Specialty Contractors and Down Payments

By Michael Stone

Should specialty contractors require down payments even when working through a General Contractor?


The Skinny on Change Work Orders

By Michael Stone

A compendium on change work orders on a new home, remodeling or renovation project; why they matter, how to price them, what to include, and more.


Building a Successful Construction Business

By Michael Stone

I take many calls from contractors whose business is more like a low-paying job than a successful construction business. Some ask, “Is it even possible in today’s economic climate? Can my business make money?”


Family Matters More Than Business

By Michael Stone

Our goal is to help construction-related business owners build a better business. We receive many phone calls and notes from our clients, and most of the time we hear good things. Sometimes we hear another side of the story.


Clients and Your Job Schedule

By Michael Stone

One of the concerns a homeowner has when they’ve hired a contractor is whether they’ll do what they said they’ll do. It is a legitimate concern. They don’t know what’s going on in your head, only what’s happening with their job.


Who Pays for On-the-Job Training?

By Michael Stone

Training in construction is important, especially with a shortage of employees. A general contractor asked about a subcontractor who is training an apprentice.


Cost Plus Contract, Time and Material Contract

By Michael Stone

Why cost plus and time & material contracts should be avoided, for both contractors and building owners.


Shady Contractors

By Michael Stone

If you’re doing residential construction, you’ve met all kinds of people. There are also all kinds of contractors, and some of them don’t operate ethically.


When Business Returns

By Michael Stone

At some point this health crisis will slow down and go away. When it does, there’s a good chance we’ll be doing some things differently. But some things won’t change.


When Business Dries Up

By Michael Stone

If sales have dropped off significantly or you’re under a stay-at-home order, here are 3 things that you need to do now for both your business and your family.


Hang On – Getting Through These Times

By Devon Stone

Michael Stone offers suggestions on how to keep your construction business strong during this Coronavirus emergency.


It’s Not For Us

By Michael Stone

Michael Stone shares about a note from a contractor who initially found the Markup & Profit Revisited book “too extreme” and “not for us” – but now realizes it makes sense.


Unclear Change Work Orders

By Michael Stone

Pricing changes for a change work order isn’t easy when the scope of work isn’t clear.


Investing in Your Business

By Michael Stone

Constant input from others is necessary if you want to stay on top of both your business and your personal life.


Business or Charity?

By Michael Stone

If you’re a business owner and take on a project out of the goodness of your heart, recognize you might not get paid and will be funding the project.


Borrowing Jacks

By Michael Stone

I recently had to face what I thought would be an uncomfortable personal conversation. I fussed all morning, then went to visit the person involved.


Payment Methods

By Michael Stone

I don’t think writing a check is old fashioned, but there are so many advantages to using a credit or debit card that it’s become the preferred payment method for many.


What the Future Holds

By Michael Stone

If you were a mouse in my pocket, you’d hear the complaints I hear about both general and specialty contractors who don’t answer the phone or return phone calls.


Protect Your Time

By Michael Stone

Some people are used to snapping their fingers and having others jump. It’s irritating, but you have to remember that they’re writing the checks.


Let’s Discuss an Acceptable Hourly Rate . . .

By Michael Stone

This note is a painfully perfect example of why you shouldn’t provide details on your pricing.


About Your Exorbitant Markup . . .

By Michael Stone

From a contractor: “I am definitely going to do a better job in pre-selecting my clients after this one.”


What You Do in Practice

By Michael Stone

We want to see contractors build stronger businesses and in the process improve the reputation of our industry.


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.


Insurance Quotes – Getting Paid

By Michael Stone

Insurance work can be good business, but it can also waste your time if the insurance company is playing the three bids game.


A Yardstick for Success

By Michael Stone

It’s the last Wednesday of the summer, which is a great time to look back and see how your business fared.


What Happens To Your Business If You Can’t Be There?

By Michael Stone

If you own a business, your illness or death will create business problems for your families and your employees.


Why Do You Need To Make A Profit?

By Michael Stone

Don’t confuse profit with salary or hourly wages. Making a profit isn’t optional: Your business needs profit to survive.


Overhead Differences: New Homes and Remodeling

By Michael Stone

A construction company building both new homes and remodeling needs to calculate a separate markup for each type of work.


