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 Post subject: Pricing tips
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 12:02 am 
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Thought this thread would be good for both the pros and the customers!!

My tips

Always allow for sheeting up cleaning up at both ends of the day! Forgetting this you can easily lose half a day /days money.
You are not superman quote realistically!! We have all done it :angryfire:
Use provisonal sums in your quote and cover your arse.
Price for actually picking up gear, it all takes time. Time is money

Ill think of more but its late im tired and slightly drunk :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Pricing tips
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:13 am 
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spot on fordy
removing curtain rails and poles(not the human type)
light fittings
moving furniture backwards and forwards so you can do your job(i should know i was taking mirror wardrobe door on and off so i could wallpaper and paint behind them today)i should say yesterday like you fordy letting the beer disperse before i go to bed
taking door furniture off



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 Post subject: Re: Pricing tips
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 9:55 am 
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I always say in my tenders/estimate about protection ...something like this "To protect all areas not being painted. Includes removing associated hardware before work and replacing upon completion."...that's for cabs but for walls I would say including lifting all sockets, whatever is appropriate. I think this gives the customer confidence as much as anything.
We charge extra for moving furniture and this is in my t&c's, I am not a furniture removal firm I am a painter. Little old lady slightly different...of course I would move stuff. I will not move antiques without a disclaimer signed and I always take a picture of the room before we start if we have to move things in case someone claims we damaged something when we didn't or says sit was an antique when it wasn't....sad we have to do these things

Allow for cleaning up...washing brushes, rollers etc, sorting out your gear all needs to be paid for it's all part of the job....I always miss that out.

I do large samples of the colours if there is any doubt in the customers mind...just so I paint once and not 3 times. I produce 3 A4 samples so they can put 2 together in the corners to see how dark it will become with internal reflection and then I have another that they can move round the room to see it in different light. I will do up to 3 colours like this and if I think the customer is going to be tricky I get a signature on the back of the one they choose. Not every client needs this but some take up a lot of time with other things...some just want to chat....so I allow a figure that we call the GFA (general f@*&ing around) allowance for customers that take up extra time or for new customers. This allows us the time to make samples and stop for GFA if that's what they need
If the customer is dead straight forward, isn't always wanting a chat and a cuppa, doesn't need samples and so on...then the GFA comes off at the end of the job and customer is happy....not to say that I don't like a cuppa and a chat, I am EASILY diverted especially if it is sanding or caulking, just some take up a lot of time when you could be working.

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 Post subject: Re: Pricing tips
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 5:06 pm 
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I always provide a detailed estimate as follows-

Overview of work to be done
products and manufacture to be used
Process of work
Time expected for job
Estimate of cost with a caveat of if any additional work is required resulting from unforseem circumstances they have to be agreed and signed by client prior additional work commencing.
ANd a paragraph in bold print - " please ensure all valuables,precious items are removed from room and furniture is removed from the room or placed away from walls if possible".
Daytime contact tel no for client is always requested.

The estiamte is usuallly 2-3 A4 pages ,always on my headed paper and get approx 7/10 jobs i quote for.
A professional layout certianly help, think it comes form my yrs in financial services, clients often comment how my estimate compared to some other deccys is far superior so that how i do it.

I dont charge for moving if they are old or disabled but always charge £10 for collecting materials and build in a 10-15 % cushion which can be returned to client as long as ive covered my costs.
Think some folk on here have some cracking good ideas and like PCs idea about taking pics and For dys about allowing for sheeting up .

Weeble.



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 Post subject: Re: Pricing tips
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 5:17 pm 
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I thought this thread was worth being a Sticky, so I stuck it. :-P :-P

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 Post subject: Re: Pricing tips
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 5:20 pm 
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Always ask for a deposit. It shows commitment. I ask for 25% and it is never a problem. (Apart from two occasions when they said they didn't want to pay a deposit so I withdrew my offer of working for them.)


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 Post subject: Re: Pricing tips
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 5:26 pm 
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Deposits - I request the cost of the materials shows commitment by both parties and if you cant start job for a while kee s them on your side as they have paid for materials, Like Tom never a problem. Non refundable unless they die!!

Busy working out how many cleints ask me back to do more work and looking good retention rate so far.

Weeble.


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 Post subject: Re: Pricing tips
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 5:56 pm 
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I always ask for a deposit too - I ask for 35% for most private jobs and 50% for commercial jobs with companies that I don't know and most kitchen companies.

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 Post subject: Re: Pricing tips
PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 9:18 am 
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I don't like to ask for a deposit because I think it makes the customer feel more secure if they are dealing with someone who has the resources to pay for the materials. Working capital in accountant speak. I know plenty of slackers who need the deposit money to pay off the supplier from the last job so that they can re-open their line of credit. The keys to the customers house are security enough for me.

I understand some of you have been burnt or cancelled at short notice and therefore a deposit is essential. I don't mind being cancelled as I can always go and tie up all the loose ends I have left elsewhere :oops:

The only payment disputes I have had have been where people have been unable to afford to have the job, usually replastering, done properly so I have patched up and they have been unhappy with the result. I have learnt, to my cost, that if a customer can't afford to do the job properly, then it could all end in tears so I walk away.

