10 Rules For Contractors - General Discussion - Contractor Talk

10 Rules For Contractors

 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 11-13-2008, 06:41 AM   #1
Pro
 
AtlRemodeling's Avatar
 
Trade: Residential Remodeling
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Suwanee, Georgia
Posts: 380
Rewards Points: 250

10 Rules For Contractors


From the author Michael Stone.

I used to have this stuck on the wall beside my desk but it got lost during our move. I just found these "commandments" and have stuck them back on the wall. I am sure there are additional rules that could be added, please do so and I can update the list. I searched this site but could not find these posted previously so here goes.

Rule 1: Thou shalt return all phone calls the same day.
You must return ALL phone calls, regardless of whom they are from or what you may think they are about. If you get in late, return the call no later than 9:00 AM the next morning.

Rule 2: Thou shalt keep ALL appointments, and on time.
Our research revealed that contractors are late or don't show at all for something between 30% to 40% of all appointments with potential or existing customers. Cellular phones allow you to reschedule if you're going to be late and there is only one (1) excuse for not keeping an appointment.

Rule 3: Thou shalt present thvself to thv customers and public in a professional manner at all times.
That means a good haircut on a regular basis, preferably a shirt and tie or sport shirt and slacks at minimum -- clean, of course. Your shoes should always be shined, vehicle clean, and an air of business and success about you. Ladies should follow suit.

Rule 4: Thou shalt keep thv ego in thv pocket.
People do not care how much you know, until they know how much you care. Make sure the pocket has enough room for your opinions as well.

Rule 5: Thou shalt interview the customer to see if they qualify to buy from thee, not if thee qualifies to sell to them.
This will greatly increase your professionalism, increase your sales by quickly eliminating the "tire kickers" or those looking for the "low bid" and put you firmly in control of your time and the sales call.

Rule 6: Thou shalt get written quotes on all items that exceed $300.00 on your estimate.
This applies to labor, materials, subs; in short, all costs that you will have on a given job. This procedure, along with good job management, will guarantee you a profit on each job.

Rule 7: Thou shalt determine thv correct markup and use it without fail.
The profitable companies in this business know exactly what their markup on costs should be to arrive at a profitable sales price for their services. They use that markup on all proposals to their customers, every time.

Rule 8: Thou shalt honor thv overhead budget at all times, and spend not otherwise.
If the projected purchase is not in your budget, you don't buy it. The only exception is to adjust your total sales for the next 12 months to absorb the new expense. The secret to good financial management in construction is to know and control your overhead expenses.

Rule 9: Thou shalt continue thv education on a daily basis.
The one and only common thread among all successful contractors is education. You must make a commitment to continuing education on a daily basis if you wish to move from the ranks of those that work with the tools to those that make money in this business.

Rule 10: Thou shalt take a fixed salary from thv business each month.
This includes your spouse if he/she is working in your business, no exceptions. You can't be an effective manager if you can't pay your own bills.

ps. Not sure about the tie!

Last edited by AtlRemodeling; 11-13-2008 at 09:26 AM.
AtlRemodeling is offline  

Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. ContractorTalk.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!

   

Advertisement

 

Old 11-13-2008, 07:07 AM   #2
Pro
 
J F's Avatar
 
Trade: Carpenter
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: North of Atlanta
Posts: 9,058
Rewards Points: 2,000

Re: 10 Rules For Contractors


Is that from Michael Stone? It sounds like him. I'm with you agreeing on all except for the tie...I think that might have been great years ago, but not so much any more...but what do I know?

Jay

Advertisement

J F is offline  
Old 11-13-2008, 07:39 AM   #3
Pro
 
Higgs's Avatar
 
Trade: CE Project Engineer
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Mountain Home ID
Posts: 183
Rewards Points: 150

Re: 10 Rules For Contractors


that rocks well everything except for the suit and tie
__________________
Higgins
"The more we sweat in peace, the less we bleed in war."
-- Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit (1900-1990)
Higgs is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 11-13-2008, 08:35 AM   #4
Capra aegagrus

 
Tinstaafl's Avatar
 
Trade: Remodeler
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Posts: 23,403
Rewards Points: 84

