Estimating Labor, Accounting for TrashBy Michael Stone
Estimating a construction project requires working through the details. The better you cover those details, the more accurate your estimate.
Building Inspectors and Your EstimateBy Michael Stone
The building inspector who shows up can increase the cost of your project. That’s why you need to add an inspector factor to your estimate.
Estimating Construction CostsBy Michael Stone
Estimating errors cost money, because the purpose of a construction estimate is to know how much to price a job.
Trucks, Phones and LanguageBy Michael Stone
Keeping your business sharp and profitable is an ongoing process, and it’s easy to get lax about little things that can cost big money.
A Guaranteed PriceBy Michael Stone
When selling construction services, quoting a guaranteed price protects homeowners from the price increases that happen with a too low price.
Paying Taxes Beats Losing MoneyBy Michael Stone
Paying income tax means you’re running your business well.
Who You Listen To MattersBy Michael Stone
As I watch young people decide to become a coach or consultant in construction, I wonder how much they really know.
Get Ahead of Job DelaysBy Michael Stone
Job delays are often caused by the things we don’t see; you can’t stop all delays but you can get ahead of them.
Increasing Your MarkupBy Michael Stone
Like many of you, I read industry magazines to keep up on new ideas. Much of what I read is good, but a recent article titled “Strategies for Increasing Your Markup” requires a comment.
Business SurvivalBy Michael Stone
I often start the year with a reminder to check your business practices, and this year I think it’s more important than ever to get on top of and make sure you have your business in order.
Value Your WorkBy Michael Stone
Your work is vital; rather than worrying about your price, recognize and sell the value you bring to a project.
Your Work Has ValueBy Michael Stone
I’m addicted to the creature comforts that my home provides. Those comforts are provided by skilled workers in the construction industry.
Year-End Planning, Part 1By Michael Stone
Business planning isn’t exciting. But the effort you put into it has much to do with the results you’ll see next year and in years to come.
Year-End Planning, Part 2By Michael Stone
This is part two of our year-end planning paper. We’re going to pick this up by continuing an indepth look at your overhead budget for the coming year.
Profitable PlanningBy Michael Stone
As the business owner you’re taking risks, so you deserve to be paid a fair salary and make a profit. This is how it gets done.
Invest In Your BusinessBy Michael Stone
Investing your time and effort in discovering how to run a successful construction business is a key to success.
Educating on QualityBy Michael Stone
Home and building owners need to know that hiring the least expensive contractor often means compromising on quality.
Renegotiating the PriceBy Michael Stone
How should you respond when a client wants to change the price AFTER the job has started?
Sales: Setting Ground RulesBy Michael Stone
Michael shares a few situations you’ll run into when selling construction-related services that provide the opportunity to set ground rules for the relationship.
The Advantage of Continuing EducationBy Michael Stone
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been doing things the same way for 1 year or for 65 years, taking the time and initiative to find out if there’s a better way increases your odds of success.
Is Cost-Plus the Solution to Underpriced Jobs?By Michael Stone
Both fixed-price and cost-plus contracts carry risk. Is cost-plus the solution?
Resolve Estimate Details Before QuotingBy Michael Stone
His salesperson sold a kitchen remodel without resolving some details. The homeowner insisted it wouldn’t be a big deal. It was a big deal.
Employees: Details that Cost You MoneyBy Michael Stone
Nothing is more frustrating than to work hard only to find out your business isn’t making money. Michael discusses three things that can make a big difference on the bottom line.
Estimating Construction ProfitablyBy Michael Stone
Estimating Construction Profitably is a guide to estimating; or more accurately, a guide to creating your own estimating system.
Changing the Terms of the ContractBy Michael Stone
Why do clients enter a contract and then think they can unilaterally change the terms?
Motivate Your Construction EmployeesBy Michael Stone
In construction, employees are motivated and engaged when they know the reason behind their work. They need to know their jobs matter.
After the Sale; Pre-Job LayoutBy Michael Stone
The pre-job conference or pre-job layout is when all the details get ironed out that can easily be forgotten. It’s when the job is handed from sales to production. After this meeting the production manager is in charge.
In Construction, Communicate the DetailsBy Michael Stone
Are you giving your clients the information they need to be confident you’re building the job they want?
Sales Issues: Leaving Your PaperworkBy Michael Stone
When a prospective client “wants to think about it,” should you leave your paperwork? What can you do to close the sale?
Business Skills and Your Construction BusinessBy Michael Stone
It’s easy to think we already know all we need to know. If you want to be successful, continually improve your business skills.
Should You Join a Trade Association?By Michael Stone
During a recent “Sharing Ideas” online discussion, the subject of trade associations came up: Is joining a trade association worthwhile?
Residential Construction Quality StandardsBy Michael Stone
In residential construction, it’s not unusual for your client to have an unrealistic quality standard. That’s why you need to establish the standard ahead of time.
Growing a Construction BusinessBy Michael Stone
Growth is inevitable when you successfully market your business and have solid business practices but growing a construction business brings a few challenges along with the blessings.
Managing Jobs: This is Where it Went BadBy Michael Stone
Michael shares a story from a contractor who delegated to the wrong person, and that’s where the job went bad.
Sales: Are You There to Help?By Michael Stone
When selling, are youhere to find out how much money you can make, or to provide a service and help?
Calculate Your Cost Per LeadBy Michael Stone
When you calculate your cost per lead, you’ll know what you need to spend on marketing to meet your sales goals.
Getting Between the Owner and a SubBy Michael Stone
A subcontractor causes a problem on a construction job, the general contractor needs to make it right. It happens a lot, this time with a twist.
Doing Things RightBy Michael Stone
Michael shares a valuable tool that will improve both your sales and your relationships.
Doing Things WrongBy Michael Stone
It’s painful to see people who don’t know better get taken advantage of by those who do or should know better.
Doing Work Without a PermitBy Michael Stone
Doing work without a permit is a mistake. Pulling permits protects the homeowner; when a contractor doesn’t want to pull a permit, there’s always a reason.
Should I Change My Markup If I’m Not Making Sales?By Michael Stone
Should you change your markup method if you aren’t making sales? Don’t spend hours fiddling with numbers; invest the time in your sales skills.
It’s All About Sales: Gaining a CommitmentBy Michael Stone
Can delayed job starts impact material prices and profitability? Not if you gain a commitment first. It’s all about the sales process.
Liquidated Damages in ConstructionBy Michael Stone
When customers start talking about liquidated damages in construction, it’s time to ask why.
Contracts Matter; Collecting Final PaymentBy Michael Stone
When you provide a dishonest client a cost breakdown of their job, things can go wrong.
Make Time by DelegatingBy Michael Stone
It’s easy to fool yourself into believing it’s better to do it yourself, until you realize the things you’re supposed to do aren’t getting done.
Character MattersBy Michael Stone
You can’t always determine if the person you are about to do business with is ethical, but you do know your own behavior. Choosing to operate your business with integrity is within your control.
Make Construction Work for YouBy Michael Stone
Construction can be a tough business, dealing with clients who don’t realize what we’re worth, while our bodies take a beating to make their homes better.
Beliefs That Limit Your ProfitBy Michael Stone
Owning and operating a construction business requires a strong will and self-direction, but those qualities can also lead you to hold on to beliefs that limit your profit.
Definition of TermsBy Michael Stone
What does a general contractor do? What is a specialty contractor? How do remodeling and new construction differ?
How Do You Measure Success in Construction?By Michael Stone
Our goal is to help contractors build more profitable businesses, but how do you measure success? How do you know your pricing will result in a profit?