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Do you occasionally make bids wondering whether or not you will make a profit? You don't have to. The alternative is to make consistent estimates, and do job-cost analysis. Once your estimates are "job-costed," you can rely upon them to eliminate this problem forever. Webster's defines the work "estimate" as "to judge or determine roughly (the size, cost, requirements, etc.); calculate approximately." Since the fatality rate of small businesses in America is in the mid-90th percentile, with small construction companies being at the upper end of that scale, we need to very closely study the problems resulting from the "roughly" and "approximately" portions of Webster's definition...lest we become a statistic. You may have heard the following: "Buy a preprogrammed estimating program and you'll