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Learn how to run your contracting business the right way.

Mike Holt

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The following video is a brief excerpt from Mike Holt's estimating DVD


Receive a FREE copy of Mike's estimating book

TurboBid is the only estimating software that has worked closely with Mike to ensure that the terminology and estimating principles that we use follow the concepts that he teaches in his books and DVDs. That's why we offer to provide a free copy of Mike's estimating book for free when you purchase TurboBid.


Mike Holt is a well-respected author and developer of software, books and video training programs. He has mastered the art of explaining the complicated in a simple but direct style. His ability to simplify technical concepts makes him one of America's most sought after speaker in the electrical trade. His extensive use of illustration in all of his training programs makes learning fun. His articles have been seen in numerous magazines, such as Electrical Construction & Maintenance (EC&M), CEE News, Electrical Design and Installation (EDI), Electrical Contractor (EC), International Association of Electrical Inspectors (IAEI News), The Electrical Distributor (TED) and Power Quality (PQ) Magazine.

Since 1973, Mike has written or taught on practically every subject in the electrical trade, from grounding and bonding, to estimating, to power quality and low voltage systems.

Trainer and industry expert

Companies across the United States have utilized the services of Mike for in-house training and expert advice. His unsurpassed speaking ability has encouraged companies such as ATT, IBM, Boeing; associations such as NECA, IAEI, IBEW, ICBO; and government agency such as Mexico, U.S. Navy, Grand Coulee Dam, etc. Mike's appeal lies in his ability to teach a variety of subjects to individuals that have different degrees of expertise. He even has taught the NEC to the Navajo and Ute Indians, and in Spanish in Mexico!

Code expert

Mike has devoted his career to studying and understanding the National Electrical Code, a foundation of the electrical industry. Researching the NEC all these years and understanding its background has not only made Mike an expert, but it has earned him the respect of his peers.

Companies and organizations across the United States and Mexico have used his expertise in English and Spanish to help them pinpoint the exact meaning of the NEC. In addition, his insight has been helpful in litigation problems, where the exact meaning of the Code is necessary.


Mike is nationally recognized as one of America's most knowledgeable electrical trainers. He has touched the lives of many thousands of electricians, inspectors, contractors and engineers. His dynamic and animated teaching style is relaxed, direct and fun. Perhaps Mike's best quality is his ability to motivate his students to become successful.

He is devoted to providing quality training aids such as seminars, videos, books and software that enhances job performance, personal confidence and career growth. The quality that sets Mike apart from the others is his ability to motivate his students to become successful. Mike's experiences as an electrician, inspector and contractor help him develop training programs that the electrician understands and enjoys. His ability to take the intimidation out of learning is reflected in the success rate of his students.

Mike Holt's Estimating Deluxe DVD Package - Click here for more information

TurboBid is a great software estimating program. While it simplifies the estimating process and allows you to generate quality bid packages, running a business requires more than entering numbers into a software program. It requires an understanding of the philosophy behind the estimating process.

TurboBid has been designed to closely follow the principles that Mike teaches. His program will show you the importance of completing a detailed take-off, of being able to determine material cost and how to accurately estimate the labor cost. You'll learn the importance of knowing how to determine your overhead, profit and break-even point, and much more. This program does more than just teach you how to estimate. It also touches on the many aspects of how to run a successful electrical contracting company.

It is important that you truly understand the core principles of estimating. We recommend that you purchase Mike's estimating course regardless of what software program you buy. However, since TurboBid follows Mike's program, we are confident that you will purchase TurboBid after you have completed his course.

Mike Holt's Illustrated Guide to Electrical Estimating - Click here for more information

TurboBid has been designed to closely follow Mike Holt's Illustrated Guide to Electrical Estimating. The book teaches the importance of completing a detailed take-off, of being able to determine material cost and how to accurately estimate the labor cost. It shows the importance of knowing how to determine your overhead, profit and break-even point.

Chapter 1: - Introduction

  • Estimating Versus Bidding
  • Objectives And Purpose Of An Electrical Contractor
  • Why Are So Many Electrical Contractors Unsuccessful?
  • The Estimate Must Provide Information For Project Management
  • Job Management Ultimately Controls The Cost Of A Project
  • Can I Be Competitive?
  • The Market
  • Summary
  • Review Questions

Chapter 2 - About Estimating

  • Qualities Of A Good Estimator
  • Duties And Responsinbilities Of The Estimator
  • The Estimating Workspace And Tools
  • What An Accurate Estimate Must Include
  • Improper Estimating Methods
  • Proper Estimating Methods
  • The Detailed Estimating Method
  • How Accurate Can An Estimate Be?
  • Manual Estimate, Computer Assisted,Or An Estimating Service?
  • Summary
  • Review Questions

