How much to charge

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Jacob

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You're not in business to do freebies. I'd say Jacob is spot on. Different industry but I've just priced a job that requires us to have confined space training. Client will be paying for the course, plus 3 man days to account for the time we've lost where we should have been doing something productive.
I've also found over the years that charging a proper rate keeps the "trouble" customers away.
Exactly. And charging a proper rate usually means you do a better job and get known for it.
I speak from experience of making most of the mistakes I'm advising against!
Ideally the client should be happy with what you've done and value for money, even if a little expensive!
 

petermillard

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Have a look at Peter Millard videos on this
Thanks. Mine - here - were more on establishing a viable minimum day-rate for a new or transitioning business, though I’ve done related vids on ‘time tools and money‘ and ‘shelves for tools’.

If you haven’t sorted your day rates yet then the first might be worth a look, but Andy’s video posted further up covers the ground well, and as @Doug71 says, is a few years out of date now. Personally I wouldn’t go near quoting hourly or daily rates to a customer - just a price for the job - and find customers who can afford your work, and market yourself to them.

Oh, and don’t expect to get rich from it. 👍
 

RobinBHM

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Think this is a good video explaining what you need to charge, bit of an eye opener (and it's three years out of date now)!


Lots of good stuff in that video.

however It doesn’t point out that the break even point is high because workshops of any size probably need employees to recover the overhead faster.
 

Jameshow

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You're not in business to do freebies. I'd say Jacob is spot on. Different industry but I've just priced a job that requires us to have confined space training. Client will be paying for the course, plus 3 man days to account for the time we've lost where we should have been doing something productive.
I've also found over the years that charging a proper rate keeps the "trouble" customers away.
What does constrained space training involve??

Sounds interesting!

Trip down Mendip caves?!
 

niall Y

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You're not in business to do freebies. I'd say Jacob is spot on. Different industry but I've just priced a job that requires us to have confined space training. Client will be paying for the course, plus 3 man days to account for the time we've lost where we should have been doing something productive.
I've also found over the years that charging a proper rate keeps the "trouble" customers away.
It's a given that no one is in business to work for nothing. And if you need to take on additional training to tackle a job, then it can be done in agreement with the client As in - the price you then give, is the price you are prepared to do the work for including this extra cost We have all come across the 'Yosser Hughes' of this world who say that they can do a job, when they clearly can't and take a lot longer than they should. The simple question posed here is- "Should the customer have to pay for these shortcomings ? " From my previous post it's quite clear that I don't think the should.
 
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Ollie78

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More than you think. Work it out to what you think, then add some more.

Don`t forget to charge for your equipment, you might be £200 a day but what about the 20K of stuff in the van you need to do the job and another 50k in the workshop.
Everyone underestimates how much they have in tools and equipment.
The other day I did a rough estimate of one drawer of router bits I have and it was 2k worth. , you don`t realise because you just buy them one at a time.

I certainly agree with the statements against pricing to compete, I used to worry about this and screw myself over.
I was doing good quality work but competing against people with zero quality standards who thought 80grit is fine sandpaper and would paint over a cobweb. I have had clients come back to me to sort out the work done by the cheaper competition.

If you are doing high quality work and you have worked out the price then that is the price.
Never quote only estimate.
Do not be scared to lose a job or two.

Ollie
 

johnnyb

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you need to charge as much as you can possibly get away with. as a one man outfit it's very tricky to be productive enough to cover overheads(unless you can keep them very very low).
I went to a job yesterday it was a lady with a list of joinery jobs. interestingly she was in an ongoing dispute with a large joinery company about some patio doors a front door and a back door that were typical spindle tooling joinery( seals and comb joints) they had moved a bit(and used the wrong colour!) but the main problem was the fitting was poor. the customer service was dreadful and this had been going on since 2018. she fell into that category where she hated plastic ( so wanted wood) but wanted high performance.
the work was there at any price as she immediately sensed I was straight talking and honest. problem was she said at least 6 or 7 times people had refused to work for her or had done shoddy work. it started with my brothers a joiner but he refuses to work for family.finished with a 75 year old handy man painting because three Dec's had been to look but didn't get back.
I'm thinking run...forget the money.
 

niall Y

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you need to charge as much as you can possibly get away with. as a one man outfit it's very tricky to be productive enough to cover overheads(unless you can keep them very very low).
I went to a job yesterday it was a lady with a list of joinery jobs. interestingly she was in an ongoing dispute with a large joinery company about some patio doors a front door and a back door that were typical spindle tooling joinery( seals and comb joints) they had moved a bit(and used the wrong colour!) but the main problem was the fitting was poor. the customer service was dreadful and this had been going on since 2018. she fell into that category where she hated plastic ( so wanted wood) but wanted high performance.
the work was there at any price as she immediately sensed I was straight talking and honest. problem was she said at least 6 or 7 times people had refused to work for her or had done shoddy work. it started with my brothers a joiner but he refuses to work for family.finished with a 75 year old handy man painting because three Dec's had been to look but didn't get back.
I'm thinking run...forget the money.
Just walk away, while you still can. I was involved with finishing a kitchen that had been started by another kitchen manufacturer. It involved making and fitting frames ,doors and drawers to already installed units. Luckily I wasn't the main contractor, because the customer later on refused to pay the final amount owed. There was obviously a reason the previous kitchen company had just walked off the job.
 

