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A secret revenue hidden in most contracting businesses

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Everyday in your contracting business a potential revenue generating secret remains underutilized.

If you have a business that estimates between 3 and 5 projects per week, making a few small changes can generate between 5 and 10 thousand extra dollars per year. This secret can also pre-qualify tire kickers and increase the closing rate on the jobs you bid.

Here’s the secret: Begin charging for estimates!

Not possible you say? Let’s take a closer look:

wheelbarrow_moneyIt takes 4 critical elements to make this happen.

#1 Change your mind-set

I am surprised when contractors object to this approach when, honestly, they have never asked! The strongest objections I hear are from people who have never tried.

I promise you that contractors are already doing this successfully in most markets. I used this approach in my own contracting business successfully for years.

#2 A rock’n marketing campaign to drive qualified people to your door.

It is so much easier to ask to be paid if you have your pipeline filled with quality prospects. A marketing strategy that builds the know-like-trust factor gives you the upper hand in getting compensated for preparing an estimate. This is something you should be doing regardless of whether you choose to charge for estimates. If you don’t have a good marketing campaign chances are you are leaving thousands of dollars on the table.

#3 A refined phone sales process.

Taking your prospective customer through a telephone sales process will pre-qualify the lead and help educate them on the benefit of hiring you to produce a scope of work for their project.

#4 Change the approach from estimates to scope of work.

You can continue to give free estimates but adopt a new policy in your company that you no longer give estimates unless a proper scope of work is generated first.

Consider the approach a car repair shop uses when they charge for a diagnostic inspection. They can’t give you an accurate estimate without first connecting your car to a computer diagnostic machine. To my knowledge there are very few shops that do this for free. You understand this, so does your potential customer.

If you have ever worked closely with an architect or designer this is how they make a living. They are called in to spec out the job and produce documents.

Making these 4 changes in your business approach can put additional revenue in your pocket and increase your closing rate. I invite you to run the numbers for yourself. If you charged 50% of your current estimates $250 to develop a scope of work this could equal 5 to 10 grand per year in additional revenue for doing what you already do for free.

Want to know more? You are invited to join me on August 22nd at 5pm eastern time for a one hour webinar. I will outline a strategy to help you customize a program for your business.

Here’s a  video invitation to join me August 22nd:

Sign-up here:


“ You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” – Wayne Gretzky

4 Responses to A secret revenue hidden in most contracting businesses

    About Your Host:

    Nancy Smyth, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor

    Nancy Smyth, Sunburst Software Solutions, Inc.
    QuickBooks Construction & Payroll Expert

    I've been using and supporting QuickBooks products since the early 1990's. I've worked with thousands of contractors, assisting them with QuickBooks setup, Certified Payroll Reporting requirements, AIA Billing and Weighted-Average Overtime.

    QuickBooks is a powerful product, but learning how to use it in your construction business can be difficult. I hope you find resources available here to be helpful.

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