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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, what are your thoughts on navigating through all the low ball bids out there and finding work with good compensation. I know a strong reputation can carry you far but it seems like more and more clients are trying to pinch pennies. Strategies on selling quality work?
 

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How are you defining "Top Dollar Bids"?...

Are you looking to charge what you need to charge to be in business, which includes Profit you pay your company (not to be confused with what you pay yourself) or looking to "score" more on making more money than you've defined you need?
 

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I wouldn’t say “score” but a respectable fee for a professional service. So your first option, comfortably covering overhead and what is needed. Especially down here in Florida seems like the guys flying straight are at war with guys that have a found a way to pay less overhead, and taxes. (In a not so straight way).
 

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I wouldn’t say “score” but a respectable fee for a professional service. So your first option, comfortably covering overhead and what is needed. Especially down here in Florida seems like the guys flying straight are at war with guys that have a found a way to pay less overhead, and taxes. (In a not so straight way).
You can't get around the guys who operate under the table or illegitimately... just a reality... but that doesn't mean you chase the dollar with a race to the bottom...

The key factor here is finding customers who can support what YOU need to charge to be in business that covers your personal and business goals... those are your customers you want to cultivate, under-promise and over-deliver to, so you can develop a referral base within that community (while exceptions to every rule, most people generally hang with similar socio-economic peeps)...

The hardest thing for most of us is coming to the realization that not everyone is our customer (we tend to think everyone is and price is in our way - thinking like retail)... only those who can support what we need to charge to be in business are...

People generally look at four things when considering a project... Company, Product, Service and Price (generally in that order)... spend enough time on the first three and Price becomes less of an issue...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The key factor here is finding customers who can support what YOU need to charge to be in business that covers your personal and business goals... those are your customers you want to cultivate, under-promise and over-deliver to, so you can develop a referral base within that community (while exceptions to every rule, most people generally hang with similar socio-economic peeps)...

The hardest thing for most of us is coming to the realization that not everyone is our customer (we tend to think everyone is and price is in our way - thinking like retail)... only those who can support what we need to charge to be in business are...

People generally look at four things when considering a project... Company, Product, Service and Price (generally in that order)... spend enough time on the first three and Price becomes less of an issue...

Yea, I completely agree with you, that has been the strategy that has kept in business for these years, and it’s proven strategy. Do you think things like church groups, socials groups, and events are worth the time? (You know when where allowed to live our lives again).

Honestly I’ve heard some crazy strategies, like bidding work super low with a small margin but getting enough small margin work that would then equal a bigger overall margin. But that sounds like hassle and playing it to close to the vest.
 

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Yea, I completely agree with you, that has been the strategy that has kept in business for these years, and it’s proven strategy. Do you think things like church groups, socials groups, and events are worth the time? (You know when where allowed to live our lives again).

Honestly I’ve heard some crazy strategies, like bidding work super low with a small margin but getting enough small margin work that would then equal a bigger overall margin. But that sounds like hassle and playing it to close to the vest.
Those are all opportunities to be a service to others while at the same time get free exposure to your skills and company offerings...

The strategy of bidding small margins is not a good long-term business strategy, otherwise you would have been doing it all these years, no? That's left to times of famine when you're in starvation mode and is used as an exception not the rule (and hopefully you have Capital Reserves and Emergency Fund to absorb and protect you when it's necessary)... easy to get lured into that game if you're not careful and then it takes one major thing to go wrong and then you're stuck in a rob Peter to pay Paul scenario...

Think of it this way... if you wanted to start offering credit cards for payment (not recommending), that cost HAS to be passed along to the customer, correct? So why are YOU any different? Everyone else still expects to be paid through you for your customers project, so why shouldn't YOU when you're the one bringing everyone (i.e. - suppliers, subs, government, etc.) the business?
 

