Reply by lblankenship

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Posted on Calculating Overhead & Shop Rate

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53 posts in 1153 days

#1 posted 05-07-2019 01:48 AM

In my career in creative arts, I never bid any job on my time. I bid on the project.

I loved bidding against those who tried to calculate their time. They always lost.

I could bid $2000 for a project and it might take me four hours or less to do.

Those that bid their time, if they got the project, consistently screwed themselves.

I ran my business for twenty years until I retired at 56 (though I still consult for clients of my choosing). Those that charged for their time ran their business into the poor house in about 4 years. No one who was in the same business as me when I started was in the same business when I retired. Not one.

Bidding on your time in a self-employed business is a sure road to financial failure.

Of course, you may be different and I might be wrong, but experience tells me otherwise.

- sgcz75b

So what was the reason behind your bids? You mentioned the project but anything specific about it? Level of effort? How cool/interesting the project was?

How was it when you started out? Did you find you couldn’t be as selective because you had to pay the Bill’s? Then after building yourself up in the market you could choose to be more selective?

I think your formula is ok. Just be open to adjusting.

But it’s gonna be hard to figure out if your charging enough to “make it” full time without being full time.

There is the monthly unexpected almost every month for me. Something always is braking/needs replaced. You won’t get this till your going through serious material. At least I didn’t.

If you want to do this full time, you may want to spend some time focusing on where your orders are going to come from. Doing small odd jobs to the public is a rough business IMO. I think it’s hard to get a constant flow of work.

Good luck.

- CWWoodworking

Good to know. Yeah I have also been trying to think on that as well. There’s a local woodworker close to me who mentioned he started doing residential stuff but it wasn’t consistent enough and now he primarily does work for businesses.

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