Know your best margins - Template

Complete the form below and get a free copy of our template


Hey everyone! Leeroy from Level here. And today, I'm going to walk you through how to use our know your best margins template. The purpose of this template is to help you track your margins on your jobs so you know which jobs have the best margins and which jobs are losing you money. Before we get started, please make sure you filled out the form below, so you can get your own copy of the template I'm working through today. Enjoy.

All right, so I completed the form below this video and got sent an email with a copy of the template. This is the email to access my copy of the template. All I have to do is click this link over here and I will be navigated to a G sheet. Once here, the first thing I want to do is make a copy of this document for myself. To do so, navigate to "File", because I'm a G sheet user I'm going to say "Make a copy", but if you are an Excel user, you can navigate to download and click "Microsoft Excel" to get a copy of this document. So here we go, let's make a copy. I'm going to call this copy "Know my best margins". And I'm going to save it in my drive and click "Okay".

Awesome! Now I have a copy of this template for myself, which I can edit. Before we continue through this walkthrough, it's important to remember why we're using this template. We're using this template to find out which jobs have the highest margins and which jobs have the lowest margins. This information lets you know what jobs you need to double down on and where you need a fix mistakes in your business. For example, let's assume I have the best margins on kitchen remodels. I'll want to do as many kitchen remodels, as possible. Whereas, if I find that I'm losing money on bathroom remodels through this template, um, what I want to do is either stop doing bathroom remodels, or find out what's causing that loss and fix it.

Awesome! Now that we know what's the reason behind using this template, let's continue this walkthrough. All right! This template asks you for both your estimated numbers, as well as your actual numbers, so you can improve your estimates going forward. So the first thing you'll want to do after the client approves the estimate that you're send them is add that estimate to this document. I have an example estimate of a kitchen remodel, which I sent to the client handy, which is over here.

What you'll find in this estimate is the total costs I estimated for this job and I've applied a 20% margin or a 25% markup to this job. And what you'll find is that comes up to about $6,800 giving me a total cost of $27,200 and $34,000 in expected sales. Awesome! Let's remember those numbers so that we can put them into the template.

So when I go back to the template where I want to put those numbers, as you'll see in step one over here is in the margin tracker sheet. Let's navigate over there and let's put in the kitchen remodel. I would want to put the sales amount, which was $34,000, and I'll want to put the cost amount of $27,200. Make sure that you make that amount a negative.

Awesome! Now that I put my estimated numbers in there, you'll see that the margin is what I expect it to be. This is auto calculated. So don't change this column for whatever reason. All right! Now that this number makes sense. The one thing I'll do next is continue working on the job. As I'm working on the job I might be issuing change orders. If that's the case, it's important to come back to this template and update this document with those change orders. All you'll want to do is add those change order amounts to the sales and costs cells. Awesome! Let's fast forward a little bit.

The job's completed, and the next thing I want to do is add those actual numbers to this template or tracker. To do so, what you'll want to do is navigate to the template project. Here we've given you a layout to actually figure out what the actual amounts are. You'll want to make a copy of this template. To do so, right click on it. Click "Duplicate". You'll be instantly taken to a duplicate of the "Template_Project" sheet. You'll want to change the sheet's name to the name of the project, in this case it's kitchen remodel. And you can even add that name over here.

Awesome! The next thing I'll do is I want to add the invoices that my customers paid or change orders they've paid into this spreadsheet. We've given you five places to do that. If you need additional invoices or change order rows, just be sure to highlight the cell and right-click and insert above. Don't do it at the bottom here. You might run the risk of that amount not being included in the form. Just do it from row eight and you wouldn't have a problem.

Awesome! In this case I only sent two invoices to my client. Both were for $17,000. All right, and now I'll need to put the actual costs into this templated Excel spreadsheet or G sheet. We are using Level in our business, so getting the actual job costs are really easy. All I have to do is open the Level web app.

And as you'll see, I have the kitchen remodel project already open and I've highlighted the receipt/invoices total amount. And all I have to do is right-click on that, hit copy and navigate to the "Know my best margins" document and just copy and paste that amount right here.

The receipts and invoices total in Level might include sales tax, depending on how you input the totals within your business. In my case, I do ask my guys to put the total amount inclusive of tax in there. So the tax rate in Toronto, Canada, which is where we are located is 13%. I will add that 13% right here and awesome! I'll get an amount spit out automatically of my total material and subcontractor spend actually on this job amounting to $17,130.

This is slightly less than what I estimated, which was $18,000, which is great to see. The next thing I'll want to do is put in my guys, or my crew's time into this spreadsheet. So, again, I use Level to track my team's time. When I go back to this web app, I see that the total hours they spend on this job was 512 hours.

I exported this to Excel and found that they both worked 256 hours on this job and I pay each of them $20 and $30, respectively. So let's add those numbers to that spreadsheet. Awesome! So if you remember, one is $20, the other tradesperson is $30 and they both spent 256 hours on this job.

Awesome! After putting in those numbers, the cost is automatically calculated. So is the gross profit. And again, my markup percentage and margin percentage, which are different, remember, and if you want to see an easy way of how to know the difference, it'll make it a piece of cake. Watch this video we've put over here for you. Awesome! So the total sales for this job was $34,000 and the total costs were $29,930. Remember those numbers. Let's input them into the "Margin Tracker".

So let's go back to the "Margin Tracker". The total costs were $29,930 and the sales were $34,000. Awesome! Hit enter and boom! What you'll see is they had a margin of 12%, but we give you a breakdown of your actual versus your estimate, um, as well. I underestimated this kitchen remodel by $2,700, give or take. And that was a loss of a margin of 8%. And I'll need to make that up, right. If you recall, why we put a margin or markup on our jobs is to cover our overhead. I am effectively short on covering my overhead by $2,700 now. And I need to make that up somehow. Even though the margin was positive, I'm still losing money or expect to lose money by the end of this business year, unless I find a job to make up for it.

On that point, tracking your job cost is important, but what is as equally important is reviewing your actual job costs on your projects, right. We recommend that you do this weekly. So at the end of every week just set aside 30 minutes, that's all you need to do, and this will drive so much value in your business. It will be incredible, uh, because you'll just know it's jobs you're making money on and which ones are not. Um, really the best thing you can do is manage this document and it will take you at most 30 minutes a week to do so.

I know you guys, don't have a lot of time. So if you can't do it on a weekly basis, at least set aside an hour a month to do this review. Um, and I promise you, if you do this and you stick to the discipline and you use a tool, like Level, to track your job costs, so tracking your job costs are easy to do. Um, you will really change your business or make sure that you're winning every single time in your business and just take away all that stress.

Awesome! I hope you enjoyed the walkthrough today. If you have any questions or feedback, we'd love to hear it from you. Please send those questions or feedback to We'd love to know whether this template is bringing you value, helping your business, or if you have any feedback or improvements that you'd like to suggest, we're happy to hear you out on those as well. Awesome! So I hope you enjoy today's video and as always, let's go out and build better. Cheers