Honest Relationships

By Michael Stone

There are always at least two sides to any scenario, but if you want to stay in business, consider this a lesson on how not to treat a subcontractor.


Taxes and Profit and Markup

By Michael Stone

Michael addresses a few different questions we’ve heard recently, primarily dealing with taxes and profit and calculating your markup.


When Success Looks Impossible

By Michael Stone

After reading our books and trying to do things right, why is he still not making any money?


Spare Topics

By Michael Stone

It’s time to catch up on some spare topics I have lying around. These aren’t earth shaking but they can and will impact your bottom line.


Contract Language That Puts You at Risk

By Michael Stone

Over the years, I’ve seen contract language evolve, shifting more and more responsibility to general and specialty contractors.


Subs: Take Care of Business

By Michael Stone

A contractor friend called to complain about problems he’s having with specialty contractors in his area. This isn’t a one-time complaint; I’ve heard the same from others around the country.


Transparency and Partnerships

By Michael Stone

What do you do when your partner is listening to someone who knows nothing about construction, but still thinks they knows what’s best?


Know Your Numbers: Current Ratio

By Michael Stone

There is a measure you can use to determine how financially solid your company is at any given point in time. It’s called the current ratio, and it’s a good idea to check it regularly.


Estimating, Labor Burden, and Cost of Goods Sold

By Devon Stone

When you own a small business you wear a lot of hats. Understanding the numbers might not be your favorite hat, but numbers are important because they show where you stand financially.


Calculating Your Markup

By Michael Stone

When I teach a class or webinar, sometimes I wonder if my listeners understand what I’m trying to say. After reading some of the questions that came in during a recent webinar, I realized I missed the mark.


Pricing Mistakes

By Michael Stone

Everyone, and I do mean everyone, who has ever compiled an estimate has made a math error that put knots in their stomach once it was realized.


Liability Insurance Tangle

By Michael Stone

Some time back we received a well-written letter about liability insurance from a contractor in Washington state.


Protect Your Business – Change Work Orders

By Michael Stone

Michael discusses a ploy some building owners use to not pay for all of their change work orders. It happens in both residential and commercial projects.


Overhead and Profit on Change Orders

By Michael Stone

You shouldn’t sign a contract that stipulates what you can charge, even if it’s just on the change orders.


The Economy and Your Business

By Michael Stone

As business owners, we need to keep an eye on what’s going on with the economy because it should influence our business decisions.


Watch Improvement Happen

By Michael Stone

As we wrap up 2018, we want to share two notes we received this year.


Writing a Business Plan for a Construction Business

By Michael Stone

A business plan is different than year-end planning. A business plan looks at the big picture. It’s a roadmap for the whole journey.


Your Contribution to Society

By Michael Stone

Do you ever think about what we do for others? We build homes and we maintain them. We fix problems and if our job is done well, no one ever notices how well it was done.


Make Things Happen

By Michael Stone

Without looking, how do you think your business did this year? Are you feeling more profitable or less? Is your business running more smoothly or are the problems overwhelming?


Training an Architect

By Michael Stone

A contractor we’ve known and worked with for many years sent us a note about his experience working with a new architect. Ideally, the architect would have been working with the contractor from the beginning so he could have educated the client as well.


What Should You Do With Your Profit?

By Michael Stone

The best way to avoid paying taxes is to not make a profit at all, but it’s a rough way to live. 


Make Hay While the Sun Shines

By Michael Stone

It’s the beginning of the fourth quarter and I’d like to address a few different issues that seem pertinent right now. The most important one is to remember that things aren’t always good.


Avoiding Jobs That Don’t Fit

By Michael Stone

It’s smart to specialize on the work that makes you the most money. It’s even better if you know contractors who can pick up the leads outside your specialty.


Setting and Keeping a Schedule

By Michael Stone

The job is sold, schedule is set, project gets started, and suddenly it’s behind schedule. When it happens, it eats into your profit and upsets your clients.


Doing What’s Right

By Michael Stone

How should you handle a mistake? What if it’s a mistake you made over a decade ago?


Breaking Down Price Detail

By Michael Stone

Since the end goal for both the architect and the contractor is a satisfied client, how about working together from the beginning?


