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Year-End Planning, Part 1

By 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 2

By 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 Planning

By 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 Business

By Michael Stone

Investing your time and effort in discovering how to run a successful construction business is a key to success.


Educating on Quality

By Michael Stone

Home and building owners need to know that hiring the least expensive contractor often means compromising on quality.


Renegotiating the Price

By Michael Stone

How should you respond when a client wants to change the price AFTER the job has started?


Sales: Setting Ground Rules

By 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 Education

By 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 Quoting

By 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 Money

By 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 Profitably

By 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 Contract

By Michael Stone

Why do clients enter a contract and then think they can unilaterally change the terms?


Motivate Your Construction Employees

By 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 Layout

By 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 Details

By Michael Stone

Are you giving your clients the information they need to be confident you’re building the job they want?


Employee Retention Strategies

By Devon Stone

A recording of a presentation on employee and subcontractor retention strategies.


Sales Issues: Leaving Your Paperwork

By 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 Business

By 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 Standards

By 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 Business

By 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 Bad

By 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 Lead

By 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 Sub

By 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 Right

By Michael Stone

Michael shares a valuable tool that will improve both your sales and your relationships.


Doing Things Wrong

By 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 Permit

By 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 Commitment

By 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.


Finding and Hiring Construction Employees

By Devon Stone

This one-hour presentation by Contractor Staffing Source explains how to find and hire employees for your construction business.


Liquidated Damages in Construction

By Michael Stone

When customers start talking about liquidated damages in construction, it’s time to ask why.


Contracts Matter; Collecting Final Payment

By Michael Stone

When you provide a dishonest client a cost breakdown of their job, things can go wrong.


Make Time by Delegating

By 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 Matters

By 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 You

By 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 Profit

By 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 Terms

By 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?


Paying a Salesperson: Commission on Sales, not Profit

By Michael Stone

If you employ a salesperson to help you sell something, you need to pay them for their services. I am a firm believer in paying sales people by commission


Purchasing Commercial Insurance

By Michael Stone

Purchasing commercial insurance can be a frustrating experience for many construction businesses.


Unit Cost Estimating

By Michael Stone

Unit cost estimating is breaking down a project to simple assemblies. It’s the best way to consistently acquire accurate estimates.


Handling Customer Complaints

By Michael Stone

No matter how careful you are, you, your crew, or one of your subcontractors will upset a client. How you handle customer complaints says a lot about your business and your character.


Price Proposal Deadlines

By Michael Stone

All price proposals need a deadline because you never know when material and labor costs will increase rapidly.


Construction Sales: Make Time Count

By Michael Stone

Construction sales take time and your time is valuable. Avoid these common time-wasters when selling construction services.


Construction Cash Flow and Business Success

By Michael Stone

Construction cash flow is like every other business; there must be more cash flowing in than flowing out or the business won’t survive.


Rapidly Increasing Material Costs

By Michael Stone

Quoting a firm fixed price is riskier when material costs are increasing rapidly, which is why your contract needs to address unexpected material cost increases.


Design Agreements and the Budget

By Michael Stone

The purpose of a design agreement is to get a commitment from your client to design the project so you don’t have to do the design for free. How do you keep the design within the budget?


The Cost of Callbacks

By Michael Stone

Having to return to a previous job and fix something that’s wrong costs money. Knowing the cost of a callback helps you or your crew to be more diligent to avoid them in the future.


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