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Bid Mistakes: How To Deal With Bid Dispute

 
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Old 12-01-2018, 05:34 PM   #21
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Re: Bid Mistakes: How To Deal With Bid Dispute


I would have painted the ceilings of each room at the same time as the walls. If they wanted to do it separate the price would double.
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Old 12-02-2018, 10:37 PM   #22
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Re: Bid Mistakes: How To Deal With Bid Dispute


Like Vinyl said, $2300 for 3 weeks? At that rate, it would be better to pick up cans and bottles from the side of the road. Most of us have been there, overestimating our abilities and underestimating difficulty and cost.

Consider it cheap tuition. Learn from it. And remember there is no such thing as “paying your dues.” The objective is to get proficient and get profitable as fast as you can. Don’t worry about volume. If you can’t profit on a $1000 job, you can’t profit on a 10,000 job. Don’t get busy, get profitable. They are not synonymous.

I started in a similar way to you.

Hanging out in this forum has been the single most beneficial activity I have pursued.

Raise your productivity or raise your rates. Preferably, raise both.

The HO probably feels guilty because she knows how long you worked versus how little she paid. Many wouldn’t feel guilty.


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Old 12-06-2018, 11:31 PM   #23
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Re: Bid Mistakes: How To Deal With Bid Dispute


Well, the supportive comments are helpful. I appreciate that. I understand there’s a complexity to both how that situation was approached and how it was received, both on my customer and with you guys. I tried my best to make it work but it played out how it did.

It’s wild how the internet works people’s minds; I’m not here sharing a full work history, asking for a psychoanalysis or a shoulder really. I was just asking for direct advice on how to deal with that situation professionally. Most of the feedback has been super helpful in perspective, so thank you. But the guys who get on here just to talk ****, calm down. It’s okay— sometimes people make mistakes and own up to it and still don’t have an answer or feel good about it so they ask people. It’s a thing. No use being a dick, but if you got something I can grow from— please share.

If I’m a victim to anything, it’s my inexperience. And I’ll admit it. That’s not saying boo hoo, it’s me saying yeah— I’m getting my feet wet and sometimes, I slip up. But I have the focus and drive to do this, and after seeing what I’d make with my college degree vs this right now— it was only smart for me to pick up a trade. Found the trade, learned the application— now I’m trying to get this whole business thing down. It’s clearly not easy, it can be defeating and rough. So that’s why I asked for help.

About the 2300 for 3 weeks, sure— one job, that’d be low. I get it. But clearly, I’m not out here functioning and grinding in nice markets making nothing. I said in my posts she lined up a customer down the street, and I had work with a business partner outside of that. The work load isn’t the problem, ON THIS JOB it was bad math mixed with poor bid structuring. There was some odd itemizing I did with the customer that threw me off (ie “can you just do walls here? I’ll do the trim” or “Can you paint just this ceiling? I had the walls painted already.”). I tried to be accommodating and easy to work with when I really should have took those late additions and odd requests as indicators to raise the price on things. There was definitely some lessons learned.

To my enjoyment, I already have a way more costly mistake on a different site I have to take care of. So this is all behind me at this point. Thanks for all the feedback.
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Old 12-06-2018, 11:37 PM   #24
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Re: Bid Mistakes: How To Deal With Bid Dispute


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...To my enjoyment, I already have a way more costly mistake on a different site I have to take care of. So this is all behind me at this point. Thanks for all the feedback...
another more costly mistake????

may be time for a career change....
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Old 12-07-2018, 12:05 AM   #25
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Re: Bid Mistakes: How To Deal With Bid Dispute


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To my enjoyment, I already have a way more costly mistake on a different site I have to take care of. So this is all behind me at this point. Thanks for all the feedback.
I don't think you're going to have much success if you find enjoyment in making mistakes.
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Old 12-07-2018, 08:28 AM   #26
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Re: Bid Mistakes: How To Deal With Bid Dispute


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another more costly mistake????

may be time for a career change....
Oh sh!t GriZ... Are we only allowed to make two before we gotta change careers?! I make at least two a day!
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Old 12-07-2018, 08:53 AM   #27
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Re: Bid Mistakes: How To Deal With Bid Dispute


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I don't think you're going to have much success if you find enjoyment in making mistakes.
You're never heard of working for the gubbamint?
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Old 12-07-2018, 10:34 AM   #28
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Re: Bid Mistakes: How To Deal With Bid Dispute


Major87: Love to see an English Major actually PAY taxes...

