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?


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.


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.


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?


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.


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 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.


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.


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.


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.


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?


Purchasing Commercial Insurance

By Michael Stone

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


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.


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.


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.


Habits for Success

By Michael Stone

Are your habits helping your company grow, or are they holding you back?


Financial Plan for Success and Survival

By Michael Stone

If you thought you were the captain of your ship, 2020 taught otherwise.


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.


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 Contracts

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.


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