markup vs. margin – where profits are made and lost

As a contractor, you live and die by your gross profit margin.

And if you’re not crystal clear about how to markup your bids to get the right gross profit margin, your bottom line will suffer, cash flow will be a struggle, and you end up frustrated that you’re working so hard and not making a decent return.

If that sounds far too familiar, you are in the right place…

Because when you understand how to markup your bids to get the desired gross profit margin, you greatly stack the odds in your favor to make a consistent profit.

Not only that, also having clarity about your numbers gives you greater confidence in your ability to sell projects.

Imagine, no longer having to guess, because you intimately know what it really costs, and you can speak to that confidently and with authority.

In this video I walk you through a simplified process for understanding markup and margin, and how to apply that knowledge directly to your markups, bidding, and pricing strategy.

At the end of the video are links to a few FREE resources that will help you gain greater clarity and confidence to bid on project profitably right from the start!


  1. Dana Scoggins

    Thanks Vicki

    • Vicki Suiter

      Your welcome Dana!

  2. Alderban Chavez

    Hello Vicki,

    I really love the way you explain all the topic. I am starting to grow my business and I will really need you as my mentor.
    thank you for this information. It was a very productive time invested in this video.

    Alder Chavez
    Alegria Builders Inc.

    • Vicki Suiter

      So glad you found it helpful Alder!

  3. Bill Mulready

    Thank you Vicki, very great exclamation and description. Very understandable.

    My additional comments are to the productivity side of the whole conversation. In my search for understanding pricing and profits and overheads, I find the missing link is accounting for productivity. Construction has too many variables, and the biggest is the various people doing the work, or even today where one maybe short staffed.

    I do see where you encourage to use a 50% minimum markup. This is a new thought to me, and maybe that will account.

    Very helpful hints and suggestions like the owners base salary minimum for today. But getting the buying public to accept, even when it is not directly shown or called out. Well, you know, you see and teach, thank you


    • Vicki Suiter

      Thanks for your comments Bill. I appreciate the challenges with labor. This is another area for us to focus on as an industry – building and training our teams in the trades!

  4. James Cliame

    Thanks for these tools!

    • Vicki Suiter

      You are so welcome James!