Charging a Fair Price

By Michael Stone

You can be the most ethical person in the world and if you aren’t charging enough for your work, you stand a good chance of cheating someone else.


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.


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.


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.


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.”


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.


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?


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.


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?


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.


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.


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?


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.


Lower Your Price, Gain Exposure

By Michael Stone

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


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.


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.


Transparency – Or Maybe Not

By Michael Stone

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


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.


A Minimum Price

By Michael Stone

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


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.


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.”


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.”


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.


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.


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.


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.


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. 


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.”


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.


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.


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