Thank you for the hand-written card – what a wonderful gesture. I am not fully through your book but it has proven to be an invaluable tool. Our company has been in business for the last six years. Recently, we have added solid professionals in key positions who share a clear-minded approach to the home remodeling business.
We are steadily raising our prices, improving relationships with sub-contractors, and honing our unit cost estimating procedures. Without going overboard with detail, the practices outlined in your book have dovetailed nicely with what we have been trying to accomplish. It has shown us some new methods as well as validate others we wanted to put into place.
I don’t know if some of it is coincidence or not – but, suddenly, we are attracting the right customers with the right approach. The projects have increased in budget as have our margins. We have a good deal to put into practice and to learn moving forward, but the principals we have put into place and acted upon have created a solid and confident foundation for us. A foundation that, quite frankly, wasn’t there where it should have been until recently.
Thank you for putting it all together in your book and providing a great reference for anyone who wants to estimate and budget home building projects with confidence.
San Diego, California
I should have written this a few months back, but I want to extend a sincere thank you for your work.
I started my business as a renovation contractor this past December. My work back ground is 25 years in corporate enterprise focusing on technology, sales and customer service. Despite my general career background, my skill set is certainly there to undertake residential renovations, but my knowledge of how to run the business was lacking. Actually, the more appropriate term would be ‘non-existent’. The section of my initial business plan titled ‘Cash Flow’ had a giant “?”.
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 probability of success would be low.
This past week I presented a design agreement to a potential client for structural engineering work, drawings and permit acquisition. Her first response…”Your price is too high.” I just smiled.
Love the newsletters too!
“I attended your classes in Nov. 2014 in New York. At the time I was in big trouble, with tax debt (42,000), credit card debt (35,000), and I was working with my tools. I had no time to take care of business. I was at a dead end. I searched mark- up/ profit and found you. Thankfully!
Attending your classes in person and using your books and principles, I have managed to turn things around. Now, after having eliminated all debt, I am fully compliant with all gov’t regulations and now operating at a surplus with a current account of 60K. Now I am in the (enviable?) position of losing control with the workload since my efforts and marketing campaign has taken hold. By the way, I haven’t worked with tools for over 18 months!”
“I just had a thought pop in my head and I thought that I would share it.
You speak online and in your book about the importance of “putting the work in” as a salesman by going back to the clients home to submit and review your bid, as well as asking for the job.
I want to confess to ignoring that advice for 20-30 years, by always emailing quotes. But about 5 years ago, when work was harder to get than it is today, I read your book and was desperate enough to finally give it a try (btw- I doubt most of your clients realize how much sales experience you have, I was surprised when I read your book). Anyway, I started wearing a sport coat, a dress shirt, nice shoes, newer jeans, presenting my bids in person, and asking for the job. Holy cow! That little bit of extra effort paid off in spades! It was a quantum leap in results. I definitely sold a lot more remodels, so much so that within just a few visits I knew that I would never go back to my amateur “lazy” sales efforts ever again.
I just thought that I would mention this, because I am a college educated, 3rd generation builder who has had a lot of remodeling success for 35+ years (making up to $160k/year), and if I was lazy enough to do it the “easy” way for so long (but actually the hard way in the long run…much harder considering the hundreds of lost sales and extra estimates required) then I know a lot of others are still doing it the lazy way today, and that’s a shame. Sales are the easiest, most enjoyable part of my job these days and I have a lot more time for other things.
The effect was so powerful that it inspired me to do even more improvements to my sales skills. Now I have added a small color brochure; I email a video about my company ahead of estimates; wear shoe covers inside the houses during sales calls; watch which words and vibe I use; answer calls or call back right away; keep my truck clean; follow up; and quite frankly have such an easy time selling work that I am actually doing my first estimate in 8 months today. I sold almost a years worth, $743K, of Kitchens/Baths/Basements/Additions, in just three months last fall using your methods; and I know that I only need to estimate for 2-3 months again and will get my price with far less estimates than before.