Jacob

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That's what I do , as soon as someone starts to rundown my competition or previous workers, I reckon that's where I'll soon be if I do the job.
Or if they want to itemise the estimate and break it down. They are preparing to be disputacious!
 

artie

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On the subject of what to charge.

I know this is over simplified but.
I used to use up scraps by making dog kennels. I'd make them batches of six. Often I had to add some "good" wood to complete the job.

When they were selling well, I raised the price a little.
When they weren't selling well I lowered the price a little.
 

johnnyb

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I'd also suggest the customers you have now will never be the same ones when you start charging competitively. the first batch of customers are always bargain seekers. so learn on those. when you can confidently quote and your not getting half the quotes your producing you may be priced ok.
incidentally I'm convinced tricky stuff is barely profitable AT ANY PRICE.
so circular work, arches,heavy stuff, big stuff. etc ( unless your a specialist) isn't worth doing. just takes to long.
 

Pazza

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You're not in business to do freebies. I'd say Jacob is spot on. Different industry but I've just priced a job that requires us to have confined space training. Client will be paying for the course, plus 3 man days to account for the time we've lost where we should have been doing something productive.
I've also found over the years that charging a proper rate keeps the "trouble" customers away.
 

Pazza

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I'd also suggest the customers you have now will never be the same ones when you start charging competitively. the first batch of customers are always bargain seekers. so learn on those. when you can confidently quote and your not getting half the quotes your producing you may be priced ok.
incidentally I'm convinced tricky stuff is barely profitable AT ANY PRICE.
so circular work, arches,heavy stuff, big stuff. etc ( unless your a specialist) isn't worth doing. just takes to long.
Thanks. Mine - here - were more on establishing a viable minimum day-rate for a new or transitioning business, though I’ve done related vids on ‘time tools and money‘ and ‘shelves for tools’.

If you haven’t sorted your day rates yet then the first might be worth a look, but Andy’s video posted further up covers the ground well, and as @Doug71 says, is a few years out of date now. Personally I wouldn’t go near quoting hourly or daily rates to a customer - just a price for the job - and find customers who can afford your work, and market yourself to them.

Oh, and don’t expect to get rich from it. 👍
Thanks . Good advice. Not expecting to get rich,
More than you think. Work it out to what you think, then add some more.

Don`t forget to charge for your equipment, you might be £200 a day but what about the 20K of stuff in the van you need to do the job and another 50k in the workshop.
Everyone underestimates how much they have in tools and equipment.
The other day I did a rough estimate of one drawer of router bits I have and it was 2k worth. , you don`t realise because you just buy them one at a time.

I certainly agree with the statements against pricing to compete, I used to worry about this and screw myself over.
I was doing good quality work but competing against people with zero quality standards who thought 80grit is fine sandpaper and would paint over a cobweb. I have had clients come back to me to sort out the work done by the cheaper competition.

If you are doing high quality work and you have worked out the price then that is the price.
Never quote only estimate.
Do not be scared to lose a job or two.

Ollie
thanks. Much appreciated advice.
 

Pazza

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Thanks . Good advice. Not expecting to get rich,

thanks. Much appreciated advice.
Thanks. Mine - here - were more on establishing a viable minimum day-rate for a new or transitioning business, though I’ve done related vids on ‘time tools and money‘ and ‘shelves for tools’.

If you haven’t sorted your day rates yet then the first might be worth a look, but Andy’s video posted further up covers the ground well, and as @Doug71 says, is a few years out of date now. Personally I wouldn’t go near quoting hourly or daily rates to a customer - just a price for the job - and find customers who can afford your work, and market yourself to them.

Oh, and don’t expect to get rich from it. 👍
Thanks Peter. I like the videos.👍👍
 

TFrench

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What does constrained space training involve??

Sounds interesting!

Trip down Mendip caves?!
Confined space in the eyes of HSE is anywhere with a risk of lack of oxygen, so its less about being in tight spaces, more about gas monitors and safe systems of work and how to rescue someone if anything happens. The actual job is in tunnels under a hospital car park, its not actually as bad as I thought it would be.
 

Kayen

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I would suggest you try to 'standardise' pricing. X amount per metre for anything fitted - with variations depending upon materials and details (angles, finish etc.) X amount per fireplace - again adjusted accordingly. I price a job in five minutes, and I'm very rarely wrong.

If you try to work out time and materials per job, you'll spend more time at your desk than making the stuff - and still get the pricing wrong. Time and materials doesn't work because you can never think of everything and you will always underestimate the time anything takes.

Until you've built your portfolio up to the point that you can impress the right sort of clients, you will have to work cheap for the not-so-right clients.
 
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