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Be a Successful Building Contractor

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ISBN-10: 0071441743

ISBN-13: 9780071441742

Edition: 3rd 2005 (Revised)

Authors: R. Dodge Woodson

List price: $38.00
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Written by an experienced contractor, business owner and consultant, this book provides a complete start-up-plan of action for the tradesman who has the skill but not the business know-how to be a succesful building contractor.
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Book details

List price: $38.00
Edition: 3rd
Copyright year: 2005
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education
Publication date: 10/12/2004
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 396
Size: 7.20" wide x 9.10" long x 0.99" tall
Weight: 1.584
Language: English

Welcome to the Construction Industry
Basic Needs
First Hurdles
The Dangers
How Many Houses Can You Build?
How Much Money Can You Make?
Getting Your Feet Wet
Which Type of House Should You Build First?
Picking the Right House Plan
Your Edge
Bringing It All Together
Test the Waters
What Do You Want to Accomplish in Your Business Career?
When Your Job Becomes Your Business
Construction Offers You Many Business Opportunities
What Do You Want from Your Business?
Where Do You Want Your Business to Be in Five Years?
What Type of Customer Do You Want to Serve?
What Role Will You Play in The Business?
Have You Evaluated Your Cash Reserves?
Taking the Plunge
Keeping Your Expenses in Check
Beating Heavy Overhead Expenses
Learn What Expenses to Cut
Know Which Expenses Are Justified
Cutting the Wrong Expenses Can Be Expensive
Looking Into the Future
Long-Range Planning Pays Off in the End
Focusing on Change
Getting Organized and Ready to Work
Choosing Your Business Structure
What Type of Business Structure Is Best for You?
Learn the Pros and Cons of Each Form of Business
15 Mistakes Builders Make That You Can Avoid
It Takes More Money Than You Think
Avoiding Heavy Overhead Expenses
Too Cautious
Select Your Subcontractors Carefully
Set Up a Line of Credit
Get It in Writing
Stay Away from Time-and-Material Prices
Check Zoning Regulations
Covenants and Restrictions
Inaccurate Quotes
Inspect Your Jobs Frequently
Customer Relations
Change Orders
Never Get Too Comfortable
The Pros and Cons of Building Model Homes
It's Easier to Sell
Extra Attention
The Disadvantages
Building Here and There
My Personal Opinion
Courting Bankers
Good Credit Is Crucial to a Growing Business
Trade Accounts
Selecting Your Lending Institutions
How to Establish Credit When You Have None
How to Overcome a Poor Credit Rating
Seven Techniques to Assure Your Credit Success
Credit for Your Customers
An Edge
Selling Without Having a House to Show
The Basics
Talk Less and Listen More
People Like to Talk
Getting Down to Business
The Key Elements
Opening Your Own Office
Should You Work from Home or from a Rented Space?
Storefront Requirements
Commercial Image
Assess Your Office Needs
Location Can Make a Difference
How Much Office Can You Afford?
Answering Services Compared to Answering Machines
Finding the Best Building Lots
Not All Lots Are Created Equally
Utility Hookups
Lay of the Land
Flood Zones
Finding the Cream of the Crop
Controlling Desirable Lots in Subdivisions Without Buying Them
Takedown Schedules
Stretch Your Money
Developing Your Own Building Lots
Little Deals
When Things Go Right
Mid-Size Deals
Big Deals
It's Tempting
Building on Speculation
Picking Lots and Plans
Target Your Market
Hitting Your Mark
A Safety Net
Colors and Products
Selling Your Spec Houses
Selling with Real-Estate Broker
Sell It Yourself?
In-House Sales
Buyer's Agents
Seller's Agents
Big Real-Estate Companies
Ask Questions
The Commission
Multiple Listing Service (MLS)
Doing the Grunt Work
Managing Your Time and Your Money
Time Is Money
Budget Your Time
Know When You Are Wasting Your Time
Controlling Long-Winded Gab Sessions
Set Your Appointments for Maximum Efficiency
Reduce Lost Time in the Office
The A List and the B List
Reduce Lost Time in the Field
Using a Tape Recorder to Improve Efficiency
Should You Have a Cell Phone?
Adding a Computer to Your Toolbox
Desktop Alternatives
Getting Started
How Will a Computer Help Your Business?
Building Customer Credibility with Computers
Spreadsheets, Databases, and Word Processing
The Power of Computer-Aided Design (CAD)
Selecting Your Hardware
Keeping Track of Your Cash
Keeping Your Accounts Receivable and Payable Under Control
Cash Flow
Looking Ahead to Financial Challenges
Money Management
Contract Deposits
Eliminating Subcontractor Deposits
Stretch Your Money
Collecting Past-Due Accounts
Construction Loans
Surviving an IRS Audit
The Legal Side
Choosing Attorneys and Accountants
Documenting Your Business Activity
Contracts, Change Orders, and Related Paperwork
Good Contracts Make Satisfied Customer
Trucks, Tools, Equipment, and Inventory
Leasing vs. Purchasing
Separate Needs from Desires
Financial Justification
How Much Inventory Should You Stock?
Controlling Inventory Theft and Waste
Stocking Your Trucks Efficiently
Subcontractors, Suppliers, and Building Officials
Suppliers and Vendors
Choosing Subcontractors
Dealing with Suppliers
Making Your Best Deal
Expediting Materials
Avoiding Common Problems
Building Good Relations with Building Code Officials
Bidding Methods That Really Work
Word-of-Mouth Referrals
Customer Satisfaction
Reaching Out for a New Customer Base
Payment, Performance, and Bid Bonds
Big Jobs-Big Risks?
The Bid Process
Preparing Accurate Take-Offs
What Is a Profitable Markup?
How Can Your Competitors Offer Such Low Prices?
Pricing Services for Success and Longevity
Proper Presentation
Know Your Competition
Effective Estimating Techniques
Jobsite Safety Makes Good Sense and Cents
Let's Talk About OSHA
Personal Protection
Developing a Good Safety Program
Keeping Your Customers Happy
Meeting Your Customers on Their Level
Qualifying Your Customers
How to Satisfy Your Customers
Public Relations Skills
Establishing Clear Communication Channels with Customers
Creating and Promoting an Attractive Business Image
Public Perception Is Half the Battle
Picking a Company Name and Logo
How Your Image Affects Your Clientele and Fee Schedule
Your Image Is Difficult to Change
Set Yourself Apart from the Crowd
Build Demand for Your Services Through a Strong Image
Joining Clubs and Organizations to Generate Sales Leads
There Is No Business Without Sales
Marketing Is Pivotal to Any Business
Should You Enlist Commissioned Salespeople?
Where Should You Advertise?
What Rate of Return Will You Receive on Advertising Costs?
Use Advertising for Multiple Purposes
Building Name Recognition Through Advertising
Generating Direct Sale Activity with Advertising
Without Advertising the Public Will Not Know You Exist
Promotional Activities
How to Stay Busy in Slow Times
Hiring Employees
Do You Need Employees?
How to Find Good Employees
Employee Paperwork
How to Keep Good Employees
Controlling Employee Theft
Exercising Quality Control Over Employees
Training Employees to Do the Job
Training Employees to Deal with Customers
Establishing Employee Cost to Your Company
Dealing with Production Downtime
Reducing Employee Callbacks and Warranty Work
Office Employees
Field Employees
Employee Motivation Tactics
Planning Your Future
Company-Provided Insurance for Yourself
Employee Benefits
Making Plans for Your Later Years
Liability Insurance
Worker's Compensation Insurance
Retirement Plan Options
In Closing
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