Now that the sales system is dialed in, I could very easily do much more work than I am taking on, but I have a new hurdle- scaling up… I’m gun shy about that because I’m comfortable. I currently do 3 major remodels at a time (minimum project $50k), with no office staff, using subs for 100% of the work,…and my bookkeeper just did a 6 month P&L and told me I made $98K so far this year. Btw- I have also slowed down and only have to work about 30 hours/week these days (partly because I learned another lesson- hire smart people and get rid of the dumb ones no matter how much you like them…it makes a big difference). I don’t say any of this to brag, but to relate to your readers how getting out of your comfort zone/lazy habits and just making small changes can have a huge impact.
Be well, and thanks for the advice!”
Denver, Colorado contractor
I wanted to share my story of how you’ve helped me. Honestly, when I read the stories from the other contractors you’ve worked with, I had my doubts. Please don’t be offended, but based on my small world sales experience, I didn’t really believe the people in this area would pay more for my services. (yea, that too, I thought I worked in a special locality where you didn’t understand the local economics) I was wrong.
— I recently quoted a job for 140K, the 2nd biggest job for me ever. At the second meeting, we set up a sales agreement and they paid 4500.00 for my design/estimate. They also showed me the other 2 quotes. The 1st quote was handwritten on notebook paper, 5-6 lines of description, and a 51K price. The 2nd quote was more professional, but for 81K. This customer hired us, because of the professional presentation and we listened to their requests. They wanted to use walnut in their cabinets, and neither of the other quotes specified walnut, but maple. There is many more details to that story, but I’d be rambling on… Everything I used from the Profitable Sales book came into play, and worked. Selling really isn’t about price.
— Smaller jobs have always been a money pit for us. Like you said to do, we started using a 2.0 markup, and now, the not so serious customers go away, and we actually make money doing the smaller jobs we sell. An example: A customer wanted to add 2) 15″ drawer base cabinets to his existing cabinets, and make a new laminate top for a table. In the Pre-Stone Age, (before you helped us) I would have ballparked the estimate at 800-1000. But now we are in the Stone Age, and we write quotes up, add the right markup, and that’s the price. When he got the quote for 3550.00, he was shocked, but came in the next day and put down 50% to get us started.
We started the Stone Age, 4 months ago using a 1.40 markup, but now use 1.50. We were making about 7% profit, (we think), but now we know our profit is 16.1%.
Thanks very much!”
Missouri contractor, coaching client
“Dear Michael & Devon,
2-weeks before I bought and received Profitable Sales – A Contractors Guide by Michael Stone, I was dragged through the last 2 ‘free estimates’ of my career as a general contractor. Having spent 3-days of my time on each estimate, only to have one potential client say ‘it’s too much money’ (via email). The second client said, ‘were going to go with some else’ (again via email). I was furious but polite in my response. As I read through Michael’s book, I vowed to never give free estimates again, even if it meant I could not put food on the table. I was done. I had leverage inside me from reaching a critical mass of pain and frustration. And in my hands Michael’s book, the knowledge to move forward with clarity and courage. I felt educated, empowered and inspired. My anger towards potential clients, left me.
At the next sales call, I sat in front of a couple (the two decision makers!) They wanted to talk about a job 4-5 times bigger than anything I had done up until that point in my business. I heard the panic voices in the back of my head but I said NO. I said, I am going to give these people more then just a quick estimate, I am going to give them value and they are going to want to pay for it because it is worth it for all of us.
I heard Michael’s voice in my head. I said to them, I am going to spend 2-3 days developing an estimate that you can take to bank. It will cost you but it will be worth every penny of your time and money because at the end of it you will have a fixed price estimate, the truth. And then an amazing thing happened. I sat there watching, as they signed my ‘design to build’ contract and wrote out a check for 50% of the design fee, as if it was the most natural thing in the world. I almost cried. I felt a shift inside, as if I had finally taken a big step.
When I walked away from their house that evening, I said to myself, this is going to work.”
Adam Sell, General Contractor, Mercer Island, WA
January, 2016 –
You may not remember me but I have been in contact with you over the years. I’m a contractor from Winnipeg Manitoba Canada.