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Takes time. I chased any work I could get in the beginning. And you need to watch out for that because if you get a reputation for inexpensive work that's what you'll get. It's a double edged sword. You need the work to get your name out there but because no one knows of your company they don't trust you for the high dollar projects. So it takes a while to build up that you are worth the money to people who have heard about you.

All it really takes is one good client that is impressed by you to get them to shout your name from the hill tops. I got mine 15 years ago and she's still yelling my name from the hill.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Takes time. I chased any work I could get in the beginning. And you need to watch out for that because if you get a reputation for inexpensive work that's what you'll get. It's a double edged sword. You need the work to get your name out there but because no one knows of your company they don't trust you for the high dollar projects. So it takes a while to build up that you are worth the money to people who have heard about you.

All it really takes is one good client that is impressed by you to get them to shout your name from the hill tops. I got mine 15 years ago and she's still yelling my name from the hill.
Client turned marketing agent. What do you think about HomeAdvisor and other lead generating platforms
 

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Client turned marketing agent. What do you think about HomeAdvisor and other lead generating platforms
Aside for the poor reputation of HomeAdvisor toward contractors. I think it can be risky in today's world where someone can trash you just because they can. A carpentry contractor that does some work for me got a bad review for no other reason than he did some extra work that the client didn't think was actually extra work.
 

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Yea man, there’s always that one company/client throwing around that same promise “do this one cheap man I have allot more coming”
If I like how this goes, I'll give preferential treatment for follow on work.

Get the money up front, you can't pay the bills with a promise.
 

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Client turned marketing agent. What do you think about HomeAdvisor and other lead generating platforms
I think once they get their clutches into you they never let go. And trying to divorce yourself from them is like pulling teeth. Once you sign onto them they think they own you. I've heard stories of them claiming websites from businesses that tried to leave. They have the big lawyers and can bully you around.

Either way, lots have used and liked. I've heard some not so nice things. I've never used any of them and doubtfully ever will. I'd be cautious before joining and get lots of input from people that have used them.
 

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Yea man, there’s always that one company/client throwing around that same promise “do this one cheap man I have allot more coming”
I usually just tell them we will do this one at full price and see if we work well together. If this becomes an ongoing relationship and you refer work I can give better pricing (it's never any better). Most roll their eyes as they wanted a discount and called you because their unlicensed guy couldn't do the job. "We can absolutely lower the price, what would you like to take out of the scope"? "Oh, you were only looking to negotiate? That's fine, let's add $1,000 to the price and I can take off $500 no problem". That usually gets the point across, but I'm very sarcastic and it comes off like I'm half joking. People seem to appreciate when you stick to your guns and explain you already gave your best price.
 

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One of the best ways to avoid getting wrapped up in pricing issues is to avoid the gimmicks... set the expectation upfront...
"Mrs. Customer, one thing you'll be glad to know is that the price we give you tonight will be all inclusive of the items discussed for your project and will be reflected in our agreement. There won't be any pricing gimmicks like "manager" or "first night" discounts where they raise the price only to lower it again, as our pricing is reflective of our experience, the high quality materials we use for our clients bringing you the best within your budget, and current prices for materials which is in flux right now. While you'll be pleased to know that the overall project is within the price range for your budget, and includes all the materials and finishes you wanted, if for some reason you still need to save money, we also have access to various other materials that we can use to adjust those numbers to make it work for your job in needed"...

Once they realize that they will need to change their choices to lower the price, it tends to bring that part of the discussion to a close because they made those choices for a reason.... but with materials in flux right now, it also places a sense of urgency to make a decision due to third party pricing pressures that have nothing to do with either of you... hopefully, before you've even gotten to the point of presenting the numbers, you've zero'd in on their budget range to be able to present it in context...

Once you get caught in the pricing gimmick game, the customer has no idea how deep that discount well goes and will not only test it, but instead of closing the deal, it will then call into question pricing and put the emphasis on getting other prices from others because they now can't trust they're getting the best pricing from you...
 
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