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Old 10-20-2000, 10:51 AM
TGCummings TGCummings is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Salinas, California
Posts: 773
Hey Skook, thanks for the reply.

What you say about sitting at home compared to underbidding makes a lot of sense to me, and I've had to do it before. Now, however, I understand the importance of job-time and have made a resolution not to take a job well under rate just to have it. Sure, cash flow is low right now because I'm restructuring the business, but the reason I'm having to do that is because of accepting lower rates in the years gone by. Yeah, I might 'sit at home' for a couple days as opposed to trimming and hauling large amounts of debris, but there never seems to be time to work on the business, anyhow, so if I'm called to the field I want to make sure I have just compensation!

On the flip side of that, I'm not afraid of dropping a quote and finding out later on that I made well below my rate because I guaged the job wrong. That's a mistake I'm willing to make in order to learn from. The tricky part now is proposing on a job this big and, like I said, I'm a little leary of the numbers I came up with. They seem large.

However, to qualify myself, I severely underbid three of the last four jobs I did. I didn't propose them because they were jobs for customers who wanted them done at any price so I was able to charge my hourly rate in my head as I went along. Still, I estimated the jobs for myself ahead of time. The numbers seemed large then, too, and were well below what I eventually had to charge.

But, I do not want to do this any more because if I'm always working at $40/hour than that's all I will make. I want to get into the pattern of proposing jobs and signing contracts. That way, if I find better ways to do the job(s) I can increase revenue w/o lowering my price. I may screw up sometimes doing it this way, but I'll take my chances with it in order to learn.

Again, it comes back to this proposal again. Should I trust my initial walk-off, break the job down into sections, and propose it at the $2180 total figure I calculated? Should I retrace my steps?

Also, if anyone has a copy of a finished proposal they filled out from NEBS I'd love to see it. I'm going to be using these forms but I'd like to see a total breakdown of how a contractor would fill these out.

Again, I can't thank you all enough for your input. The improvement in my attitude & business over the last six months, since discovering LawnSite, is palpable. I get people walking up to me all the time now just to admire my operation & setup. I sing & dance my way through work days now, and have nearly doubled my average rate/job. Maybe I should start a thread to spell out the momumental changes you've contributed to...

Thanks again!

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