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More stories about Business

  • Lessons From the Corporate World

    Imagine two builders. Builder No. 1 is an experienced project manager who decides to start his own business. His technical skills are finely honed, he knows how to manage a crew and schedule, and he builds homes that customers love. But a few years after hanging out his shingle he is still...

  • Getting Paid for Your Time

    If you and your project manager spend 13 hours preparing an estimate for a remodeling job, how much money have you invested in the project? Would you have been better off spending those 13 hours getting things done on one of your current projects?

  • Quality, Schedule, Price: Pick Two

    All clients come to the table with a set of unspoken expectations, some of which they may not even be aware of. Because these assumptions will inform every decision they make, it's important to bring them into the open and prioritize them early on. This will help you decide whether you and the...

  • Putting a Purchase-Order System in Place

    As a financial consultant to small construction companies, I've seen lots of cases where a builder finished a job and the bookkeeper closed the books on it — only to have a late subcontractor bill for that job show up months later.

  • The True Cost of Labor

    The true cost of labor

  • Give Your Customers Some Credit

    Give your customers some credit

  • Profiting From Allowances

    I don't much like allowances, which let homeowners postpone decisions that really should be made before the project even breaks ground.

  • 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