I build in profit to all my jobs on top of the materials and day rate which I use as a cushion to cover things like replacing fixtures and fittings and the extra cost of paint for feature walls for example. I then use this cushion to deliver the little extras with a smile on my face and leave a happy customer. If someone starts getting difficult, I can then point out all these little extras and they tend to realise that they are being treated well and are happier. If they don't, then I withdraw my goodwill and if necessary finish up the room I am on and don't return. I did that twice last year (once to a teacher an once to a banker!..see teachers thread...)


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 Post subject: Re: Pricing tips
PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 10:05 am 
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The main reason I ask for a deposit is not to pay for the materials but to see how serious the customer is. Although I can generally bring forward other work if a customer cancels, it would be inconvenient to do so. In the three and a half years that I have been a full time decorator I have not once had anyone cancel on me.

My view is that if a deposit is an issue for a potential customer then the final payment will be an issue too. Even friends and neighbours are asked to pay a deposit.

I think it shows people you are serious and sharp regarding money so they know they can't mess you around.

I once did a quote for a woman who wanted the whole house doing. I did my quote and she called me a couple of days later and said she wanted to go ahead. We agreed on a start date, which would be two months in the future. A week later the deposit and signed quote hadn't arrived so I called her to remind her. She promised it would be sent the next day. Another week went by. Another phone call. The same response. Another week went by. I phoned her again and told her politely, but firmly, that no deposit, no decorating. She again promised it would be posted the next day. Then the following day she called my mobile after midnight and left a message to say she wouldn't be able to go ahead with the decorating as something had come up but would be in touch to rearrange. I never heard from her again.

My decorating mate also did a quote for her a couple of weeks later. He went through exactly the same rigmarole. We've told all the other trades people in the town about her. It's not only customers who spread the word if you are unreliable ... we can do it about them too!

I am convinced that had I not insisted on a deposit the work would have been done and then I would have had major problems getting the money out of her.

A deposit goes a long way to safeguard me against dodgy customers. Generally, they will only refuse to pay a deposit if they don't have the money to pay for the job in the first place.


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 Post subject: Re: Pricing tips
PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 10:16 am 
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So what do you do if you have a job coming up and you have very expensive materials to order that are exclusive to that job? Likes of the 10 day job I just completed 200 miles away. I had spent over £100 making samples and sending them back and forth, probably invested about 11 hours in the project before going to the job. I spent over £500 on materials, digs to pay and a lot of diesel. It was a new client and not on my doorstep...I liked them but if they had just decided not to pay...I would have been stuffed.
I have been burned so badly by commercial work that I am loath to do it now without a sizeable deposit, especially for a kitchen company.
If someone comes to me and says they are finding it a bit of a stretch then I am delighted to help them spread the cost...we have a number of options open to us but like Jozeffo if they don't want to do a job right...I walk, cos it usually comes back to bite yer bum

My more specialised jobs are a little different to some straight dec jobs I suppose because I more often than not have to order materials as above but I also usually put a lot of hours in to creating samples and doing colour consultancy work and whilest these hours are built into the job cost, most happen before the job starts and I have in the past had some people who have taken the colour advice and then used someone else and also had people "shop" the samples.
I actually think that paying the deposit is commitment on both sides. I use a contract and that binds me to the project as well as the client. The only people who have objected to paying the deposit have been the ones that have been trouble at the end.
I don't think I should have to use the company profits to cushion a job for extras...then it isn't profit any more, it's just a contingency fund, not dissimilar to my GFA. If someone wants an extra...it's an extra, I can either do it for nothing cos it is no hassle or I have decided to do it for nothing, or I can charge for it. Either way I usually put these items on the bill and if an item was free I write FOC next to them...people forget you did them a favour sometimes.

Personally, I think everyone has to work within their own comfort zone and if you aren't comfortable about asking for a deposit then don't. But I think it is a risk with new clients.

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 Post subject: Re: Pricing tips
PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 10:34 am 
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Imagine if you went into Tesco, filled up your trolley and walked out the door saying "I'll be back to pay for all this when I have eaten it."

Regarding feeling comfortable asking for a deposit ... I don't physically have to ask as it is in my Terms that I send with the written quote. It's much easier that way as you don't have to feel awkward or embarrassed.


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 Post subject: Re: Pricing tips
PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 7:36 pm 
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Tom d'Angler wrote:
Imagine if you went into Tesco, filled up your trolley and walked out the door saying "I'll be back to pay for all this when I have eaten it."

.


But you pay after you have eaten in most restaurants.


I prefer to be paid when I have finished the job with a couple of exceptions.

1. If the job is a long drawn out affair over three or four weeks, then I ask for staged payments.

2. If the job is very costly on materials that are special order or unreturnable, quite often with private clients I will ask them to either give me the material money up front or purchase the items themselves.


I have one company that I do work for who will quite happily pay complete invoices up front if I want them to.

Its personal preferance really.


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 Post subject: Re: Pricing tips
PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 8:03 pm 
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i am with upagumtree on this one


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 Post subject: Re: Pricing tips
PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 8:10 pm 
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It's down to what you decide is your own "company policy". You can't order a sofa now and not pay on ordering ...most cases in full.... people are quite au fait with paying a deposit for stuff and at the end of the day it's about what makes you comfortable in your business and also makes your business work well for you. If you found that in your area you were losing biz by asking for a deposit it might be worth changing your policy.

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