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Is there any hope for me? I'm getting lots of small jobs, almost like handyman jobs lately. Last one was a replacement of a bathtub shower doors. I'm doing great at making lots of profit on these small jobs, if I could do 2 a day 5 days a week I would probably be netting profit of well over $12,000 a month!

The problem is I'm wacking em so good that I guess I start feeling sorry for them. While I was putting the estimate together for the doors they wondered about changing the drain in the tub, about a 2 minute job, just unscrew it and put in another, so of course I just say, no problem and tell them I'll take care of it for nothing while I'm doing the doors. I know I should be wacking em for stuff like this. Now after they love me like a son, they have a laundry list of other stuff they need done and I am finding myself almost just doing some of it to help them out, what the hell is wrong with me? This is a not good! But old folks on small incomes are pulling at my heart strings! :cry:

It gets even worse, the guy wants something done and says like : "That's probably going to cost me about a $100 bucks huh?" Someone behind me spouts off, "naw not even close, I'd just do it for maybe $50 bucks", but when I turn around to slap the hell out of the big mouth I realize nobody is standing behind me, its me doing the talking! ARHG!
 

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Mike Finley said:
Is there any hope for me? if I could do 2 a day 5 days a week I would probably be netting profit of well over $12,000 a month!
Say what?! That's pretty damn hopeful if you ask me.

I'm about to hire a guy to take care of some things around my house that I just can't get to - stuff the wife wants done yesterday. I'm too embarassed to tell you what I'm paying him to fix some drywall, finish some tile work, trim in some framing, etc., etc. My wife got his name from her mom who lives in a local retirement community. This "handyman" guy has stayed busy for 15 years pretty much working continually within that community by word-of-mouth reference. He works alone, except from time to time he has a guy that helps him with bigger stuff, doing tenant fit-out, moulding, a little plumbing, some carpet, painting - you know the deal. He drives a 1995(?) F-150, base model. The guy told me he's able to bill between $4,500 and $6,500 a week for his labor. Based on what I know about the work he's done for my in-laws, and the work he's going to do for me, I believe him.

Sounds to me Mike like you're on the right track. I think it's those "freebies" that keep the golden geese alive. If your customers are like my in-laws, they're HAPPY to pay someone like you to make their homes what they want.
 

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Mike, I often find myself in the same boat and tend to do it more as I grow more aged.
I'm comfortable and barring anything cataclysmic always will be. I'm still socking it away for retirement which is getting closer every day but do I need to make a killing everyday? No. So you help someone out once in a while, what's the harm done?
In the back of my mind I'm thinking that if I make it to the Golden Gates maybe some of it will count against some of the other acts that I've pulled.
 

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I have found I charge on alot of variables. How far is the job? How busy am I? Do I genuienly like theise people?

I'm really really hungry so my killer instinct kicks in and I have to calm myself down and give a fair price. Work is starting to roll in and once I get back to my comfort level I can let that killer instinct run rampant again ;)

There are some people I charge $150 to refasten a downspout and some times I charge $150 to reflash a chimney. See my first paragraph for the explination.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Good stuff guys. I guess I'm so used to trying to wring out every penny from my old corporate days when I was billing a faceless company and basically just helping them justify their budget for next year.

$4500-6500 a week in labor! I wanna be this guys shadow for a week, I'll work for free if he'll have me!
 
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a couple of things..first off do you want to be known as the local handyman. We fell into this on a different scale, we would accept almost anything in the areas we were targeting, only to find that it was not helping us get any leads on the larger stuff, actually hurting our chances as we were starting to gain a reputation of the guy who does the small room additions not the custom homes.

Next, once you start to get call backs on those freebies, you are going to start seeing the value in charging for them. Develop a price list for the common items and a rate plan with set hourly charges and set material mark-ups and follow it. You won't feel so bad charging for those things that way.

And finally, I find that the customer actually appreciates those little extras MORE when they pay for them. We used to do walk throughs and add can lights, plugs, small mouldings, etc. because it was easy to do at the time and the cost to complete was minimal in comparison to the project, heck we usually had the materials on hand. Owners I am sure would appreciate it, but it started to become expected.

I can still remember the first project I decided to put my foot down on freebies. We were building a custom home 8-9 years ago, our contract was well over $200K. The owner was a good client. During a walk through he asked about adding 3 can lights to the overhang on his back porch. I quickly responded..sure, we can do that and that would be a nice feature, they cost $150.00 each, plus $ 85.00 for the switch leg. He said..great.

During his house warming party, I must have seen the owner point out his back porch can lights to everyone.

So work up a price and cost list and quote the extras..they will be happy to hear you say..yes, I can do that right now a new tub drain cost $xx.xx, installed, I have one on the truck.
 
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