How Do You "handle" A Small Job... - Business - Contractor Talk

How Do You "handle" A Small Job...

 
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Old 03-10-2011, 10:36 AM   #1
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How Do You "handle" A Small Job...


I have just completed a decent medium sized job (by my small company's standards) for a customer... about $4600.00.. The customer is very happy and now wants me to build a rather small deck for her to store her trashcans. It's gonna be about 3' by 6'... very small job, but I still have my overhead, time, etc. Also, I can build a decent deck, but it's certainly not my specialty and nothing that I can just whip up in 30 minutes.. I'm gonna price it to make a decent profit.... I've read the pricing posts, and I've gleaned tons of valuable info for all of the input. I'm just bracing for her to ask why I'm charging so much. The reality is, I can make the same amount of money/profit, doing my pad building, driveways, lot clearing and skid steer work that is more my main area of work.

Any advice on how to handle this potential objection? I want to be prepared when I discuss the quote with her. I really don't care about the "going rate", I know there are probably 10 hacks just around the corner who'll throw up a crappy product for a hundred bucks... I'm confident I'll build her a great little seat for her trash cans, but I'm gonna get paid to do it....

Thanks,
Scott
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Old 03-10-2011, 10:54 AM   #2
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Re: How Do You "handle" A Small Job...


Its hard to make OH and P every day .
I group my work into months .
Winter months i make less because of less hours less men .
What i do is charge double pay on a small job .
If i can get double labor cost ill do the job .
Add material to a larger project and hopefully do the job on down time as a fill in .
I cant pay over head on a small job Like your deck.
But they are a stepping stone to large better work .
John

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Old 03-10-2011, 11:24 AM   #3
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Re: How Do You "handle" A Small Job...


Quote:
Originally Posted by wellbuilt home View Post
Its hard to make OH and P every day .
I group my work into months .
Winter months i make less because of less hours less men .
What i do is charge double pay on a small job .
If i can get double labor cost ill do the job .
Add material to a larger project and hopefully do the job on down time as a fill in .
I cant pay over head on a small job Like your deck.
But they are a stepping stone to large better work .
John
Thanks for the info... I really appreciate it. I also see it as a stepping stone to more referrals, work, etc. That's why I want to do the work, and it is a good fill in job. Thank you!!
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Old 03-10-2011, 11:37 AM   #4
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Re: How Do You "handle" A Small Job...


Quote:
Originally Posted by EZ Land View Post
I have just completed a decent medium sized job (by my small company's standards) for a customer... about $4600.00.. The customer is very happy and now wants me to build a rather small deck for her to store her trashcans. It's gonna be about 3' by 6'... very small job, but I still have my overhead, time, etc. Also, I can build a decent deck, but it's certainly not my specialty and nothing that I can just whip up in 30 minutes.. I'm gonna price it to make a decent profit.... I've read the pricing posts, and I've gleaned tons of valuable info for all of the input. I'm just bracing for her to ask why I'm charging so much. The reality is, I can make the same amount of money/profit, doing my pad building, driveways, lot clearing and skid steer work that is more my main area of work.

Any advice on how to handle this potential objection? I want to be prepared when I discuss the quote with her. I really don't care about the "going rate", I know there are probably 10 hacks just around the corner who'll throw up a crappy product for a hundred bucks... I'm confident I'll build her a great little seat for her trash cans, but I'm gonna get paid to do it....

Thanks,
Scott
be honest. tell her that you enjoyed working on the other project, but this one isn't necessarily in your wheelhouse so you have charge a little more for it to make business sense for you. if she balks at the price try to recommend someone else who you trust who does smaller projects or can do this kind of thing faster/cheaper. nothing wrong with that and if she's a reasonable person she'll be fine with it.
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Old 03-10-2011, 12:05 PM   #5
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Re: How Do You "handle" A Small Job...


Agree with the above comment.

You could also suggest you'll find someone who can build it faster, (and thus cheaper) and offer to manage the project for a fee. Once a HO finds a contractor they trust, they're pretty reluctant to remove them from the picture altogether. Much like any relationship in life.

This sounds like a perfect sized job to try out a local carpenter. If it works out, you'll have a new go to sub.
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Old 03-10-2011, 12:26 PM   #6
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Re: How Do You "handle" A Small Job...


