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Side job hassles

Old 06-01-2012, 07:48 PM
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Default Side job hassles

I had someone referred to me for my specialty asking if I was capable for the project. Long short story shorter I'm trying to get in the ball park of what the final cost is going to be bc I'll be meeting the client to get exact details shortly. I have to buy all the components, possibly pick up the project, and provide quality work. I plan to over build it a bit bc my name is going to be attached to the project and I've seen old men push the limitations of their equipment's original designs. I've got plenty of work load from my day job but I want this opportunity to start a business reputation. Naturally I will itemize with recites all components everything out front and honest. I'm looking at the numbers and am worried just the material cost will scare him off.Does anyone have an equation for pricing; mileage, obtaining supplies, work performed, profit margin?

I do very high quality work and don't need the $ but want the opportunity and responsibility. What is the best way to convey that without sounding like I need a neck brace. Thank you for reading and hopefully response.
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Old 06-01-2012, 07:53 PM
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40% mark up on materials (my cost not retail) and a flat day rate according to your specialty, my day rate is $ x,xxx.00 and approved on GSA contract.

So broken down I charge Cost plus 40% materials and x amount for days on site for installation.

This does not include commissioning /start-up/training, that is a separate line item all together.
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Old 06-01-2012, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Mardi-Gras View Post
40% mark up on materials (my cost not retail) and a flat day rate according to your specialty, my day rate is $ x,xxx.00 and approved on GSA contract.

So broken down I charge Cost plus 40% materials and x amount for days on site for installation.

This does not include commissioning /start-up/training, that is a separate line item all together.
I was thinking at minimum 20% but 40% does look better instead of figuring mileage for materials. Then an hourly in shop time rate. This sounds much less complicated to explain.

Thank you, Sir!
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Old 06-01-2012, 08:56 PM
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hope it works out for you.....I will only need a small precentage as a "consultant"
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Old 06-02-2012, 02:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Mardi-Gras View Post
hope it works out for you.....I will only need a small precentage as a "consultant"
Or I could buy you a pair of beer goggles next time I see you.
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Old 06-02-2012, 03:11 AM
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I understand some industries have a system for working T&M, but every time I get myself into a situation where I have to itemize materials, labor etc....I get into a pissing match with my customers.

First thing out of everyone's mouth is "I'll buy the materials and save the 40%", then either they screw up the order, don't order in the timely fashion I require or sometimes, they require more then expected and ask me for reimbursement ...Damn, I hate doing business like that...

Then of course everyone thinks I charge too much so that pisses them off before we even start.

I'm in concrete construction, two guys, specialty type trade. We live in hotels most often doing jobs. We need about $1800 per day to survive, not thrive, but survive. You show me a customer that see's that and doesn't run for his brother in law that used to pour concrete and I want him..

However, I lump sum, contract a four day job for $12000, they jump, everyone's happy. I buy materials, hotels...Everything involved.. maybe net 7K for the week....

Another thing, NOBODY likes paying sales tax, but where I come from, everyone thinks they have a way around it. Another reason they take the buying from you. They give you a Capital Improvement Certificate and right away, they want 8% off your bill. Doesn't work that way, but the dumbasses that I work for can't figure it out.

Your post made me cringe, no way I'm itemizing anything for anyone except change orders, sometimes they are unavoidable.

Every schmuck has another schmuck in the family that thinks your trade is nothing special at all and just waiting to jump in and take your job. Most times the job will go south on them, but in reality, who cares at that point, you can't get the job back, its already gone. You can sit back and smile and say "I told you so", but that doesn't pay the mortgage.
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Old 06-02-2012, 04:42 AM
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You should be making $500 a day minimum to sustain a business for the long term, for you personally. Sounds like alot, but it really aint.
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Old 06-02-2012, 05:15 AM
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I'm in fabrication over 20 years. I just love when a potential customer tries to set my price and usually they throw out a number about 1/10th of what I'd get if it wasn't a rush job. And that's usually when it happens, when they need it like yesterday. I also just love when they ask "Do you have one of those machines that spit out......?"

I tell them I have CAD systems, CNC routers, Digital Printers, Plotters, etc. but the only thing I don't have is a machine that spits out........

In either case I tell them "Sorry but I cannot help you. Have a nice day."

If I don't get my price I'd rather not work. That's why I have a boat .
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Old 06-02-2012, 06:46 AM
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34 yearz in the trade 23 self emplyed. Figure your hourly
rate add some for "unforseen" and warranty. Magerials have a 3 tier markup.. 100% on any wholsale cost $300 and under. 50% $301 to $500. 33% on %501 and up. Quote your price and stick to it. Explain you may not be the cheapest but your the best value. Then do a great job and keep them happy. Payment is 1/3 on a signed contract ( do a contract to keep the agreement clear), 1/3 when all materials afe delivered, balance upon substantial completion. Include one training zeszion define as "x" hours. Adxitional hours extra. Come across as a caring professional who is atempting to eliminate any drama. Good luck.
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Old 06-02-2012, 06:47 AM
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Sorry forthe spelling. Typed on a phone.
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Old 06-02-2012, 07:19 AM
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One of the many wise things my father told me was: "Don't ever bid on a job without a profit. It's not worth doing and you'll go bust."

Work out the numbers with a fair profit built in. You're not a slave. You're doing it for reputation and profit (always profit). Profit is a great incentive for quality work, for both parties. If the AC guy bids on replacing your condenser knowing that he's going to walk away with maybe $50, think he's going to give a shit about quality?

When bidding work your attitude should be: You'd very much like the job, but don't need it. No hard feelings if you don't get it. Thank him for the opportunity, shake his hand - hard - and ask him straight up why he went with someone else. More often than not you'll get an honest answer. If it's price, don't sweat it; there's always someone cheaper. Good Luck.
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Old 06-02-2012, 07:56 AM
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$150 for each hour of your time, including time spent on the phone placing orders, and any other time that you need to spend, running down parts, driving to the job, etc, talking to the client and whatever. Add on the cost of materials, without markup.

If you don't end up with that much, hopefully you can consider the difference an investment in your future to build up the business.
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