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More stories about Business

  • Looking Back at Job Leads

    Our remodeling company has been using lead sheets — simple printed forms on which we record information about potential clients who call our office — for several years now.

  • Straight Talk About Fraud

    In 2006, occupational fraud cost U.S. businesses about $600 billion, or roughly $4,500 per employee, according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. Building contractors rank second in the list of targets, after retail stores.

  • Are You Spending Your Time Profitably?

    Are you spending your time profitably?; four-day workweek pays off

  • Save Time With a Lead Sheet

    The first estimate my company ever produced was for a basement remodel. I spent an hour driving back and forth to the prospective client's house, two hours talking to her, and then several more hours doing a detailed estimate.

  • Communicating With Customers Through the Web

    Most conflicts between a service business and its customers can be avoided with good communication.

  • dba Design-Build

    In this article I'll share some of the lessons we've learned over the last seven years of design-build work. We still have much to master — if only I live that long.

  • Selling the Company

    In 1983, after working on my own for several years, I started Buck Brothers Construction (BBC) with my brother, Joe. We built the company slowly: At first we did all the work ourselves; then we started subbing out the mechanicals; then we hired carpenters; and finally we developed an office staff.

  • Scheduling With Post-it Notes

    When I was in commercial construction, I used formal scheduling procedures on all of my projects. With formal scheduling, each task or activity in the job is written down, placed in sequence, and assigned a certain amount of time.

  • Business

    No more free estimates; credit cards vs. debit cards

  • Improve Your Cash Flow

    Many contractors complain bitterly about their lack of cash flow. That's no surprise, given that employees, subs, and vendors all expect to be paid — whether or not the customer has paid the company.