Winter Work Discounting - Business - Contractor Talk

Winter Work Discounting

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Old 12-11-2017, 08:32 AM   #1
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Winter Work Discounting

Newbie gc trying to figure out if project discounts help keep (small) crews busy during the winter season. Trying to avoid the seasonal boom/bust cycle and wonder if bid discounts might help clients adjust to my project schedule.
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Old 12-11-2017, 09:49 AM   #2
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Re: Winter Work Discounting

People like "free"...and "discounts." ..or "rebates."

Throw them a bone if ya need to. Or make it appear as if you've thrown them a bone.

warning: "some laws may apply"


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Old 12-11-2017, 10:12 AM   #3
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Re: Winter Work Discounting

When you give discounts the wrong way you are setting yourself up for a disaster. Customers will know that you are willing to work for a lower price and will feel they are being cheated if you will work for less in the winter and charge more when it is warm. I would not play with the prices and lowering the price will not motivate many customers because they get work done at the time they want.

Rather than advertising a lower price, make an ad that says 10% (or whatever) off for the next 30 days.

I've seen a lot of posts on CT where members say their price is firm and they never give discounts. I hire a lot of subs and many of them charge very high prices and will not give a penny off. I have more respect for them than the contractors who are willing and ready to drop their pants. It seems like the contractors who demand top-dollar know that they are great craftsmen and they do better work because they know they are getting what they are worth. One example is a door hanger. He charges twice the price and he does the best work I've ever seen. I know that when he hangs my customers' doors I will not get a complaint about something being misaligned.
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Old 12-11-2017, 04:09 PM   #4
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Re: Winter Work Discounting

Our working costs increase in the winter months... No way I would ever consider reducing our rates.
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Old 12-11-2017, 04:21 PM   #5
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Re: Winter Work Discounting

It costs more money to work in winter so prices should go up.

Ever since I quit worrying about keeping the guys busy or not, I've been able to make more money which results in better pay for the guys.

We will still do some small half day type things here and there but won't really be back at it until March/April.

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Old 12-11-2017, 07:33 PM   #6
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Re: Winter Work Discounting

Thing is in the winter most of your expenses go up and production normal goes down. I always say you work twice as hard to get half as much done in the winter. I normally don't discount my work, the price is the price. And I keep plenty busy.
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Old 12-11-2017, 07:43 PM   #7
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Re: Winter Work Discounting

Once you get into the mindset of playing pricing games, it has the potential to become a crutch... If you don't have 3-6 months of Capital Reserves or an Emergency Fund set aside, sometimes you gotta' what you gotta' do, but as a business practice, as opposed to the exception, it's a loser long-term...

Besides, almost the middle of December... a little late to plan/implement anything of impact...
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Old 12-11-2017, 07:46 PM   #8
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Re: Winter Work Discounting

I wouldn't. I have found a groove that works fairly well for me. December always seems busy getting everything finished for the year. All year if people ask about inside work that I would otherwise turn down, I bid as a January or February jobs. I have had 1 bathroom and 1 full door and trim job lined up for those months since June. I have also lined up 2 other good size jobs for those months as they get closer. By working at it all year, January and February will be very profitable months that get me off to a great start for the year.

It took me about 5 years to learn to make customers an offer that worked really well for me. It may turn out to work out really well for them as well. If it doesn't nothing is lost.

One thing I know is that working at a discount never works out really well for me.


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