The Home owner had you pegged at hello....You can't Con a completely honest man.......

Drop the screwy discount, for a one man band it shouts my regular pricing isn't "fair".....

You could almost demand a w-2 instead of an 1099 from the H. Owner as it appears you were paid almost hourly, did you use their equipment?


I rather spend a couple of unpaid days looking for profitable work, then taking work on ladders for free/cost....

avoid negotiating with persons that can twist you into poor deals.

Don't be afraid to "leave the Room" to do the math for an actual bid. Or tell the HO you need to call the supplier for some prices, Don't Guesstimate...

Set aside enough $$ that you don't feel "hungry" when you can't work for a few days. Have a plan of off days and work it to forward your business

I'd seek out a large up scale rental outfit/property manager to see if they needed a "In house " sub painter maybe for slow weeks when they roll lease over..
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Old 12-07-2018, 11:30 AM   #29
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Re: Bid Mistakes: How To Deal With Bid Dispute


I’m late but I think this needs to be said. You’re being too nice. Your customer probably got multiple quotes and yours was the cheapest by a lot. (I’d bet)

In my experience, the reason people add in things in the middle of a job is usually because they realize how cheap you’re working and you’re doing a good job and they start thinking hey I can get more done than I thought.

It sounds like this customer got their moneys worth. Even if you want to finish the job you can’t continue to lose money.

I’m having trouble understanding what the problem is. You asked the customer if you could be done with the job because you were losing money. They gave you what you asked for. What’s the problem?
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Old 12-07-2018, 11:41 AM   #30
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Re: Bid Mistakes: How To Deal With Bid Dispute


Major87,


Congratulations on owning your own business! I think you've probably gleaned all you are going to from this crew on this topic. I hate that some people may not realize their comments are actually destructive and not helpful. Yet, there were a few nuggets as well.


In the beginning especially, that is when you are still building confidence in your pricing, quoting, discounts, sales, and craft. All of this is very normal, and each person on here that has owned a business has made these mistakes and much worse.


There is nothing desperate about discounts, etc. As you already know, they can be strategic and very smart.



For a new business owner, I might suggest you have a good quoting software to build quotes and packages and let the customer choose whether they want this package that qualifies for a discount, or there is this one as well. Good, Better, Best is a great strategy. Some will select the best one, just because that's how they always roll. It is a nice way to present other options or "products/packages" that you do in a friendly, non-threatening way. If it is a good system, they can select their options in real-time, the price updates, and they pay the deposit right there and then (on the web). The sooner you can stop quoting in Excel or paper, the better. You are wasting time (writing the same thing from scratch every time) and money (you'll make more with the software), and do not look as professional as you can. Also, you can integrate contract/terms of service that outlines things that could happen and protects you and your company. Often there is a provision for unforeseen or overlooked things. As long as you are being professional, bidding competently and honestly, there can be a provision for honest mistakes. They do happen to imperfect people. You don't have to load it with any "gotcha policies". You can probably find a good template on a legal website. I would also spend the extra few hundred dollars to have a lawyer look it over and you come prepared with bullet points that you want to make sure you're protected from. Quoting Software, CRM, and Project/Company Management Software right out of the gate will help you to be an efficient beast from jump.



You are on the right track I think. It is obvious you have a good head on your shoulders. Good luck!


