One Contractor's Story

Sam Carry never really looked like a contractor. His truck always spotless, his clothing always clean, Sam was more likely to be found at the coffee shop than on a job-site. Most of the men who attended meetings talked about business, but not Sam. He entertained the others at the table with tales of hunting and diving, exotic explorations and distant travels.

None of us ever seemed to know just what kind of contracting work Sam did, but it was clear that he had lots of leisure time. The rumor was that he had inherited a small fortune and that he just hung around the contracting circles for companionship. Still, Sam seemed to know the business and had some excellent ideas to contribute.

One day Sam flew his plane up to Montana and returned full of stories about a cabin that had captured his interest. He had met another pilot who invited him to spend a week on a high mountain lake where he discovered that what he wanted most in the world was to enjoy the kind of peace and beauty that he found in that remote setting.

When Sam departed for his small corner of paradise I knew that I would miss him. What I didn't know, at the time, was that Sam's decision to move would be one of the best things that ever happened to my business career.

It was 1980, during a depressed economy, when Sam bid us farewell. I remember thinking that he was getting out of contracting at a good time. After all, things weren't going very well for those of us left behind. In fact I was almost broke and had nearly decided to change my career when Jim, a fellow member of a service club, approached me. He talked about Sam and how the two of them had worked together. As I listened to Jim, I realized that Sam's lifestyle wasn't the result of an inheritance as we had all believed. He had been doing a particular kind of contracting work which, I was told, yielded unusually high profits. Sam had recommended that Jim talk to me about filling in for him. Although I was grateful for the chance to work, I had no idea at the time just how grateful I would soon be.

Jim, an insider to the insurance industry, told me of a unique source of construction work that turned out to be recurrent, reliable, recession proof, and profitable beyond my wildest dreams. He introduced me to people willing to pay a premium to contractors who were knowledgeable of the methods, terms, and protocols of the work they needed done. There was one other essential quality they needed too, but more about that later.

Fortunately, the field skills I needed to perform insurance restoration work were much the same skills I had learned while doing remodeling and additions. Only the bid format, bid presentation, contract wording, contract pricing and, client relationships were different.

Within three months, under the guidance of my insider friend, I had increased my profits from nearly zero to over $4,000 per month. Within six months, profits were higher than I had experienced in the best of times. I'm happy to be able to report that profits have been increasing ever since. Things went so well that, by the end of the year, I purchased my first home and within three years I had moved up to my second, larger home, retaining the first as a rental unit.

I had a happy crew because the work was steady and I could afford to pay them well. I was thriving in my specialized niche even though many of my fellow contractors folded during those hard times.

The economy picked up again in the mid-1980's, which was good for the building business, but I never went back to normal construction work because I had become far too spoiled by easy profits to ever work that hard again. During subsequent years, when asked to bid on a project, I just replied that I was busy with some "specialty" work. I did as Sam had done. I went quietly about my business, enjoying the leisurely work load and the money. I felt like an old forty-niner avoiding discussion about the whereabouts of my gold mine.

The truth is, any good building contractor with standard construction skills could learn, in a few weeks, the methods, techniques and approaches that I have used to make large and consistent profits in the last fifteen years. Like most things, it's easy, once you have the proper tools.

WHAT'S IN IT FOR YOU?

First, insurance restoration work is present and available in every American community. Sam still does this kind of work in Montana. Although Sam has to fly into town to do business, most contractors find that a fifteen-minute drive is all it takes to get to the jobsite.

Second, once you are into this work, the jobs just keep coming to you. This recurrent quality means that the work flow and income are fairly steady throughout the years.

While the above two qualities alone would make this field worth pursuing, there are two additional qualities that are even better.

The third great advantage to doing work in this industry is:

AN INCREDIBLE BID SUCCESS RATE.

I'm sure mine is over 85%, which is a far higher acquisition rate than the 15%-20% that most contractors experience, but even this factor is minor compared to the best part of all...

THIS WORK WILL CONSISTENTLY YIELD OVER 25% PROFIT MARGINS.

If you are like most contractors, that's three to five times what's left over now.

There are other benefits too, such as decreased exposure to liability, reduction of work force, and dependable clientele who always pay their bills on time.

I hope you can see how this type of work can benefit you.

All I can say is "go for it" -- you won't be sorry.


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