Back when I first went out on my own in 2007 when I was 24, I started educating myself on how to formally run a business. I believe it was 08 or 09 when I first came across CPR. Michael was kind enough to speak to me on the phone briefly with some questions I had. I remember we also discussed how the hunting was up here! After our first conversation, I bought some of your books. After that I bought the estimating software, and some other material. A couple years ago I also had a one hour phone consult with Michael.
I wanted to express to you how much your advice and materials has benefited us over the years. I started with nothing but a tool box and a strong work ethic and we now in the seven figures for gross sales, and even have a small downtown office! My partner and I both pull fair salaries, cover our vehicle expenses, manage to slip in a few bonuses, and are achieving an 8% net business profit.
Your name is quite often spoken at the office. I hear “Michael Stone says…” on a monthly basis from my business partner!
We now have a repeatable system in place that ensures we are consistently hitting our numbers. In fact, we get quotes on everything (even under $300!). We don’t engage in any deal that doesn’t have a well written contract or purchase order attached to it.
I wanted you to know that with your help I am now able to eat a good dinner with my wife and 1 year old son every night with even enough time to give him a bath! I am able to drive a vehicle that is paid for, relax knowing that neither myself nor my company has any debt, and take a couple vacations yearly.
You have given me more than just business advice, you have given me time, and a solid return on investment. I’m happier now than I’ve ever been and am very glad I put your teachings to work.
The best to you and yours in 2016
“Haven’t gotten a chance to talk with you in a while so I just wanted to touch base with you.
I wanted to let you know that Our Residential and Commercial roofing is doing very well. We are up over 30% in net sales from the last several years and are now booking onto September. Wow! What a feeling. The best part of it all is that we are selling 15 to 20% above our Markup and keep raising nearly every week. Also of note, our customers always tell us and say in our customer survey’s that we weren’t the cheapest but rather the highest quote they received. So I would say were selling ahead of the market curve. No better place to be.
It’s funny, sometimes it seems the more your price increases the more you separate yourself from the nonsense and chaff causing you to only be more in demand by your customers.
I have been forwarding all of your E-mails to the some 80 contractors from our local group to get them help and straightened out and on the road to prosperity, as I did some 12 – 13 years ago at your Markup and Profit Seminar.
Thanks again so much for all you have taught me and have learned from your e-mails and seminars, hope all is well with you and the family.”
Longtime customer, New York state
“I think I heard of you all on a roofer forum. Anyway, I’m a returning customer, and my first book from you was ‘Markup & Profit‘ which I wish I had read before I started my business – it’s the best business book I have ever read in terms of actually helping you in practical terms. I’ve learned that your price is really just math, and it’s not ‘too high’ – you really have things that you have to cover.”
Caldwell Contracting, LLC (Alias, “Roof, Rinse & Run,” www.RoofRinseRun.com)
“Michael, Devon, and Brian thanks for allowing me to be apart of that amazing webinar. I am getting so many leads though my website I am having trouble keeping up! Your book “Mark up and Profit” has helped me as well. I purchased the book last year and after the webinar I revisited it again. I hope others find all this info to be as valuable as I do.”
Todd Miller, Ryzach Construction
“Michael and Devon,
I would like to thank you for the book that every contractor should own “Markup and Profit“. It has helped me get my company started and I look back in it as a reference often. Thanks for the great work and helping the good guys win.”
Ken Polewski, KP Carpentry
“I appreciate you taking the time and effort to organize the webinar.
Your information has been invaluable to my business as I purchased both the “Markup and Profit” and “Profitable Sales” books. These books have helped me sell jobs more effectively and for a consistent profit. I used to be afraid of customer objections, NOW I look forward to them. Thank you for providing your knowledge to the construction industry.”
Jim Hund, Vanguard Home Designs
March, 2013 – “Thank you so much for writing the extremely valuable book Profitable Sales. Ron & I are reading through it, along with watching the dvd, and can’t help but be excited about the possibilities for our business by implementing your methods. Ron met you years ago at a JLC Live event when we were first starting out. Overall we have been blessed the last six years but know very well that we would be in an even better place if we had taken the time to follow your methods more thoroughly. We have a lot to do in the next few weeks but we are heading in the right directions thanks to you.”