Chapter 3 -Understanding Labor Units

  • What Exactly Is A Labor-Unit?
  • How Labor-units Are Used
  • What is Included In The Labor-Unit
  • Labor-Units Do Not Include
  • Labor-Unit Manuals, Which Should You Use?
  • Your Labor-Units As Compared To Your Competitors Labor-Unit
  • Knowing Your Competitors Labor-Units
  • How To Develop Your Own Labor-Units
  • Variables That Impact Labor-Units
  • Labor-Unit Summary
  • Summary
  • Review Questions

Chapter 4 - The Estimate Process

  • Introduction
  • Job Selection
  • Understanding The Scope Of Work
  • The Take-Off
  • Determining The Bill-Of-Material
  • Pricing And Laboring
  • Extensions And Totals
  • Summary
  • Review Questions

Chapter 5 - The Estimate Summary and Bid Process

  • Introduction
  • Labor-Hours
  • Labor Cost
  • Labor Burden
  • Total Material Cost
  • Direct Job Expenses
  • Estimated Prime Cost
  • Overhead
  • Overhead Calculation
  • Applying Overhead
  • Understanding Break Even Cost
  • Profit
  • The Bid Process
  • Other Final Costs
  • Bid Accuracy
  • Bid Analysis
  • Bid Proposal
  • Unit Price Example
  • Unit Pricing
  • Summary
  • Review Questions

Chapter 6 - Estimating Residential Wiring

  • Introduction
  • Plans And Specifications
  • Manual Estimate And Bid
  • Understanding Scope Of Work
  • The Take-Off
  • Completed Residential Take-Off
  • Determining The Bill-Of-Material
  • Pricing, Labor, Extending And Totals
  • Estimate and Bid Summary
  • Bid Accuracy And Analysis
  • The Proposal
  • Bid Preparation And Take-Off
  • Input Take-Off Into Computer
  • Bill-Of-Material, Pricing, Laboring, Extending And Totaling
  • Estimate And Bid Summary
  • Bid Accuracy And Analysis
  • Computer Assisted Estimate And Bid
  • The Proposal
  • Review Questions

Chapter 7 - Estimating Commercial Wiring

  • Introduction
  • Plans And Specifications
  • Electrical Specifications
  • Preparing The Estimate
  • Understanding Scope Of Work
  • Estimate And Bid Notes
  • The Take-Off
  • Manual Estimate And Bid
  • Determining The Bill-Of-Material
  • Pricing, Laboring, Extensions And Totals
  • Estimate And Bid Summary
  • Bid Accuracy And Analysis
  • The Proposal
  • Bid Preparation and Take-Off
  • Input Take-Off Into Computer
  • Bill-Of-Material, Pricing, Laboring,
  • Extending And Totaling
  • Estimate And Bid Summary
  • Bid Accuracy And Analysis
  • Review Questions

Chapter 8 - Computer Estimating

  • Introduction
  • Computerized Estimating
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Training And Support
  • Pricing Services
  • Software Selection
  • How Much Should It Cost?
  • Who Sells Estimating Software?
  • Reveiw Questions
  • Appendix Estimating Forms And Worksheets

Customer Reviews

What our clients are saying

    Clear Creek Electric, LLC

    "I began using the new Flat Rate feature the moment it was uploaded. I have made our first Flat Rate book to distribute to the residental service crew. I just plugged in our rates and it was ready."


    Clear Creek Electric, LLC

    "With money being so tight starting an electrical business, I reviewed many bid software programs. Yours is the very best bid software I have ever seen."


    from Oklahoma

    "I know you feel like it's your obligation to help, but it's also your selling point and a big one for someone like me, who is somewhat computer illiterate."


    Premier Power Inc.

    "The Estimating Software Turbobid is a user friendly program. Very little work on my end. Everything is setup, all you have to do is compute the information."


  • JoEllen Scott:
    LSK Electrical

    "Making the commitment to purchase the Turbobid Estimating Software was the best financial decision for our business. The software has allowed us to prepare high quality, professional bids for all of our projects."


  • Robert Plourde:
    Electrical Contractors & Associates

    "Once you experience the software and how user friendly it is, you will walk away with the best estimating program out there."


  • Joshua Schaeffer:
    Electrocal, Inc.

    "I have been elated since I chose TurboBid. I did a LOT of research before choosing them. They had the right base price for the software, I liked that I had an actual software package not an online only program. I can honestly say that a small part of me depends on TurboBid now."


  • Robert Elmore:
    R.G. Elmore & Associates Inc.

    "Great customer service, everyone at Turbo Bid is great and they care about their customers, always available for good advice and a great learning experience. They really go the extra mile to help with a problem you may have encountered."


  • Robert Cummings:
    Cummings Electric LLC

    "TurboBid has helped me go from losing money and jobs to getting profits and wining bids. I love everything about it. The entire estimating process is quick and painless once you get it set up and with the customer support, setting up and learning how to use TurboBid is so easy."