By the way, here's another tip I don't let out of the bag very often....
At the end of every big job, I'll write up the final invoice. It will start with the balance that was due on the contract. Then I'll list out any additions. Then, I'll often list out several things we did for free. People absolutely LOVE this. And I point it out to them when I go over the contract. I'll say, "So here's you're balance from the contract. And here are the extra items you requested. And then there are a few other things that I just threw in and didn't charge you for. Like......" I always get a "Wow! Well, thank you very much!" People eat it up and then go away feeling like you're the nicest guy in the world. The reality is those things I threw in really wouldn't have amounted to much extra anyway. So I'm willing to trade the money I could have gotten by charging them for these things for some good will.
A typical final invoice will look like this:
Remaining balance due on contract #11-205 $8,250.00
Fence repair as requested. 5 hrs. $275.00
Materials used in fence repair $28.00
Add'l Irrigation work requested. 6 hrs. $330.00
Irrigation materials. (list) $110.00
(2) 8' Hinoki Cypress Trees as requested $500.00
Planting compost, fertilizer for trees $20.00
Labor to install 6 man hours $330.00
Transplant 2 Rhodies, 1 Nandina as requested -- No Charge --
Remove old drip system under deck -- No Charge --
Haul away 7 old plastic pots. Disposal -- No Charge --
(1) 5 gal. Spiraea 'Gold Mound', plant soil, etc. -- No Charge --
Total Balance Due: $9843.00
I may have left $100-$200 on the table by not charging them for those minor items at the end. But on a $16,000 contract with extras, I can afford to do that. Plus, the good will it buys me with them is worth it. Referral!!!