” . . . I have been in construction (both new and remodeling) for over 30 years and had no idea how much I had to learn in order to start my own business and really make money, so I would be able to stay in business.
Your material has been put together in a way so that it works for everyone, whether it is new construction, remodeling, one man operations to big companies. The insights you offer help us new guys decide how big of a company we really want, how to stay focused on the kind of work we want to do and most importantly how to avoid so many pitfalls of the business.”
“I am an electrical contractor . . . The purpose of this letter is to express my sincerest gratitude for sharing your knowledge with other contractors like me.
I found your seminar most interesting and enjoyable. I would recommend your seminar to anyone who has a business and wants to understand their business. I will take on all the information you shared with me and continue to thrive in this highly competitive market.”
Mercer Island, Washington
“I believe most of all you gave me the insight and tools to change the attitude of how I conduct business. I always knew we had a good product, but now we have a good product and make a great profit!”
Union, New York
“I have to say that my husband has used/read/applied your books, tapes and knowledge over the past 15 years and has stuck to your principles consistently and our business runs like a small well oiled machine. We have no complaints and when the spring was slow, (our slowest season ever) our OCRA was a blessing.
So thank you for your knowledge and gift to help other contractors succeed in business.”
“I would like to thank you for all your help and I would like to add that I have always told everyone what a great program Markup and Profit is and how great everyone is there, but I will be sure to add just how much of a 1st Class Act you really are. Everyone is always very nice whenever I have called and more then willing to help with any problem. Now that’s what I call service. I try to run my business the same way, and I always get told, “thank you”, so it’s nice when I get treated good like that.
Keep up the great job, I’m a customer for life.”
“I wouldn’t expect you to remember me, but I was the one that drove from Utah to attend. I was impressed by your sincere desire to help us realize success in our venture. Your book has become my business bible. The timing of your seminar was providential. We were at a point where we had lost confidence and were being buffeted by opinions which were contrary to our gut feelings, but quite popular amongst the local contractors in this area.
I still review Michael’s Ten Cardinal Rules to keep me on track. You have helped me make decisions on when to buy equipment and I show all of my apprentice students how to figure a correct mark-up. I came to the Seminar with a specific question about profit and how much was an honest and appropriate profit. I came away knowing the difference between OH and Profit and with a confidence that has allowed me to look my customers in the eye and tell them what my price is. I know that it is where it has to be to sustain my business.
I owe being in business today to the confidence you instilled in me. . . . May God Bless you for the role that you played in helping us to stay the course. We have been to other seminars, some of which have lasted days and have even tried personal business coaches, but I can honestly say that I gained more from your seminar than from all of our other efforts put together.”
“You are a highly informative, progressive, interactive and fun educator. Your Markup and Profit business model and ideas are truly innovative and are in alignment with today’s economy, markets and sophisticated consumer’s.
It is quite possible that you have saved our company a decade of hard lessons by sharing your brilliant sales and profit strategies, which all building trade professionals will want to learn about right now.”
“Working with you, I’m getting the cash flow piece to work, break it up and get less more often.
This really makes the business work more smoothly!!”
“I have been to quite a number of business seminars over the years, and I usually come away disappointed in that I often feel I know more about the subject than the speaker.
Your seminar was the only one I have attended in 35 years where I was literally blown away. Your in-depth REALISTIC view of contracting was not only amazingly accurate, but in the span of about 7 hours I learned more about what I should be doing than my previous 10 years in the business.
Your book and seminar should be required by all who enter or aspire to enter the contracting business. If only I had been to your seminar 3 or 4 years ago, I would probably be much better off financially today.”
Plainview, New York
“Michael’s straight-from-the-hip, no nonsense approach was thorough, effective and easy to understand. I saw how to make more money in this one session than I have in all the years I have been involved in the construction business!
Michael has a passion for what he does, helping people in the building industry look at their field from another perspective and finally be able to make a profit for themselves . . . I urge anyone interested in succeeding at their profession, and not just surviving, to take some time out to pick up a book or watch the tape . . . You will be glad you did!”