Making The Trades More Attractive

By Michael Stone

If you want to attract the best people, you need to make the a good offer.


Share The Satisfaction of Working in the Trades

By Michael Stone

There’s a reason that working in the trades isn’t appealing. But if you do the work, you know there are positives that outweigh the negatives.


Profit and Loss and Markup

By Michael Stone

When your books are set up properly, it’s easy to calculate your markup, and it’s also easy to compare your actual results to your estimates.


Calculating for Taxes

By Michael Stone

Taxes are the price you pay for being profitable. It’s a good thing when your business is in the black and you need to pay taxes on it. It’s not good when you’re taken by surprise.


Making Money or Keeping Busy?

By Michael Stone

When everyone but your family benefits from your business, it’s time for a reality check.


Lower Your Price, Gain Exposure

By Michael Stone

Should you take every opportunity to increase exposure for your business? 


Getting Ahead

By Michael Stone

As we head into Memorial Day weekend, we want to share an upbeat note we received in April from a client.


Working With a Designer

By Michael Stone

Is there a common ground or way that the designer and contractor can do business together, each make the money they need to, and not overcharge the customer?


Construction Business Safeguards: Fraud and Embezzlement

By Michael Stone

We hear many stories from business owners who have had to recover from the theft of funds by their own employees. Today we’re sharing a list of things you can do to protect yourself and your business.


Hiring Friends and Family

By Michael Stone

When you own a small business you’re often asked to hire family or friends. Sometimes it works out great, but not always.


Pricing Handyman and Service Work

By Michael Stone

There are two schools of thought on pricing handyman projects and service work: T&M or flat rate pricing. They both have advantages and disadvantages.


Does This Apply to My Business?

By Michael Stone

We received a note from a contractor asking if what we talk about applies to his business.


Single Discipline Leads, Referral Fees

By Michael Stone

The note stated, “Because I’m the middle man, my subcontractor loses out a potential project.” That’s true, and it’s one reason you shouldn’t get into the position of being a middle man.


Do Your Work

By Michael Stone

For the past few years I’ve had general contractors tell me that they can’t get specialty contractors to return their calls, show up on time or show up at all for a job. Now I’m hearing from generals who are getting calls from subs, looking for work.


Justifying Your Price

By Michael Stone

If your lawyer believes you have to justify your pricing just because someone doesn’t want to pay their bill, it’s time to find another lawyer.


Successful Business Growth

By Michael Stone

I’m a strong supporter of reviewing where your business has been and where you want it to go. Last week I discussed that subject with a friend I met over seventeen years ago.


Share Kindness

By Michael Stone

I follow Barbara Pachter, a speaker, author, and coach, who writes regularly on business-related topics, especially those related to business etiquette and communication. We requested and received permission to reprint one of her recent blog posts here.


Transparency – Or Maybe Not

By Michael Stone

Is transparency the way to go when selling? Be careful who you listen to.


Planning for Profit

By Michael Stone

We recommend setting goals every year, beginning the process about now. If making a profit is one of your goals, Michael outlines practices that will help.  


Setting Funds Aside

By Michael Stone

An Operating Capital Reserve Account helps keep you and your family free from financial worries, which helps you sleep better. 


Managing Growth

By Michael Stone

If you’re doing a good job of marketing your company, how do you plan for and manage growth when it shows up?


Loaning Your License

By Michael Stone

It’s interesting how friends, relatives, and other contractors try to rope you into their schemes by asking to borrow your license to build their jobs.


Subcontractor Payment Schedules

By Michael Stone

Payment schedules need to be in writing, that includes between a general and specialty contractor.


Collecting Payment from a Dishonest Homeowner – Updated

By Michael Stone

Not all of your clients are honest. There are even a few who have no intention of paying you for the work you do.


Markup or Margin: Be Logical

By Michael Stone

If they tell you the formula to use will make you more profit, that’s baloney. It’s the numbers you use that determines your profit.


Profit Leaks

By Michael Stone

These aren’t earthshaking topics, but they are the things that cause problems on jobs, leading to disgruntled clients, lost referrals, and lower profit margins.


Should You Purchase a Construction-Related Franchise?

By Michael Stone

If you’re considering purchasing a franchise, or if you’ve been contacted by a franchisor because of your success, put your emotions on hold and evaluate it carefully.


