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.


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.


Watermelons and Sales Leads

By Michael Stone

You might not think of watermelons, but one of our clever coaching clients shared a method he’s used to attract new leads for his business.


Connecting with Potential Clients

By Michael Stone

If you aren’t getting a response to your advertising, either printed or on the web, you aren’t connecting with your potential clients. You must connect with them.


Add-ons to a Job Make Everyone Happy

By Michael Stone

On sales calls, do you actively look for "add-ons" that will boost the overall sales price of the job and in turn your total sales volume for the year?


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."


Contractors – Don’t Do It All Yourself

By Michael Stone

I've talked before about not trying to be all things to all people. There is just too much that a contractor needs to do to be able to wear all the hats in the company.


Make Them Feel at Home When They Call

By Michael Stone

A client's first contact with you is almost always via the telephone. If you do not make a good first impression, you could lose them.


Consider Fuel Costs in Your Estimates

By Michael Stone

When you are estimating jobs, don't forget travel costs. One reader sent this note some time ago – it's even more true now.


Website Opinions

By Michael Stone

I get three or four requests a week from folks asking for my opinion on their website. As I have the time, I stop by to visit. All too often I find the same mistakes.


Bigger doesn’t always mean more profitable

By Michael Stone

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.


There’s Nothing Like a Handwritten Note

By Michael Stone

Someone asked the other day about sending cards or notes to old clients. They wanted to know what could be said that would be of interest to the client.


Don’t Forget The Wiring

By Michael Stone

I'll bet you have a computer in your home – maybe even a few computers. So do most of your clients.


Make Sure You Can Collect that Final Payment

By Michael Stone

I heard from one of our coaching clients recently. He has an owner with a final payment due of $700, and the owner doesn't want to pay it.


Your Employee Manual — Time to Review and Update!

By Michael Stone

We are rapidly approaching the time of year when you should review and update your employee manual.


What You Know Has Value

By Michael Stone

He had made a proposal to a group and they were asking him to come back to yet another meeting and explain again what he was going to do.


Focus Your Construction Business on the Profitable Jobs

By Michael Stone

The ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius said, "The man who chases two rabbits catches neither."


Generate Leads

By Michael Stone

If you are a general contractor, talk with your subs about work they are doing away from your jobs. Ask them to hand your business card and flyer to all their clients.


One More Sales Tool for your Construction Company

By Michael Stone

Talked with a coaching client about promoting his company, he’s investigated purchasing an extended warranty program for his remodeling work.


Overhead Expenses in Accounting Software

By Michael Stone

I was reminded again this week by a dear friend who is an expert in the use of QuickBooks of the necessary care that needs to be taken when you set up your accounting.


Doing Extra . . .

By Michael Stone

Successful construction contractors do more than their duty – they go the extra mile for their specialty contractors, their customers, their construction employees.


Contracts for Construction Jobs – Even Small Jobs?

By Michael Stone

A question arose this morning on a call from a contractor. Should you write a contract on all the jobs you do, regardless of the size of the job?


Customer Relationships, Payment Schedules for Construction

By Michael Stone

Have you noticed that when you have a solid, well thought out payment schedule and insist your customers abide by that schedule, you have fewer problems?


Affordable, Effective Advertising

By Michael Stone

Some have called asking how to increase business. They have not been advertising, and the phone is dead.


Do Your Job

By Michael Stone

Often we get phone calls from contractors worrying about what a customer will say when they present their price for a job.


Price Your Construction Jobs Correctly

By Michael Stone

If you are tired of starving because you have enough work but don’t have the money to pay your bills, heed these words.


Construction Employees – It’s Break Time!

By Michael Stone

At the start of break, the crew jumped in a truck, drove 15 minutes to a doughnut shop, had coffee and a doughnut or two, drove 15 minutes back to the job site.


Financing Construction

By Michael Stone

Devon and I were at an association social recently and had a great time. I spent time with a banker who works with many remodeling companies around the area.


Specialize in Construction – Stay Focused

By Michael Stone

After working with a few hundred coaching clients, I believe that the key to profitability in construction is staying focused on doing a few things well.


Proposals for Construction Work

By Michael Stone

Just a quick reminder. Be sure to put a limit on the length of time your proposals are valid. That time should be a maximum of 3 working days, no more.


How Much Do You Pay the Owner?

By Michael Stone

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. 


Insurance for Contractors

By Michael Stone

A caller asked the best way to buy insurance. My response was that if you have a choice, I would choose a broker rather than an agent.


Rent or Purchase Construction Equipment?

By Michael Stone

Do you rent or buy your tools or equipment? Here is a quick and dirty rule to follow. Don’t tie up money in tools and equipment that seldom gets used.


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.


Customer Furnished Materials

By Michael Stone

A recent note said, "The client wants to furnish all the materials. They are going to give me the money to go buy the materials, should I add my markup on the materials?"


Electrical Work

By Michael Stone

If you are not a licensed electrician and do not have a permit to do electrical work on a job, you are putting yourselves and your company at risk of a huge lawsuit.


Construction Complaints

By Michael Stone

If you have a problem either now or in your past, whether it is a dispute, lawsuit, arbitration, whatever, get it resolved. Don't ignore it in hopes it will go away.


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 –


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