Colorado Springs, Colorado
“The information is just what our company needed. It reinforced the reason we’re in business – to make money. It also gave us those “magical formulas” that we knew just had to be out there somewhere, and valuable pointers to enhance our sales techniques. We loved our business before – now, we really love it!”
Las Vegas, Nevada
“I have learned very much from you about the construction industry starting with your seminar in Pasadena, CA (2000) & the following newsletters & blog. This knowledge has helped our company’s bottom line tremendously…thank you very much.”
“The biggest change is in an attitude I can feel developing inside of me about myself, the way I dress, the things I say about my business, and my new relationship to my clients. This has been a most positive change. Thank you once again for a real learning and life-changing experience.”
Palomar Mountain, California
“I went to your seminar last week and found it to be a great wake-up call, informative and interesting. You have certainly accumulated a wealth of knowledge and recorded that knowledge well!
Thank you for writing the books ‘Markup & Profit‘ and ‘Profitable Sales‘. They’ve become gospel to me as I strive to grow my business and become more and more professional. You’ve done a great thing for the industry. Thank you!”
“I purchased Profitable Sales and Mark Up and Profit. I made sure to read them twice and I now keep them on my desk as a reference. For example, I had a customer who I gave a contract to say, “Your competitor is quite a bit lower, so if you split the difference, you have the job”. I used your words almost verbatim and told him that’s not how we work and if you want the best quality materials, subs who are licensed and insured, etc . . . I was pleasantly surprised that he called back and said I have the job. He later told me my presentation and professional demeanor helped him make his decision. Thanks again.”
“I am currently absorbed in your ‘Profitable Sales – A Contractor’s Guide‘ book. I can clearly appreciate the values you stress about returning phone calls and emails quickly as you have so well shown in your response to me. Not only that, your book arrived one day after I ordered it and I was highly impressed that it was a signed copy! You are a man of your word. Thanks for sharing all the great advice.”
In a follow-up note . . . “By the way, your book ‘Profitable Sales’ just keeps getting better and better. I am so fired up in terms of putting your ideas into practice here. I’m only on Chapter 7 about the four basic questions but I can predict we are making many mistakes in the way we handle the initial sales call. I base this on the ratio of won versus lost proposals. It should be much better and finally I am seeing the light shed by your ‘on the mark’ examples. This information is timely and invaluable to helping us improve our batting average.”
“I got your sales book a couple of days ago and I’ve read it already. You did a great job blending theory with flexibility and realistic situations. I struggle with sales, not wanting to ‘over-qualify’ prospects, but at the same time not wanting to waste my time.
The point that hit me the most was setting guidelines and parameters, but remaining helpful and patient with potential customers. Your real-life experience is evident, as many of your stories and situational advice sounds like some of my sales calls. I enjoyed the book, and it will definitely help me on future sales calls. Thanks for being an advocate for all of us.”
San Diego, California
“Please keep up the great work you do for contractors struggling to do good work and stay in business. Your newsletter and the mailers are a great source of encouragement and tools to fight the good battle.
I have been introduced to programs that cost as much as $800.00 per month with a program time of 16 to 24 months. Your program and your estimating program have been the most cost effective ways to improve my business. Without your input my business would be floundering.
Your lecture has dispelled the notions of many proud contractors/carpenters that people will respect good craftsmanship and pay accordingly. With your book and your newsletter I feel that I can gain the upper hand to running a successful business and employ people that can build a career that they too can enjoy and reach their potential.”
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
“I just started my own contracting company two months ago and was looking for some help. I stumbled across a couple of software programs that were inexpensive for beginning contractor’s but found that they were very complex to figure out and did not have any flexibility. Then I came across Fast Track Estimating. I was nervous about spending the money because of the other software I had wasted money on. But I’m glad I decided to go ahead and order your software.
Fast Track Estimating is not perfect for me but the flexibility allows me to customize it to my needs and I like that. . .
Thank you for providing such a great tool for contractors. Seeing that the program was so well thought out, I decided to buy your book as well, “Markup & Profit; A Contractor’s Guide“. It came in the mail today and I can’t put it down . . . I’m learning so much.”
“Just read your latest email newsletter and thought I’d write to offer affirmation that your philosophies toward residential construction company sales and management as well as customer management really work.