Making a Positive First Impression

By Michael Stone

Building trust always starts when you are first contacted by a potential client. Michael discusses how to do it right, and how to do it wrong.


A Minimum Price

By Michael Stone

Being profitable doesn’t mean getting rich off your clients.


Job Costs and Overhead

By Michael Stone

I’ve seen contractors try to apportion overhead on a daily, weekly, monthly or per job basis when compiling their estimates. I don’t recommend any of those approaches.


Long-Term Business Survival

By Michael Stone

How well you manage your money when business is good impacts how easily you’ll survive when business is tough.


Are You Worth It?

By Michael Stone

Construction is a tough industry. For some, the hardest part is making the sale. They’re out of their comfort zone. They don’t want to talk about money or ask for the sale.


How to Be Profitable

By Michael Stone

It’s important to be focused on profitability. You’re in business because you want to keep a roof over your head and food on your table; you can’t do that when your business is losing money.


Can You Be Both Competitive and Profitable?

By Michael Stone

You can’t lower your price and expect to make up for it by selling more, because there is a limit to how much you can produce. Every job needs to be profitable.


The Path to Success

By Michael Stone

In the beginning you had ambition and energy. Then reality set in.


Who Generated The Lead?

By Michael Stone

When subcontractors or employees are approached, they are obligated to notify the general contractor who brought them there, and let him handle the lead.


Contractor Issues with Architects & Designers

By Michael Stone

These relationships can be profitable for both parties, but they can also quickly become squabbles if the relationships aren’t valued.


Getting It Done

By Michael Stone

We want to share a note we received earlier this month about hard work and gratitude.


Pricing Without Plans

By Michael Stone

It’s important to remember you aren’t in business to drive around and give out numbers. If you’re a specialty contractor, you also aren’t in business to provide numbers to architects or general contractors.


I Don’t Need Any Leads!

By Michael Stone

“I have more work than I can do. I tell new leads to call me after the first of the year.”


Business Owner, or Hired Labor?

By Michael Stone

Ever heard the old saying that something “pushed your buttons”? It’s an emotional reaction, usually not positive. Well, Devon took a phone call last week that pushed my buttons.


Play Fair

By Michael Stone

There are business owners who think it’s okay to put the screws to someone else as long as it helps them make more money.


Growing Pains

By Michael Stone

If you’re running your business like a business and not a hobby, you’ll start getting more leads, and it’s exciting to watch your business grow.


Are You a Systems or a Service Business?

By Michael Stone

In a systems company, the customer is someone you deal with when you run out of other things to do.


Pricing Small Jobs

By Michael Stone

It’s hard to remember what you’re worth, especially if you’re spending time on jobs that cost you money.


An Unbalanced Partnership

By Michael Stone

I’ve written before about middlemen in the construction industry: I’m not fond of them. There is another type of middleman in the construction industry, facility and property management companies.


Allowances in Your Pricing

By Michael Stone

There isn’t one right way to handle allowance items that works for all contractors and all clients. Plan A may work for most clients, but then you meet Mrs. Oddball who seems to work at being difficult. So you derive Plan B and hope it works.


Working for Big Box Stores

By Michael Stone

A young guy asked if signing on with one of the big box stores was a good idea. He hasn’t discovered yet that getting a lot of work doesn’t mean you’ll make lots of money.


Sales Issues: We Want the Lowest Bid

By Michael Stone

Some clients want the lowest bid for their project, and nothing else matters. It’s your job to try to educate them.


Markup Worries

By Michael Stone

Remember, you’re in business to provide a service and make a profit doing it.


Subs or Employees – Are Subs More Expensive?

By Michael Stone

Does subcontracting raise the price of the project?


Don’t Be This Contractor

By Michael Stone

 Please don’t be this contractor. Please don’t be that homeowner. 


Your Labor Rate and Your Markup

By Michael Stone

Using the wrong labor rate, or using someone else’s markup when you don’t know their assumptions, is one of the biggest mistakes we see and the difference can be thousands of dollars.


Adjusting Your Markup

By Michael Stone

In Markup & Profit Revisited, we explain how to calculate your markup. We’re often asked if you can adjust your markup based on the length of the job.


