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.
Purchasing commercial insurance can be a frustrating experience for many construction businesses.
Construction cash flow is like every other business; there must be more cash flowing in than flowing out or the business won’t survive.
Are your habits helping your company grow, or are they holding you back?
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?”
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.
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.
Michael Stone offers suggestions on how to keep your construction business strong during this Coronavirus emergency.
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.
Constant input from others is necessary if you want to stay on top of both your business and your personal life.
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.
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.
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.
A contractor sent us an online article written by a real estate investor with the purpose of educating you on “how to develop a fair relationship with your contractor.”
It’s the last Wednesday of the summer, which is a great time to look back and see how your business fared.
If you own a business, your illness or death will create business problems for your families and your employees.
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.
Some time back we received a well-written letter about liability insurance from a contractor in Washington state.
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.
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?
As we head into Memorial Day weekend, we want to share an upbeat note we received in April from a client.
We received a note from a contractor asking if what we talk about applies to his business.
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.
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.
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.
Not all of your clients are honest. There are even a few who have no intention of paying you for the work you do.
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.
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.
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.
You had ambition and energy. Then reality set in.
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.
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.
When things are good, it’s smart to ask yourself a critical question: Are you prepared for the next downturn?
The services offered by construction businesses are in high demand right now. Can we look at this industry from another viewpoint?
Last week we discussed knowing where you stand financially, whether you are making money, losing money, or breaking even. What now?
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.
You’re in business to provide a service and make a profit doing it. Three employee issues that cost your construction company money.
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?
General contractor licensing and surety bond requirements by state to help prepare for running a sound business.
We use Google Analytics on our website. It tells us how many visitors we’ve had and what brought them to our website.
Our newest six-hour class, based on the book “Markup & Profit, A Contractor’s Guide Revisited”, is now available. This clip is from the first part on financial requirements.
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.
If your construction business isn’t profitable, it won’t survive. You have an option of being competitive in construction. You don’t have the option of being profitable.
Ten Cardinal Rules for residential construction sales.
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.
Don’t worry about what “the other guy” is charging.
Guidelines to a more successful construction-related business.
Ten Cardinal Rules for a successful construction-related business.
How do you define quality? Who sets the standard?
We’ve noticed the same problem that we’ve seen with other specialties. They believe that because their work is focused on one thing, their business operates differently.
I talk with contractors all the time who miss one opportunity after another and never seem to connect the cost of this miss.
Now, if you are a subcontractor, it doesn't matter what trade, if a general contractor has hired you to work on a job your obligation is to that general contractor only.
If you’ve raised kids in the past 20-30 years, you know the new rules – no one loses, everyone gets a prize. Don’t keep score because it hurts their feelings.
Often when I talk with contractors, I hear, "I want to grow my company so I can make more money." Consider this, if size mattered, dinosaurs would still be here.
The next time anyone, including yourself, wants to complain about how much money you make, think about this quote from Henry Ford.
One of the topics was business cards, we spent several minutes reviewing the value of a business card and how it can help promote your company.
We had a question come in this week from a contractor asking about how to calculate the volume of business a company needs to support the owner’s salary.
You need to start planning your advertising to potential clients that you are available to install and take down Christmas lights and decorations.
When people lose their jobs, many decide to start their own business
An association exec said, "Many associations are now struggling to get through the recession, and losing members and sponsorships."
I’ve heard any number of people say they are going to build their business up, then sell it. Let’s talk a bit of reality.
We recently heard from a company that took over a $200,000 hit (spread over several jobs) because of actions the job superintendent took.
Why would you choose someone that has chosen to work without a business license for 30 years?
Had a two-part question from one of our …
Earlier this year I had the opportunity to interview with Brian Javeline for The Contractor Show. Our episode was just posted.
In the last month I’ve heard from more specialty contractors having problems being paid by generals than I’ve heard in years.
“I was wondering if you had any advice for contractors when approached about a franchise opportunity.”
My biggest challenge as a residential remodeler is obtaining and keeping qualified and experienced sub-contractors willing to do smaller type projects.
I was asked for information on the diffe …
Knowing your cost per lead is important because it helps set your sales goals and advertising budget.
Question came from a friend the other day. He said, "Michael, how do you determine whether someone in construction has a business or a hobby?"
One of our clients called with cash flow problems. Leads were coming in, sales and production was good, correct number of employees for the volume of work, but no money.
During a recent class I taught, it was clear many in the audience didn’t understand that their sales volume must be enough to support the salary of the company owner.
I’ve talked to numerous construction company owners recently who are having problems with scheduling, getting jobs done, getting the right people to the right jobs, etc.