Michael Stone

Our business goal for the last twenty-plus years has been helping contractors build successful businesses that survive and thrive. We believe Zig Ziglar when he said, “You can have everything in life you want, if you’ll just help enough other people get what they want.” We believe his advice applies to your business as well.

We received a note from a contractor outlining her last few years in business, which haven’t been good. I’ll share part of her note here:

“I purchased Markup and Profit from Amazon, not having yet discovered your website. I read the book, cover to cover, and proceeded to have a meltdown. How would we ever implement so many elements to this game? Clearly, we were doing everything wrong. My husband, witnessing my meltdown, suggested that your book was “too extreme” and “not for us.” It was just one of many books, not the authority, and I should disregard what I had read. Desperately seeking some peace, I took his advice.

Fast forward a year or two, and we are still estimating for crap. I am more at my wit’s end than I was when I read your book! Why, oh, why didn’t I just bite the bullet and enforce your recommendations? Suck it up! *insert slapping of the face* So, here I am, returning to your site, your products, and your knowledge. Why? Because I remember that your book, as scary as it was, did make sense.”

She didn’t tell us if her husband read our book when he called it “too extreme” and “not for us”, but we’ve heard those comments before. Many of those who’ve said it are no longer in business. They decided to ignore the basic business advice in the book and over time their business failed, a process that cost them and their family untold heartache and misery.

We’re often asked if the book Markup & Profit Revisited will apply to a specific business. Will it work for roofing contractors? Is there anything in the book that works for plumbers, or landscapers, or locksmiths?

The answer is that the book teaches business principles, and they are the same for every business. Last week I received a note from a public artist thanking us for the book. He closed by saying, “I am recommending your book to other artists who rely on construction trades so they too can get serious about making a living as one’s own creative boss.” I’ll admit that’s a specialty we hadn’t expected!

Construction is one of the toughest businesses to own. It’s not easy to survive, let alone be profitable. When you aren’t building jobs and working with clients, you have to take the time to continue your education on how to promote your business, estimate your jobs, sell, and more.

We realize the book is overwhelming. After reading it, we suggest taking on one task at a time. Instead of having a meltdown, choose one change you can implement. Give yourself a week and focus on just that one thing. If you can’t do it in a week, give yourself two weeks or a month; whatever works best for you. When that change is done, take on another task. If you continue doing this, over the course of a year you will see results. You’ll have made significant improvements in your business and you’ll start getting excited about what you can fix next.

Making changes is scary. Not making changes is dangerous. If what you’re doing now isn’t working, it’s time to make those changes, the sooner the better.

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Gloria Hunt
March 4, 2020 1:00 pm

Love the new organization on the website. Clean and easy to navigate.

Steve Q.
Steve Q.
March 4, 2020 8:55 am

Hello Michael, I too was skeptical about purchasing your book and see if it will work for specialty contractor. I have been in the painting industry (commercial) for almost 20 years. At the time I read your book I was a project manager and was surprised to see all the things that the company was doing wrong. But I took your advise and took it one thing at a time, specially with the mark up portion. My boss wasn’t interested in this but I bought the book for myself and I’m glad I did. I have my own company know… Read more »

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