Re: 10 Rules For Contractors


Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlRemodeling View Post
ps. Not sure about the tie!
Hrmph. I (and most people I know) buy my services from people who actually work for a living. Neat yes, clean yes, but a suit? Instant suspicion.
Tinstaafl is online now  
Old 11-13-2008, 09:13 AM   #5
Pro
 
Tiger's Avatar
 
Trade: Electrical Contractor
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Northern Illinois
Posts: 929
Rewards Points: 718

Re: 10 Rules For Contractors


Quote:
Originally Posted by J F View Post
Is that from Michael Stone?
Jay
I was thinking the same thing. The quotes over $300 is the giveaway.
Tiger is offline  
Old 11-13-2008, 09:22 AM   #6
Pro
 
AtlRemodeling's Avatar
 
Trade: Residential Remodeling
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Suwanee, Georgia
Posts: 380
Rewards Points: 250

Re: 10 Rules For Contractors


After seeing your post JF and Tiger, I did some quick research and I believe it is from Michael Stone. I've had that list for years and never knew where it originated. A friend of mine gave it me some time ago. I've edited original post to credit the author (or should it not be posted?).
AtlRemodeling is offline  
Old 11-13-2008, 09:51 AM   #7
Pro
 
J F's Avatar
 
Trade: Carpenter
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: North of Atlanta
Posts: 9,058
Rewards Points: 2,000

Re: 10 Rules For Contractors


I think you're fine posting it, especially with giving credit. Wouldn't worry about it. He's getting free advertising.

(now watch Stone will be emailing you a nicely put, lawsuit threat).

...unless you promise to wear a suit and tie to your next 10 sales calls.

Jay
J F is offline  
Old 11-13-2008, 09:58 AM   #8
Pro
 
SethHoldren's Avatar
 
Trade: Puppy Old Man
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Missoula, MT
Posts: 288
Rewards Points: 250

Re: 10 Rules For Contractors


Good post! It's always good to keep refreshing those basic fundamentals.

Oh, and I'm a t-shirt and jeans guy too. But come one guys, he already gave you a way out:

Quote:
preferably a shirt and tie or sport shirt and slacks at minimum -- clean, of course.
Truth is, it depends where you live. When I lived in Montana, not only did I wear a t-shirt every day, I usually wore a threadbare t-shirt. You know, worn in really good, right?

But where I live now, that would be much less acceptable, so I dress nicer. And Nashville is by no means the top end of the spectrum as far as attire. I'm sure there are much "dressier" areas than Nashville to do business.

If you can close jobs wearing a white t-shirt with chili stains and torn-up acid washed jean shorts, go right ahead. (Just remember, they say it's harder to overcome "underdressed" than "overdressed.")
__________________
Website Critiques

The Construction Marketing Blog
SethHoldren is offline  
Old 11-13-2008, 10:04 AM   #9
Pro
 
J F's Avatar
 
Trade: Carpenter
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: North of Atlanta
Posts: 9,058
Rewards Points: 2,000

Re: 10 Rules For Contractors


I don't think anyone was advocating jeans and t-shirts, but that the suit/tie thing might be a little outdated (unless you're selling aluminum siding).

Jay
J F is offline  
Old 11-13-2008, 02:41 PM   #10
I eat sawdust.
 
Winchester's Avatar
 
Trade: Deck Design/Build
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Posts: 3,975
Rewards Points: 2,000

Re: 10 Rules For Contractors


Good list! I'll have to print it!

Myself, I wear a clean Carhartt shirt, jeans, and either workboots or decent looking brown leather shoes depending on if I have time to change or what kind of customer I'm meeting.

Winchester is offline  
Old 11-13-2008, 07:39 PM   #11
Pro
 
buildpinnacle's Avatar
 
Trade: Public Insurance Adjuster
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: DFW
Posts: 595
Rewards Points: 500

Re: 10 Rules For Contractors


Michael Stone is the Dave Ramsey of the construction biz. It's amazing we have to be taught to follow our own good common sense in this business. However.......I've have bought the books, and he is the millionaire. Go figure.
__________________
Pinnacle Limited - Public Insurance Adjusters
http://pinnaclelimited.com
http://harrycane.com - An Amusement Park for Weather Freaks
buildpinnacle is offline  
Old 11-13-2008, 08:20 PM   #12
Pro
 
Bodger's Avatar
 
Trade: GC
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,522
Rewards Points: 2,024