Chris


P.S. I do not sell quoting software or get anything for suggesting
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Old 12-07-2018, 12:52 PM   #31
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Re: Bid Mistakes: How To Deal With Bid Dispute


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Major87,


I think you've probably gleaned all you are going to from this crew on this topic. I hate that some people may not realize their comments are actually destructive and not helpful. Yet, there were a few nuggets as well.
Hard cold reality - Clients don't care about a contractors problems, Money doesn't care about a learning curve or why a bidding error was made. There is a high level of narcissism in the contracting world. 99% of the time it's the contractor who gets in his own way. Then complains about it and searches for the answers he want to hear, rather than the truth. Which is anything but warm and fuzzy.

Start ups and new contracting companies are a dime a dozen and the majority won't last past 2-3 years. Mostly founded on dreams and hopes rather than the realities. You have to consistently make more than you spend to make it worth your effort. You have to please your customers or have a marketing system in place that can produce a volume of low paying (competitive) fresh meat. Long term there is no way past those two things. There is no middle ground, no magic advice. Those problems have to be constantly worked on and overcome, from day one.

That work means losing money because you are wet behind the ears. Means you'll always be searching for leads and working hard to sign contracts. Harder than you ever thought you'd have too. You'll be dancing a dance that rubs the ego the wrong way to keep customers happy. Or having to make hard decisions as to which customers need to be a priority. Typically when you over extend and the cash in the bank is low you have to choose who to please. Trying to Keep everybody happy leads to pissing them all off. Ending up with a handful of nothing to show for the effort.

Success is fleeting in this industry. Those whom I know that are, don't talk and think like the OP. The "stuff" he wants answer to? It's all on him to solve. He has to figure out what it takes for him and the specific customers to be more profitable and efficient. VOLUMES have been written on that and even so he's the one that has to do the work and try different things to find what works. Crap butt load of failures ahead. Until he either folds or succeeds. Ain't much sympathy from those who been there done that. Simply Boo phuking hoo, welcome to the club, get over your chit and get down to the business of solving the business problems.
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Old 12-07-2018, 05:05 PM   #32
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Re: Bid Mistakes: How To Deal With Bid Dispute


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another more costly mistake????

may be time for a career change....
Guy comes on here to learn and is honest about his mistakes and you just insult him. Stop being a jerk.

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Old 12-07-2018, 11:54 PM   #33
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Re: Bid Mistakes: How To Deal With Bid Dispute


Oh internet. Okay.

To answer the problem with the outcome, it’s my integrity and reputation in a good market that I’ve been trying to corner. Sure— dope they said, “we’re good on you finishing the work,” but how does that turn out in the long run through conversations with neighbors or family friends who ask about contractors?

“Yeah, they did great work. It was cost efficient and he did his best.”= best case scenario

“I hired a few guys, a couple were good but the painters I went through didn’t finish the job, left me with a one coated ceiling and tried to ask for more money to finish it.”= worst case.

I don’t know if that seems like a problem to everyone, but I’d hope we can agree that isn’t a good look. I’d prefer to finish the job at a loss then not finish the job, look bad and lose future potential business.

As far as jumping back into the rental market, blah man. No. That market is long hours, worse pay, disgusting conditions, working with property managers and project managers who want you to tear up tack strips, run their work sites and do things at a long quality-high efficiency. The times I’ve had property managers tell me to do things wrong or poorly just turns me off to that completely. I appreciate the suggestion but unless I have to go back to that, I’m specifically trying to stay in residential markets.

Gmedia or Chris— that was the gem of this whole thread. Thank you for that. I like the idea of using a streamlined software like that. I didn’t know that was a thing and I will definitely do some research on that moving forward. I like the idea of packages; providing the customer with options that don’t jeopardize my bottom line and profitability while at the same time, using techniques similar to discount where the customer feels like they’re getting a deal of sorts. All of that was super valuable so thanks for taking the time to share that.

