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GC/carpenter
GC/Carpenter
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How do you guys handle too much work? I'm booked until Xmas at this point, I can't take anymore work. The problem with people when I tell them this, they have the audacity to say "well can you still give me a price? We're just trying to find out how much its going to cost" or "you still give free estimates don't you?" im thinking of either just telling them I'm not giving estimates or tell them I will start giving estimates again around October.

Some people actually get upset that I'm not going to give them an estimate, I can hear it in their voice, They act like I owe them a price.

I have been getting about 7 or 8 calls a day, I can't possibly give estimates for that much volume, nor do I want to be any bigger then I am now as a company. I was also thinking of putting a message on my answering machine explaining this. It's pretty annoying to get all the phone calls during the day, especially since I can't really help them.
 

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I'm The BOSS
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Keep booking them.

Mark up a little more $$$

offer a discount if they wait for you.

Back down to you normal price.

I always explain that I use a revolving list. It will be 3-4 Months until I can start your project. If your willing to wait, I discount 5%. I also explain that IF your good , your busy . Guys that aren't busy, ???

I let them fill in the blanks....
 

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GC/carpenter
GC/Carpenter
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43,336 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Keep booking them.

Mark up a little more $$$

offer a discount if they wait for you.

Back down to you normal price.

I always explain that I use a revolving list. It will be 3-4 Months until I can start your project. If your willing to wait, I discount 5%. I also explain that IF your good , your busy . Guys that aren't busy, ???

I let them fill in the blanks....
I actually thought about offering a discount around the holidays, but I still don't know if I need to give anything away even during the holidays
 

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i stay busy also, I dont cut any deals I just tell them when I can get to them and let them decide. I do stay in contact just incase someone gets another guy so I can keep a accurate time frame. I agree with the other post If your good your busy at least in indiana.
 

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I'm The BOSS
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I actually thought about offering a discount around the holidays, but I still don't know if I need to give anything away even during the holidays
Don't discount.

Increase markup 10-%

offer a 5% discount if they'll sign contract,
and wait until your available.

It will keep you buried until you retire, Hopefully
 

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GC/carpenter
GC/Carpenter
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43,336 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
if you have too much work your not charging enough..it's an old saying but true..
I'm at 50% profits! The last job I got is a 55,000 dollar deck and I was 11,000 dollars higher then the closest bidder. He said he was just unsure about the other guy, whatever that means. When I told him the price he said "well that's considerably higher then the other guy". I said "may I ask what his price was?" he said 44,000. I said I'm not sure why the huge descrepancy but my prices are pretty accurate for what im doing. Then he called me back and said he was going with my company.
 

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I'm at 50% profits! The last job I got is a 55,000 dollar deck and I was 11,000 dollars higher then the closest bidder. He said he was just unsure about the other guy, whatever that means. When I told him the price he said "well that's considerably higher then the other guy". I said "may I ask what his price was?" he said 44,000. I said I'm not sure why the huge descrepancy but my prices are pretty accurate for what im doing. Then he called me back and said he was going with my company.
Right there is the reason you shouldn't be thinking about giving discounts. I wouldn't think about giving discounts for them to wait unless, your work load starts decreasing too much.
 

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Talking Head
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I'm not in your league, Mike, but I'm seeing similar trends here. I'm actually only booked out three months but that's because I have a baby due and just couldn't handle the stress of being booked out so far. I hit 9 months out last fall and it's been a pain. I think 3-4 months is going to be my limit for remodels from now on, the change orders can really screw me up.

You could probably write a contract document that allowed for you or the customer to back out if you(or they) wanted with a small, non-refundable deposit for estimating/design time so that they would know that they're in your schedule. That contract would be replaced by your full contract when you got to a couple months out.
 

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GC/carpenter
GC/Carpenter
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm not in your league, Mike, but I'm seeing similar trends here. I'm actually only booked out three months but that's because I have a baby due and just couldn't handle the stress of being booked out so far. I hit 9 months out last fall and it's been a pain. I think 3-4 months is going to be my limit for remodels from now on, the change orders can really screw me up.

You could probably write a contract document that allowed for you or the customer to back out if you(or they) wanted with a small, non-refundable deposit for estimating/design time so that they would know that they're in your schedule. That contract would be replaced by your full contract when you got to a couple months out.
This is a another issue, what happens to my schedule if someone decides they want another 300 sq. ft. This has happened. Although I tell everyone my schedule isn't an exact science, it can change, and probably will. it does seem that I end up doing thier job earlier and not later. I've always believed you should under promise and over deliver when you can. congrats on the baby! :thumbsup:
 

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Nothing left to chase. When I get months out I loose interest in the game and everything becomes a job and work. It's nice to not have too many people waiting on you, well on me, stressing me out.

This year our average job is one day and averages $2,800. My competition is offering similar products and pricing their jobs almost 1/2. It amazes me to see these other quotes and people still go with us.

I'm only booked out two weeks but my income is almost twice as much as my competition and when you do the numbers at their rates I'd have to work twice as much but I'd rather work half as much, half as long.

Who wants to work a month when you can earn the same amount in two weeks?

Raise your prices!
 

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Talking Head
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Look at it this way, decking prices are going to go up that month by Christmas anyway. Last fall I was adding 10% to materials for any spring bids because I figured a price increase was inevitable.

I'm trying a new thing where I just tell people how many projects are ahead of them and then give a "guess" as to when I'll be available. Typically I add a month to the guess. I did that this spring and I'm still a couple weeks behind. Fortunately, I saw the trend and gave myself an extra month so I'll be ahead of schedule again soon.;)
 

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I just raised prices, but evidently not enough. I'm thinking I can probably go up another 10% at least.
Kudos :thumbsup: Very happy for you. You earned it. Run with it.

Watch your close ratio on referrals versus other leads and pick a close ratio for each, when you hit that, level off pricing.

Textbook pricing strategy to maximize profits.

Can you add a laborer and make up some time and squeeze a few more higher priced projects in the year and develop more capacity?
 

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GC/carpenter
GC/Carpenter
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Look at it this way, decking prices are going to go up that month by Christmas anyway. Last fall I was adding 10% to materials for any spring bids because I figured a price increase was inevitable.

I'm trying a new thing where I just tell people how many projects are ahead of them and then give a "guess" as to when I'll be available. Typically I add a month to the guess. I did that this spring and I'm still a couple weeks behind. Fortunately, I saw the trend and gave myself an extra month so I'll be ahead of schedule again soon.;)
I was having issues several years back with my lumberyard prices going up out of the blue. I had a little meeting with the management and got them to commit to a year at a time with prices, so I'm not caught with my pants down. They actually were able to get thier vendor to back them on this for my account.
 

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GC/carpenter
GC/Carpenter
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43,336 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Kudos :thumbsup: Very happy for you. You earned it. Run with it.

Watch your close ratio on referrals versus other leads and pick a close ratio for each, when you hit that, level off pricing.

Textbook pricing strategy to maximize profits.

Can you add a laborer and make up some time?
Actually in thinking of adding another crew, my only issue is quality control. I don't want to lose site of what got me here.
 
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