Re: 10 Rules For Contractors


I like everything except the tie idea. Neat and clean, yes, although the inside of my truck would probably repel anyone. Clean outside though.
I once went on an appointment to see an impatient potential client who just had to have me that day look at her work. I had been in the attic crawlspace of a remodel house most of the day scabbing on new rafters. I was covered in dust and smelled like a roasted goat. I warned her, but she still somewaht recoiled in horror at the site of me. I will never let that happen again.
Bodger is offline  
Old 11-13-2008, 08:25 PM   #13
Pro
 
J F's Avatar
 
Trade: Carpenter
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: North of Atlanta
Posts: 9,058
Rewards Points: 2,000

Re: 10 Rules For Contractors


good stuff guys...and bodger...use the damn "enter" key...

easier on the eyes, gracias....

J
J F is offline  
Old 11-13-2008, 08:27 PM   #14
Pro
 
Bodger's Avatar
 
Trade: GC
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,522
Rewards Points: 2,024

Re: 10 Rules For Contractors


Quote:
Originally Posted by J F View Post
good stuff guys...and bodger...use the damn "enter" key...

easier on the eyes, gracias....

J
You lost me on that one, are my posts coming out all caps or all bold or like I'm shouting or what?
Bodger is offline  
Old 11-13-2008, 08:30 PM   #15
Pro
 
J F's Avatar
 
Trade: Carpenter
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: North of Atlanta
Posts: 9,058
Rewards Points: 2,000

Re: 10 Rules For Contractors


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bodger View Post
You lost me on that one, are my posts coming out all caps or all bold or like I'm shouting or what?

nah, i'm just gettin' old in the eyes (i hope)...spaces are easier...

J
J F is offline  
Old 11-13-2008, 08:39 PM   #16
Pro
 
Bodger's Avatar
 
Trade: GC
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,522
Rewards Points: 2,024

Re: 10 Rules For Contractors


Quote:
Originally Posted by J F View Post
nah, i'm just gettin' old in the eyes (i hope)...spaces are easier...

J
Got it now,

thanks for

the tip!
Bodger is offline  
Old 11-13-2008, 08:54 PM   #17
Pro
 
J F's Avatar
 
Trade: Carpenter
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: North of Atlanta
Posts: 9,058
Rewards Points: 2,000

Re: 10 Rules For Contractors


ok....dickheard...ooops, my bad....dirck....oops, my bad

ah hell......NICE JOB

Jay
J F is offline  
Old 11-13-2008, 08:55 PM   #18
Pro
 
J F's Avatar
 
Trade: Carpenter
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: North of Atlanta
Posts: 9,058
Rewards Points: 2,000

Re: 10 Rules For Contractors


i don't know how that happend'...slip of the key, so to speak...my apologies...

j
J F is offline  
Old 11-15-2008, 05:44 AM   #19
LC
 
Boogga's Avatar
 
Trade: Building
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Canberra
Posts: 477
Rewards Points: 344

Re: 10 Rules For Contractors


Yes, a very good post. And Yes it's true to get back to the basics as it is these that are forgotten quickest.
__________________
oils are back!
Boogga is offline  
Old 11-15-2008, 08:30 AM   #20
ALL VINYL
 
all vinyl's Avatar
 
Trade: VINYL SIDING CARPENTRY
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: HAZLET NJ
Posts: 220
Rewards Points: 150

Re: 10 Rules For Contractors


back to the basics really works . I guess thats how we all arrived here . I still have a leisure suit maybe I'll nock off the mouths and see what happens !

Advertisement

all vinyl is offline  


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
home office deduction rules change... orson Business 6 08-20-2008 06:07 PM
Long island traffic rules update nywoodwizard Off Topic (Non Trade) 10 01-15-2008 10:48 PM
Please follow the rules!!! theworx Carpentry 16 08-31-2006 07:14 PM

Join Now... It's Fast and FREE!

I am a professional contractor
I am a DIY Homeowner
Drywall Talk is for
PROFESSIONAL CONTRACTORS ONLY!

At DrywallTalk.com we cater exlusivly to professional contractors who make their living as a contractor. Knowing that many homeowners and DIYers are looking for a community to call home, we've created www.DIYChatroom.com DIY Chatroom is full of helpful advices and perfect for DIY homeowners.

Redirecing in 10 seconds
No Thanks
terms of service

Already Have an Account?