Periodically I’ll post tips and tricks for using QuickBooks Pro more effectively in remodeling companies. As well I’ll put up ideas and suggestions from clients, colleagues and friends which relate to better running your remodeling company.

I value your comments and suggestions – in fact, I’ll send a $10 Starbucks card to anyone whose idea is sufficiently valuable to be posted here — AND I’ll give you direct credit.

Start writing!


2 Responses to “Tips & Tricks”

  1. 1 Courtenay Gebhardt June 25, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    Hello Judy:

    I found your very helpful article in the recent Remodeling Magazine. Thanks for delving into a topic that few *really* do… the actual number crunching. I run the financials for our family-owned construction business, and despite discussing this with numerous accountants & bookkeepers, consulting with construction businesses much larger than ours, and researching a multitude of books, I have found few who give really hard and fast formulas for how to calculate for growth and create simple, manageable systems for uncovering “true equity.” Your article was a step in the right direction for me.

    My tip for you involves our markup approach. We are often low bidders on big projects, high bidders on small projects. Why? Because we nailed down our overhead and profit goals, and are able to steer a smooth course through a rough economy by staying on target no matter how big or small the work.

    We do this by running a few simple formulas at the end of our estimates (which are performed in excel.) We divide the number of labor hours into actual weeks worked and then use that to determine the “burden” that job places on our company resources. In the next formula, we compare the actual markup obtained from the bid as-is (set at the standard 15% on materials and labor) compared with the markup we’d like to see for the time worked (using first formula) and obtain a difference. We then use the difference to markup all the labor costs to achieve the desired markup and use that as our final bid price. On large projects or projects with a lot of high end materials, we’re actually able to offer a very competitive bid because it sometimes means we’re able to reduce markup and still make a better than anticipated return.

    For all our clients we explain our “customary” labor rates, but further explain that the actual hourly rate could end up higher or lower than the customary in order to achieve profit and overhead goals. No one ever blinks twice. And even on the smaller projects, people are often willing to pay the extra to have the project done well, and we feel we can deliver the same quality service we would for larger scale projects. I’m proud to say that in this down economy, our little company has hardly skipped a beat!

    Courtenay Gebhardt
    Blue Sound Construction, Inc.
    Seattle, WA

    • 2 jfmiller January 7, 2013 at 7:48 pm

      Courtenay: isn’t it interesting that you got in touch EVEN THOUGH I haven’t looked at this blog for years? I’m embarassed.

      How are things going with you and Ben? Hope 2013 is a very good year for you and for those you love! Keep in touch.

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