Why do you think she will have an objection? Don't predetermine what will happen. This problem right now only exists in your mind, don't let it get any farther.
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Old 03-10-2011, 12:36 PM   #7
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Re: How Do You "handle" A Small Job...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris G View Post
Agree with the above comment.

You could also suggest you'll find someone who can build it faster, (and thus cheaper) and offer to manage the project for a fee. Once a HO finds a contractor they trust, they're pretty reluctant to remove them from the picture altogether. Much like any relationship in life.

This sounds like a perfect sized job to try out a local carpenter. If it works out, you'll have a new go to sub.
I really like that idea... Thank you.. Actually, I'm thinking about that. I believe there's a chance that she'll want deck in her back yard, and that project would be way outta my comfort zone, so this may be a good time to try out a sub... Thanks!
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Old 03-10-2011, 12:41 PM   #8
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Re: How Do You "handle" A Small Job...


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Originally Posted by Hmrepairs View Post
Why do you think she will have an objection? Don't predetermine what will happen. This problem right now only exists in your mind, don't let it get any farther.
Good point... she hasn't balked a bit on any of the pricing I have given her for the previous projects. I agree with you 100%; it is in my mind. I tend to over analyze sometimes and create problems that aren't actually problems. I just hate getting stumped and put on the spot, so I like to be prepared for any objections.
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Old 03-10-2011, 12:57 PM   #9
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Re: How Do You "handle" A Small Job...


The point is moot, now....

I emailed her my bid, with a healthy margin in it... 5 minutes later, she emailed me back with the OK.

I appreciate the advice though... seriously, I struggle with this stuff quite a bit. I've been doing this on my own now, for 2-1/2 years, and it's a new challenge everyday...
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Old 03-10-2011, 01:04 PM   #10
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Re: How Do You "handle" A Small Job...


Seems typical of most of my customers. They don't care how much it costs, they just want to know how much, and that I will do it.
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Old 03-10-2011, 01:09 PM   #11
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Re: How Do You "handle" A Small Job...


I have gone through this a few times....did a bunch of work for someone, then they ask for something small...and when I price the job I go back and forth on the price...I want to charge x, but I feel that y is closer to "going rate"....I have never had someone turn me down for charging x.....so like was said above...its all in your head.
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Old 03-10-2011, 05:48 PM   #12
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Re: How Do You "handle" A Small Job...


I agree with aptpupil. Glad you got it. Just build a kick ass deck.
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Old 03-10-2011, 09:27 PM   #13
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Re: How Do You "handle" A Small Job...


Well there you go People will pay a FAIR amount for quality work.

Sounds like you have a customer for life. We're in the service industry, anything she wants in the future you just tell her you'll get it done for her.

That makes it convenient for her. One step shopping. She just calls you

And don't forget to give her a mit full of cards to hand out to her friends.
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Old 03-11-2011, 07:39 AM   #14
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Re: How Do You "handle" A Small Job...


We do a lot of projects that are one day or less.
Our typical projects will be 2-3 days-and it's rare to have a project last over a week( althought that is changing)

We earn O&P on every job----and in fact every HOUR---- because that's how we arrange things.

You never know what people will pay---and just because YOU think something is expensive(or inexpensive for that matter)---doesn't mean the prospect will agree.

Example:------Weds. I looked at a project--- it will take 2 of us a full day and require a certain amount of materials---- I charged a certain amount---and the customer EAGERLY accepted on the spot----AND thanked me for coming so quick to diagnose the problem and arrange for it's solution

Thurs.--- I looked at a problem for another prospect---again 2 men/day---a certain amount of materials---- price I gave was within $100 of the price I gave the folks on Weds.---- only THESE people hemmed and hawed and "we will have to talk it over etc."---- THESE people have a 4 car garage, an enormous house in a neighborhood populated almost entirely by doctors-----and my proposal was actually sitting on approximately an ACRE of granite counter top------in a kitchen at least 20x30----and they are giving me the "we are on a fixed income" spiel.

so--- you just never know---- price it the way YOU need to price it and let THEM worry about it--- they will either accept or reject.
Stephen
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Old 03-11-2011, 07:45 AM   #15
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Re: How Do You "handle" A Small Job...


You're on the right track. The smaller the jobs always cost more. That's the way it is.

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