Hiring A Contractor: Truth vs. Myths

By Michael Stone

Some advice on hiring a contractor is just plain wrong.


Keep it Simple

By Michael Stone

When it comes to pricing your jobs, you need to keep it simple, especially if you want to make the sale.


Be Prepared

By Michael Stone

When things are good, it’s smart to ask yourself a critical question: Are you prepared for the next downturn?


Lowering Another Contractor’s Overhead

By Michael Stone

Business needs to be win-win. If the services of the contractor are needed and provide value, the contractor needs to be paid accordingly


Insurance Repair Projects

By Michael Stone

A coaching client shared two recent experiences while doing insurance repair projects. One was positive, one wasn’t.


When Your Client Sets the Price

By Michael Stone

When your client wants a lower price, something has to change. It shouldn’t be just your price.


Getting Quotes from Subs

By Michael Stone

Without a paid design agreement from the client, you aren’t sure you’ll get the job. Your subs are even less sure they’ll get the job.


Making Goals Reality

By Michael Stone

Goals are a target, and if I start falling short, I either figure out why and fix it, or adjust the target to match reality.


Our Year-End Review

By Michael Stone

At a restaurant with family recently, the waitress agreed to let me take a photo of the back of her shirt. It’s exactly how Devon and I feel about the work we do.


The Art of Delegating

By Michael Stone

Delegating is a scary word for most of us. We don’t believe that anyone can do a job as well as we can.


Practice Listening

By Michael Stone

It’s the beginning of the holiday season, and I’d like to talk about a topic that can change both your sales ratio and your family relationships.


Documenting Jobs

By Michael Stone

There are two benefits to documenting your jobs. One is protecting yourself in case there is a disagreement about the project. The other is providing information that will help you when you’re promoting your business.


Continuing Your Education

By Michael Stone

One of the pitfalls of graduating from high school and/or college is the belief that you’ve finished your education. I close my classes with a slide that says, “To Keep Your Money In Your Company,” with an arrow pointing to “Education.”


Cutting Prices

By Michael Stone

I can’t tell you how many times in the past few weeks I’ve had contractors tell me they are cutting their prices to get work. I even took a call from a contractor who told me we should come to his town “because all the NARI members are busy cutting their prices.”


Stay the Course

By Michael Stone

Ever had a day, maybe a week, where you said, “That’s it, I’m done. Enough already.” You wanted to put a sign in the front window: “FOR SALE: One Construction Company, CHEAP! (I’ll pay you to take this stupid thing off my hands.)”


Pricing Too Low

By Michael Stone

It is a fact of life that when you sell construction-related services, you’ll have clients tell you that your price is too high. Bless their hearts. They have no idea what would be a fair price for the work they want done, they just know that your price is too high.


Low-Value Jobs

By Michael Stone

I read many articles on the construction industry looking for, among other things, information on how the construction industry is doing and what we can expect in the immediate and near future. One statistic that always interests me is the size of the average remodeling job.


It’s Time to Stop Being Superman

By Michael Stone

In every business, some things we do eat into our profitability. Do you run your business or does your business run you?


Markup on Subs

By Michael Stone

A lot of contractors don’t believe they need to use their full markup on subcontractor quotes. Let me explain why that can be a mistake.


Proprietary Business Information

By Michael Stone

An architect he knew asked him to meet with the owners of a proposed new home. As they were discussing the project, the architect asked our friend, in front of the clients, “What’s your overhead and profit percentage?”


Know Before You Quote

By Michael Stone

It’s cheaper to ask questions than pay for mistakes. A coaching client is trying to fix the problem created by an former salesperson’s expensive omission.


A Collection of Thoughts: Bookkeeping, Markup, Taxes, Advertising . . .

By Michael Stone

This week I want to catch up on a few things that have been bothering me.


A Business That Needs to Fail

By Michael Stone

Our goal is to help construction business owners build successful, profitable businesses. We want them to succeed, but we want them to do it right. A recent note from a homeowner is a shocking example of a business we’d like to see fail.


Dishonest Clients; Collecting the Final Payment

By Michael Stone

How do you deal with a dishonest client? I recently corresponded with a contractor concerning this issue.


Know Your Value

By Michael Stone

A young fellow recently asked about his hourly wage.


