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.


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.


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.


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.


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?


Investing in a Low-Value Home

By Michael Stone

Is it appropriate to build the job a homeowner wants and is ready to pay for, if the home value doesn’t support the project?


A Reputation for Cleanliness

By Michael Stone

Every day we drive by a new home under construction. I don’t know how many people pass this new home every day but I would guess it’s in the thousands; the road is always busy.


Let Them Know What to Expect

By Michael Stone

If you’re doing service work, make sure your client knows what to expect before you start.


Don’t Be This Contractor

By Michael Stone

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


Thank You Notes

By Michael Stone

I’m a strong proponent of thank you notes. We received a creative note from a contractor the other day.


Little Things – Duct Cleaning

By Michael Stone

Little things can make a big difference to your clients.


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.


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.


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.


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


Take Charge of Your Company Name

By Michael Stone

Claim your business in local search sites and social media. Almost always free, only takes a minute, might bring in leads, and it will protect your name.


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?


Close Out Package

By Michael Stone

As you’re walking out the door on a finished project, you want your clients to remember you as the company that went the extra step for them.


You’re Being Watched

By Michael Stone

It's important to remember your business is on display at all times. Especially in a company vehicle, wearing a company shirt.


Politics and Business Don’t Mix Well

By Michael Stone

One of our coaching clients has been fortunate to do work for some very well known people. We discussed using that information when he promotes his business.


You Don’t Own Your Clients

By Michael Stone

We got a note last week from a contractor on the east coast. Their community has been dealing with weather-related disasters the past few weeks.


Bad Advice from a Writer

By Michael Stone

One of our coaching clients recently asked me if I thought that advertising in a “high end” magazine was a good idea for his company.


Permits for Your Construction Project – That’s a Job for the Professional

By Michael Stone

While exercising the other day, I watched a code compliance violation hearing on one of the local TV stations. It's a station that shows local city government meetings.


How Not to Treat a Salesperson

By Michael Stone

I spoke with a friend the other day about his work with a well-known promotional company. He'd been hired to help bring in and manage new business.


A Bait and Switch Scam?

By Michael Stone

Last weekend I passed a billboard on the side of the road. It loudly declared, "We will build your new home for $32 a square foot."


Your Unfair Advantage

By Michael Stone

These three actions will give you an unfair advantage over other contractors. You’ll make sales because you’re building trust and confidence in your company and in you.


Dealing with the Trades

By Michael Stone

He asked a sub for a quote on a job, and it was higher than expected based on past jobs. When he asked, the response was, "Well, I just wanted to see if it would stick".


He did the right thing – even though it might hurt

By Michael Stone

I have an ethics question… I’m hoping that you might have some better insight than I. I had a client call me this morning… converting a garage into a rental unit.


Character Matters

By Michael Stone

This article was originally published in our newsletter, and it garnered more responses than usual. It was loved and hated, so we are posting it here for more to read.


Get Amongst ‘Em

By Michael Stone

I talked with a husband/wife team about their business and what they could do to promote it. She said, "I have to get out of my office and reach out to people."


Building Jobs or Customer Service?

By Michael Stone

I read this comment on a forum recently: "We're a customer service company that just so happens to be really good at painting houses."


Advertise Your Construction Services With Pictures

By Michael Stone

I taught a class in Kansas, and a young fellow who attended owns a company called Absolute Basement Finishing, working in and around the St. Louis, Missouri area.


Miscommunication – It’s not pretty

By Michael Stone

Today, with email and the internet, we have nearly instant communication. But there is a down side to this rapid give and take, and that is miscommunication.


Getting Something for Nothing

By Michael Stone

A friend told me about an incident he witnessed at a trade association meeting. A supplier sponsored a dinner, and with that had the opportunity to make a presentation.


Your Social Media Reputation

By Michael Stone

If those answers don’t make you pay attention to your social media reputation, I don’t know what will.


Answer Questions Before They Get Asked

By Michael Stone

I hope there is an original agreement to go back to. This is a classic case of a contractor either writing an incomplete contract or not writing a contract at all.


Your Image in a Few Words

By Michael Stone

Have you thought about the image you project? It's important to create an association between what you provide and what your potential client wants or needs.


Protect Your Assets

By Michael Stone

A contractor we work with was served papers claiming that he was party to a nasty lawsuit filed by an attorney on behalf of a building owner.


A Driving Test

By Michael Stone

I was recently on the freeway and as I passed an onramp a large truck pulled onto the freeway and cut me off. I was able to swerve. No harm, no foul, right? Wrong.


Help Your Fellow Contractor

By Michael Stone

A question I hear all too often is, "Why should I help educate my competition? I'd rather they went out of business so I got the work."


Protecting Your Reputation

By Michael Stone

Got a note in from a landscape contractor wondering how to deal with folks that talk with each other, spreading rumors that he is high priced.


Why Should I Make a Down Payment?

By Michael Stone

As a contractor, you need to know that the homeowner is both able and willing to pay for the work being done.


Permit or Not?

By Michael Stone

Recently several of our coaching clients have related that their potential customers don’t want building permits pulled on their jobs. Don’t go there gang. Bad plan.


Quality, Value and Service – Or Low Price? Pick One

By Michael Stone

I have had several discussions of late with contractors who can't accept that they should sell quality, value and service instead of trying to play the low price game.


Construction Industry Behavior

By Michael Stone

I took a call last week from a lady who has been in her townhouse for less than a year and has many repairs needing to be done that the builder of the units won't fix.


Mom was right

By Michael Stone

As I get older I realize even more that how you treat others matters. Mom was right.


Employee Behavior (or, the cons of smoking)

By Michael Stone

Watch how your employees conduct themselves. Some things we accept as normal can be the very thing that sets a customer off and turns them into the customer from hell.


Specialty Contractors, General Contractors – Getting Paid

By Michael Stone

If you are a general, and you want good subs, treat them well.


Consulting about a Remodeling Contractor

By Michael Stone

I do most expert witness work on the side of contractors. However, when I find a contractor who has been dishonest, I go after them with every tool I have.


New Success Strategy for a Construction Business

By Michael Stone

I know you haven't heard this before, but there is a chance in the future that your business might slow down. If you want to keep working when things slow down –


Scroll to Top