And an English major paying taxes— is there some joke I’m missing there? Are English majors notoriously evading taxes or committing tax fraud? Funny thing about college is they generally make you take courses from every school at the university to complete what they call requisites or criteria for your major and minor. That said, I had a double major in English and journalism and a minor in advertising and promotion, all of which carried course loads full of international marketing, biomedical ethics, social evolution, criminology and— you guessed it— math. Had to take math to graduate. Might not have been my major but in order to get that expensive paper that says I went to college and finished— my last semester was an internship in Cambodia while taking accounting and micro to graduate...

I pay taxes. Because I’m smart.

And who ever keeps getting on and barking “ boo hoo for you” and “suck it up Betty, grow some balls and tuition paid in hard knocks uni!”— I get it man, you don’t wanna come off nice. You’re frustrated that you see some of your old mistakes in my words and that makes your spend the time writing all that in a stern, apathetic manner. But I see behind what you wrote— what matters is you did. That means you care about helping on a certain level. So let’s drop all the garbage rhetoric— maybe read one of my posts in entirety— and just give me the advice without all the fatherly disappointment. Is that doable?

Thanks everyone for the responses. Most are very helpful.
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Old 12-07-2018, 11:59 PM   #34
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Re: Bid Mistakes: How To Deal With Bid Dispute


dude, it's got nothing to do with my previous performance...

just seen way TOO many guys in the same boat you are in...

most capsized and drowned...

it is a school of VERY HARD KNOCKS....

if you want to keep floundering...so be it

good luck with your life...
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Old 12-08-2018, 12:06 AM   #35
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Re: Bid Mistakes: How To Deal With Bid Dispute


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Guy comes on here to learn and is honest about his mistakes and you just insult him. Stop being a jerk.

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You are mistaken insults with honesty and no BS answers. Stop being a Nancy.


Mike.
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Old 12-08-2018, 12:23 AM   #36
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Re: Bid Mistakes: How To Deal With Bid Dispute


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Major87,


Congratulations on owning your own business! I think you've probably gleaned all you are going to from this crew on this topic. I hate that some people may not realize their comments are actually destructive and not helpful. Yet, there were a few nuggets as well.
I see you lasting a long time here, highly respected for your vast wealth of knowledge.




Systems Integrator.




WTF.
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Old 12-08-2018, 12:40 AM   #37
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Re: Bid Mistakes: How To Deal With Bid Dispute


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Guy comes on here to learn and is honest about his mistakes and you just insult him. Stop being a jerk.

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truth hurts.....

i can fix many things....

can't fix stupid....
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Old 12-08-2018, 01:14 AM   #38
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Re: Bid Mistakes: How To Deal With Bid Dispute


Griz— you’ve said some semi helpful things while continuing to maintain whatever approach that is. I’ll give it you for consistency and follow through. However, capatilzing the same phrase I’m mocking doesn’t make it more important or mean something different. Let’s be real: we’ve all made professional mistakes. We’ve all made general mistakes. It’s life. So hard knocks, tough lessons— we can use all the cliches we want to but at the end of the consistent deterring, you should offer more than “maybe time for a career change” or “keep floundering, have a good life”. You’re not telling anyone anything they don’t already know with that hard lesson stuff. And telling someone to give up is trolling. I can’t remember the last time trollingaffected my perspective. Or was helpful.

Wheres all that animosity come from if it’s not projection? Do you have a general distaste for people who ask for help in forums generated around professional advice? And if so, why participate?

The simple fact is, it’d take more than a communication mistake or a couple hundred dollar loss for me to give up on the path I’m on. Sorry. I’m good at what I do and I’m trying to figure out the business side. Don’t pat me on the back for that, I will. Shoot me for being ambitious.

Is there some initiation process to joining a contractors forum? Is this the equivalent to getting jumped in— all the contractors jump on the new contractor and see if he can stick around? Is this like the cool table at lunch and I’m the goth kid who keeps trying to sit on the end 😐? Because none of that even matters. I asked a business question. About the field we’re in.

Call it honesty or whatever, that’s fine. And say you don’t see “any of your previous performance” in my statements. That’s fine. The question is still why leave an answer if your not trying to help?
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