Do you know how to do an accurate estimate in an efficient manner? Our estimating courses will teach you how.
...downloadable business courses and the Mike Holt estimating texts and videos. These are easy to study so you learn vital skills quickly. You also learn them thoroughly; our courses don't just give you abstract facts or advice, they are designed such that you think about the lessons so they actually work for you..
Why These Courses?
Mindconnection's downloadable courses were our original offerings. We have since expanded into other product lines, but our courses remain popular.
Our estimating course provides you with a solid background in understanding and correctly applying the estimating process using standard estimating methodologies plus some extra wisdom from experienced pros. The material in this course applies to any business in any industry. We also have related courses that help you control costs and manage projects cost-effectively.
The Mike Holt estimating products were originally developed for electrical estimators and are still tailored toward that market segment. However, estimators in related disciplines find these courses fill a gap in their training.
When we started offering these courses, the idea was to provide solid instruction without requiring the student to attend class. That's still a good idea. But it works only if the student understands how to study. We'll provide some pointers in our next tab. The key to learning is to study correctly.
Simply reading through a course as if it's a book will probably allow you to learn a few things. But that's not a course of study and you will miss much of what you should have learned in the course.
In a typical classroom, most of the time is wasted with the instructor yammering and the students not paying attention. The real learning comes from mulling over the material, working some problems to see how principles actually work, and thinking through examples and case studies. You can't do the real learning in a classroom. The old lecture model makes sense if you want to have an excuse to charge students $40,000 for tuition. But if you want them to learn, you must take a different approach.
One approach is to have an instructor help a student work through a given set of study materials. That's an effective approach, but it also costs much more money than providing a distillation of that in a downloadable course as we have done.
To master the concepts in these courses, or in any other, follow these study tips:
Create a schedule. Unless you schedule the study time (write it into your calendar), the odds are you will keep putting it off. This one factor is why classroom training still appeals to people despite its huge cost.
Decide on a location. If you can't get a quiet spot in your home, go to your local public library and get a room or table.
No interruptions. Turn off cell phones and other sources of interruption. Your study time is your study time.
Do a section at a time.
First, read a chapter or section at your normal reading speed.
Then, think over what you just read.
Then go back through it more deliberately, and take notes on the concepts, principles, and ideas the come to mind. If any relevant examples from your own life come to mind, make a note of those.
Then work the problems at the end of the chapter or section.
Then go back and read the preceding chapter or section. This really reinforces what you learned previously.
When you complete the entire course, you will have read every section or chapter three times. You will really know the material.
Now the question is how to apply what you've learned. If you don't apply it, you will forget all or most of it.
Go through your notes and think of what has occurred recently that might be relevant.
Think through what has happened in the past few days that might be relevant to this course of study.
Throughout your day, jot down things (about events) that seem relevant to this course of study and then set aside time to address those events as if they were problems in the course.
Companies award raises and promotions on performance appraisals (and if not formally, then informally). Companies hire based on your previous performance. What are you doing to turn in a great performance every day? Our courses help you deeply understand a key skill area that is vital to turning in a great performance.
You cannot get great performance with ordinary tools. You need to, as Stephen R. Covey says, "sharpen the saw."
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Estimating is often a landmine:
If your estimate is too high, your bid is then too high and you don't get the work.
If your estimate is too low, your bid comes in below cost and you either lose money or cut corners to make the budget.
Neither result is exactly the best way to keep a business in business. And running a job based on the estimate? Trying to do that with an incorrect estimate is a true test of your ability to hang on to your sanity. You don't need that kind of stress, do you?
Why are so many estimates off the mark? Very simply, those doing the estimates don't have sufficient training to do estimates completely and correctly. This is where our courses come in. The small monetary investment is one you are likely to recoup on the first decent-sized job you next perform an estimate for. The investment in time will take longer to recoup, but the immediate payback in reduced stress for your team and increased satisfaction for the customer make it worthwhile.