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  #1  
Old 06-06-2012, 12:28 AM
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Cannot charge any less, should I back out?

Back story in a nutshell: started about a year-year and a half ago doing business on the side but found it to be a full time job.
so yeah I'm in the process of getting my business legitimized, set it up and just waiting for paper work to get started on grants and stuff.
have no chipper yet but I bundle stuff up for yard waste, and/or take remaining brush to the dump.

but anyways a gentleman calls me asking about a removal. I say $200, minimum depending on size, location, could me more or less if you want me to take brush away etc. he then proceeds to tell me he's the owner of an apartment building, and has a permit for the tree and is ready to take it down. so I go take a look at it.
The tree is an elm, fairly tall, trunk is about 4-5 feet away from the building, one branch is hanging over a telephone wire, side walk is under it, so is a driveway, and an electrical box. I will need to pylon off an area, hire help and possibly take a load or 2 to the dump, plus gas and time/labour.
The gentleman was a little disappointed when I told him I will have to charge 4-5 hundred for the whole job. While on the phone, and in the heat of the moment he got me down to a lower price, not realizing that I will be losing money on this job. It will end up either costing me, or profiting very little.
Should I call him back and tell him I cannot proceed with this job or less than what I originally asked?
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Old 06-08-2012, 12:48 AM
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Three choices.....1. Call him and be honest. See if he will work with you. Is your price lower than others he might get? 2. Build the reputation of keeping your word. If he refuses to work with you, do the job and after point 1, he will know that you are doing the right thing even though it costs you. We have experienced this will lead to call backs and references, however, no one wants to loose money on a job. This will inevitably happen, if you stay in business long enough. 3. Simply tell him you cannot do the job. That circumstances has changed, without major elaboration. Be very apologetic. We have discovered the best approach is try 1, then 2, if necessary. Hope this helps. Good luck.
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  #3  
Old 12-17-2012, 10:15 AM
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Hey man, you win some, you lose some...The best thing you have in business is your word. If you agree to do a job for x amt of dollars and you lose your ass, lesson learned, but you can't back out because you screwed up. I bid all my removals based on a formula in order to eliminate this problem, you can see it on my website
www.stltreecare.com/cost-calculator
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  #4  
Old 12-21-2012, 11:58 AM
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Charity begins at home

You are not in business to do favors. When you bid a job you should always make money. I learned the hard way. I had never backed down from any tree anywhere. However this business is very risky and risk requires compensation. keep in mind your time is valuable and your skill even more so and so then your charge is justifiable. All of our costs have risen and as such so should our prices. Of course the bigger you are the less it costs because the more mechanized you are the quicker and safer you can perform some jobs this is what is known in business as economies of scale. the key to bidding is to individualize each action on a time and resources used scale. From rigging to cutting to, lowering to clean up chipping and hauling/carting. You can in these times give customers options Such as eliminating certain action they can do. We do the hard part of getting the tree down safely or eliminating the risky hard to reach overhanging limbs or hangers and leaving the debris for the owner to deal with. So factor take down or lower = $x$ Cut up =$x$ Chipping = $x$ and Removal = money. I let my clients know that if the wood stays its less an I offer to cut to firewood lengths and stack for a small fee. Remember to get everything in writing clearly detailed so its crystal clear and nobody can switch up on you. keep in mind that the TIME you spend doing a job for cheap you could be putting together better paying work. happy holidays and be safe.
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  #5  
Old 12-23-2012, 05:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarzantreescaping.com View Post
You are not in business to do favors. When you bid a job you should always make money. I learned the hard way. I had never backed down from any tree anywhere. However this business is very risky and risk requires compensation. keep in mind your time is valuable and your skill even more so and so then your charge is justifiable. All of our costs have risen and as such so should our prices. Of course the bigger you are the less it costs because the more mechanized you are the quicker and safer you can perform some jobs this is what is known in business as economies of scale.
You are so very right about time being money. If you spend time doing work for 15/hr, you are missing out on the work you could be doing for 50/hr. I however would caution everyone that "Never backing down from a tree" is not exactly something to be proud of. In 14, almost 15 years of practicing arboriculture, I am still not afraid to tell a prospective customer to find someone else. I actually quite regularly walk away from work because it is too dangerous for me to handle at that time. And its nothing to be ashamed of. Remember we are serving the customer, if I know that another company can do it for half my price (we are talking thousands of dollar jobs), I will be upfront and honest with them. Suggest who will be cheaper and be on my way. The funny thing is, that honesty gets me the call back on the work that I want to be doing later on and the customers respect.
I also have a problem with the statement "the bigger you are the safer you can be". Im sorry, but that is absolutely FALSE. How safe you are comes down to your training, knowledge, skills and abilities. Whether you have thousands of employees or its just a one man show it all comes down to your attitute toward safety. I know this because I am that one man band, I keep up on current practices, standards and techniques because I want to see my wife at the end of the day.
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