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  • Food for thought

    Doug - Tom

    Can I introduce another idea that may be of interest to those here that are making their living with professional work and maybe even more interesting to those who would like to be? In bringing Pete on board as an associate, one of the first things that became problematic is his ability to make estimates for the clients and leaning how we arrive at the numbers on the various assignments to find that balance between maintaining the volume we want and making money.

    Because it is a very important point of discussion with us here now, I thought what we are doing might be of interest to others as well ....and perhaps could be organized like your very popular challenges in the retouching area, by posting a picture of the original with the criteria specified by the client ...then having everyone who would like to participate take a shot at making an estimate and adding some notes on how and why they came to their conclusions.

    Photos of the originals or project involved would be preferable to scanning anything if they can be more enlightening in showing the work that is needed. And, to keep the playing field even, instead of the "I work from home" or "I'm in the Trump Plaza Tower so my rent is higher" type of posting, it could be predetermined that the business has an overhead of an even $1,000 a month for all estimating purposes.

    It's a joy to have your own business but it's also easy to burn out on it if the take home pay isn't there and it all starts with your capability to price your services right. What do you think?

    Jim Conway

  • #2
    Interesting idea, bearing in mind that prices flucuate on a regional basis. What a restore "goes" for in, say Seattle or Huston would be unattainable in rural Mississippi...even within the same State there are wide variations , depending on what the cost of living is etc.. that said, I like the idea. However, I would suggest rather than lock in a price, go with what your area typically will accept..it is interesting to note the diversity of economic regions folks live and work in, plus the types of damage/deterioration encountered. Lets see what Doug thinks, but I think it would be a good idea and interesting to boot. Tom

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    • #3
      With access to the Internet by the buying public, those differences might not be all that great - the thought processes used have be similar, we are all in related businesses.

      You make an interesting point though, regional would not be as great as country and this is a "world" group! Don't know about the rest of you but I've never had an overseas order!

      Jim Conway

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      • #4
        I think that's an excellent idea. But it might need a little refining, as Tom pointed out. Maybe it would be better if the people taking part in the challenge estimated how long it would take to do the job, and why they estimated it that way. Costs of being in business are a necessary part of estimating, but I think one of the biggest problems is estimating how long it would take to do the job. The different costs involved could be worked out seperately. Just my opinion.

        Ed

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Ed_L
          I think that's an excellent idea. But it might need a little refining, as Tom pointed out. Maybe it would be better if the people taking part in the challenge estimated how long it would take to do the job, and why they estimated it that way. Costs of being in business are a necessary part of estimating, but I think one of the biggest problems is estimating how long it would take to do the job. The different costs involved could be worked out seperately. Just my opinion.

          Ed
          I'd agree about the need for entering the time element if it's part of your reason for the charges, however hours alone are not the basis for most of my billings and maybe I'm not alone on that? It is one component. I bill by the complexity of the job as well as time estimate - but having to explain (and/or defend) all of this is what I think will be the most interesting part!!

          Jim Conway

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          • #6
            I've no problem with anyone posting an image in the 'Help wanted' forum asking for pricing advice. I would ask that the client's permission be gotten, or at least covered in the general work contract. That said, I seem to recall a recent discussion about how most people here don't charge nearly enough.

            I do encourage everyone to mention how long they spend on a given Challenge, but I'm not comfortable making it a requirement (or even a strong suggestion) since many aren't pleased with their speed and might find that a bit off-putting.
            Learn by teaching
            Take responsibility for learning

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            • #7
              Feeling the heat

              Doug, Did you take the "not charging enough" as a put down or in the way that it was intended ... as an attempt to help people understand the complexities in the business and arrive at true value for their work? If I missed the mark, you have my sincere apology!

              Jim Conway

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              • #8
                Not at all. I took it as an interesting discussion with strongly held but differing opinions. And I'm all for anything that helps restorers be more successful.
                Learn by teaching
                Take responsibility for learning

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jim Conway
                  With access to the Internet by the buying public, those differences might not be all that great - the thought processes used have be similar, we are all in related businesses.

                  You make an interesting point though, regional would not be as great as country and this is a "world" group! Don't know about the rest of you but I've never had an overseas order!

                  Jim Conway
                  Just thought I had to comment on these sentances. I've had a few jobs through my web site and to date I've had jobs from Canada (about 6 as I remember), Chicago, NY and North Carolina. Not bad for an Aussie.

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