Reply by sgcz75b

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Posted on Calculating Overhead & Shop Rate

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72 posts in 641 days

#1 posted 05-07-2019 02:06 AM

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?

”People needed certain services. I was good – good at my craft and good at selling myself. I had a portfolio of outstanding work that I had created without a client on my own. If the money was right I made the project interesting.”

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 did primarily commercial work. I researched clients before meeting with them. I knew their style. I did my homework. I knew who they had hired before me and what that person charged. I knew my competition’s weaknesses. I never looked hungry. I dressed for the meeting, was professional, and did all I could to signal my abilities. It worked 50-60% of the time, and that was enough to make me completely debt free at age 44 and able to retire at 56.

I also turned down projects when I smelled a client who would nickle-and-dime me to death. I fired clients who didn’t pay within 60 days, or were a bitch to work with. I never let a client dictate my standards. If you do word gets around and you become the low-price whipping boy. Charging too little is far worse than charging too much.

When you charge by time, the client thinks they own you and will constantly be checking on you as you’re on THEIR clock. Fry cooks at McDonald’s charge for their time.

Charging by the project means I give them a completed project. No discussions about time.

I also studied business for hours every day for 6 months prior to starting. There were others who were just as talented, but I was talented at my craft and the business end. That’s what made the difference.

No offense, but the fact you’re coming to an online woodworking forum to get opinions on what and how to charge tells me you have a great deal to learn about business. That’s amateurish at best and amateurs in business get eaten.

Spend more time studying business than you do in the shop. Or work in the shop, enjoy it, but don’t attempt to make a decent living at it.

It’s all up to you.

-- "A dying people tolerates the present, rejects the future, and finds its satisfactions in past greatness and half remembered glory" - John Steinbeck

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