Time for a Financial Checkup

By Michael Stone

We’re a third of the way through the year. It’s a good time to review some of the basic things you need to do to run a financially successful construction-related business.


Choose Your Clients

By Michael Stone

Mark Buckshon writes a construction marketing blog and a few months ago he told the story of a commercial contractor who was dealing with a bully.


Change what can be changed

By Michael Stone

“How do you hold a positive frame of mind when you’re constantly made to feel unworthy of a decent living by your customers, attacking your already low prices? I have tendonitis, carpal tunnel, cartilage deterioration in both knees, a bad back, and I still bust my a** pouring sweat and blood into every job.”


Who should do the talking?

By Michael Stone

I was asked recently by an electrical supplier, “Why do general contractors often not want their subcontractors to have any communication with the home owner?”


Another Myth: Lower Your Markup for Larger Jobs

By Michael Stone

“I am working on designing a few jobs with the job costs starting around $125,000 and up. What is your opinion on markup when the job costs are getting bigger? I want to make sure I am staying competitive.”


Owner Deserves a Salary

By Michael Stone

I applaud this person’s efforts, helping someone else with the business side of business so the craftsman can continue being a craftsman. But this craftsman is going to have to either learn how to run a business or start charging enough for his work to both feed himself and pay an office manager.


Work Product Exclusion, An Unexpected Benefit of Hiring Subcontractors

By Michael Stone

Last week’s article discussed the pros and cons of using employees or subcontractors to get jobs built. This week, Myles Corcoran of Myles F. Corcoran Construction Consulting Inc., presents another point of view.


Subs or Employees, That is the Question

By Michael Stone

Recently I’ve had a number of discussions with company owners about how to get their jobs built. It all comes down to using subs or employees, or as some like to say, “Should I be a paper contractor or a real contractor?”


Conduct Business Like a Business Owner

By Michael Stone

One of our coaching clients was telling me about his problems finding a subcontractor for a job. If you’re a general contractor, this might sound all too familiar.


You Get What You Pay For

By Michael Stone

Sometimes a prospective client wants you to fix the work done by another contractor. That was the situation a friend of ours ended up in recently.


Generals and Subs: Working Together

By Michael Stone

It’s important to define the ground rules of your relationship.


Accounting – Keeping Track of Your Jobs

By Michael Stone

It’s easy to know if you’ve made a profit when every transaction is complete in a day. It isn’t as easy in construction, where a job might take a week, a month, or even more than a year to complete.


What Do You Believe?

By Michael Stone

It can help to separate yourself by doing things right. But you're a business owner. It's what's expected. The flakes are the ones who are different.


Supply and Demand

By Michael Stone

The services offered by construction businesses are in high demand right now. Can we look at this industry from another viewpoint?


The Games People Play

By Michael Stone

Why would a developer ask for a cost plus quote to replace a fixed price quote? Because he wants the very same work done at a lower price.


Getting Involved with a Storm Chaser

By Michael Stone

Last week, a contractor called to ask my opinion on getting involved with storm chasers that were in his area.


Getting Business as a Sub

By Michael Stone

One of the questions we’re asked most often is how a subcontractor can get jobs. How do you go about meeting general contractors and letting them know you’re available to build their jobs?


When Clients Do an End Run

By Michael Stone

Stay ahead of your clients. Write a detailed contract that protects you from as many unpleasant scenarios as possible, and work from written agreements with both your subcontractors and your employees. 


When Should You Cut Your Markup?

By Michael Stone

As the economy slowly improves, we are being asked to revisit issues we haven’t discussed for many years. 


Can You Afford to Hire?

By Devon Stone

Can you afford to hire a new office empl …

Can You Afford to Hire? Read More »


Things That Cause Problems, or, How to Upset Your Clients

By Michael Stone

Seven issues that upset clients. And when clients are upset, either you won’t make the sale or you might not get paid.


Making Money, Losing Money or Breaking Even? What Now?

By Michael Stone

Last week we discussed knowing where you stand financially, whether you are making money, losing money, or breaking even.  What now?


Making Money, Breaking Even, Losing Money

By Michael Stone

This is the criteria I use to tell if a company is making money. It isn’t the only measure, but it’ll give you an idea of how your business is doing.


