relationships Profit – Not a Dirty Word Real Life Issues Sales Steps to Positive Cash Flow Subcontractor/General Contractor Success Stories Tips Transparency