Since attending one of your seminars and reading your book several years back, we have been basing all of our design/build practice on firm price contracts. All of our pricing is done with estimating software. We automatically build our OHP factor in-nothing is “stick-priced”. This process has saved us hundreds of hours both in office and wrangling with clients (and the added stress that goes with that), and has probably added years to our lives.
Your system is by far the easiest way to run a residential remodeling company. I just wish I could convince more of my competition in our Central Mass. market to read your book-there’d be a lot less education of the client-base between T&M and fixed/firm price contract pricing.”
“Thank you for your help in getting my new software up and running. I spent a little time exploring and am very impressed with the logic that this program is based on. I especially like the way the program lists estimate items and keeps them in order even if I have to go back an add something I missed. The ability to easily add subcontractor prices without having to create an entire cost item is wonderful. You don’t know what I have been through with the last estimating software I purchased but it really makes me appreciate Fast Track.”
Thank you for writing the books ‘Markup & Profit‘ and ‘Profitable Sales‘. They’ve become gospel to me as I strive to grow my business and become more and more professional. You’ve done a great thing for the industry. Thank you!”
“I am a very small remodeling contractor. I have been looking for a way to make my business life easier. After going about $10,000.00 in the hole my first year in business, I knew I needed help. I did not know what kind of help I needed, I just knew that I needed some serious help. I ran across an advertisement for a book called ‘Markup And Profit‘. . . . ”
“The book was great. No, it was fantastic. I could not put it down. Light bulbs were going on all over the place. It was so enjoyable to read, that I re-read the thing a couple more times. Not only was it more than informative, it was like Mr. Stone was sitting right there talking to me. I have never read a book that has been written in such a way. It was written, talking to me, not talking at me. I have never had a book, both teach me and make me laugh at the same time. It was as though it had been written just for me and all about me.”
“Ordered book back in mid-summer and have read through and through and worked examples and have applied to our business. We are a commercial-industrial contractor mainly doing concrete with general work on occasion. Even though book is directed to residential we found also applies to our type of work. We have changed our business to reflect your basic principles for overhead & profit. That has meant that we bid or negotiate more projects but have found that the markup & profit principle works.
Some projects we have quoted, I have to read The Board or book to keep on course and not start doing something stupid as have been done in the past. These projects are in progress or starting, so we are going to keep a very close check on the progress.
It makes me sick see how misinformed we have been over the years from our supposedly professional help. Thanks for the HELP!”
“What a great book this is!! I think every contractor in business should read “Markup and Profit” as required reading to get a license. I look forward to continuing my learning with your expertise, even though I’ve been a licensed electrician for some 14 years.”
Long Island, New York
“For 32 years I have been looking for someone to tell me about markup & profit, thank you. I have read the book 3 times and finally had to put it down to let it sink in, that’s how hungry I am about this information.
I am one of those contractors that always felt guilty about my prices and then ended up giving all the extra’s away. After reviewing ten jobs in the past, I found that I left money on the table. The greatest thing your book has given me is confidence on how I approach each job and potential customer and also how I handle my personal life’s money.”
“What a great book! I’m only about halfway through it and boy have I been losing $.
I’ve only been in business part time about a year. From reading your book it looks like I’m just working for wages, not profit. I’m looking forward to putting the strategies that you teach into action. I will suggest this book to all my friends.”
“I just wanted to drop you an e-mail letting you know how much I’m enjoying your book Markup & Profit. I received it yesterday and I’ve already read the first 150 pages. So much of what you say in the book is so true. I am a highly respected contractor in southeastern NH and love the trade that I’m in. However, after having done this for almost 20 years, I still feel as much like a used car salesman as I did when I first started (no offense to used car salesman by the way).
I can do the work in my sleep but still struggle pulling the business aspect of it together. Your book has already answered so many questions for me and better prepared me for my working relationship with my clients.”
Exeter, New Hampshire
“I have your book and have read only a third of it and now understand my husband and I have been going about this business wrong. Thank you for such a great book.”