Markup Materials Only?

By Michael Stone

In a perfect world, estimated costs will match actual job costs. At the end of a perfect year, total job costs will equal projected job costs. It’s not a perfect world.


It’s Time to Change Our Image

By Michael Stone

I have an audacious goal. I’d like to see a shift in the public perception of the construction industry.


Protect Against Theft On A Jobsite

By Michael Stone

It’s the season to go shopping, and some lower life forms (also known as scumbags) are doing their shopping on jobsites when no one else is around. Protect your business.


Doing It Right and Reaping the Rewards

By Michael Stone

Today we’re going to talk about succeeding. We’re big football fans. Our local high school football team is 8-0 this year. Our favorite college team is 7-0


Race to the Bottom, or “How Low Can I Price This Job?”

By Michael Stone

Cutting your price to get a job is a money losing approach. Over time, you won’t be making a profit and you’re only working yourself into debt.


Focus on what’s profitable

By Michael Stone

There are lots of get rich quick schemes there. Spend $2 and get rich beyond your dreams. What are the odds?  The same as making money in business without being focused.


Employees – Three Details that Cost Money

By Michael Stone

You’re in business to provide a service and make a profit doing it. Three employee issues that cost your construction company money.


Adjusting Your Markup Based on the Job

By Michael Stone

Many contractors use a variable markup or margin to price jobs. They believe that in the construction industry you have to reduce the price to get the job.


What’s the Right Salary for a Construction Company Owner?

By Michael Stone

If you’re a contractor, how much should you be paid to own and run your own construction company? How much should a construction company owner be paid as salary?


You Can’t Make This Stuff Up!

By Michael Stone

We use Google Analytics on our website. It tells us how many visitors we’ve had and what brought them to our website.


As Rude or Opinionated as you can afford to be

By Michael Stone

You don’t want to lose business because of a comment that you post or email. Even if you think it’s hidden in a dark corner, it can cause a problem


Pricing Jobs Right

By Michael Stone

Not charging enough for your work is the major reason construction companies fail. Here are some of the mistakes contractors make when pricing their jobs.


Markup and Profit Recording

By Michael Stone

Michael Stone discusses why contractors go out of business, the correct formula for markup, charging for change orders, employees and cash flow, and payment schedules.


Michael’s Comments

By Devon Stone

4 short videos by Michael Stone, “The reason you are in business” “Using an Accurate Markup” ”Accurate Estimates” and “Getting Paid on Time”.


It’s The Price

By Michael Stone

A note that came in a few weeks ago: “We have a very competitive market here . . . My husband and I both agree a lot of our problem is not charging enough for our work.”


Letter From an Architect

By Michael Stone

By providing background, Michael Beck helps us understand how the relationship between architects and contractors has developed over the years.


It’s Your Business

By Michael Stone

A contractor on the east coast was frustrated with how he was being treated by architects. For starters, they were requesting a list of all his subcontractors.


I Have to Be Competitive!

By Michael Stone

You don’t have to be competitive. You have to be profitable. If you aren’t profitable, your business won’t last.


All that Glitters . . .

By Michael Stone

Is buying a construction business franchise a smart idea? The sales pitch is good, promising a proven method to run your business and a proven path to wealth.


Paying Yourself

By Michael Stone

You’re in business to provide a service and make a profit doing it. Having the financial info you need to make decisions is critical for your business success.


There is No Industry Standard

By Michael Stone

Don’t take any job where the client tells you how much you can charge for your work.


“I Work in a Competitive Market”

By Michael Stone

Don’t worry about what “the other guy” is charging.


Your Price is Too High

By Michael Stone

“Your price is too high” means you haven’t done your job as a salesperson.


How to Start Your Website

By Devon Stone

Building a website for your small business doesn’t have to be expensive, and it isn’t that complicated when you understand how it works..


Guidelines for Success

By Michael Stone

Guidelines to a more successful construction-related business.


Ten Cardinal Rules for Construction Business Owners

By Michael Stone

Ten Cardinal Rules for a successful construction-related business.


Building Quality Jobs

By Michael Stone

Many contractors believing building “quality” helps them sell jobs and make more money. But how do you define quality? Who sets the standard?


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