Labor – Know how much you’re worthThe first thing to consider when pricing your job is the type of service you provide. In general, your quote should reflect how difficult it is to perform the job. Does your specific skill require higher education or training? Can your skill be performed by a large percentage of the population or a small one? It’s pretty safe to say that moving a couch requires less training than installing an HVAC unit. The latter is going to require an experienced technician. In theory (without any other variables considered) the HVAC installer should be charging more than the mover. But how do you know where to start — especially when you’re new to the industry? One strategy that you might want to consider when quoting, is to separate individual tasks into levels based on difficulty. Let’s say that you’ve landed a summer landscaping job where quoting is part of the job description. Your duties could involve recurring grass cutting, edging the new landscape, or even an entire redesign of the flower beds and trees. Cutting the grass is a fairly routine service and could be considered Level 1. The labor rate of this technician should be the lowest of all tasks. Edging is bit of an art and requires more skill; this service could be considered Level 2, where you’ll charge more than Level 1. Finally, a complete landscaping redesign, which might require a design specialist (we LOVE Fairfax local Alison Brown!), would be considered a Level 3 job, where you would quote your highest rate. Being open about your pricing will likely work well for your service-based business. Your clients don’t want to be left in the dark. This level of pricing transparency will earn your customer’s trust and may just land you the job.
Materials – Be upfront with your customers & provide optionsWhen pricing your job, you’ll need to think about the materials needed to get the job done. This could range from consumables (like cleaning products) to high-end finishings for the bathroom reno you’re about to tackle. The cost of materials are pretty fixed — so getting this right, should be fairly straight forward. If you know that you purchase the same items over and over again, buying in bulk will save you money in the long run. Also, if applicable to your trade, be sure your get your measurements right. Snapping photos of the area you’re about to service might be a good idea as well. When considering the cost of materials as part of your quote, it’s best to first have a conversation with your client. This ensures that you’re on the same page before starting the job. You may want to talk about the following:
- Determine what the client wants and more importantly, what kind of budget they are working with. As always, provide options. For example, “You can have an incredible sink and a standard tub, a beautiful tub and a standard sink, or somewhere in the middle for both.”
- Let your customer know that things can change. Talk about the concept of change orders, which can positively or negatively affect the final quote.