” . . . I also want to thank you for publishing such a great book. I bought Markup and Profit a few months ago and it has helped me understand the business end of electrical contracting. I know what I have learned from the book and the calculator will keep me from ever winding up tired and broke again at the end of the work year, and will help bring in the income I need to support my family and have a good future in this business.”
Colonia, New Jersey
“I am a remodeling contractor in Tucson, AZ and have been doing it for 2.5 years now. I just finished reading your book and I must say, it is a book that everyone should read the first day they start their own company. I can’t tell you how many questions I have had since day one that I have asked other experienced contractors that you answered in your book. I am almost upset that there is not more education readily available that would point to resources such as yours. Thank you for a job well done.”
“I first read your book A Contractor’s Guide To Markup & Profit a little over a year ago. And I have to say, it has been an amazing year! As soon as I began reading your book I couldn’t put it down. Late nights, coffee breaks, five minutes here . . . 1/2 hour there, any chance I could get I read some more. I am now re-reading it for a second time, and I refer to the book continually.
I’ve learned how to make projections, better estimating procedures, and most importantly how to price a job. Our business has completely changed from what it had been . . . we were headed for ruin. After applying several of the concepts you presented in your book, and by attending the Remodeling Show Conferences & reading trade magazines like they’re going out of style (also recommended by you in your book), we actually grew last year! And for the first time I can see how profit is made and how we can actually grow our small remodeling firm. Imagine that, our company making a profit!
I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to put such a great guide together. It has been a key factor in turning our business around. For me personally, reading your book has given me a “fire in the belly” for growing our company and for playing the role that I should as the owner. I still have a lot to learn, and our company has a long way to go, the difference is I now realize the need for continual education and how it benefits each of us.”
“I wanted to let you know how much this contractor appreciates your work.
I have been in business for seven and a half years. In this time I have tried numerous approaches to doing business. While I have made it this long I have built considerable debt. About two years ago a friend gave me a copy of your book Markup and Profit. I am not a big reader, and am ashamed to say it sat on my desk, then book shelf, until this winter. At which time he and another successful friend, after seeing my total discouragement, met with me to help me decide if I should continue in the business or get out.
After reviewing all aspects of how I am doing business they felt I am not making any one big mistake and should keep at it. They ‘demanded’ however, among other things, I read your book. (I will also say that the one friend credits your book and Christian principles with making his company very successful).
I finished it in January and have begun putting it into practice including a percentage plan to pay down debt. I am already feeling some benefit from your ideas and am encouraged that, after such a long time, this may actually work. It has been a blessing. I am also enjoying your monthly e-mail news letter, this is the second one I’ve received.
Thanks again for good, straightforward information.”
Montague, New Jersey
“Just a note to let you know how much I appreciate your manual on markup and profit. I have just re-entered the residential construction arena after spending 23 years in the heavy construction trade as a union carpenter and supervisor. I was involved in residential construction in the late 70’s but at that time all I had was a knowledge of how to ‘drive nails.’ Consequently it didn’t take long for me to seek out another form of employment and so I joined the union in 1979.
In May of last year I was approached by some friends of mine about building a home for their daughter. I had previously built their home in 1985 and I was excited to have the opportunity. To say the least a lot has changed since 1985!
Unfortunately not only did I come up short on the man hour estimate but I didn’t add any markup at all. Thank God I had my son as my only employee! That’s why your book is so great. I really want to do it right this time and even though I learned a lot on that first house, I definitely don’t want to repeat the same mistakes.”
“John has been meeting with every customer and going over the contract and his sales ratio has definitely improved!! We recently were bidding against three other contractors for a large remodeling job. One contractor sent his estimate in the mail (totally turned the customer off) and the other contractor never called back. It’s amazing what a little face-to-face interaction and professionalism can do. Time and time again now we are hearing the customer tell us they have picked us to do the job because of John’s presentation and his explaining how the job will get done. Thought you’d like to know that, since he learned it from you!”
“I just want to say it is nice to have some like you out there to help us contractors sharpen our skills. I was the epitome of the contractors who you wrote about in your book. I even have a boat. Now I have a solid contract and get 95 percent of my monies before I am done. And for some reason all my clients seem to have a great respect for me.”