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.
Construction cash flow is like every other business; there must be more cash flowing in than flowing out or the business won’t survive.
Quoting a firm fixed price is riskier when material costs are increasing rapidly, which is why your contract needs to address unexpected material cost increases.
If you thought you were the captain of your ship, 2020 taught otherwise.
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.
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 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.
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.
We want to see contractors build stronger businesses and in the process improve the reputation of our industry.
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.
The topic is uncomfortable but if you’re involved in residential sales, you’ll see family disagreements. It helps to know what to do.
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.
Real or fake outrage can be a client’s attempt to elicit an emotional response from you to get what they want. It often puts you in the position of questioning yourself and your company, not dealing with the subject at hand.
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.
Cancellations happen, even with the best of salespeople. Clients have all kinds of reasons to cancel an agreement, and you need to be prepared.
We are approaching the time of year when the subject of bonuses comes up. Your employees might be saying, “Do you suppose they will pay us a Christmas Bonus this year?”
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.
A reader recently sent in a note asking for my input on this statement that a government agency attached to a "bid package" for work they want done.
This potential client had a house built using the “lowest bid” contractor. The builder cut corners, leaving out little details like collar ties on the roof rafters.
I heard about a scam a local building owner is pulling on his subs. He has several properties and is apparently worth a considerable sum.
Most contractors I talk to believe their neck of the woods is different. They believe their clients are more difficult to sell to than anywhere else in the country.
A contractor friend just went through an IRS audit. After going through all his records and asking a ton of questions, they said, "In my opinion, you owe us $22,000."
He expected to make "millions". He wanted me to teach him how to do estimating "easily". That, he claimed was the only thing that he didn't know about this business.
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.
Business Interruption Insurance is among the least understood and often most poorly written coverage.
The housing economy leaves a little to be desired. Don't count on the government to solve that problem. We have to take responsibility for and solve it ourselves.
I have read several posts on forums late …
There is no way on God’s green earth I could pretend there aren’t unethical contractors.
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?"
A coaching client was working with a potential customer who wanted a remodeling job on a cost plus basis instead of a fixed fee contract.
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.
I talked with a young guy the other day who called about our coaching service. His company was upside down and I could tell he was hurting.
I was recently involved as an expert witness for a contractor who wasn’t getting paid for work completed. The hardest part will be proving actual expenses for the job.
“I’m a contractor and underbid a house. I’m almost done and just figured that out. I can’t afford this loss. What can I do besides bankruptcy?”